suc·cess: (n.) The achievement of something desired, planned, or attempted

The 5 Categories You Want To Succeed In

If it comes to the question what we really want in our life the answer is always "Pleasure". Whatever happens to you, your brain asks 2 questions. Does that mean pain or pleasure, and if it means pain, how can I avoid it.

You might not believe me as it sounds too simple. But test it and you will see I am right. You always choose what you think is less painful. Every action we take is meant to either reduce pain or increase pleasure. Even if we do not always succeed in the attempt, the intention of our actions is clear.

There are 2 basic ways we act. We try to get away from pain (compulsion) or we try to move towards pleasure (propulsion). In most people on of these basic strategies becomes the preferred strategy. What is the difference? The difference is way emotions get intensified in both systems. If you move away from something (compulsion), the further you are away the less power this something has on you. You can think of it as the gravity. Getting closer to something increases the power of gravity whereas getting away from something decreases it.

If the strategy you choose is the move-away-from-pain type, you probably have problems to really follow through. This is easy to explain using our theory. As you move away from the source of pain, the impact of the painful situation gets weaker and weaker the further you are getting away. At some point in time, you get to what we call the comfort zone, a situation where you feel ok with what you have and far enough from the source of pain to make you comfortable.

If the strategy is the move-toward-pleasure type something very different happens. The closer you get to your goal, the more propelled you are. The pleasurable event you try to achieve, its gravity if you like, increases. And, as opposed to the move-away-from strategy there is no comfort zone. Using a move-toward-strategy is much more effective to reach success than a move away strategy.

To feel happy and successful in the 5 main areas in life, you should not allow yourself to go with a move-away-from strategy rather choose a move-toward strategy.

What are these 5 areas?

The 5 areas are:

* Emotional area

* Physical area

* Financial are

* Relationship area

* Spiritual area

Maybe areas is a bit a wrong word for this and we should choose categories instead? However, these are the 5 central topics you strive for pleasure and success.

Lets have a quick look at all of them.

The emotional or mental area is somewhat different from the rest, in so far as it embraces pleasure itself. But it is nevertheless a category we can apply strategies to and change our approach to reach the "feeling good" state.


Our emotions are not only totally important for our way through live but also controllable once you have the knowledge how they arise and what to do to change them in an instant. The emotional state we are in determines if we can access our full potential or if we are literally cut-off from our power.

Emotions are what moves us. They are what make us take action. In fact the word emotion means something that set us into motion. It is contains the word motion and describes the powerful impact much better than the English word feeling. Feeling is kind of passive. Emotion is movement. Emotions are a cause set in motion.

If you are in a joyful emotional state, if you feel happy, good, energized, passionate, your whole body is vibrating an you have opened all doors to your full potential. On the other hand, being in a depressive state draw away energy and makes closes the doors to our full potential.

You can learn to evoke any emotion you want to be in. If you are interested how, let me know. But for a quick proof and as an easy tool for you to use, here is a way to change your emotion fast.

To change from a negative emotional state to a positive state is to change your posture. Yes, your body posture is one of the most important factors that impact what emotional state you are in. Try it. If you feel depressed raise yourself, stop looking down and start looking up, stop breathing shallow and start breathing deep and then smile. Force your face to smile. After all smiling is a way our face muscles are used so you can do it no matter what your current emotional state is.

If take the steps described above you will realize that it is impossible to be depressed with the body posture you are in now. Of course, the moment you stop you might be back where you started. But as long as you keep that posture your depressive emotional state is gone.

Physical area

If you tried the little exercise i described above you already have experienced what a difference posture can make. You already taped into the huge field of how our physical body is interconnected with our mind. Humans have always realized how important the body for their well being is. In fact, our body and mind is a unit. One impacts the other on virtually every level. Keeping your body healthy or getting it back to a healthy state is very important.

Never underestimate the impact your current bio-chemistry has on your emotional state. In fact it might be the one most important factor for how you feel.

Think about it for a moment, when you drink alcohol for example, what really happens? The alcohol changes your bio-chemistry boldly and you start feeling very different and at first pretty good. Yet, your body is not really happy with what is going on and you will end up with the usual hang-over the next day. Why do we consume alcohol? There are certainly several reasons but if you get drunk you use alcohol to feel good and to change your emotional states.

Now, if you can change your emotional states by giving something to your body, doesn't that mean your physical state (bio-chemistry) changes how you feel? It certainly does.

Alcohol, or any other drug for that matter, is a bold example. Other changes in bio-chemistry are not as bold but very effective anyway.

