The Real Secret To Success in 4 Words

Get off your arse.

That’s it. Probably not what you wanted to read but it’s the whole truth and nothing but the truth.

You may spell it ass, you may call it your butt, bum, backside, bottom or booty, but whatever you call it, if you want to succeed you’ve got to get off it<!–more–>.

The secret to success in life is as simple as that, whether your main focus is career, love, family, finances or the simple pursuit of happiness.

Just get off your arse. Put in an effort and you’ll reap the rewards.

The lies people sell

There are a few books that claim to hold secret information on how to get what you want out of life. The ‘secret’ idea seems to be that if you think about something it will come true.

It’s easy to see the appeal of this new age philosophy called ‘the law of attraction’, and clear why books about such ‘secrets’ are bestsellers. After all, wouldn’t it be great if we could just mediate daily, repeat our positive mantras and lo and behold they could come to pass?

Sadly, it’s not the case and the whole premise is flawed.

Two flaws in the law of attraction

1. Books about the power of attraction are a con. There’s no way that if someone sits around saying:

“I’m rich and successful,” that they’ll become rich and successful.

2. If you want to be rich and successful you’ve got to work at it. You’ll need to set up a business, work hard, make mistakes, persevere, save hard and spend your money wisely to begin with.

But on the other hand…

Even though I spurn the law of attraction I agree that negative thinking will harm you. If we allow ourselves to believe the little voices in our heads that say:

“You’re plain and boring. You’ll never amount to anything.”

Then we won’t get anywhere in life.

So there is something to be said for harnessing positive thinking to reprogram our brains and our way of thinking.

For example, if you want to give up smoking or you want to get fit I do think it helps to adopt a positive mantra such as, “I value my health and enjoy living a fit and healthy, ” and read, repeat or think about it often.

It pays to be positive

I think optimists get more out of life because if you were a pessimist well, why would you even bother…

So positive thinking can drown out those pesky negative voices but hard work, passion and perseverance are irreplaceable.

What are you waiting for?

Most people just accept their lot in life. They take what they’re given and put up with it, working for years in a job they don’t particularly like and self-medicating themselves for their boredom and despondency with things like television, food, alcohol or even more work.

So often in the past when I told friends and family I was off to Africa, South East Asia, Australasia, Central America or wherever it was that year, people would sigh and say:

“You’re so lucky, I’d do that too it only I weren’t so…”

The excuses are varied. Some people say they’re too old, others claim they’re too young. Some people are too poor and some too career and money driven. But really they’re all just the same thing. Excuses.

Not that old excuse again

No more excuses, please. To get what you want in life you need:

  • Passion
  • Desire
  • Dreams
  • Achievable goals
  • Optimism
  • Energy
  • Inspiration
  • Perseverance
  • Bravado
  • Faith

Have faith

You can do all the things you want to do.

You choose your life, you’re in control of it, you decide if you want to sail around the world, start your own business, spend more time with your kids or laugh more. Whatever it is you can do it.

You just need to decide what you want, get started with it and keep going.

Get out of your comfort zone

Here are a few truths some people try to hide about being successful and happy. There are no secrets. Go into it with your eyes open knowing that:

1. It will be an effort.

2. It will challenge your status quo.

3. It will be risky.

But even when you know and accept all that you’ve got to stop listening to negative voices – either your own inner beliefs or real comments from other people – saying you can’t do it or you shouldn’t do it because of one reason or another.

Then stop settling for life as it is and start getting angry with yourself for time you’ve wasted so far. Promise yourself it won’t happen again.

Success starts when you get in the hot spot

Just get off your arse and get going.

I am.

If you think I’m not, or catch me slacking, feel free to give me a kick up the arse. We all need someone to do that for us from time to time. And if my writing helps you get inspired, motivated and going then I’m ready to put the boot in on your behalf any time.

What can I do to help you? What would you like to read more about? Just leave a comment or question below. I promise to reply to all of you.

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Thanks for Reading

A warm welcome to all my new subscribers and welcome back to the old faithfuls – it’s great to connect with you. Many thanks also to Jeroen Bennick for use of the photo.

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Other Self Development Articles

>> 5 Instructions For Better Writing and Life

>> 10 Things To Be Grateful For and Why You Should Be

>> 101 Ways To Feel Happier

>> 5 Ways To Prevent Depression

>> 10 Ways To Get The Life You Want

>> 3 Keys To Living Our Dreams

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  1. Fiona Marsden January 27, 2010 at 6:56 am - Reply

    Hi Annabel

    Great to see someone else questioning the so-called ‘law of attraction’.

