How to be Successful in Life – Success Principle #3

If you haven’t already done so, I would strongly encourage you to read about the first two success principles (How to Be Successful in Life: 10 Things You Must Know! and How to be Successful in Life – Success Principle #2) prior to moving onto this article How to be Successful in Life – Success Principle #3.

As mentioned in those articles, each success principle of the 10 Principles for Successful Living is important and deserves your attention in order for you to get the results you want.

If you really want to see progress and change, do yourself a favour and learn about and implement each principle so you set yourself up for and start to see success in the way you want to.

So, let’s continue to build the muscle for success.

The 10 Principles for Successful Living

Refer to my previous articles and start to implement the principles to change create the life you want.

Principle Number 1:  Boundary Conditions

Principle Number 2:  Cause and Effect

Principle number 3:  What we focus on is what we get

I want to segue into this principle by first making a distinction between the concepts of resources and resourcefulness.

Resources are the things we have around us that are external to us; and

Resourcefulness refers to the qualities, attributes and the characteristics we have within us.

Now a lot of people will say, I don’t have enough money, I don’t have enough time, I don’t have enough resources, people aren’t supporting me etc.  Everything is external to them.

Now all of that could be true.  There could be a lack of money, there could be a lack of time and people around them might not be supporting them.

But given that it is difficult to get other people around us to do exactly what we want them to do all the time because that’s the definition of control and given that to change our situations what we need  to do is change our thinking or our belief, we need to focus on the resourcefulness you need within you.

Don’t for a minute think that you can’t build or acquire qualities, attributes and characteristics.  You’re not just stuck with what you think you have or don’t have.  We can look inside and grow inside.

You need to start moving your focus from what is not right around you to how you need to shift within and this is all about focus.

Everything we focus on is what we get to the exclusion of everything else.  

So, if we are blaming everybody else for not getting the results we want, we are not focusing on how we can be responsible.

This is my favourite success principle because it is so powerful.

When you become aware and take time to reflect, you will see how it plays out.

Any time something has occurred and I have thought “well, I wasn’t focused on that happening”, if I reflect back, I can see how my thinking and my focus has resulted in the very thing I didn’t want and conversely the very thing I did.

This principle goes to the heart of what we experience in our lives.

We can only experience what we search for because everything else is outside of our experience and we filter anything different out.

Carl Yung believed that we can’t see anything outside of us, that isn’t us. What an amazing concept.


So, we don’t see things as they are, we can only see them as we are.

The external world that we see comes through this filtering lens of our personality, of who we are and our beliefs and our attitudes.

Two people can look upon exactly the same situation and see it completely differently based on who they are, based on how they saw it for, based on what they expect to find.

Someone who experiences poverty is experiencing what is within them now.  Someone who experiences abundance is doing exactly the same thing.

So, if you say that I’m bad at relationships, what I want to know is how is your relationship with yourself?


Imagine a torch beam being shone in a warehouse and in this warehouse is pure potential, every potential and possibility exists in this warehouse.  But what does the torchlight pick up on.  It only picks up on where it is focused.  What if you focus on a corner of the warehouse that is just empty and there is nothing there, what do you think this warehouse contains.  Would it occur to you that it contained every possibility if you only saw the emptiness and space?

Now move the torchlight to your left, and notice that that is filled with abundance, not just with abundance in the material sense, but abundance of health, of happiness, of love, of relationships, of sharing, of contribution and personal growth.  Now if you only ever shone your torchlight there and that had been your experience of this warehouse, what would you think existed in the warehouse?

Let’s stretch the metaphor and turn on the floodlights of experience in the entire warehouse and see that all potential and all possibility is there and always has been.

Now the possibilities with this success principle are pretty endless.

If you focus for example on how you fear a situation, what are you going to get more of?  Of course, you are going to get more of that fear.  What if you focused instead on how you can appreciate this moment as an opportunity to learn and to grow? What do you think you might start noticing?  Do you think you might experience it differently?

How you approach something is what you are going to be searching for, what you will be focusing on.

If you are focusing on how hard it is and how impossible it seems or how I never think I’m going to get there, well that’s what you are going to experience more of.

If you focus instead on the opportunity, on the wonderful gift this is giving you to become what you truly are, you will see it differently.

