Measuring Success: Undeniable Proof That You Can Do It

Hey, it’s You! I’m glad you’re here. As you may know, I’m something of a mathy, nerdy, analytical “Well, actually…” type. There’s nothing much to be done about it right now, it’s just a fact. Well actually, it so happens that I’ve just gotten through crunching some very important numbers for measuring success, and the conclusion of my data is clear: You can do it.

I know, I know, it’s a pretty big deal. All these years, all the defeats, struggles and obstacles. How many times have you and I each said “I just can’t do it,” and been ready to give up?

But we were wrong about that, exactly as many times as we’ve said it. The numbers don’t lie.

Now, I’m sure that you’re every bit as excited as I am about this historic finding, and are raring to dive into the data. That’s what I love about you. And as a scientist at heart, I welcome you to challenge my research and disprove my findings. But, protip: you can’t. I’m going to show you my full methodology for measuring success. Here are the calculations that show, unequivocally, that you can do it.

Measuring Success, Step 1: Coefficient of Capability

First I’ve calculated your coefficient of capability, a number that will determine precisely how capable you actually are, from a scientific perspective.

Number of things of which you are capable (A): ∞
Things you have learned, done, and accomplished so far (B): a BUNCH
Coefficient of Capability (A-B): ∞

I have had it up to here with the phrase “[pronoun] is only human.” Why is being human an excuse to make less of ourselves? What are we even comparing to? No other animal has mastered its existence like we have. No machine is capable of everything we can do. Not one thing has yet proven to be completely impossible to the collective power of humanity.

And you and I are a part of it. Every obstacle we face, we are capable of learning, growing, and rising to. You are an infinitely capable machine. What arrogance it would be to assume that whatever individual challenges we face exist beyond the bounds of infinity. 

It stands to reason that whatever “it” may be, you can do it.

Step 2: Distance to Start

Second, I’ve calculated how wide the gap is between where you are now, and starting your next dream or goal. Turns out, it’s about 1… unit of gap.

Initial position: 0
Position of first step: 1
Distance to Start (B-A): 1

If you have a dream that you haven’t started on yet, then just stop. Sorry, not like, stop the dream. Stop not starting. So, what I mean is, y’know, start.

It only takes one step. One, single, little, tiny, baby step. It’s true that we rarely reach our dreams in a single step. We reach them slowly, carefully, through long periods of persistence, learning, and adaptability. But all of those things sleep among the impossible until you have one thing behind you: the first step.

I challenge you, nay I dare you, to stand up and say out loud, “I can’t take one, single, little, tiny, baby step.” If you succeed, you will have succeeded in lying — because I know you can take a tiny step. It feels hard because that first step is the only thing between you and failure. In reality, it’s the only thing between you and enduring success. All you need is a little bit of motivation. What is the greater failure, a misstep on the road to your dreams, or not stepping onto that road at all?

Step 3: Stoppability Ratio

Finally, to complete my analysis, I’ve calculated your personal stoppability ratio, to determine how likely it is that you will be stopped by life’s wacky curveballs.

Times that life has tried to stop you (A): Indeterminate natural number
Times that it has succeeded (B): 0
Stoppability ratio (B/A): 0%

I don’t know how many times life’s myriad obstacles have gotten in your way, pushed you down, or thrown a brick at your sand castle and then peed in the sad, sandy remains just to make you feel bad. But I do know this: It’s more than once. It’s a lot more than once.

The other thing I know, thanks to my number-crunching analysis, is that it has not worked. You’re here, aren’t you? Sure, you’ve had setbacks, and times where you needed to re-assess and shift to a new game plan. But you’re lying to yourself, me, and whatever you hold dear if you try to say that all that has stopped you. You’re still here, and you’re not done yet — not by a long shot.

measuring success title pin

How are you measuring success in your life? Do you dispute my findings? Share your thoughts below!


  1. Ann said:

    Well now that I’ve got the numbers…nah, just kidding. I’m no champion with numbers. But the words worked for me! Fun article. It’s cool to look at things from a very different type of perspective.

    September 20, 2020
    • Sam said:

      Sometimes I’ve just got to raise my geek flag when I’m looking for a new way to encourage people 🙂

      September 21, 2020
  2. Haha I love this Sam! Great message and very entertaining delivery – I really enjoyed reading it.

    As for how I measure success, personally, it’s more than about achieving the end result. Success can be measured in a lot of ways including learning a valuable lesson, any sort of forward progress, or effort (like taking that first baby step you mentioned). Those are all wins in my book. If you consistently keep stringing those little wins together day in and day out, it will be hard NOT to achieve that end goal.

    September 21, 2020
    • Sam said:

      So much this. I believe that end results do matter, but to a much lesser degree than we give them credit for. There is so much more success to realize in the pursuit of constant learning, adapting, and improving.

      September 22, 2020
  3. Amie said:

    This is such an interesting post, and I love the way that you’ve presented it. Valuable lessons and moving forward even just small steps makes the world of difference!

    Love, Amie ❤
    The Curvaceous Vegan

    September 25, 2020
    • Sam said:

      No doubt, small steps can lead to major breakthroughs, and you never know when they may come so we just have to keep at it!

      September 27, 2020
  4. Nicci said:

    Sam, I love this! Never thought I’d enjoy maths but here I am smiling away reading this! This is so well written and witty and actually did make me come away with a more positive attitude toward my goals, so thank you!

    June 29, 2021
    • Sam said:

      Thank you, I’m glad you liked it! It’s certainly not very mathy math, but I was happy to add a new take on encouraging thoughts to help lift people up!

      July 7, 2021

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *