Grow Your BALLZ

10 Most Critical Success Factors!

Critical success factors
Written by Igor K

What you have to change in your daily routine to remove the limits and succeed? To what extent these well-known, 10 dominant success factors determine the quality of your life?

These are just a few of the questions we are answering in this tutorial.

By the time you finish reading, you’ll know exactly what’s been blocking your attempts to exit the so called “rat race” or the dogma according to which, you are sentenced to life in labor and suffer.

But before we start listing and explaining all 10 success factors, we need to define what “success” really is and what it means to us, as human beings.


What is success in life?

According to definition, success is the accomplishment of an aim or purpose.

Critical success factors

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In other words, it totally depends on how we — each of individually with the extension on the group — define our own personal success. Because, as you could see if you closely examined the definition of success, nothing is pre-defined, set or “commanded.”

Thus, it can be virtually anything. From shopping on unbelievable discount to making millions from your own living room or while traveling the world. However, in order to succeed in any of these, you depend on 10 success factors we’ll explain in here.

Furthermore, when you closely analyze the “goal” of each of those two “successes” (frugal shopping and business), one thing becomes obvious.

There is a common denominator or connection between success in frugal shopping and success in business.

It’s the tendency to achieve some sort of victory – a tendency to win.

We like winning because we get rewarded with the cocktail of powerful chemicals, released by our own brains. For that to happen, at least few out of the following 10 success factors must be part of our routine in order to achieve that victory.

So we can say that the secret of success pretty much lies in careful execution of your daily routine. What you do with your time, has the determining impact on the level of success and subsequently, the amount of reward chemicals you’ll receive. Lower the amount, more depressed you’re becoming. It’s a negative factor, generated by the absence of the positive one(s).

For instance, when your wife “stumble” upon some great discount, she’ll be thrilled. Her brain will release a high dose of dopamine because she accomplished an aim, she personally considers to be important.

But, when she spends 2 hours going through marketing materials, delivered to your doorsteps daily, in order to develop a full-scale shopping plan, and everything eventually goes according to her masterplan, she’ll be rewarded with much higher doses of that same, powerful reward chemical.


The difference between these two scenarios is simple:

When she stumbles upon something by pure accident, she receives a single, yet large dose of dopamine. But when she executes the sequence of pre-set (planned) steps (different shopping malls, stores, and boutiques to locate the exact item from the catalogue), she receives doses of dopamine for each achieved “success” or in her case – every product she managed to purchase that was on her list.

Cumulative effect of 10, 13, 20 or more doses of fast-dripping dopamine, in a short period of time, impacts your wife in two ways:


  1. She cannot be happier with the success she had in shopping. It’s a direct effect of dopamine – the most addictive substance known to man.


  1. She’s most likely tired because of that overexposure to dopamine. It simply drained her energy out.


That’s why you rarely have sex with her AFTER the extensive shopping. Poor woman doesn’t have any remaining energy reserves to even stay awake.

All that excitement makes her fall asleep like a baby; happy and relaxed. She was successful in her aim to buy cheap and save money!

But to accomplish that aim and fulfil her purpose as the valuable member of your household, and pretty much the force that keeps everything together, she had to take several critical success factors into consideration.


Success factor #1 – Optimal brain stimuli

If she had spent that day or the day before watching soaps from dawn ‘till dusk, you wouldn’t spend the day driving her all around the freakin’ city.

But since she exposed her brain to one of the stimuli she recognizes as valuable to her, she was able to DEVELOP, and most importantly, EXECUTE the efficient “battle plan.”


In other words, if you want to achieve some kind of success, let’s say on your financial plan, you’re better off reading books than watching TV.


And this is the success factor that makes for instance Warren Buffet and his companion Charlie Munger so unbelievably successful – they read for the most part of each day! According to Buffet’s own testimony, he spends 80% of his day reading, thinking and planning. Only 20% goes on actual execution. It’s Pareto principle.