Now, what if you did that all of the time?  What if you moved your focus constantly to the opportunities, to the abundance, to the opportunity to learn, to grow, to give and to love.

What if you did that on a consistent basis not just moment to moment or occasionally when you remember, but all of the time? What results do you think you would start getting reflected back to you in your life and in your relationships?  I think it would be amazing.  I think you would really start to notice the possibility of miracles.

Moving your focus is everything.

Anyone for Overwhelm & Self-Pity?

You may not be aware but we ‘do’ particular emotions and states.  Let me explain what I mean.

Many people do ‘overwhelm’ all of the time. To do overwhelm, they have to focus in on the big picture, see how it seems insurmountable, focus on everything they are not able to do in this moment and immediately and surprise they are in overwhelm. 

But what if they moved their focus to what they can control and influence right now?   If they just took a moment to think, what is within my capacity right now?  Do you think the overwhelm would go away?  Of course, and instead what turns up is resourcefulness.  Right now, what I can do is X and Y and I can plan for A and B, and dabble in K and that’s enough for now.  And that is going to be a really empowering attitude to take.

Just consider, how does someone do overwhelm?  How does someone do self-pity?  How does anyone do any emotion or characteristic (like lack of confidence) that doesn’t serve us.  We have all done it.

If you are curious, to do self-pity, what you need to do is focus on how people aren’t helping you, and how it is really hard and how you think you’ll never get there, pretty well you do those three things and you’ll move to self-pity.

And of course, you need to slump your shoulders when you are doing that, because physiology is going to really help you really go into self-pity.  This is called creating your ‘state’.

To create any state whether positive or negative, we use language, self-talk, thoughts, beliefs and our physiology.   Test it out for yourself right now.  I will write more about this in the future.

The point is that we can become practising masters at it.

Back to self-pity.  Self-pity really moves you to effecand it will not create the results that you want and you definitely won’t be moving your focus. So, if you decide, change it.  Decide to dump the word self-pity from your vocabulary.  Decide it won’t be an emotion available to you anymore.  Instead, focus on what is within your control and influence, what you can do today, what you can be responsible for and that’s when it totally changes and turns around.

The moment you make this absolutely un-resourceful, pointless emotion unavailable to you, you start noticing other things, you start focusing and filtering in the possibility to for example get the giggles when the going gets tough.

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Question Question Question….and laugh!

Who says you have to get down on yourself and feel self-pity when the going gets tough?

Who says you can’t just laugh and say ok another opportunity to learn and to grow?

Who says that challenging situations have to be faced head on with a stiff back and total grim look and thinking I am going to be taking this totally seriously?

Who says it can’t be approached with laughter?

And yes;

You still have a plan and you still know what your outcome is and what you are aiming for;

You take action and you have the sensory acuity to notice if these actions are getting the results that you want; and

You have the behavioural flexibility to change what you are doing.

But who says that you can’t have a physiology or a psychology of laughter and joy at the opportunity being presented to you?

Notice and Shift

As you are approaching your day to day activities and even the bigger tapestry of your life, notice what you are choosing to focus on within that.

Notice that within the tapestry of your entire life there are millions of threads and thousands of colours and hundreds of tiny distinct pictures and patterns to look at.  Check in on which ones you are choosing to filter into your experience.

Are you filtering in or focusing on the elements of the tapestry, the beauty of the tapestry that will assist you to create the amazing outcomes you are looking for?  If not, shift your focus.

Move your focus to what will empower you.

Now that doesn’t mean to say that there will not be problems.   It’s about becoming the person who can learn from them and manage them.  It’s not how do I dump the problem, it is, how do I become the person I need to be able to manage them?

Fear and it’s antidote

Here’s a little bonus insight when you are dealing with fear.  No Doctor or prescription required here.

See my article Gratitude – Being grateful when you don’t feel it! for some tips on how to get the appreciation and gratitude going.  It’s really important. 


What I’m sharing with you isn’t just stuff that is good to read.  I know it works.

So, my invitation to you is to just take it on board and treat it as a truth.

Take it on board as a belief for yourself today and remember a belief is simply a sense of certainty about what something is or what something means.  Just assume this its true and notice what happens and notice what becomes available to you. You are able.

