The Psychology of Success Foundation 1: Know Your Style

Success can be defined in many ways, but as a useful guide, I’m going to use this formula:


Security + Challenge + Fulfilment = My Sense of Success

…which is mentioned in Judith Leary-Joyce’s book The Psychology of Success.

You can assign an approximate percentage value to each area of your life (obviously, this might not be that accurate, as this isn’t meant to be as rigorous as a Myers-Briggs personality profile), which will be helpful in assessing where you are in each of the remaining foundations.

As a starter, here are some examples of each of these three areas:

Security: Desire to be at home, have family around, want a secure job, independence at work, have regular holidays

Challenge: Want to try new experiences, visit unknown places, be in unusual places

Fulfilment: Seek out fulfilment, includes others, appreciate the learning, reflect on your achievements



  1. Think of other examples that would fit into each category; spend time filling out examples of each category; where you fill in the most is probably related to which of the three areas you feel most comfortable in.
  2. Try to estimate the percentage for each of the 3 areas, based on your knowledge of yourself.
  3. Write down your ‘success quotient’ like this: 0.33S + 0.33C +0.33F, (if you think you score equally for all 3 areas, otherwise write in your figures. It’s more likely that your success quotient won’t be evenly balanced between all three areas, dependent on your life-experience and personality).
  4. Now spend 30-60 minutes alone, find a pen & a piece of paper, and draw a line representing your life up to today. Try and think back to times where you’ve succeeded and failed, and make a note of which three areas (S, C or F) led you to seeing that experience as a success or failure.
  5. Project the timeline 5 years into the future, and start thinking of areas where you want to see not-yet achieved security, challenge or fulfillment. Draw on the timeline when you’d like to see these things happen (try and be specific). Now write down what you think are the major obstacles in the way, and make a note of how you will attempt to overcome these challenges.

In later lessons I’ll be sharing how to move forward from this timeline.

Please note: I am *not* a trained psychologist, and the above does not represent any formal advice: any actions you take are your responsibility, and I can’t be held liable for anything bad that might happen to you subsequently.

For more detailed information, see

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Dez Futak