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10 Ways to Success and Happiness

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In March 1996, I reinvented myself.

I wrote my own Personal Business Plan, and I went from being a Chief Marketing Officer at L’Oréal and Coca-Cola to becoming an executive search partner at Korn Ferry. This all happened because I was fired back in 1996 – there’s always a catch!

Since then, I’ve spent 20 years building my brand as a Headhunter, an Author, an Executive Coach, and a Speaker – always with Leadership at the pivotal center and The Personal Business Plan as the ultimate goal.

I’ve had the privilege of coaching thousands of executives. Generously, they have shared their challenges and beliefs with me. Almost every one of them has been on the lookout for success and happiness. Together, they have shown me what works and what doesn’t – the sum of their trials and results is true wisdom.

Life is about finding something worth dying for!

So, based on my experience from the last 20 years, I am happy to give you my 10 best pieces of good advice on how to obtain success and happiness:

  1. Be generous: Remember the Golden Rule of Networking: “Give without expecting anything in return”. Focus your attention on other people. You always meet twice.
  2. Be inclusive and tolerant: Listen to people and pay them respect. Everybody has a story. Be open to new opportunities. Learn from diversity.
  3. Stop living up to other people’s expectations: Live up to your own expectations and implement your dream. It’s the possibility of having a dream come true that makes life interesting.
  4. Be an interesting conversation partner: Bring something of yourself into the conversation. Contribute with your opinions and take a stand. Don’t lie, least of all to yourself.
  5. Be direct and consequent in your communication: Don’t be conflict averse. You have the right to be here. Leave a mark by reducing uncertainty.
  6. Spend 10,000 hours on becoming excellent at something: Be absolutely clear about what differentiates you from the rest. And then focus on that in order to excel.
  7. Break the mold before you break down: First, master all your grit and do your best. Then move on, if you don’t succeed in your present role or context. Life is not a rehearsal.
  8. Run a risk from time to time: Your life starts at the end of your comfort zone. Don’t simply accept more of the same. If you feel in total control, then it’s time to accelerate.
  9. Find your life ambition: Remember the first rule of a mission: “Never lose sight of the goal”. Align your personality and your purpose. And then act.
  10. Reinvent yourself: Live by the 20/20 Vision: Make sure to learn and thrive more during your next 20 years than you have during the past 20 years. Learning is a precondition for well-being.

Source: The Personal Business Plan – A Blueprint for Running Your Life, Wiley, 2013, p. ix

Please keep enjoying life while keeping these pieces of advice present. Life is about finding something worth dying for. And the quest is lots of fun!

By Stephen Bruyant-Langer

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