You Beating The Success Trap? How Do You Define Success? What Are
You Doing To Achieve It?
Are you living the life you want?
Are you settling for less than a full, vibrant existence? Are you
living someone else's definition of success? What is your definition
of a successful life? Read this article to discover how to avoid
false happiness, redefine success your way, and continually reinvent
yourself so you can follow your bliss and create true meaning in
your life. Bill Cole interviews Ed Brodow, the author of the book
Beating the Success Trap, to discover these answers. Brodow
tells how anyone can be a winner in life if they live life on their
own terms and realize that "life is not a trial run" -- it's the
Are You Beating The Success Trap?
How Do You Define Success?
What Are You Doing To Achieve It?
Bill Cole, MS, MA
Founder and CEO
William B. Cole Consultants
Silicon Valley, California
Are you living the life you want? Are you settling
for less than a full, vibrant existence? Are you living someone
else's definition of success? How are you answering these issues?
These are some of the many hard-hitting questions contained in the
exciting new book, Beating the Success Trap (HarperCollins,
2003) by Ed Brodow, one of the nation's top negotiation experts.
Ed is also the author of Negotiate with Confidence (American
Media, 1996), and has been featured as negotiation guru on PBS The
Business Channel. I recently interviewed Ed, seeking his nuggets
of success wisdom.
Ed Brodow is a personal testament to escaping the clutches of the
success trap. In his quest for a successful lifestyle, he has been
a Marine Corps officer, IBM computer salesman, movie actor, construction
worker, motivational speaker, toilet cleaner, author, elevator operator,
and television personality.
While working as a highly-paid sales manager for a major computer
manufacturer, Ed asked himself this defining question: "What if
your doctor told you that you have only six months to live? How
would you want to spend that time?" He realized that he was fed
up with the rat race and created his own definition of success:
"Starting right now, spend your time doing what is meaningful to
you." Quitting his button-down, corporate job, he became a movie
and television actor, and then a motivational speaker, and has never
When those around him in the corporate world were clinging to their
safe, yet confining treadmill existences, Ed was striking out as
an iconoclastic risk-taking rebel. He reflects, "I always wanted
to do things my way. I had the vision of wanting to follow my bliss.
Early on, I saw how short life could be. I decided then that I wanted
to live life as fully as possible. I have continually reinvented
myself. I'm now on my fourth career. Maybe it's my upbringing, I
really don't know, but I just never wanted to be satisfied with
Brodow argues that millions of Americans who have acquired the symbols
of success do not feel successful. Instead of pursuing our true
desires, we have been brainwashed to seek very superficial and ego-based
ideals. He has a very entertaining and illuminating chapter describing
this false happiness, aptly named, "If I'm So Successful, Why
Am I Taking Prozac?"
He had a hot run as a commercial, TV and feature film actor (playing
opposite big stars like Jessica Lange, Ron Howard and Christopher
Reeve) and says of those experiences, "There are no guarantees in
life--in fact the movie business is a very insecure one--and it
taught me I could mold my life into anything I wanted. It gave me
great freedom and got me out of thinking like a 9-5 type person."
Here are Ed Brodow's top tips for beating the success trap:
- Know what you want and ask for it.
- Learn how to live in the moment.
- Visualize what your perfect day would look like.
- Clear your mind of abusive thoughts that hold you back, and
tell yourself that you deserve to be a success.
- Stop accepting abusive behavior from bosses, co-workers, friends,
- Be fully committed to the task of changing your life.
He exhorts his readers to redefine "success"
so their lifestyles are true to their own temperaments and preferences.
Ed's final advice to me mirrors his own deeply-felt personal life
philosophy: "Stop and re-evaluate your life. Then have the guts
to keep charging ahead. Recognize that persistence is one of the
key qualities of people who reach their goals. Remember, life is
not a trial run."
Learn more about Ed's philosophy and his book at BeatingTheSuccessTrap.com.
Copyright © 2011-
Bill Cole, MS, MA. All rights reserved.
Bill Cole, MS, MA, a leading authority
on peak performance, mental toughness and coaching, is founder and
CEO of William B. Cole Consultants, a consulting firm that helps
organizations and professionals achieve more success in business,
life and sports. He is also the Founder and President of the International
Mental Game Coaching Association (www.mentalgamecoaching.com),
an organization dedicated to advancing the research, development,
professionalism and growth of mental game coaching worldwide. He
is a multiple Hall-Of-Fame honoree as an athlete, coach and school
alumnus, an award-winning scholar-athlete, published book author
and articles author, and has coached at the highest levels of major-league
pro sports, big-time college athletics and corporate America. For
a free, extensive article archive, or for questions and comments
visit him at www.MentalGameCoach.com.
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