Success factor #2 – The type of response to someone’s deed

A) How did you react each time your wife gave you the instructions where to take her next?

Critical success factors

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B) How did you react on each single successful purchase your wife made that saved lots of money?

If you criticized one or both, you caused negative outcome at both of you.

In your case, you triggered the high secretion of cortisol, which lowered your dopamine and serotonin levels. Translated in plain words, known to guys, you were pissed beyond comprehension.

You did that same shit to her also. Your critique reduced the positive effect of dopamine at your wife because you triggered her defense mechanism in a really wrong moment. Her brain was anticipating the feeling of joy. You fucked it up and pushed her in the state of despair and acute depression.

And then you wonder why the fuck you can’t get any action after you’ve been a good hubby and took her shopping for hours. Now you know.

Try the following model next time (induce discipline of the warrior if you have to because it will pay off on the long run):


Change from criticizing to complimenting, regardless of how ridiculous someone’s achievement seems to you!


That’s the power of positive thinking. It creates series of habits where each has the potential to trigger the reward chemicals – the only thing that makes you alive and happy.


Success factor #3 – The Fear Factor

Your current employer is paying you $4,240 each month. I come along and offer you $4,780 if you quit and come work with me.

What do you do?

80% of men would refuse my offer from the pure fear of losing or endangering their “comfort zones.”

20% of men would most likely accept my offer (2% would do it for sure) and in just 12 months from now, make an extra $6,480!

The fear factor is one of the principle determining success factors and has a major impact on a level of your long-term happiness and sense of fulfilment.



Instead of fearing change, embrace that change because everything in your life, except for one thing, is relative.


Use your limited time on this planet to live an exciting and dynamic life and not the life in routine and boredom. Remember that not so far in the future, you’ll find yourself sitting on the bench, trying to recall few good memories to cheer yourself up. What if you don’t have any?


Success factor #4 – Reaction on a deed aimed against you

Are you among those folks that simply can’t let go? For how long can you hold a grunge? Can you ultimately forgive?

Seems highly unlikely, but “holding a grunge” over an extended period of time, creates a negative environment and automatically switches your focus from positive to negative. And you know that what you focus on expands, right?


If you simply can’t forgive, but instead have a habit of holding a grunge, that might be one of the causes for you underperformance!


It’s again connected with the chemicals in your brain and loop of habit.

If you’re someone who just can’t let go and forgive, your brain adjusts accordingly. You will be extremely focused on other people’s actions and reactions, trying to find at least a trace of a foul play aimed against you.

In other words, you’re spending your day with your defense mechanism constantly activated. That means cortisol and adrenaline in high doses. It also means low levels of dopamine.

Don’t forget – your life is based on, and revolving around 6 basic chemicals (neurotransmitters): dopamine, serotonin, endorphins, norepinephrine, oxytocin and cortisol.

These 6 are responsible for every feeling you have and thus; the level of success and general satisfaction. From joy to pain; from excitement to depression. And it’s you who trigger the activation and it’s you who control the “mixture” by stimulating your neuronal network with the stimuli of your choice. And that “mixture” can be either optimal or disastrous.


Success factor #5 – What you focus on expands

This is arguably the most valuable lesson we can learn here.

Critical success factors

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It appears that we do influence on the course of events, triggering one event after another, which cumulatively leads to the outcome – positive or negative.

That means that the entire dogma of “believing in destiny” and how everything is already written long time ago, in some book high up in the clouds, is nothing more than letting go. In other words, it’s a sign of forfeit loss without fight and tendency for excuses and blaming.

Then again, even if you don’t believe in that crap right now, but also fail to focus on right thing(s), you’ll eventually end “believing in destiny.”

Here’s a simple takeaway for you:


Successful people talk about ideas. Losers talk about people!


And that “talk” is mostly revolving around blaming, resenting and pure envy.

“Oh, he got lucky”; “If it wasn’t for his father…”; “Yeah right, it had nothing to do with his political ambitious? You really believe that?”; “Corrupted crook, that’s what he is.”

