A Simple Success Principle to Follow

In Smarter Faster Better, there is an interesting story about poker players and their strategies. Poker is a game of probabilities, so the essence of their strategies is how to maximize their odds of winning.

In a sense, life is also a ‘game’ of probabilities. There is an element of luck involved. Being in the right place at the right time counts. So, with that in mind, here is a good success principle to follow:

Do things that increase your odds of success in the long-term.

What does it mean?

Well, let’s dissect it. There are three parts there that contain important lessons:
1. Long-term
2. Odds
3. Increase

Let’s look at them one by one.

1. Long-term

The right framework for thinking about success is long-term, not short-term. Why? Because that’s how you can get the law of momentum to work for you. It’s like an airplane that’s about to take off. It needs a long enough runway to take off. Similarly, you need a long enough time to achieve something significant.

This also means that you should avoid getting distracted by short-term opportunities. Think long-term. Be stubborn on vision while still being flexible on details.

2. Odds

Like it or not, there is an element of chance at play. There are things outside of your control. You might have planned everything out, but there is still the possibility of failure.

The lesson is that you shouldn’t be afraid of failures. Instead, embrace them. See failures as opportunities to learn.

3. Increase

While the previous part is about the things you can’t control, this part is about the things you can control. Here you need to do what is necessary to increase your chance of success.

Here are some actions that you could take:

You can control these things. It’s up to you whether to do them or not.


Think long-term, embrace failures, and do what is necessary. You then will be on your way to reaching your full potential.


  1. Thanks so much. Am richly blessed. God bless you

  2. Hello Donald,

    I’m a new subscriber!

    I totally agree with the long-term. I am certain many agree with this. But the lure of the quick fixes and short-cuts to success are too many and they are very convincing. Awareness and mindfulness are needed in order to not be trapped.

    Thank you for this blog post!


    • Hi Sigrid,

      Welcome aboard! Glad to get to know you.

      Yes, awareness and mindfulness are essential. Otherwise, it’s easy to get distracted as you said.

      Thanks for sharing!

  3. hi.donald

    We can get a lot of success principle from books but the most important is ideas.
    as what napolean hill said think and grow rich.

  4. Greetings, Donald: Welcome back from your vacation. Just to say thank you for your incredibly powerful and refreshing articles.please keep it up!

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