The Three Keys of Success

Tips for a Successful Life

Winning the Inner Game – 1st Key of Success

We all have what we call the inner game, or Thought Habits, habitual ways of thinking. They allow us to either talk ourselves into or out of opportunities daily. Thought Habits also impact whether one’s thinking is positive or negative. Quotes are one of many ways people keep their thoughts positive. We are aspirational by nature, and quotes can help us see something in ourselves we want to change or serve as a reminder about who we want to become. For example, a quote by W. Clement Stone became an important belief and driving force in my life:

“To every disadvantage, there is a corresponding advantage. Find it!”

Maybe I saw the “find it” as more of a challenge. Mr. Stone’s quote has become an important part of my life. Imagine developing the thought habit of finding solutions. Self-confidence increases, stress is dramatically reduced, and deep inside, you know things will work out. Why? Because they always do.

When I heard Tony Robbins say, “Success leaves clues.” My realization – there is no need to reinvent the wheel. Learn from the masters, take what you learn, and use it to go further, faster, and easier through life. Once we take responsibility for our lives, we understand we can control our thinking and develop thought habits that assist us in winning the inner game. Henry Ford said it best,

“Think you can or think you can’t; either way, you will be right.”

Make this your mindset for life, and you will possess a belief that will instill confidence. You will also realize you now have the 1st Key of Success – Right Thinking.

What quote motivates you the most?


The Knowledge of the Mind Becomes Knowledge of the Heart – 2nd Key of Success

Many let their dreams die unlived. Many let the circumstances in life dictate their lifelong journey and end up as a victim of circumstance, never finding the 1st Key of Success – Right Thinking.

Realizing you are different, you decide you want to make your life more than a dream. You want to make it your reality. But most importantly, you are becoming passionate about it. It is at this moment you will discover the 2nd Key of Success, the Key of Passion. The moment when the knowledge of the mind becomes knowledge of the heart. It becomes an inner knowing, an inner belief, a driving force. While the first key deals with dreams, the second key is about turning those dreams into reality. Using the IT Formula is how to make the magic happens! And remember, if you ever lose your passion, go back to the 1st Key of Success – thinking. You will find something has changed in your thinking.

What are you passionate about? What do you want your life to look like? Invest time in writing a list of your passions.


The 3rd Key of Success

The 3rd and final Key of Success is where the magic happens. We have introduced the 1st Key of Success – Right Thinking and the 2nd Key of Success – Passion. The first and second keys are combined through the 3rd Key of Success. However, this is where many people fall short. They become victims of life’s circumstances that distract them and dictate their lifelong journey, and many of their dreams die unlived. But not you, for you have found the 3rd Key of Success – Body Language. You understand the importance of daily habits and behaviors that serve you as you shed those habits and behaviors that hold you back. You realize:

Success is taking one or more daily action steps toward your goals.keys

In doing so, you gain momentum and confidence and develop the habit of success.

Here are vital habits and behaviors that will benefit you on your journey:

  1. Always put your goals in writing.
  2. As you begin your day, read one page from a book that points your mind in a positive direction.
  3. Plan your tomorrow the night before.
  4. As your day ends, write down your successes for the day and three things you are grateful for this day.

These are just a few ideas to get you moving, as Body Language is the 3rd Key of Success and is all about taking action. Making the 3 Keys of Success part of your lifestyle will make your success inevitable.


Author Larry Tracey is the founder of Youth4Youth. Y4Y develops success and leadership skills in youth and promotes school safety by treating everyone with respect. He serves as WOW Coalition Program Director, a prevention association that promotes safe and healthy choices and responds to problems caused by alcohol, marijuana, and Rx abuse by implementing strategies to prevent and reduce youth substance use. For additional information, visit or


This publication was made possible by grant number H79T1083320 from SAMHSA. The views, opinions and content of this publication are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views, opinions, or policies of SAMHSA or HHS.

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