Or my favorite one:

“There, didn’t I tell you he’ll fail? That stupid, arrogant son of a bitch. He had it coming. Mr. I-can-do-anything-I-want.”

Only, that “stupid, arrogant son of a bitch” who is capable of doing “anything he wants,” will try again, and again, and again and eventually, he’ll succeed. He’ll accomplish an aim or purpose he set for himself.

As Mark Cuban once said, “You have to be right only once, that’s all.”

In the same time, his “admirer” will eat shit, blaming others for his underachievement and making all sorts of excuses just to avoid exposure. It’s like he never climbed the tree or jumped from the building as a child.

 Envy, blaming and justifications will define him as a person. He’ll die alone and be forgotten the very next day, mark my words.


What you focus on expands!


Success factor #6 – Open-mindedness

There are two types of people:


A) those who continuously learn

B) those who think they know it all


Which group, in your opinion, stands better chance to succeed in some task or to accomplish an aim or purpose?

Group A) is the group of open-minded people. It’s the type of folks who don’t distinguish information on right or wrong. They think about it as of yet another valuable memory block that will just add to their experience.

Group B) are those folks we like to call stubborn. You know, like your father, when you can’t seem to talk some sense into him. He’s clearly wrong about something but he would rather bite the bullet than admit it.

The best thing? During the argument or discussion, he becomes aware of the fact that you’re right and he’s wrong.

Without entering deep into the bio mechanisms responsible for narrow-mindedness, we can say that narrow-minded person is limited in terms of success due to his strong, relatively unchallengeable central belief system which is based on, and revolving around, certain dogma. He/she just cannot accept any information that doesn’t correlate with the memory blocks in his/head brain.

There’s a certain chemical in that person’s brain known as norepinephrine that blocks entrance and nesting of all information that oppose person’s beliefs. It’s a defense mechanism, nothing else. But it’s the same mechanism that allows people with deviant agendas to build an army of followers, capable of doing all sorts of shit “for the cause.”

That’s how the loud argument, caused by the difference in beliefs and standpoints, starts. It’s the show of two same narrow-minded people.

Open-minded person rarely enters into loud arguments. He/she listens and argues with low tone of voice, picking up bits and pieces and organizing them into meaningful structure – the optimal conclusion!


Success factor # 7 – Clear understanding of the underlying meaning and value of failure/mistake

How to train a dog to stop biting damn computer cables?

Critical success factors

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You take a regular cable, wrap it with juicy slice of bacon and plug it into the high-voltage electrical socket!

You can bet your ass that the damn dog will never ever bite another thing that has a shape similar to the one of the cable. That of course, if poor dog survives the electric shock.

I’m not kidding about this. My friend came up with and applied this simple strategy on his girlfriend’s Maltese. The dog learned from this painful mistake and never used its teeth on cables again.

How did you learn to walk, and run, and climb trees?

Mistake (experience) taught you that grabbing the leaf of the plant, your mother planted close to the counter, won’t keep you from falling on your ass. You need something stronger, like the edge of the desk or chair.

You applied that same strategy on your first attempt to conquer the top of the tree. Cracking sound under your feet and temporary loss of balance, taught you to recognize weak branches that can’t support your weight. Again, series of mistakes (experiences) made possible for you to eventually climb the tree.

Did falling on your ass after grabbing that damn leaf or falling from the tree after cracking that weak branch stop you from learning how to run or climb up swiftly and safely to pick the juiciest cherries from the top of the tree?


Scars only show us where we’ve been. They do not dictate where we are heading. Thus, past mistakes are merely a learning ground for future success.


So if you “don’t know,” it’s not because you’re slow or unlucky. You “don’t know” because you don’t want to learn.

You are reluctant to even try, simply because you fell under the influence of the dogma of “responsible adult!”

It serves as the ultimate justification for total absence of any kind of effort to influence and ultimately change the quality of your life!


Do you think you’d ever walk if you were born with the habit of giving up that easily?


