What is the formula for success?

I didn’t want to go to the graveyard.

“Come on, let’s go!” they said.

It was night so it was dark. I was afraid more of getting caught than actually being in a graveyard. But that’s not cool, so I couldn’t say it and still have my friends like me. So like a zombie I went along with what everyone else was doing. Giving into the peer pressure didn’t feel good.

We climbed over the fence. We wondered around a bit.

And then we saw him!

There was a building near the top of the hill. It looked like there was a light on inside.

As soon as I saw the shadow of the man I turned tail and ran back to the car. Looking behind me I wasn’t the only one. But not all the others came right away so we waited in the car.

Between doing stupid things late at night and watching too many “scary” movies, I did a lot of things to “fit in” during high school. Also I didn’t do a lot of things that would have helped me actually fit in.

I didn’t join any sports teams. Well I tried in middle school to make the basketball team but that didn’t work out. Instantly making basketball my least favorite sport. High school found me where I have always been.

In the middle.

I am a middle child. I find myself being a peace-maker between people. I work in a position that is essentially middle management. I was raised in middle class. I live in middle America. I seem to be in the middle many things in life and you know what?

Sometimes I want to give a middle finger to being in the middle.

So what do you do when being “average” or “mediocre” is no longer good enough?

A quick survey of the internet would have you believe that you can be successful by imitating other successful people. There are articles that seem helpful like this one: The Most Productive People Have One Thing In Common: They Do Nothing. Sounds great, right?

Hey I can “do nothing”. I should be productive in no time.

I get the point that the article makes but my point is that it leads people to believe that if they can just go through the right motions then success will happen through osmosis. As if success will just sort of rub off…

Even simple things like getting up early.

Apple CEO Tim Cook wakes up at 4:30 am. General Motors CEO Mary Barra “was regularly at the office by 6 a.m.” Richard Branson “wakes up at about 5:45 in the morning”. Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz “gets to the office by 6 a.m.”.


What is the natural desire after learning this?

To wake up early so you too can wake up rich, famous, intelligent, creative, sexy, awesomer or at least not be late for work.

So far my list to be successful is to:

  • Wake Up Early
  • Do Nothing

Secrets won’t make you successful.

Doing the same motions of successful people won’t automatically make you successful.

It takes more than that.

It takes taking risk.

Making decisions.

Making mistakes.


But one thing that doesn’t change is the drive and desire to keep going. To make things better. To help others get what they want by solving a billion person problem. Giving back and giving a hand up. Showing others how they can do well and meaning it.

Getting connected. Both in real life and onlinebondswell.com is one such website to connect with others that I recently came across that can help do just that.

It is a new creative social media website that sparks creativity everywhere!

Sign up with this early access code to become part of the community: bondyeah.


There is no single path to success.

Here’s how billionaire Mark Zuckerberg defines happiness.

Do you agree?

You know what you need to do to make your life better. You might need a reminder every now and again, but ultimately you know that you are the one who needs to do something about it.

Next time instead of wondering why you don’t have what you want, maybe think how you can help someone who doesn’t have what they need.

Do it now, before we all end up in the graveyard.


Be a driver for Lyft and make $500 when you do 50 rides in 30 days!



P.S. Want more about my journey?

Conspire to Inspire will tell how I put together a dream team of virtual mentors and why you should care.

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Go to sarahpaine.com for more great perspectives to rethink life!



Check out Claudia Altucher’s book Become An Idea Machine: Because Ideas Are The Currency Of The 21st Century:

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