photo: jill on flickr

photo: jill on flickr

There are lots of people who’ll tell you they have the secret to success. They promise you that if you follow their way – if you do everything exactly like they say – you’ll be a big success in no time.

I am no different!

That’s right, my fellow Goofballs, I have discovered the basic, fundamental, totally groovy way to achieve all of your dreams.

Are you ready?












After years of exhaustive research and extensive experimentation, I have finally confirmed that the one thing you need to be successful is:

A pair of plaid bell bottoms.

bells 2 done

People see these things coming, and they say: Now that’s a successful person. Anybody who has the guts to go out in public with that much plaid below the belt, and still keep a smile on their face? Whatever they’re selling, I want it!

Which brings me to the real thing you need to be successful.

Yes, the plaid bell bottoms will help. So will a sense of purpose and spirit of determination.

But there’s more to it than that.

A few days ago, Melissa gave me a CD by a guy named Steve Seskin.



Steve Seskin is a songwriter who’s written a bunch of hits, primarily for country artists. Melissa and her brother Randy took a songwriting class with him decades ago, and they learned a lot.

While going through her CDs recently, Melissa found a 2 CD set of Steve Seskin performing his own songs, recorded at small venues with live audiences. She said I should listen to the CDs because this Steve Seskin guy is one of the best songwriters she knows. Now that I’m writing lyrics of my own, she thought I might get something out of it.

I did.

I listened to his creative use of rhyme, his masterful storytelling, and his ability to pack a lifetime of emotion and experience into one song. It inspired me to keep moving forward with my own lyrical expression.



But that wasn’t the best part.

My favorite thing about Steve Seskin is what he did after each song.

After the last chord had been played and the audience was clapping, he said:

Thank you. Thank you very much.

It wasn’t a bragadocious thank you. It wasn’t overly humble either. It was right in the middle – a full-hearted receiving of the audience’s appreciation of his songs.

I could feel him let it all in:

The love of the people who were there to listen to him sing and play. The love of his craft. The love of the journey that allows him to do what he loves, be paid well for it, and get up another day and do it again.

Yes, I was inspired by his songwriting. But I was even more inspired by his attitude.

And that, my Goofball friends, is the one thing you need to be successful.


photo: Jesus Solana on flickr

photo: Jesus Solana on flickr

Think about it. If you’re grateful for everything you have, for the people in your life, for everything you do, then you’re already a success.

Not only that, but your gratitude sets up an irresistible force that draws to you more things to be grateful for.

Sure, there are people who rely on purpose and determination alone, people who achieve huge success in the eyes of the world by an ethic of non-stop effort, but if they forget to be grateful, they’re not really successful. At least, not in my eyes.

Not that gratitude is always easy. You have to work at it. You can’t phone it in. Sometimes it’s hard to find things to be grateful for.

But if you keep exercising those gratitude muscles, you’ll find yourself in a better place every day.

Just ask Steve Seskin.

Or anyone wearing plaid bell bottoms.

bells 4 done

What are you grateful for? Share your comments below!

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