Success factor #8 – Realizing the fact that you don’t own anything

Everything except one thing is relative. Our comprehension of “ownership” is pretty much distorted and it’s causing us to switch from the sense of gratitude to the sense of entitlement.

In reality, nothing is yours to keep!

Two things will inevitably happen due to causal relationship of the things:

Either you (1) or that thing you think you own (2) will cease to exist, or render itself useless, one before the other, regardless of the order.


You are not “entitled” to anything at all. You may or may not temporarily possess/use something or everything.

Once you realize that fact of life and the sole nature of our existence, you’ll have no problem beating anyone in Monopoly game!

I know it’s hard to understand what I’m saying, but in order to succeed in anything at all, you must be willing to sacrifice something you seemingly “own.”

For instance, in order to make money with money, you need to invest some of the money you “own.” Are you doing that?

Now you know why people are having hard time deciding to invest “their” money!

Time, money, energy, health, other people, things you bought – something has to be “traded/exchanged” in order for you to accomplish your new aim or purpose. Thus, you lost something in the process.

That’s why we say, “Lose something to gain something.”

How that makes you feel?

You lost your “rightful ownership.” You willingly gave it up just to succeed in something else.

Don’t’ sweat about it because it’s totally irrelevant. At the end, you really can’t say for sure what will happen to all of your “belongings.” Your children may gamble everything you ever “owned.” So what’s the point anyway, right?


As I said, only one thing is absolute and that’s the fact that we will all eventually die. When you think about it, you’re already dead. Once you make your piece with that, you’ll successfully remove all limits!


Success factor #9 – Tendency to plan the future and willingness to execute the plan(s)

Yes, it’s about famous goals. After all, that’s what success is all about. Accomplishment of an aim or purpose. But to be able to accomplish something, you are supposed to plan the sequence of steps that will lead you to that particular success.

People who are considering themselves “unlucky” and have tendency to blame others just to justify own reluctance to exit comfort zones, are simply people who won’t invest even a slightest effort to create a plan after setting certain goal.

Instead, they waste time and end up borrowing money from the bank to pay for kid’s tuition for example, even though they knew for years, that day is coming when kid will need the money.

We are talking about 16-18 years, depending on the part of the world and educational model. 18 years and at the end, he picks up the loan, further burdening himself and the kid later on.

Whose fault is it when you have a 24-year-old with $125,000 of student loans to pay back? He/she’s fucked even before the real start.

How hard was it to take the damn calculator, sum some numbers and adjust the overall financial strategy?

 Been short of some $80,000? That’s freakin’ $4,444 annually in next 18 years or $148 per day! Sounds like something unachievable?


Almost everything can be predicted, contrary to general belief. It’s just a reluctance to do it that causes people to struggle in some period of life.


Success factor #10 – Choice of social environment

Do you know what gives birth to sadists, sociopaths and other fuckups of our society?

Parents who, in one hand, did every effort to put that child down, and failed/refused to make any effort to cheer that child, in other. That’s how you get for instance serial killer, pathological arsonist or drug addict.

It’s about predominant and determining influence of child’s closest social environment.

Same principle applies to success of any kind.

For example, nobody would ever climb Mt. Everest if it wasn’t for the support of the like-minded people, who perceived that peak as the ultimate achievement. The event of every individual conquering of that peak is a result of a healthy (balanced) combination of support and competition.

Thus, the premise:


Ditch all those false prophets, blamers, justifiers and lazy asses. Remove either them or yourself if you ever want to succeed in anything. Because spite is not the optimal method for reaching the goal.

Once you do it, surround yourself with the like-minded people, who will not only support you but also help you along the path you’re about to take!


Good luck to you and all the best from the Ballz Magazine Crew! We can only hope that this short tutorial will provide you with useful guidance in your future efforts to improve the overall quality of not only your life but also the lives of people that surround you!



About the author

Igor K

Former detective, now entrepreneur with the passion for applied investigative journalism, profiling, personal development and business analyses.