Modeling Successful People: Four Keys to Achieve Almost Any Goal.

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I am never going to run a four minute mile.


My high school football forty yard “dash” was indeed measured with a sundial. Offensive lineman are built to pull an oxcart and I am no exception.

Having said that – it is possible that I could have improved had I know the following:

“Everything is energy and that’s all there is to it. Match the frequency of the reality you want and you cannot help but get that reality. It can be no other way. This is not philosophy. This is physics.” – unknown (often attributed to Albert Einstein)

This gives rise to excellent point: how do I match the frequency? I will assert is by patterning a role model closely as possible. Find someone who has your result you wish to achieve. For example if I wanted to run faster (I don’t really)…I could have went to the fastest guys on the team and established the following:

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Four keys to achieving any result:

#1 What do I really want?

#2 What does my role model believe?

#3 What are my role models decision criteria?

#4 What are my role models habits?

First the acknowledged limitations of the method: where you start is relevant. My physical makeup will likely mean no four minute mile ever. If you were born in Africa in a dry desert it is quite likely you will strive for water and not worry so much about internal rate of return.

That’s why I count my self so fortunate to be born in the USA. Despite all of the negativity MSNBC and FOX spew: this remains the greatest place in the world to make something out of persistence action.

So enough with the flag waving rah rah speech here we go:

#1 What do I really want?

  • Clarity of your goal is crucial
  • If your mind doesn’t clearly know what to strive for it will strive for randomness
  • What is my self image? Does it serve me?
  • If not read Psycho Cybernetics by Dr. Maxwell Maltz
  • What is your life mission: its not work if its born of passion
  • What resources are available to obtain more information
    • READ Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill
    • Books on successful people?
    • Are there any videos/audios about the role model? This is why I believe BiggerPockets podcast is nearly priceless

For today’s purpose lets assume you want to be a better investor. Who better than Warren Buffett?

#2 What does my role model believe?

  • This step is inventorying yourself against your role models answers to step 1.
  • Audiobiography’s are an excellent source about basic beliefs
  • Adopt useful beliefs as your own
  • In the Warren Buffett example from his autobiography :
    • I want to be on the same side of the table as my investors. He adamantly believes his interest should be aligned with theirs
    • Someone is standing in the shade of a tree planted long ago..compound growth is a passion of Warren’s

#3 What are my role models decision criteria?

  • Success is a result of better choices
  • What factors does my role model use to select choices
  • In Warren’s case – he points to the Intelligent Investor by Benjamin Graham
  • He later went work for and was mentored by Ben
  • Tune in next week for a synopsis of Ben Grahams epic treatise

#4 What are my role models habits?

  • This step is tougher for a public figure in that the day to day habits can be tougher to emulate
  • A mentor is great for this stage. Personal contact and guidance can be
  • Repeated behavior is our outcome: if we don’t like our current life circumstance we must adopt better habits. Saving more money??? Gain better market knowledge??? Eat less?? Exercise more???


In conclusion, the four steps can unlock almost any achievement given subject to some physical constraints. If you want to a billionaire you have to start early, follow your passion, and some plain luck of the draw. I am certain following excellent role models is a pathway to improve your life and the ones you love.

Photo: Ng?c Nhân H?NG ??NG

About Author

Douglas Dowell

Douglas Dowell J.D. is a commercial and multifamily investor. His blog will focus on legally raising private money, risk mitigation with due diligence and management science. He is also an avid student of success principles with a focus on modeling success factors.


  1. Douglas — You stopped me cold when recommending Maltz’s book. Dad made it part of the hiring process back in the 1960s. You had to agree to read the book cover to cover in your first month, the same with Hill’s book. 🙂

    • Douglas Dowell

      Jeff those two have been major game changers for me. Tony Robbins is so good at marketing otherwise Dr. Maltz and his work would be much more widely know.

      I love the idea of making them core to any job curriculum. Its a dirty shame its not taught in school. I guess the are threatened by the independent thinking it breads :))

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