Machen MacDonald: Why you must succeed |

Machen MacDonald: Why you must succeed

There is something successful people do that many others do not. They make a habit of doing the things unsuccessful people are not willing to do. One of the key habits they develop is clearly identifying why they MUST succeed. For the conscious achiever, it’s not just about the money or getting the next deal. It has little to do with the acquisition of accolades.

It has everything to do with making success a MUST. They make the achievement of their goal bigger than they are. They tie the goal to the greater good of the organization, community, or cause, and thereby make it meaningful. For them it has purpose, provides passion and is in alignment with their highest values and skill sets.

They often employ these following four elements to leverage their resources and achieve greater milestones:


They make sure their goal is in alignment with their values and purpose. When we are clear on our values our decisions are easy. We can more easily step up to what must be done and say no to the distractions and detractors. This saves enormous amounts of time and energy that can be redirected to the goal at hand. When we stay in our zone of what we do well and are passionate about it—while joining forces with others whose zone of brilliance compliment ours—we then leverage and scale what can be accomplished. By clarifying what makes it meaningful it answers the question of, Why must we get it done? When our “why” is big enough we figure out how to get it done.


Conscious leaders create the leverage necessary to maintain healthy tension to stay enthusiastically engaged along the way. By doing so, we raise our awareness and deepen our access to resourcefulness. Having a clear goal line of completion is key. There is a reason we get our taxes done by April 15th even though it may not be the most enjoyable experience. There are negative consequences associated with missing the deadline. To build urgency, set up positive and timely payoffs for accomplishing the goal and negative consequences for not doing so.


Strategy is the answer to the question, How will you get it done? Leaders have a strategic plan. As important as having a powerful and compelling “why” is, it’s human nature to want a level of certainty before we take steps forward with something. Strategy includes the recipe or next steps. We may not need to have all the steps figured out at the onset. However, we may need to have enough of them thought through to gain the level of certainty to move into action. If we are not clear on what to do next then what’s next is to get the information we need to gain enough certainty to get started and move forward. By moving forward, we kick in the GPS to get the feedback we need to get on down the road. We can’t navigate if we stay parked. When we clearly see the path ahead we are more apt to take action. It is the moving forward that will activate the precession needed to find our way. Welcome the switchbacks and the forks in the road along the way for they are necessary. Strategy needs to be continuously calibrated.


Achievers develop such a clear and compelling vision of what’s possible that they become infused with a knowing or trust that it will eventually come about. They act on that trust. Good questions to develop the needed level of trust include:

What do I need to think in order to trust myself as well as others to accomplish this goal?

How can I trust the process that it will work out even in the midst of derailments?

What evidence do I need to gather so I can trust we are moving in the right direction?

In addition to questions to guide our thinking and build our trust, we must employ daily affirmations as well. Good ones to adopt are:

I trust myself to be bold and ask for what I want and need to get this done.

I trust myself to find out the answers and resources needed to progress.

I trust I will attract and align with the right people that can help me bring this vision into reality.

I trust that what I may first see as a set back is really a set up to move this project forward.

Employ the four simple elements of MUST to discover and realize the power of your why, how and what to do to become even more successful.

Make it up, make it fun, and get it done!

#1 bestselling author Machen P. MacDonald, CPCC, CCSC is a certified life and business coach with ProBrilliance Leadership Institute in Grass Valley, CA. He helps business people gain more confidence and clarity to live their ideal life. He can be reached at and 530-273-8000

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