It’s all simply science

Now if you are thinking as you read  this, you don’t know me and you don’t know my life and if you knew what I was telling myself all day long, you wouldn’t say that and it wouldn’t be that easy, let me say that I said it was simple, I didn’t say it was easy.

This can be a challenge and if you have 65 thoughts going on in your mind every single day and all of them are beating up on yourself about how you can’t, then you really need to move your focus.  It doesn’t make it impossible to you, it’s just makes it a journey you need to be willing to commit to.

Realise that when you move your focus and when you make a commitment to shift that focus to thoughts and self-talk and beliefs that will serve you, you will start to get different results.

Remember this is science, it is simply neural pathways in action.

If you are focusing on what somebody lacks or what you lack, that fires up a certain part of the neurology.  And if you fire it enough times it becomes hard wired and becomes quite a firm neurology that is very easy to access.

Have you ever noticed that you have some thoughts that are just really easy to access and you have them all the time?  This is pretty much a hardwired neurology.  So, that doesn’t mean to say it can’t be changed, it just means that you need to be willing to move to a different part of your brain to fire up different neural pathways that focus around where you are capable.

There are things you are capable of.  There are amazing things that are within your possibility and within your potential when you make the commitment and you make the decision to act as if they are.

Next Steps

  1. Start to notice that what you focus on is what you get.  Sometimes this will occur after the fact and upon reflection e.g. some time back I was focused on how everything was so difficult and money was a problem or I hadn’t been paid and the next minute I lost my credit card which came with it’s own set of problems.  Even just focusing on difficulty in whatever form that is means that you get more of the same even if it’s in another area of your life.  So, start to notice the power of “what we focus on is what you get” and make the shift.
  2. Sign up for some coaching tips
  3. Read my article Can beliefs be changed? How to change your beliefs to change your life
  4. Subscribe to my website (scroll to the top or bottom of the screen) so you don’t miss out on Success Principle #4.

Would love your comments and feedback on this article.

Make luck happen!


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  • Derek Marshall

    This is a very true and something that I am focusing on. I think it is the law of attraction by Rhonda Byrne where she says we ALWAYS get what we want – inclusive of what we don’t want. Somehow the negation of “Don’t” has an amplification effect where we get more of it and quicker!.

    Double dose, double quick if you like!.

    I think it kind of works like this – when you have something like money or time (two example you gave) we don’t really focus so much on having them and are more accepting of having money & time and they don’t really dominate our thoughts.

    When we don’t have something, say money, we focus on not having money much more that we do when having it.

    Your thoughts?

    • Martine Brooks

      I agree, we definitely focus more on it when we feel or are literally in lack. Not having money can be a major stressor so yes our focus will definitely go there but in a very desperate sense. So, we need to focus on what we do have, be grateful for that 5 bucks in our pocket but also think as though we already have that thing that we want e.g. I am financially rich (feel it, see it). If we say, we will be that’s somewhere in the future – when in 50 years time. So, we have to be very careful of our language. The universe doesn’t hear the qualifications either e.g. I don”t want to be poor. It hears “want to be poor”. Likewise, resistance kicks (subconscously) in when the ego hears it may have to give something up or lose something e.g. I want to lose weight or I want to give up (some bad habit). No one likes to lose or give up anything. So, we need to use language that is more positive in nature e.g. I nourish my body with healthy foods and enjoy a clean living lifestyle. Thanks for your comment. Great to be prompted to provide a a few more tips.

  • edgar

    Woww.. very inspiring and informative website. I love the look of it.

    Wishing you all the best in helping people to reach their maximum potential.

    God Bless!

    Best Regards


  • Ryan

    This was truly a well thought out article! I also believe that perspective is very important in life, and that more good things will happen if you focus on the positive things happening, opposed to the negative in your life.

    I’ve always wondered why people stress themselves out over things that are not in their control. Like you were saying in the article, focus is so important. Focus on the right things, and you can completely shift your life in the right direction.

    Thanks for reminding me that focus and perspective are HUGE!!!

  • Prav

    The reality is so simple yet complex. We all know the power of focusing on what we want yet fail to do so. We don’t think about what we want and lose focus. Thanks for reminding this principle again.

  • Frank

    Hi Martine,

    You have a very impressive website with LOTS of excellent information! Proper focus is everything in life and you have really hit the preverbal nail on the head. Mindfullness is something we should all practice at every available opportunity.


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