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The 4 P’s of Success, Sans One…


Success is defined as the favorable outcome of something attempted.  The accomplishment of one’s goals. The attainment of wealth, position, honors, or the like. I personally define success as loving your life, loving what you do, and loving whoever you are on the journey with.

I believe success has a formula and it requires the 4 P’s, sans one. Passion, Purpose, Professors and Peers.  The final P is a don’t. Don’t be too particular.


Passion is any powerful, compelling emotional feeling. Passion fuels living.  I personally define passion two ways; a desire to create something that will generate change and doing something that is extremely enjoyable. So with that definition in mind, what is it that you love and care most about?  What changes do you want to see in the world around you? What matters most to you? It could be a myriad of answers.  Perhaps, you want to become a doctor, lawyer, fashion-designer or boutique owner. Maybe you want to write a book, play an instrument, become a parent, or start a business.  You might want to feed the homeless, be a minister, or help underprivileged children. Whatever IT is, if you are passionate about it, you are more likely to be successful doing it. And it won’t always feel like work. Sometimes it will, but for the most part, enjoying what you do will help you love your life. To keep things in proper perspective, remember that being passionate about something doesn’t always mean it will be a success.  For instance, being passionate about Candy Crush Saga, kissing your boyfriend, or eating warm brownies with milk, isn’t the same as being passionate about volunteering for an organization that meets a specific need.  And this is where purpose comes in.


Purpose is directly tied to passion. Purpose is what you are here to do at this moment in time. Having purpose is always beneficial in the long run.  True purpose eventually gives you an outcome that will also be advantageous to others. (This is exactly why Candy Crush & brownies are not part of your purpose, as there is no real benefit except temporary pleasure and zoning out for a few moments).

Purpose will often change with season. Determining your purpose will greatly depend on what stage of life you are currently in.  If you are new mom, your purpose is most likely adjusting to motherhood and taking great care of a baby.  However, if you are a mother with teenagers, your purpose may be doing your part to ensure that they are getting the best educational & social opportunities available. You are most likely focused on securing that your children become successful & well-balanced adults. Another example could be if you are just starting out in your career of choice, your purpose is most likely to perform that job extremely well. However 3 years down the line, your purpose may shift to getting a promotion, or a new career altogether.  Purpose is ever changing and so is passion.


There is also the idea of greater purpose over seasonal purpose. Meaning, there are things that you have been passionate about for most of your life, and those are most likely to bring you great success. For instance, I have always loved to encourage people, be inspirational, and write.  I desire to see people overcoming challenges with hope and faith. I have done this for most of my life in one form or another. These desires have been the running theme in every stage of my living. What are your running themes? What desires have stuck with you the longest? Determining this will help you understand your purpose and passion.


Professors are teachers, and they come in all forms. They come to give you lessons on what to do & what not to do. These professors are not found in a classroom. They are discovered in every stage of  life. They can be loved ones or enemies. They can be mentors or children. They can be people who loved you dearly and even those who abused you. Professors help you gain greater awareness as to who you are & what you want out of life. A professor can be an ex who treated you horribly, or they can be a current significant other who treats you splendidly. Professors can be the parent who made all the sacrifices for your care, or the parent who was never around. Professors are taskmasters, and they help bring the lesson in most things, though not everything.

Who are your professors? What have they taught you about yourself, your limitations, your desires? What can you tolerate? What small and/or big lessons have you learned from the people in your life? I recall a very dark time in my life when I was going through emotional turmoil. It was very early in the morning and I was disturbed inwardly. I had no one to call or talk to, until my phone rang. It was a friend of mine from New York who rarely called me.  She asked how I was doing and I told her I was an emotional wreck. She simply replied, “Don’t let it kill you.”  Those 5 words somehow snapped me out of my funk.  At that moment, she was my Professor. She taught me to remember that this too will pass & that my pain was only temporary.

Experience isn’t always the best teacher, but the mistakes of others can be. Another example of a Professor is a close family member, who spent most of his life addicted to drugs. He was perfectly intelligent, handsome, and privileged with opportunity, but the route he chose robbed him of a good life. He was my Professor in the sense that I knew drug use would never be my choice. The lesson was that drugs deplete and destroy. I saw it firsthand and I wanted no parts of it.

My last example of a Professor is a positive one. These are the various women in my life who have healthy relationships & marriages. Marriage has always been a passion of mine, so I feel that it will eventually be part of my purpose too. Unbeknownst to some of those women, I looked to them to understand how good marriages work. I watched them so that I could grasp what it meant to be in healthy (not perfect) relationships. I watched how they handled conflict, challenges, and change. They helped me determine that strong marriages do exist between imperfect people, in less than ideal situations. I realized that it was possible for me to follow in that path and not settle. I also paid attention to how the husbands handled their wives, even before they were married. There was an abundance of respect, care, love, laughter and a genuine interest for their well-being.  These Professors helped me understand that good men were out there and eventually I would meet and marry one.

Professors teach us in a plethora of ways. Look back over your life and figure out who your Professors are. If you don’t have any Professors that you can currently think of, start looking out for them.



Peers are cheerleaders. Peers hold you accountable to your dreams. Peers will help you achieve your goals. They will offer the support necessary to get you to the next level. They are confidants, friends, and sometimes family. They are the people that you can be completely vulnerable, authentic, and even still with.  They won’t let you settle, but they know when you need rest and/or a good laugh. Peers help you make wise decisions but don’t berate when your judgment is slightly off. You can trust them.  They always have your best interest at heart (even when their judgement is off). Peers don’t just tolerate you, they celebrate you.

Peers are your gifts, they accept you exactly as you are but always push you to become a better and 

more successful you.

And lastly, a don’t. Don’t be too Particular or Picky.

By particular, I mean don’t let your vision for success be so specific that you fail to see your dreams unfolding. Too often we want things to happen  in a certain time-frame, a certain way, and come in a certain package and if it doesn’t, we miss it. If we stop trying to control everything & everyone, and truly pay attention, we can see success blossoming. Even in difficulties. You didn’t get one of the first 8 jobs you interviewed for, because the 9th one will set you up to meet the VP, who will introduce you to the CEO, who could help you achieve success at an optimal level. Even greater, the first 8 interviews gave you insight into what & what not to do so that you could get Job #9.  The same can be said for relationships. Break up #4, and that lonely year with no dates, prepared you to meet Mr./Mrs. Right, while also making you aware of HOW to treat them. So, that this time, your love can last. Get it? Every step is a move in the direction of success if you allow it to be.

There is nothing wrong with wanting things to be a particular way in general, but when the expectations are too exact, you can be disappointed. Allow life to surprise you. When you simply expect to achieve the end goal, whatever it is, you will enjoy the journey, do the work, and realize it’s exactly what you wanted and needed.

Here’s to passion, purpose, professors and peers, in no particular order… This post was brought to you by the letter P 🙂

What is your Passion, Purpose? Who are your Professors and Peers? Please share. 

One comment on “The 4 P’s of Success, Sans One…

  1. Mike Martens
    February 19, 2014

    P is for packed. This post is packed with great stuff. Thanks.


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This entry was posted on February 19, 2014 by in Epiphanies! and tagged , , , , , , .
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