Woman running up steps


[nectar_dropcap color=””]S[/nectar_dropcap]till looking for success? Look no further. From this day forward, success will never elude you again. Your parents and teachers had it wrong. Your mentors don’t understand it. And most motivational speakers are way off.

It’s time to finally learn the truth about success.

You are successful

You already are. Right here, right now.

You don’t need to look for success, wish for it, or want anymore. You already have it.

Success is not something that is just outside your reach, and if you do just a little bit more, put a little more effort into it, you’ll have it.

No, no, no.

Listen to me. You’re already successful.

Let me explain:

You (and everyone else you know) have successfully, and consistently, produced outcomes or results in life.

You do this every moment of every day. There’s no stopping you from success (or anyone else). You’re successful by default.

Living like a bum? That was you. Earning $34,000 a year? You did it. Fat and overweight? Good job. Poor relationships? Killing it.

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Conversely, living like a king/queen? You did that. $1,000,000 a month in income? No stopping you. Fit, in shape, and vibrantly healthy? Boom. Strong, meaningful relationships? “What can I say?”

Look. Everything in the universe works PERFECTLY. Why? Because all natural things just work. They just do. Including YOU (last I checked, tu es naturel aussi, no?)

“But what about this cool invention I just made. It doesn’t work…”

“I’m still not making any money from my business. It doesn’t work…”

“I’m still a janitor. My career doesn’t work…”

Well, guess what? You’re successful at building machines that don’t work.

You’re successful at making a business that doesn’t make money.

You’re successful at being a janitor.

Wait. There’s more.

What is success anyway?

In the 90’s, I ran across the work of Maxwell Maltz. Maltz was a plastic surgeon in the 50’s and 60’s and he realized something very intriguing.

maxwell maltz
Dr. Maxwell Maltz

Despite changing a person’s physical appearance through cosmetic surgery, like a nose job or removing a scar, some people would still ACT like the scar was still there.

They would still ‘feel’ the scar’s presence, despite what other people close to them said or even if they were staring at themselves face to face in a mirror.

This result was so commonplace that Maltz decided to understand this phenomenon so he could effectively address it.

No matter what physical changes a person makes to their exterior or physical appearance, until they changed their INNER world, then the real change they wanted COULD NOT take place in that person’s life, regardless of the ‘hard’ evidence or social proof.

Maltz determined that the critical factor in all of this was the self-image. In his eyes, the self-image was the missing ingredient as to why his patients could not experience the changes on the INSIDE.

If someone could bring their self-image into alignment with the desired outer change, then they could experience the total change.

A short parable in the bible illustrates this point. Jesus was explaining that you CANNOT put new wine in old wineskins because the old wineskins will eventually crack and burst, spilling the wine and losing it completely (any wine buffs out there that can verify this?).

In the example we used earlier, if someone has surgery (new wine) and they keep their old wineskin (self-image), then eventually there will be a crack in the foundation, so to speak. And all the good effort and external changes won’t matter.

The old wineskin (self-image) is just used to a certain type of wine because it’s been holding it for so long. It can only hold that particular wine, and no other.

Think about this

You can change your clothes, cut your hair, do your toes, say affirmations, and even win the lottery, but if your old wineskin remains the same (self-image), then eventually all that new wine would leak through the cracks and disappear.

The old “wineskin” (self-image) wants the wine (thoughts & beliefs) it’s comfortable with. And it will remain that way until you change those old wineskins.

And here’s the kicker: the self-image is your primary goal. It’s your real target. Your entire mind-body system are completely aligned with it, and work diligently towards however you see yourself.

Whether your self-image is “fat” or “healthy” it will work effortlessly to accomplish that particular self-image. It doesn’t matter whether your self-image is earning $34k a year or a million dollars a month, your mind-body works to achieve that.

Take a look at this:

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The airplane has a goal to get to Atlanta. The plane takes off, begins to move toward its target, and plans to eventually land in Atlanta.

But the interesting stuff happens in between the take off and the landing.

You see that the plane is “off course” probably 90% of the time. Maybe it’s higher than that. Maybe it’s lower. I don’t know. But I do know that the plane has to constantly correct itself due to air resistance, turbulence, or what have you.

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Same with a thermostat. It has a goal to keep the room temperature at 72 degrees. Regardless if it gets hot or cold, the thermostat will either turn on the heat or the air conditioning.

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The thermostat keeps its goal. It doesn’t change. Same with the plane.

What if the plane took off and it decided to change it’s goal every 30 minutes?

What if the plane really wanted to go to New York, but never changed its programmed goal of Atlanta?

How often do you change goals in mid-flight?

What does all this mean?

I finally realized why I wasn’t making a whole lot of money. I kept changing my goals to fit how I saw myself. I just didn’t realize it.

