The Success Diamond: 4 Pillars for Evolving Your Life and Business

Many of you know my story of NLP. From 1993 to 1994, I struggled to find information about it until I met one of my former business partners Jerry Low, who was Singapore’s first Licensed Trainer of NLP in 1995.

I took up the Practitioner and Master Practitioner training and devoted decades to hone my craft by taking the first step to being a Licensed Trainer of NLP in 1997, and never looked back.

Me with Dr. Richard Bandler, 1997, the Black Bear Casino and Hotel, Mn

Through the years I’ve also been heavily influenced by the ideas of Robert Dilts and his massive array of innovative ways to look at NLP and did my training with him in 2004. I’m actually still learning virtually from Robert right now!

Me with Robert Dilts, 2021

As I am prolific in modeling and seeking out patterns of excellence, I ended up learning that our process of success is actually shaped like a diamond.

#1 – Present State

Everything you are is brought into the results you want to apply in life or business. Without reflecting on what got you here, you won’t know what to repeat and what to remove. You are a result of patterns of behavior. Those are the things that caused your present state. Whether you have strengths and weakensses, energy or no energy, ideas or no ideas are all part of a set of Causes that led to this Effect.

#2 – Desired State (Outcome)

This is a crucial element in success. When you are unable to clarify your outcome well, you are likely to fall short. In NLP, we talk about well-formed outcomes that drive your neurology to function. If you truly want to arrive at a vision of your future, you most certainly need to set in motion the things that will get you there, even if it is a small and iterative set of steps.

#3 – Resources

It’s not as if every successful business started out with lots of money and products. Instead, they started with great ideas, the ability to implement, and the ability to access energy and enthusiasm among other great emotional states. In learning NLP, I have discovered that it is far better to build resourcefulness muscles so that even when the resources have disappeared, it will be a matter of time before you bounce back.

#4 – Obstacles

Everyone encounters obstacles. Most of them are inner limits like your beliefs, negative emotions and triggered reactions that stop you from pursuing what matters most. To defuse this, think of the analogy of an old mine that is being excavated. In that mine, you find rocks that contain the mineral you want – gems. But to process the rocks, you need to crush them to extract the gems!

So, there is a lot of effort to find things that are valuable. But just because there is a lot of effort does not mean it isn’t valuable. That is why obstacles can be valuable to the process of self-discovery. They help you to understand your own character and put you to the test to excavate the valuable wisdom that is encased by all that rock and dirt.


Everything is iterative. My friend Mark Joyner, a prolific marketing thinker, and someone I’m proud to have trained in NLP, shared with me once that marketing and business was nothing more than rhythms and cycles. I realize now that everything is goes through cycles and rhythms of life if we allow it, including our limitations and blind spots. The best way to overcome this is to begin on a journey. Just like a prospector hunting for a gold mine, he looks for clues, and settles on a spot. He doesn’t get upset because he needs to dig. He instead is excited because the spot yields possibilities. The energy he needs builds as he digs tirelessly for days and weeks so that he can bring home gold.

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