Some experts and talking heads of all kinds, write, talk about, lecture, teach, wax philosophical, sell millions of CDs, about success. They urge everybody who listen, watch and read them, that would be many millions of people, to spend their money and follow their advice. And engage in every kind of behavior imaginable therefrom, thus, achieve the success they covet.

Everything, starting with imagery to success, entirely war-like. If you engage in Robinns-esque imagery, just close your eyes very tightly and imagine being, well, perhaps taller and better looking. And, thus, you shall be!

Trust that I have known enough people in my business life who tried to sell some kin to: “Lose weight while sleeping. No pills. No exercise. No diet.”

Only some of them went to prison.

Imagery should not be dismissed as elegant snake oil. In fact, it is a very powerful thing. Even I confess to having listened to some Robbins. The man is spectacular at what he does. Particularly, how he does it. I will further confess to having attended a couple of “tent revivals.” Even some of the descendants of those: TV preachers.

Now: there is some uber—awesome horsepower.

Imagery, if not tethered to tangible efforts, is Swiss cheese without the cheese.

The best “mental imagery” that I relate to is what many professional athletes do. To a limited degree, I can attest to that. Here is the “real” drill: learn, practice, learn some more, practice until the proverbial wheels are about to come off, get really good at it. Then, learn and practice some more. Then: image yourself executing what you learned and practiced and learned and practiced and practiced some more. Now: that is great “imagery” stuff, I opine.

Some referenced talking heads and teachers, urge a war footing in everything relevant in life to attain success. I have exchanged many words with “experts”, and read many more, who insist that seeking success without reading Sun Tzu’s The Art Of War, is a total waste of time. I confess to having that little book on my bookshelf forever. To be truthful, on my nightstand for a while. Then, demoted to the bathroom. Ultimately, back on the bookshelf to impress my then mother-in-law.

Then there is the masterful von Clausewitz. My long-deceased parents, both Holocaust survivors, will forgive me quoting a Prussian—anybody. Old Carl had the good judgement to pass on some thirty-five years before Hitler so brilliantly weaved von Clausewitz into his massive plans. Tragically but ultimately thankfully, 50 million Russians, half a million Americans, and millions of others thwarted Hitler’s mission with their lives.

Success as war? I ponder and urge those interested to consider what might come of Sun and Carl hanging out on a beach in Pavuvu, wearing grass skirts, drinking umbrella drinks, pondering the best way to wage war.

If they ever do, I will write thousands of words on that!

For now, I urge you adopt my PILLARS OF SUCCESS. And forge ahead courageously and mightily. I will be sufficiently immodest to repeat my definition of success: Having options in life. Being able to seek and find satisfaction in life in ways that I want to and am able to pursue, not at the expense of others.


Manning, Steven J. (2022). My Pillars Of Success

©2022. Steven J. Manning. All rights reserved worldwide. Any reproduction, in part of whole, in any medium whatsoever, is strictly prohibited.