Estimated Lesson Time: 11 minutes (self-evaluated option) / less than a minute (instructor-evaluated option)
10 Year Anniversary Edition / Introduction
I can’t believe it has been ten years since I published the first edition of Year To Success. Much has changed in my life. I am ten years older and wiser, and I can honestly say that my sense of well-being is even greater today than when I wrote Year To Success. Despite how much I might have changed, the central thesis of this book remains rock solid—success is best achieved by working on many aspects of personal development. I would be lying if I said that I still agree with everything I wrote in the first edition, and this, I feel requires some explanation.
Within the last ten years, I have had the luxury of focusing on interests outside of business. I spent years independently studying philosophy and religion, then I went back to school and earned a Master’s degree in general psychology, and then a PhD in social psychology. I questioned my beliefs held since childhood and began to understand life from a new perspective—a humanistic perspective grounded in science and reason. Now, as a social scientist, I understand far more about the human mind and the importance of evidence. As a humanist, I understand the need and desire for that which cannot be measured scientifically. In this edition, I have rewritten some of the sections to be consistent with scientific findings, or have made it clearer when I am making statements from personal experience.
My focus these days is more on promoting well-being than success. Well-being is a measurable construct that is less nebulous than success and more comprehensive. In day one, I expand on this idea of well-being with the hopes that readers will incorporate it into their definition of success.
I hope you, the reader, will see these changes as an “upgrade” and not the reflection of a character flaw. As learning beings, we must be open to change our beliefs and views based on new information. This edition is not just the result of ten years of new information, but a far deeper understanding of principles, as well.
Bo Bennett, April 2015
The meaning of this book.
Have you been promised success if you follow a few quick and dirty “rules” or “secrets” of success? Are you tired of irrelevant analogies that do nothing for you but make you feel inadequate? Have you had enough of highly metaphysical concepts and not enough practical solutions? Have you had your fill of grossly exaggerated claims that try to trick you into thinking success is easy? Are you all “affirmationed” out? You are not alone.
Think of success as a game of chance in which you have control over the odds. As you begin to master concepts in personal achievement, you are increasing your odds of achieving success. Year To Success is a full year course in success, designed to be a practical guide to achieving your definition of success. Each day of this course will, through practical application, increase your odds of achieving success. It has been said that one line of wisdom can change your life more than volumes of books. Imagine what hundreds of pages of wisdom can do.
Why this book is different.
Year To Success is perhaps the most comprehensive book on success ever written. It uses my “formula” for success: education + inspiration + action = success. Education: each week starts off with two educational lessons and ends with two more educational lessons. Inspiration: the third day of the week is a success biography on someone I believe is one of the most successful people in history. These success biographies are full of inspiration to help keep your flame for success burning on high. Action: each of the educational lessons has one or more action steps associated with it. Taking action is what this book is all about. It is doing the action steps that bring you closer to success.
How to use this book.
This book can be read from cover to cover, or by jumping around from topic to topic, depending on what interests you most on a particular day. However, Year To Success was created as a one-year course in success with a total of 366 days (just to make sure we are covered with leap year). Most people start Day 1 on a Monday, so the two days of “R&R” (review and reflection) fall on the weekend. However, you can start on any day of the year you wish. You may choose to read through the book the first time as you would any other book, skipping the action steps, then beginning the course by reading one lesson a day and completing the action steps. To get the most out of this book, just be sure to do the action steps associated with each educational lesson.
I suggest you get yourself a “success journal” for this course. This can be any notebook or electronic document where you keep all of your written action steps organized and centralized.
Why I wrote this book.
Since age 10, I have been fascinated with success and personal achievement. What makes some people achieve so much and others so little? This question continued to burn inside of me until I decided to commit my full attention to organizing my more than 30 years of research and experience into one complete collection that offered individuals a realistic approach to achieving success.
As a father, I wanted to put what I have learned in writing for my kids, for a time when they are old enough to understand the meaning behind the words. We never know when our time is up on this earth and I may not be around to share this essential information with them.
Why I waited 21 years to write this book.