    I wrote about this from a different angle at

    Intention is great, but you have to take action to manifest it into reality – and even then, there’s no guarantee that things will work out the way you planned. That’s life!

    The main thing is to get back up off the floor after each knockdown and have another go.

  2. Randall January 27, 2010 at 8:45 am - Reply

    I did not read the book. I do know some about the law of attraction. It is very important to dream and meditate and focus. You have to have concrete dreams and visualize them. I am a strong proponent of this concept and have lived it in my life. I do think by focusing, meditating, we have the power within us, in our mind to change our sorroundings. I believe that some people do think that this is all they have to do. Just like the author of the book, he/she had to have the idea first and the action came second. But they did have to take action! I also think that idea is popular inherently because most don’t want to take action. They see it on Oprah or something and it sounds so easy. Life and Victory is always found in the struggle.

  3. Eric January 27, 2010 at 1:51 pm - Reply

    Fantastic. You summed it up nicely in four simple words.

    I’m actually reading a law of attraction type book now call “The Vortex.” I’m still in the first chapter, but it’s very interesting so far. I like to use these types of books to get me pumped up, as I put things into action in my life. The inspiration and ideas keep me going. I sometimes tend to get stagnant unless I have something creative to do or read about.

    I had a mentor a short time ago that always used to say “the only way to grow is to get out of your comfort zone.” It’s a true statement, growth requires you to be outside of your comfort zone. I often apply this at work, but it also applies to most of life in or out of work.

    Great post and great motivation. Thanks!

  4. Annabel Candy January 27, 2010 at 2:00 pm - Reply

    Fiona – Definitely another key you’ve mentioned there. First get off your arse then get off it again when you get knocked down and keep trying until you succeed.

    Randall – Yes, action is the key, thinking helps but if you don’t actually do something about it you won’t get there.

    Eric – We have to take risks to get anywhere. So sad that some people are too scared to do it because it does pay off.

  5. Cate January 27, 2010 at 5:11 pm - Reply

    I agree. You have to think about something – to visualise it – to know what it is you do want to get out of life (or put into it), but it won’t happen unless you make it so by getting off your arse. Well said, Annabel, and most pertinent. I tend to think that everything has a cost, too, and you have to be prepared to pay that cost, or make that choice. Like the people who wish they could travel the way you do – they wish, but they aren’t prepared to make that choice or pay that cost.
    I know I’ve made choices that mean my love of travel took back seat to other things in life – but that was a choice I made, or a cost I paid, if you like.
    Stuff doesn’t always go to plan – that’s when you regroup, make a new plan, and take the next steps…

  6. Annabel Candy January 27, 2010 at 9:34 pm - Reply

    Cate – Thanks for the great comment. Yes, there is a price to be paid for following your dreams sometimes. If you love travel then you forfeit stability. If you want a high-flying career family and relationships are compromised. So there are always some tough choices to be made but at the end of the day it’s about trying to live with no regrets and working out how we can fit everything in somehow or other. At the very least we can get off our arses and try it:)

  7. Connie January 28, 2010 at 2:04 am - Reply

    Passion and desire are two of my favorite words :-)

  8. J.D. Meier January 28, 2010 at 3:27 am - Reply

    It pays to be positive is a great way to spin it … catchy too.

  9. Bobh January 28, 2010 at 6:16 am - Reply

    Fabulous – I didn’t even have to read the article! (i will later) –

  10. Annabel Candy January 28, 2010 at 7:43 pm - Reply

    Connie – Sounds like you’ll go far with that attitude:)

    J.D. – Yes, it pays to be positive but you have to get off your arse too!

    Bobh – Great, that’s all it really amounts to. Quite a good daily mantra in fact for the lazy, despondent, depressed. Just get off my arse!

  11. Srinivas Rao January 29, 2010 at 2:30 am - Reply

    Well said Annabel. I think that part on the law of attraction is spot on. I’ve been affirming a certain amount of money in my life, but I’m also working towards it every single day. I think thought+ action results in the law of attraction working for you. Thanks to that I’ve come up with some of the most creative ideas I’ve ever had.

  12. Quinn February 2, 2010 at 5:35 am - Reply

    You have detailed the key to successes perfectly it is action in line with desires and the willingness to do the work.

  13. Fida February 2, 2010 at 11:14 am - Reply

    I so agree with you. Fabulous article.

    I didn’t read the Law of Attraction – I am sure there’s a lot of truth to it. But if we are honest we know exactly what to do. 30 years ago my best friend told me to lift my ass from the couch and to live my life – not just dreaming about it. Intention, manifestation, consciousness – are all very helpful. But unless we do it, nothing will happen.

