Home » Blogs » Neuroscience and Relationships » Three Lessons Learned From Studies of Success

Three Lessons Learned From Studies of Success

images-309A lot has been learned about the brain and behavior in the last three decades. At the same time, we’ve gained understanding of success by studying successful people in various endeavors.

Here are three important lessons we’ve gained from studying success.

  • One, success does not create happiness, instead, it is the other way around: happiness creates success. That’s right. Success is an inner job.

It does not come from what is outside of you in the environment—a car, a house, a degree, a promotion, financial wealth—as desirable and wonderful as these can be. Instead, lasting and powerful success stems from what is going on inside of you. It is dependent upon your willingness to consciously produce certain thoughts inside your head, more specifically, thoughts that energy a positive physiology, an energized positive emotional state that makes you virtually unstoppable in creating the success you want.

Happiness is not a goal; it is the means to realizing each and every one of your goals.

The question is, “do you know how to shift to a positive physiology, a radiant felt-emotional state at will?”

  • A second lesson learned from success studies is that true fulfillment comes from balancing the demands of home and work in way that prioritizes relationships.

That’s right. You cannot find fulfillment in life solely from success at work or at home that involves completing “to do” lists. If your focus and desire is to primarily achieve success in one area of your life, and you ignore key relationships, you are not likely to find true fulfillment. Why? Because your core impulses instinctively drive you to seek to love and be loved unconditionally, these emotional yearnings propel you to balance your giving and receiving, contributing in significant ways to self and others—and having fun and relaxation.

The question is, “do you know how to get your core needs met in key relationships?”

  • The third lesson is that you are completely in charge of how small or large, near or far reaching our success will be.

In other words, the extent of your success depends specifically on how much you want to succeed, or how narrowly or broadly you define success. This lesson invites you to ask three questions: First, specifically what do you want…do you know? Second, why do you want what you want…what are your reasons, driving purpose? And, third, you need to ask, what are you willing to do to get it…do you know?

Ultimately, the measure of your success depends on how clearly you can picture what you want, appreciate why you want it, and recognize what you’re willing to do to get it. That’s a formula for success.

I haven’t met a person who does not want financial prosperity, great relationships or a strong, healthy and fit body. Have you? It is not enough to just want something, however. You need a clear vision. Once you have this, you need a strong why, a driving purpose or reason to energize your passion to achieve it. Your passion is what will sustain your enthusiasm in spite of any obstacles on the path to achieving your goal.

The question is, “do you have a clear picture of what you want…why you want this…and what you are willing to do to make it a reality in your life?”

The exciting news for those who think they have little or wavering passion for realizing what they want is that studies say: No problem! You can will yourself to shift to a positive physio-emotional state—just “as-if”—as you faithfully follow the formula of success.

You want flaming passion?  You want momentum? You want a drive for action? You can have it, easily and elegantly! Begin now to get a clear picture of what you want, why you want it, the beliefs you need to realize your dream, and what you’re willing to do to make it happen, one action and one step at a time, starting today.

Start this moment by turning inside, for a few moments, and just feel the joy, energy and exuberance throughout your body as if you have it! By doing so you are using the amazing powers of your imagination.

Why not begin now, this moment, today, to energize your dreams?

Three Lessons Learned From Studies of Success

Athena Staik, Ph.D.

Relationship consultant, author, licensed marriage and family therapist, Dr. Athena Staik motivates clients to break free of anxiety, emotion reactivity, and other addictive patterns, to awaken wholehearted relating to self and other. She is currently in private practice in Northern VA, and writing her book, What a Narcissist Means When He Says 'I Love You'": Breaking Free of Addictive Love in Couple Relationships. To contact Dr. Staik for information, an appointment or workshop, visit, or visit on her two Facebook fan pages DrAthenaStaik and DrStaik

One comment: View Comments / Leave a Comment



APA Reference
Staik, A. (2014). Three Lessons Learned From Studies of Success. Psych Central. Retrieved on July 4, 2020, from


Last updated: 9 Mar 2014
Statement of review: Psych Central does not review the content that appears in our blog network ( prior to publication. All opinions expressed herein are exclusively those of the author alone, and do not reflect the views of the editorial staff or management of Psych Central. Published on All rights reserved.