The last thing I wanted to be was a successful author who became successful by selling books on success. Although I achieved financial success many years ago, it was not until recently that I began to discover how important personal development and personal achievement is in true success. I needed first to put my theories to the test before I shared these ideas with others.
My writing style.
When it comes to the English language, perfection is in the eye of the beholder, and it also depends on what century you’re living in. I don’t use words like “thither” and I don’t mind ending a sentence with a preposition now and then (I paraphrase Sir Winston Churchill when I say that not ending a sentence with a preposition “is a rule up with which I will not put”). Even the God of the Bible ends sentences with prepositions: “Have you eaten from the tree that I commanded you not to eat from?” Genesis 3:10–12.
I have a casual style of writing that is meant to be more like I am speaking directly to you. My goal is to reach as many people as possible, not to impress a select few with my perfect grammar (which I don’t have anyway). My professionalism should be apparent in the content itself. Communication is about being effective, not always about being proper.
Religion / God.
To some people, religion and God are very important aspects of success, and to others, they are not. I leave this to the reader and avoid the issue whenever possible. However, I believe that one’s dependence on an outside force (God, the universe, lady luck, etc.) to bring one success will ultimately lead to failure. It reminds me of the story of the priest that prayed every day to win the lottery, then after 10 years the priest lost faith and starting cursing God saying, "Why God? I have devoted my life to serving you. Why will you not grant me this one wish?” Then, a loud booming voice came from the sky and said, "Priest, meet me half way. Buy a ticket!"
The whole he/she/his/hers issue.
I really wish someone of authority, like Mr. Webster or one of his offspring, would come up with a singular pronoun that was gender independent like “shis” for his or her. Until that time, we writers must play the “do not offend anyone” game and use the sometimes confusing “they,” play switcharoo and change genders, and/or use the “s/he” slash thing that you will never see me do.
I resort to both the “they” solution and the switching of genders just because this is what helps my writing flow. So I apologize in advance for offending the males when I use a feminine pronoun, the females when I use a masculine pronoun, and my fifth grade English teacher when using plural pronouns when a singular is expected.
Why I chose the people I did for the success biographies.
The 52 success biographies in this course were chosen based on a number of factors.
- they all have very inspiring stories
- they are/were all tremendously successful at what they set out to do
- information could be confirmed by several sources
- they are people who have touched the lives of the majority of Y2S readers in some way
- they are “heroes” of mine
I would be the first to admit, that none of these people are perfect. After all, who is? I am sure anyone can dig up dirt on anyone of these people. My success biographies focus on the positive contributions the person made to the world, not their faults. Get inspiration from how they mastered principles of success, and leave the dirt behind.
With over 250 lessons, I would be surprised if you didn’t get offended by at least something I’ve written! If I attempted to make each lesson neutral and not offend anyone, I would have to leave out all humor, and I would not be able to communicate the true message. Trying to please everyone all the time is a recipe for failure. I apologize if you are offended in any way by one of my ideas, beliefs, or attempts at humor. Please accept my apology and continue to the next day. I certainly do not ask that you accept all of my beliefs, but I ask that you accept my opinion (I hope that didn’t offend you!)
Take Your Year To Success To the Next Level
If you like what you are reading, please consider these options in addition to this free course. They include a hardcopy of the book and an intensive course with action steps, assignments, and personal coaching from Bo.
- Buy the Book. Year To Success - Available in hardcover, signed by the author. Also available in ebook, paperback, and audio from Amazon.com.
- Enroll in Bo's Life Mastery Online Course. This is a course that covers hundreds of life-enhancing topics that they never taught in school, but should. This is more than a course on self-improvement; it is a course on mastering life.
- Business Consulting. Schedule your complimentary 15-minute evaluation session with Bo.
Have a podcast or know someone who does? Putting on a conference? Dr. Bennett is available for interviews and public speaking events. Contact him directly here.
Some discussion questions (some may not apply to this lesson):
- Have you implemented this idea in your life? How has it been working for you?
- Do you have any interesting stories related to this lesson? Do tell!
- What do you admire most about this person? (success biography days)