8 Steps to Succeed at Anything

8 Steps to Succeed at Anything


Recently, my two year old decided to hit a window with his hand.

Normally, I wouldn’t expect that be a big deal, but the window was old and the temperature had just dropped down close to freezing.

So, on my way home from work, I learned that two panes in the window of my kids 2nd story bedroom are broken, beginning quite the adventure for the evening. (Thankfully no one was hurt!)

Throughout this adventure, I contemplated key traits for success that apply to various endeavors, whether personal or professional.

1. Determine the Goal

It was 5pm. Temperatures were close to freezing, and my two boys usually go to bed around 7:30 pm. I defined my goal this way: to reach a solution that keeps cold air out and kids in as quickly as possible.

Goal: Keep cold air out; Keep kids in.

Now that the end goal (outcome) was determined, the next step was to set one or more targets to reach this goal.

2. Aim High

Whereas a goal is an outcome or destination, a target is an achievement, task, or accomplishment that should have a deadline.

“I would rather choke on greatness than nibble on mediocrity”
— Unknown


  1. Determine what I needed to buy

  2. Buy supplies from Home Depot for <$200

  3. Remove and dispose of old window

  4. Install new window


3. Commit

In this case, committing meant taking the molding off.

It was old and breaking apart, so there was no putting it back on after it came off.

I needed to take the molding off to get the exact measurements of the window, so I had to take it off before knowing even if Home Depot had a window of the correct size.

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4. Get the Right Tools

Getting the right tools saves time, gives better results, and reduces frustration.

No matter what your goal is, having the right tools is important for success.

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5. Think before Following Directions

There was a mix up of the windows size at Home Depot where I ended up returning the original window I bought in exchange for one of the correct size.

If I had checked the size before following this warning label’s directions, the original window purchased would still have the plastic on it.

6. Persevere

Grit is the key of keys to success.

The window is out and the new window is not in yet.

Genius is one percent inspiration, ninety nine percent perspiration.
— Thomas Edison

Just keep going.



7. Be Creative

One key requirement for the window was to keep the boys safely in their room on the second floor.

The previous window had screws holding it shut, but there was not a good option for screwing through the new plastic window.

Since the latch was in reach of both boys, I decided to cut it off, and I can use pliers or a vice grip if I ever need to open the window myself.


8. Focus on the Essentials

I didn’t stress molding.

This photo is taken intentionally far enough back that you can’t tell, but let’s just say cutting and installing molding is not a natural gifting of mine.

However, I was installing the molding after 9pm when the boys’ bedtime is 7:30pm, so the appearance of the molding did not make the priority list.

9. Finish Strong

The project took almost 5 hours and I was exhausted by the end.

One key to success is remembering that finishing is more important than perfection.

Don’t give up until it’s done and remember that there is a new morning around the corner.

Bonus Tip

Save money. Cash on hand helps almost everything be more successful. Money can buy success; success can generate money. They go very well together!

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