    Where is your next speaking engagement?

  14. Steven | The Emotion Machine February 2, 2010 at 11:24 pm - Reply

    Annabel, these are all important components of success. You need to get your mind right, you need to take action often, and you need to be willing to get out of your comfort zone – really good advice! Thanks for sharing!

  15. Annabel Candy February 3, 2010 at 11:59 am - Reply

    Srinivas – Thought + action sounds like a winning formula:) Brilliant to hear that it’s been working for you.

    Quinn – Action + desire + attitude = another great winning formula on the same lines.

    Fida – I have been refered to as a motivational writer which made me very happy, I’d love to think I can motivate someone. Not sure about the speaking part of it though. I’m joining Toastmasters this year to work on it though!

    Steven – MInd set + repeated action + risk taking is your winning formula. I think if we add all these formulas together we must have hit the nail on the head.

    Thanks everyone for sharing your thoughts!

  16. Andy February 5, 2010 at 12:26 am - Reply

    You are spot on, no amount of positive thinking will get you what you want unless you do something about it. It’s best to use that positive thinking as motivation. For example everyday I envision that life I want, my perfect ideal and every time I think about it pushes me on to do stuff that takes me out of my confort zone but needs to be done to get me there.

    I don’t remember where I heard this quote but one of my favourites is “There is no magic genie, you are in control of your life and destiny, so get up and control it”

  17. Annabel Candy February 5, 2010 at 10:58 am - Reply

    Andy – Thanks for joining in the discussion. It was a bit naughty of me to write this but sometimes that’s what you want to say to all those “I wish I could…” type people. It’s brilliant that here at Get In the Hot Spot we’re getting on with it and doing something. Love the quote too. Nice to think that we can be our own magic genies:)

  18. Bob Scot February 15, 2010 at 10:28 pm - Reply

    You boost my confidence a lot. I am not sure but because of some conventional lifestyle I have acquainted with, our thinking has been changed a lot. I am really surprised that you tell the true naked story of mine. Are you an astrologer? The way you have projected the whole is awesome. Thanks a lot.

  19. Bruce Tritton February 17, 2010 at 4:29 am - Reply

    Fantastic Article Annabel!

  20. Anilia February 20, 2010 at 11:34 am - Reply

    Hey Annabel, I know my response to this is late, but I just found your blog today. I agree 110% with everything you wrote — EXCEPT about the law of attraction. Not only have I seen it work in my own life, but I’ve seen what it can do in others’ lives as well.

    My point, though, just as yours is, is that you can’t just visualize your desires and then presto-chango, you got ’em. You must work at your goals just as you normally would, but when you clear your mental resistance to those goals, they’re sure to manifest for you.

    I recognize people’s distaste for The Secret… they took a concept thats been around for YEARS (books written at least 100 yrs ago) and sensationalized it… but its just a tool, not the whole vehicle that gets you to your destination. The law of attraction was not a ‘secret’ before the movie came out, and just as you said, there’s no ‘secret’ to success, either.

    • Annabel Candy February 20, 2010 at 4:14 pm - Reply

      Anilia – Great to see you here and know your thoughts. A lot of my friends believe in the law of attraction. I suppose I do myself in so far as I think that if you think about good things good things will come to you whereas if you dwell on negativity bad stuff is more likely to happen. Definitely agree that sensationalising stuff isn’t the way I want to go. I want to keep my advice plain and simple. I think so much of what I have to share is common sense but it’s easy to lose sight of it so I hope to keep people on track. Hope to see you around again:)

  21. Jane February 26, 2010 at 4:33 am - Reply

    Annabel, I have just discovered you and I am really enjoying reading your blogs. But I did want to make one comment. I believe that you and several other posters here have misunderstood what The Law of Attraction is really about. Actually, you do, but you don’t give it lip service. Even science now has discovered that matter can be affected by our thoughts. It’s over my head to understand HOW, but I have read of these experiments.
    What I mainly want to say is that The law of attraction does NOT mean that you don’t have to do ANYthing to accomplish your goals. It simply sets in motion the real and greatly misunderstood power of our thoughts and the idea that our thoughts can affect our outcomes. This idea has proven true in my life time and again. It was difficult at first for me to grasp it too…still is sometimes, especially when I feel depressed. But the great triumphs of my latter years have come because I initially set my desires onto a steady and positive thought process. You can say that it’s coincidence, if you like, when a great prize you’ve been focusing on for…sometimes years, drops into your lap, and maybe in an unexpected way. But you will never get me to believe it’s merely a coincidence.