Put another way, I saw myself as an employee. I saw myself as earning a certain amount of money every year. Sure, I wanted to earn more, but I really saw myself earning much less than what I wanted.

Everything I did was congruent with my self-image, and so every result was a successful outcome. And I mean every single one.

If I had just made a decision to “change” my self-image to fit my new goals, I would have avoided years of frustration.

In the past, as you moved towards your new goal, what happened when you met turbulence or resistance? How did you deal with it?

If you are like I was, you went back to doing what was comfortable for you. Like this:

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It’s great that an airplane’s autopilot navigation system adjusts, adapts, and responds quickly and efficiently to air resistance, turbulence, and bad weather.

It doesn’t think about anything else, because it can’t.

But people can. And therein lies the problem and the solution.

Because you have the ability to imagine and have thoughts, you can continue the past or transform into something totally different.

And if you decide to set a new goal then….

How will you do that?

Because when barriers and frustrations are come up, what will you do if your self-image is at odds with what you want? When you meet with resistance, how will you deal with it?

Remember, how you see yourself is your primary goal. You accomplish your primary goal (self-image) every day.

You’re already successful.

So, the obvious next question is:

How does all this work?

Very simply, your self-image is literally how you see yourself. But a more accurate definition of self-image is a story you tell yourself about yourself. And you tell that story based on a two critical factors:

  • Your outer world, or physical environment
  • Your inner world, or psychological environment

Physical Environment

Whatever happens in your world, from the time of your birth until now, shapes who you are.

the story of how others (your parents, siblings, friends, teachers, etc.) interacted with you over time

the story of your environment and how much it influences you

the story of your place in the world, or your identity (politics, religion, etc.)

These stories spring from the most emotional experiences you ever had, forming much of your self-image between birth and age 7. Your inner narrative continues to be the primary influence in your life, regardless of who you are. Parents (or whoever raised you) stay with you longer than you might realize.

The formation of your self-image is pretty simple, though explaining the process might take a team of neuroscientists, psychologists, and anthropologists to explain it properly.

We don’t have time for the Superfriends to come together, so let’s go with the simplified version. You have a mind and body. Let’s start there. And that mind and body is influenced by its direct environment. Like so:

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You cannot exist without an immediate environment, so someone or something is always influencing or conditioning the mind to think, speak, and act in a certain way.

How important is your physical environment?

How do you change your self-image?

You’ve got two ways.

Do It Small

[dropcap type="2"]W[/dropcap]eek 8 is over. This week we'll keep it short, er, small. SCOREBOARD: [box type="blank" class="bg-blue rounded-10"] [columns width="1/2"]

Total Earnings

Driving: $117.00

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Bank Account


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Bank Account 9-26-2012
Bank Account 9-26-2012


Look, I've made my fair share of mistakes (ok, more than fair share), and sometimes when I look back I think to myself, "What the hell were you thinking?!"

And more mistakes are on the way, but I've matured enough to start to embrace and welcome them as a part of my daily practice.

When you begin ANYTHING that you've never done before, mistakes are to be expected. And the only thing that will keep you going when you're looking like a klutz or just plain stupid is your vision, and that deep desire to make it a reality.

Without a strong desire to reach your end goal, it's easy for mistakes to become failures.

And here's the difference between mistakes and failures. When think about the word "mistake" break it up so that it looks like MIS-TAKE.

Imagine we're shooting a scene from a movie, and someone messes up the scene by laughing or doing something goofy. Most of the time we'll have to shoot the scene over again, and this is usually called a RE-TAKE. We'll just retake the scene until we get it the way we want.

Mistakes work the same way.

When something goes awry, just do it over again until you get it the way you want it, because this is how EVERY GOAL WORTH ACCOMPLISHING is achieved. And I mean EVERY one. If we were always meant to be on course, without deviation, goals would be so easy to accomplish that they would lose their value.

But there is a big difference between Hollywood and real life in that you may not get to retake a scene with the same players again. Like if you get drunk one night and slap your best friend silly cause you thought they were someone else. Ouch.

Or you get an opportunity to pitch your business idea to high profiled investors and in the middle of your presentation you suddenly get the worst jock itch EVER IN HUMAN HISTORY. So you excuse yourself and return 10 minutes later only to find that they've moved on to the next pitch. Your opportunity of pitching to them is GONE. Well, for now, anyway.

Or maybe you're running for President of the United States and this happens:

Ooops. Yeah, COSTLY mistakes like those are hard to get a retake for, especially if what you've done is just flat out unforgivable. Rick Perry's mistake is hardly unforgivable, but it definitely knocked him out of the race. Will he run for president again? Probably not.

Could he get another chance? Of course. He would have to improve his presentation skills immensely, but it's doable.

Many people GIVE UP on their dreams because it's just tougher to keep on keepin' on, especially when it's difficult to see progress from all your effort. Absolutely it is.

