Secrets to Success

9 1/2 Secrets Successful People Use To Get the Most From Their Time, Life, and Career

Thursday, March 30, 2017

In my first blog post, I wrote that to get the most from your time, life, and career, one of the critical talents you need to develop is time management.

People often complain that they get interrupted frequently. Secret 6—built on my more than 40 years of interviewing some of the world’s most successful people—will show you how to turn all interruptions into opportunities.

The story of Non Nomine and T. Aligned will give you the secret that you can use daily in any of life’s interruptions, both professional and personal. Both came in early, set their priorities for the day to come, and had accomplished their top priority ahead of schedule. Both were pleased with their success. At 9 a.m., when their boss called them individually, both of their planners looked like this:


The boss called Non Nomine and asked, “I have a problem, can you come over for just a minute?” After Non Nomine said “sure,” feeling she had to, she hung up thinking, “How can I ever get anything done with all the interruptions I have, especially with this boss? ‘Just a minute’ could last until five o’clock.”

T. Aligned receive the same call. (T. Aligned is an aligned thinker, having read and implemented my first five secrets.) Her answer was a more positive “sure, I’ll be right over.” But before she went, she stopped to review some of the key aspects of aligned thinking that she had learned and was working daily to implement.

She looked at the summary of her passion (blog post 2), which was clearly displayed on her desk. “I want an above-average lifestyle for the family I love.” Then she reviewed the plaque next to it.


Apply this and you can be free in all you do!


I freely select my “P” (Primary desire) and accept the “NC” (Necessary Conditions) to get there.

If the “NC” costs too much, change my “P.”




As soon as I do things because so-and-so said so, I just made myself a victim of so-and-so.

Not smart


“The NC to my above average lifestyle is this job and a promotion,” she thought to herself. “And the key to a promotion is the boss having a problem and solving it.”

All day Non Nomine and T Aligned worked guided by their belief systems. Non Nomine was 70 percent about solving the boss’s problem, and at least 30 percent wishing she could be doing the things she set on her priority list that morning. This 30 percent caused her to be stressed and frustrated all day.

As she returned to her office that evening, she had the small satisfaction of predicting that the problem would take all day—until six! She did to her planner what she wished she could have done to her boss. With great force, she wrote on the defenseless planner, “Forget it.”


She said to herself quietly, “With an interrupting boss like this, how can I get my work done?”

T. Aligned was there 101 percent all day, rejoicing at this opportunity to take another big step toward what she was passionate about. At day’s end, she wrote in her planner with great satisfaction:


Three months later when the boss wanted to promote someone, who do you think takes another step toward what she is passionate about?

About the Author
Jim Steffen founded SSA International in 1974. He wrote the international bestseller Aligned Thinking: Make Every Moment Count. He would be glad to offer you the opportunity to become a Certified Trainer/Coach, learn the Aligned Thinking Secrets, and teach it to your clients; the program is free if you are an ATD member. For details, visit or contact him at
Be the first to comment
Sign In to Post a Comment
Sorry! Something went wrong on our end. Please try again later.