A simple way to know the level of success you will achieve.

by Leadership

A few weeks ago, I had a conversation with a friend and he said something that struck me very profoundly. He said that one doesn’t have to be a fortune teller to be able to predict someone’s future or the success they would achieve in life. In his argument, he stated that one question is enough to know all this.

All you need to know what level of success you will achieve is to ask: What is your one definite purpose in life – and what plans have you put in place to achieve it? Sounds too simple- I know. But that is why it works.

If you were to ask about 100 people this simple question, about 97 of them would give you an answer that sounds like this: “I would like to make a really good living and become as successful as I possibly can.” The answer might sound good on the surface but if you dig a little bit deeper, all you find is what I will refer to as a “Drifter”.

This person is one who never really achieves their own success out of life and at best only gets the leftovers of truly successful people- those who have a definite purpose and plan for attaining it. The only thing drifters do is talk about things but never put in the walk. They are wishful thinkers, hoping someday to achieve something- exactly what is a mystery to them too.  (Do you know anyone like this, or am I currently referring to you?)

To be successful, you must at this moment decide exactly what your goal is and lay out the steps by which you intend to achieve it.

Lessons from a few who applied this principle

1. Stuart Austin Wier

One of the best patent attorneys in the City of Dallas, Texas was a man named Stuart Austin Wier. But he didn’t just get there and for a long time in his life, he didn’t even practice law.

He started out working as a contributor to a local magazine and was just getting by financially. By his own admission, he would probably have remained a starving writer if he hadn’t been suddenly inspired to change his life by a story he was writing about an inventor and how he had brought his ideas to life.

To the surprise of all who knew him especially his family, he announced that he was giving up journalism and was going back to school so as to become a patent attorney. What he did not tell them was that he wasn’t going to be just any patent attorney; he was determined to be “the best patent attorney in the United States”. He put his plan into action with such determination that he completed law school in record time.

As he began his practice, he deliberately sought out the toughest cases he could find. He worked around the clock and managed to deliver exemplary results. Soon his reputation spread throughout the country and his services were in such high demand that even though his fees reached astronomical levels, he was turning away more clients than he accepted.

2. Lee Maranz

One of the earliest and most successful franchisers was a man by the name Lee Maranz . He was a man who knew what he wanted and how to get it. A mechanical engineer, Maranz invented an automatic ice-cream machine that made soft ice cream. He envisioned a chain of ice cream stores from coast to coast and worked out a plan to make his dream become a reality.

He, like many others since, built his success by helping others achieve theirs. He helped people set up ice cream shops by furnishing construction and design plans, a revolutionary idea at that time. He sold the automatic ice cream machines at cost and made his profit from the sale of the ice cream mix. The result: – The chain of stores that he was determined to create across the country became a reality.


Both Stuart and Lee decided to act with purpose and a plan and that attracted opportunities. How can life give you anything if you do not know what you want yourself? How can others help you to succeed if you haven’t decided how to get there yourself? Only with definitiveness of purpose will you be able to overcome the defeats and adversities that will stand in your way.

Lee Maranz when asked how he achieved his success said, “If you have a strong belief in yourself, in what you are doing, and what you want to do, no adversity is too difficult to overcome.

If you want to achieve success, make today the day you stop drifting. Decide upon a definite goal. Write it down. Commit it to memory. Decide exactly how to plan to achieve it. Then begin putting into plan action immediately.

Your future is what you make it. Decide now what it shall be.