A Fail Safe Formula For Success

Translating Fahrenheit to Celsius? Take the Fahrenheit temperature, subtract 32, multiply by 5, and then divide by 9.
We have learned all sorts of formulas in school. The beauty of these formulas is the certainty they provide. We know that if we know the formula and have the correct inputs, we can compute the correct answer. Presumably, as adults we are using these formulas to solve a problem and move us towards something we desire.
Our weekly newsletter is called Unleashing Your Remarkable Potential (if you don’t subscribe, join us here and get a free gift). Because of this, people often ask how they can do that, and how they can help those they coach and lead do that as well – translate their potential into results. The answer is a broad one, yet I have striven to give a good partial starting point for an answer – with a formula.
This formula will help us because if we can identify the inputs and use the formula correctly, we can improve our performance, and provide greater service to others, as we reach towards our potential. This also becomes a crucial formula you can use as a coach to help others reach their potential too.
The Inputs
The inputs to this formula are:
Results – The endpoint of the efforts – our reality, based on the formula.Expectations – Those things we expect of ourselves.Beliefs – What we believe to be true about ourselves, our skills, abilities and potential, and our world.Actions – The behaviors we exhibit and the things we do.
Here is how these factors interact: Expectations build beliefs. Beliefs drive actions. Actions create results.
The Formula
So let’s turn this interaction into a formula:


As written, it looks like it is a formula that uses multiplication. In a way it does – if you have a zero in any of the first three inputs, there will be no change to your results. However as we all learned in math class, in multiplication you can complete the formula by multiplying the factors in any order – that isn’t the case in our formula – in this case it all starts with expectations. In other words, the multiplication must be done in order to make sense.
Anything Else?
This formula works all of the time, but if you want new or different results, you have to change the expectations part of the formula (or raise that number) to start building the new results you want.
But I know, because you are reading this article, you have that desire, so we can move onward …
An Example
Let’s say that I see a friend and they tell me they just ran a 10K race. I tell myself, I could do that – I expect that I am capable of running a 10K race. The more I think about this race, telling myself that I could do that, the more I believe my thoughts. My belief and expectations begin to create an excitement which leads me to start running. Even when I realize how out of shape I am, my expectation and belief pushes me to run a little more every day.
Along with my running, I do some other things – I ask other runners about their preparation plans, I pick up a book at the store or library to learn more about running technique, I ask the knowledgeable sales person in the store about the proper shoes to buy.
Expectations and belief fueled action, and now the action is reinforcing the belief as well. My running expectation has snowballed! I build a plan to compete in a specific 10K race and then complete it.
At the start of this process, when I put this expectation into my mind, my body wasn’t capable of making the 10K – maybe it wasn’t capable of making it