Success will be different for every individual who desires it. Success is not about money, fame, fortune, wealth or toys. Success is an experience, a process and a challenge. It is an opportunity for you to become more and to achieve more. Success will be a different experience and a different process for every one of us. It is unique to each individual.

Like many people, I went through my share of challenges; in my case, this included 14 years of alcohol and drug addiction. A series of close successes was followed by let downs, failures, pink slips, terminations, bounced company checks, changed pay plans and companies going out of business just as I was about to make the quantum leap. I ended up $65,000 in credit card debt, discouraged but determined to stay the course.

I experienced a lot of what looked like failures, yet on the inside they were simply more reasons to overcome, to grow, learn and begin to change. There are no "failures"; instead, I viewed these experiences as essential feedback. Every blade of grass I've walked on has led me to the present moment's consciousness!

What happened? How did I finally become successful and how can you become successful in life? We all deserve success but how do we actually achieve it? Isn't that the seven million-dollar question? Here's what happened for me and can happen for you: I changed! I didn't change overnight, either; it was an eight-year process. Most of you are going to have to go through some changes of your own. I hit bits and pieces of success along the way, but it took eight years before I had any monumental success.

It all began with change. I changed my thoughts and the people I paid attention to. I changed my mind as well as how I viewed failure and success. I changed my opinions about my father and myself. I changed what I read, what I watched on TV and whom I associated with. I changed some very deep-rooted decisions I'd made as a small child about who I was as a person and who I would become. I changed my views on many things, such as the government and corporate America, as well as how to become free in all aspects of my life through free enterprise.

It wasn't easy to change, but I did it and so can you. I struggled at times and more than likely, you will too. I made a conscious decision to be different and to do different things than I had done before, and then I kept making those new decisions over and over again, without emotional attachment. Eventually the new ideas caught on in my mind and I began to apply my new knowledge. I got hungry to achieve and I took action over and over again, regardless of the outcome.

Almost everyone I have ever met desires health, wealth and peace of mind, yet so few are able to achieve all three. Why is that? How many people do you know who have achieved one or two out of the three? Sadly, most never do.

Most people think that if they work harder and for a longer period of time, they will eventually have success. But if you are pursuing wealth and success, you soon discover that hard work isn't the answer. When you're self-employed, you don't get paid for time; you get paid for how valuable you become. Trading time and working hard for dollars usually gets you broke. Look at our national statistics: the purchasing power of American wages from jobs is now more than 20 percent below the mid-1970s. This means that pay raises have fallen way short of keeping pace with increases in the cost of living. Across the board, double-digit pay raises are a thing of the past. More recently there have been more than a million job cuts since the 9/11 terrorist atrocity. The recommended income-producing plan that you learned from your parents get a good job with a stable company and work your way up has become a blueprint for failure in the new millennium.

Success means personal growth, action and change. It means detaching from people, things and situations. You must be willing to detach from the people who love you but tell you that you will never make it! When I say "detach," I mean mentally and emotionally detaching. Success is moving forward constantly toward what you desire. It is being in the process change coupled with action and being in love with the process. Success is getting everything you deserve and feeling great about yourself!

The true secrets to success are found in the process, in self-motivation, the emotional, internal fire that leads you to act powerfully. Notice I said, "self-motivation." What is self-motivation? It is belief, confidence, courage, posture, self-image and creativity. It is the internal drive that allows you to take action continually despite the circumstances.

To achieve your goals you must become self-motivated. Reading books, listening to tapes and saying affirmations are all great places to start as well as to sustain motivation. Remember, without action, you'll create no results.

I've compiled a list of thirteen qualities of successful people:

1. Successful people have dreams.
2. Successful people are achievers.
3. Successful people have drive and determination.
4. Successful people are focused.
5. Successful people learn how to get it done.
6. Successful people take responsibility for their actions.
7. Successful people look for solutions to their problems.
8. Successful people make decisions and stick to them.
9. Successful people can admit when they make a mistake.
10. Successful people are self-reliant.
11. Successful people live in the process of constant improvement.
12. Successful people develop leaders.
13. Successful people have enthusiasm for the process.

There are many doors, paths and trails to becoming successful. Success will always be "in the eye of the beholder." People who excel in life are those who produce results for themselves and others, not excuses. The bottom line of success is found in doing and accomplishing, not in owning and possessing!