"Mens sana in corpora sana" is an old Latin saying meaning "To have a healthy mind you need to have a healthy body". I couldn't agree more.

So, start looking what you do with your body and how you use it. Realize how you use your body posture to achieve certain emotional states (like depression, see above) and change it to a posture more congruent to the state you want to have consistently.

Financial area

This is a real huge topic and I can only scratch the surface a little. But by doing so, I can point you to the direction to look for if you want to become a financial success.

Money is a very emotional thing for most of us. Having it, making it, desiring it is what many of us believe is the most important thing in life. I disagree and I never met anybody with a mind set focused only on money that was successful in financial terms.

Most of us have very mixed beliefs about money. On one hand we desire the pleasures we think money would give us like freedom, security and so forth, on the other hand we belief that making money means taking it away from someone else, requires hard work, is unsocial etc.

The problem with mixed belief, especially if they are opposing each other is that they lead to self sabotage. You strive for financial success and once you come close to it, or even achieve it you start doing things that ensures you not going to follow through.

Money is just a way to exchange wealth. It is a way to store and exchange power as well as a way to evaluate the worth of your power for others. The printed pieces of paper we used to call money have no worth at all. The only worth they have is that some institution we all trust in (the federal government for example) promises us that we can use these pieces of paper to exchange goods. Other than this a buck is just a piece of green paper with faces of honorable people printed on it.

To be successful in your financial area you need to develop a clear belief of what money means to you. Find out what opposing beliefs you have linked to having or making money and get rid of them. Why don't you think about money as a means to allow you to make a difference? A means that builds up power you can use to change things to the better. Even Mother Theresa needed and collected money to help. Sitting with the poor and starving with them is not really effective. Doing something against starvation is but needs power(Money).

To take something practical away from this section let me give you a very serious advice. Always pay yourself first. What do I mean? I mean, before you pay anyone else, yes that includes your bills too, make sure you pay yourself. Put the money you need for groceries and living away up front. Then take away a small amount, even if it is only some bucks, as savings. From the rest pay your bills. If there is not enough left don't pay your bills in full. But never pay someone else before you have paid yourself first.

Saving only some bucks is a sure fire way to increase your financial well being. Why? Because you start to build something up instead of using it up. You start building your wealth.

If you want to get a grip of your finances don't start with consulting your bank, start with examining your beliefs about money.

Relationship area

Your relationships with others are what is most important for a joyful and successful life. Unless you manage this area all other areas are useless. Humans live in relations to each other. Your loved ones and those you might not love but need (like your boss for example) impact your life big time.

Understanding the ways you communicate with others and finding strategies to communicate successful with them is key.

There are some first steps i like to share with you to get you started. Again, this is only a hint to point you towards the right direction.

First, stop mind-reading. We all tend to belief that we know what others think. Especially those we are close to. This is a very limiting belief. Actually we don't know anything about the thoughts of others unless they tell us. Stop making assumptions and start a dialog instead.

Second, listen instead of explain. Listen to what the other says and watch what she is doing rather than judging it. We all tend to talk to much and don't listen enough.

Third, monitor your personal emotional state. If you get angry there is something that causes you to get angry. It is something that violates one or more of your basic beliefs. If you can not get out of the state immediately turn away and get back after you have cooled down.

Fourth,be clear about what you want and how your desires fit into the desires of your relationships.

Spiritual area

This is not about religion. Although every religion copes with spirituality. We all need a purpose. We all want to know where we came from and where we are going. And, we all haven't found an answer yet. But, whatever religion you have, even if you propose to have none -which is the atheist religion- you need to think about your purpose. Unless you found a purpose for your life - and that purpose might change over time- you will not be successful. Why? Because you have no lasting goals. Lasting goals are what drive us over hurdles and through the rapids of the river we call life. They are the means that let us take risk and pain to keep going. If you do not connect to that purpose once in a while -why not every morning- you soon will be like a leaf in the autumn breeze. You will tumble around by chance.

How can you know what you need to do if you do not know where to go?

2005 © Norbert Haag. All rights reserved.


This article may be republished in newsletters and on web sites given attribution is provided to the author, and it appears with the included copyright, resource box and live web site link. Email notice of intent to publish is appreciated: mail to:

Norbert Haag is a business consultant, entrepreneur and sought after speaker for more than 20 years.

His company - Online Business Coach - provides information and services for online businesses, small business owners and freelancers.

You can reach Norbert at

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Attracting Success