The Secret to Success: Purpose, Plan, and Presence

photo 2A reader in Oklahoma starting his day with You Start Today!
photo credit: Wayne L. Warren, CLU
(full disclosure: He’s my dad!)

Life can be tough. And sometimes the hardest thing to overcome is our own fear of failure if we take a chance.

Most of us have tried to achieve real life change in one or more areas.

If you’re like me, you’ve decided to lose some weight, get in shape, or change your career at some point in your life.

Maybe you joined a gym, bought a program or some supplements or went online to look at jobs. You put yourself out there, gave it a shot, and really tried.

But the pounds didn’t come off. Or you lost a few and they came right back (and brought a few friends). You lift weights but your arms still look more like your Aunt Bea’s than the guys from P90x.

And so you become afraid. Maybe it’s impossible. Maybe I shouldn’t try again, because it’s easier to stay the way I am than to face the pain of failure.

If you’re resonating with this, take heart. We can change it. We just have to attack the problem strategically.

The secret to success at weight loss and fitness, or really to succeed at anything in life, is what I call the three P’s:


Efforts and courage are not enough without purpose and direction.”

— John F. Kennedy

We have to be purposeful about our life. You don’t just wake up one day and find you’ve lost ten pounds or improved your marriage or doubled your business. When we learn to live with greater purpose- we’ll learn to be mindful about what our purpose is and use that purpose to drive our lives.

If we really zone in on why we’re here, why God bothered to place you on the planet at this particular place and time, then we develop clarity about things we need to change in order to fulfill that purpose.

Think about it- if you figure out your purpose and know you can’t achieve it while being in whatever situation you’re stuck in, you”ll be more motivated to change whatever is keeping you there.

Check out this Bible verse to understand why God put you where you are.


If you don’t design your own life plan, chances are you’ll fall into someone else’s plan. And guess what they have planned for you? Not much.”

— Jim Rohn

We can be purposeful about our lives, we can know why we’re here and what we want and still miss the mark if we fail to develop sound plans and execute them properly. Making a strategic plan to attack your problems or goals is a sure way to be more successful. 


Be present at every moment of your life. If your head’s not in it, you can’t win it.”

— W. Lee Warren, MD


We have to be fully present in every moment. If we’re wandering through our lives, we’ll fall off our plan and miss our purpose.

In terms of weight loss, a few mindless decisions during the day can sabotage our plans and guarantee failure.

A few mindless decisions can sink a company, ruin a marriage, even endanger a life. If we want to succeed, we have to be there, fully engaged, in every moment. And really, why would we want to miss moments in our life? We only get one of those, remember?

If we’re fully awake and present in our lives, we’ll be on the path to sure success. And as always, if you really want to change your life, You Start Today.

Do these four things:

  1. Decide today to drill in on your purpose. Really investigate it for yourself. Nothing is more important that knowing why you’re alive, so start thinking about it.
  2. Begin to plan- thoughtfully, strategically and prayerfully- to take action towards your purpose.
  3. Be present and alive in every situation so you stay on track towards your success.
  4. Share this article and leave a comment and let us know where you are with your three P’s. 


Action taken, regardless of the outcome, is more successful than the long failure of staying put.

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I'm Dr. Lee Warren. I'm a writer and a neurosurgeon.

I help smart people understand how they're wired, so they can become healthier, feel better, and be happier.

If you want to change your life, you have to change your mind first.

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