    To me, it’s also a spiritual process. And I accept that there are certain things that may not be in my life path to experience. But so far, every goal that has meant the most to me has been delivered.

    If I had not realized that focused thinking, even dreaming and meditating, were the first step to realizing my goals, they would never have happened. OF COURSE, you need to take action and you have to step out of your comfort zone. But I have also had miraculous things, that I had been focusing on, just drop into my lap as if from out of nowhere. Once the opportunity presented itself that way, I then had to use more than mind power. I had to “get off my arse!” as you so aptly put it.

    I hope you don’t mind my having my say. I love your work here and will be a regular reader from today.

    • Annabel Candy February 26, 2010 at 8:26 am - Reply

      Jane – Of course I don’t mind you having your say, it’s brilliant to hear from you. I admit I’m no expert on the law of attraction, I’m just guessing that some people use it as an excuse for laziness and hope that they only need to think about something and it will happen. In reality, they do have to commit to their desire by acting as well as thinking. I have some good friends who are totally into the law of attraction and it has so many followers – there must be something to it. I definitely believe that the mind is powerful and that’s why I want to set a positive tone on this blog and provide a place where people’s dreams can be heard without being poo pooed by naysayers. Just believing in yourself is huge and being supported in your desires can make a big difference too. So glad you’re going to be reading more and I’d love to hear from you anytime:)

  22. Bryony March 6, 2010 at 12:38 am - Reply

    “thought without action is a dream, action without thought is a nightmare”

    I’ve forgotten where I got this from but find it acts as my ‘get off your butt’ and make it happen prod! …. thank you for your wonderful posts, I’ve subscribed and will be reading the archives too! It’s so refreshing to find a site that’s into the positive side of change taking control and living your dream :) B

    • Annabel Candy March 7, 2010 at 9:28 pm - Reply

      Bryony – Great to have you join us. I’m definitely trying to improve on self improvement by making this blog a fun and positive place to hang out as well as providing the essential information needed to get you where you want to be. Action is defintely the key to achieving your goals and making those dreams a reality. It’s true that they need to be carefully planned actions. No point in running round like headless chickens. We need to know where we are now, where we want to be and work out the best route for us between the two.

  23. Jamie Pixon May 3, 2010 at 11:16 am - Reply

    “Most people just accept their lot in life. They take what they’re given and put up with it, working for years in a job they don’t particularly like and self-medicating themselves for their boredom and despondency with things like television, food, alcohol or even more work.”

    That’s a compelling and scarey and sad way to put it.

    Oh man, that motivated me to work extra hard today – not to infer that I’m the above….BUT I’m surrounded by the above in my 9-to-5 job and its wearing me down…I tell you!

    Good blog btw.


    P.S….found you via viperchill (that little dude is one cluey, well, dude)

  24. admin@technofreaky June 25, 2010 at 4:24 pm - Reply

    I subscribed to your blog and I am really impressed with your writing. Keep them coming.

  25. Riley Harrison January 18, 2011 at 9:49 am - Reply

    Having read way too many self books, I’ve come to the conclusion that if it isn’t actionable, what’s the point. Action not additional insights is what is needed. There are no secrets known only to the author. Success is a combination of many factors: persistence, risk-taking skill, understanding and living with fear and awareness of what the real problems are to just name a few.

  26. Lalitha January 27, 2011 at 11:53 am - Reply

    Great article. I love the crisp communication! Very true! Inaction is ALSO a type of action that has severe consequence and can hurt. With the advancement in technology and communications, there are many aspects of life and business that have been automated. But that does not mean we should stop doing anything. There is lot of distraction/choices these days, which can be a challenge. However if we are self motivated , make and keep our commitment to taking consistent action in each area of life -Physical, mental, emotional, Spiritual, Business, Financial, Social, family, Academics smartly, Success is guaranteed.

    My two cents- We make conscious decisions, based upon sub-conscious programming. Affirmations, meditation, chanting mantras -do work in programming our sub-conscious mind and help in taking powerful responsible decisions and positive ACTIONS that lead to success

  27. Lee Cole January 28, 2011 at 8:35 am - Reply

    I especially love the first point! Kinda goes along very well with the point about the so called law of attraction. A lot of times people use the LOA as an excuse not to do anything.

  28. vinod jadhav March 25, 2012 at 3:13 pm - Reply

    there’s nothing like law of attraction…… there’s only law of distraction …..everything around us tries to distract us from the things we want to focus…what matters is whether we stick to our beliefs or not…..when u truly want to dare your dream, there’s an uneffable feeling(dont know if its feeling or what)…that keeps us going beyond impossible…

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