But if you never give up, and never stop trying you will get another shot. If you keep faith, and maintain your vision, you will get a second chance (or more). Maybe it will happen with the same players or an entirely different cast, but you will get another turn. It's guaranteed.

But if you decide to GIVE UP, and don't learn from your mistakes and correct course, then you may find yourself leaving the world of mistakes into the realm of FAILURE.


Failure has a totally different vibe and feel from mistakes. Failure means it's over and done. It don't work. Kaput. Dead.

I wrote about this awhile back and stated that humans are always successful, and can never fail because we're just designed for success. But projects, programs, ideas, isms, businesses, and machines can and do fail often and many times we associate those failures to us.

"My business failed. I have to shut it down." is different from, "My business has to close down. I failed."

If your arm ceases to work for you then your arm has failed to work, but you can still function. If you happen to go blind, then your eyes have failed to work, not you. Wouldn't you consider Ray Charles a success? Or Beethoven, who was deaf?

Businesses fail all the time, but the question is how many businesses will you start-up and attempt to make profitable before you quit?

When it comes to humans, the closest we can come to failing is giving up or quitting. The day you stop trying, putting in any kind of effort towards your idea or goal is tantamount to failure.

But you're still NOT a failure, because one day, in one single moment you may decide to give it another try. THAT business failed, but you DIDN'T fail. So even failure ends up being another decision we make, or a series of decisions we've made.

Do we make mistakes? Yes, definitely, and lots of them. The right idea is to learn from them, correct course, get better, and improve. Over and over and over again. And sometimes, what seems like a "failed" effort may just be a glitch on the way to something bigger and better.

Once a scientist was working on a particular kind of glue that would ALWAYS STICK, and his "failure" turned into Post-It Notes.

And there's so many examples of this all around us. Even unintended innovations come from making mistake after mistake after mistake, and never giving up.

But failure is when your project is over. When something NEVER reaches a satisfying conclusion, and isn't going to. When progress just stops.

And who determines when something stops completely? Who decides when it's no longer feasible to go on or whether to continue to press on and improve on the last version of an app, book, process, program, or project?

You. Me. We all have the choice.

Everybody's Famous

Everybody's Famous Logo
Everybody's Famous Logo

Everybody's Famous was a company I attempted to build a little more than a year ago. I made so many mistakes, but perhaps the biggest one was trying to do way too much with very little resources.

I just wasn't satisfied with doing things small. I wanted to make it EXACTLY as I envisioned it, and I wanted it NOW. It seems my impatience and lack of foresight cost me money, momentum, and lots of time. Not good when you're working on a strict budget.

I could list many more mistakes around this particular project, but the point is, they are very correctable mistakes.

Is Everybody's Famous a failure? Depends on how it's perceived and by whom.

But it never even got off the ground, and to me that means I've still got a shot to make it work. Maybe that means it doesn't need to work exactly like my ideal vision of it works.

But in my mind, I have never given up on the idea, and just recently I started gearing up for another version of Everybody's Famous.

And that means that I will have to do it SMALL. Very small.

Doing It Small

Sometimes I can get lost in epic visions, lofty ideas, and big goals. It's easy for me to do.

But I'm reminded that even the biggest things are made up of the smallest things. As big as the earth is, it wouldn't even exist without the tiniest of atoms holding it all together.

Big things are made up of little things.

And the idea is so easy to get. You want something big? Well, it's made of of even smaller things. And those small things? They're made up of even tinier things.

And so on and so forth.

One small focused action a day, incrementally, can lead to the greatest of accomplishments.

One small act is a big deal.

The greatest of all baseball players began their journey with a simple game of catch.

The best actors in the world played the smallest of roles in the beginning, even if they were just messing around with their friends.

One of the defining moments of the Civil Rights movement was a simple act of taking a seat on a bus.

One small act. And then another, and another. And pretty soon, you've got a book. Or you've arrived at a destination you once longed for. Or you built a business called Microsoft. Or you received your first industry award. Or be the man or woman you've always wanted.

Whatever it is, no matter how far out of reach it seems, one small step will get you closer. Yes, progress may seem imperceptible and completely unnoticeable, but this cumulative approach will result in a new destination and the fulfillment of your destiny.

It always works. The Tortoise always beats the Hare.


I've been kinda busy lately. I have a few web projects I'm working on, but my main project right now is finishing up my new book. I haven't announced it on Wake Up Smiling yet, so you get a sneak peak at the new cover.

WTF Book Cover

Thanks to you all for watching me take these tiny steps. It may not seem like I'm progressing (especially if you're looking at that bank account), but I am learning everyday from my mistakes and all the insights I gain from taking steps into the unknown.

Oh, and I will hit my mark.

Paul "Doin' it small y'all" Campillo