Kevin Hogan

International Speaker

Latest Articles:  Stopping the Black Swan Can You Become a New Person?

Success Series pt. 1

The Simple Decision

Decision to Succeed Kevin Hogan

Is it really a “simple decision” to succeed?

If it were, wouldn’t it be true that everyone has decided at one time or another they’d like to succeed instead of fail?

Can you really live life your way, the way you choose?

I’m one of those “exception/polarity responder” types that reactively sees the exception automatically in anything I see. Mostly, it’s my skeptical nature that has been cultivated by life.

This trait irritates me in others, yet I respect the trait for what it does…it causes people to think carefully.

The decision to live by choice is probably the most difficult decision to make for one of the most valuable outcomes you could hope for.

But it sounds ethereal. Is this about making a decision?


Yet, that really is what it’s all about, isn’t it?

If you don’t…then you are a slave…and I’ve never been big on slavery…the restriction by others on you that takes away your freedom to choose…if you so choose to choose…

Living Life on Your Terms…IS success.

Write that down. Highlight it. Bold it. Stick it on a post-it note next to your computer.

IF you identify with “living life your way”, then indeed you are a success. If you don’t, then you aren’t, and I would argue that meaning in life often comes from living life as you choose.

Living Life as you choose doesn’t happen in an instant. But the decision to do so DOES.

Living As You Choose Is Success

Today…it is my hope that you are a work in progress.

There were a lot of times in life where I felt I was a work in REgress. I never wanted to fail, or to live life in a way such that there would be no story worth telling later in life…life just sort of SLID into regression…and for a good while…but did it…SLID?

Probably not. When you put the car in neutral and you have been driving up the hill…you let go of the break and you go down backward…you regress. It’s a choice. You SLID…ed. When you put the car in neutral without it being in an appropriate place to put it in neutral, you failed.

I’ve never experienced more people talking with me about this “place in life” as I have the last year or two.

Obviously, the vast majority of people aren’t anywhere near where they want to be in life. And little do they know that where they want to be is NOT where they think it is. The picture of the destination is not it’s actual location! It begins with decision and getting out of neutral. Today might be the right day to hit the brakes before you slid too far down the hill, then begin accelerating forward, because THAT is what must happen in real life.

The very good news is that for the most part, you and your life are in your own hands.

Ultimately, with a few exceptions along the way, where other people can stop your cold, you decide where you want to be and when you want to be there. The decisions you make are your decisions.

Now, sometimes stuff happens that you aren’t responsible for, and it gets in your way and you feel like it locks you into a prison. You become the mouse in the maze. Going left, then right, then back around until you end up in worst shape than where you began.

Stopping that movie…full stop requires strength of character.

And this, of course, is where character is built…but most people don’t enjoy building character!

Feeling Trapped From Past Decisions

Today, you may feel trapped. You ended up that way because of the stuff that happened and because of the decisions you made to get trapped.

And here is a crucial while irritating fact.

In most cases, the stuff that happens in life is only as powerful as the preparation that was made for the stuff likely to happen.

This is where people lack the ability to analyze their road to “now”, and without accurate analysis, they will believe that only the decisions they make from today forward will impact their future.

Not true. (Read it again.)

The decisions you’ve made for years bring often bring you to today, and many of them you are stuck with for life. Other decisions will take time to get over.

Here’s an example:

One good choice within the decision to succeed is the decision to have a job with a renewable resource.

What’s a job with a “renewable resource”?

Page 2

Success Requires Financial Freedom

Example: If you are selling casualty insurance, you have a renewal with most policies each year; and the income that you earn from previous work goes into the future. It’s a very smart professional choice to be in the insurance biz.

Not everyone is going to set income records selling insurance, but the concept is worth keeping in mind. That renewing resource is your safety net. Whatever it is you are going to be doing for the next decade you want to have a renewable element in that equation.

Then, you have the money that you put into investments for when you can’t “work,” and you have security and financial freedom.

My definition of “success” (for most people) is living by choice, and that requires financial freedom.

Financial freedom is simply a math problem that based upon what you have today, you can predictably live on that for the rest of your life, if you chose to.

Now, let’s be real.

You may feel you’re in a helpless situation. You feel that way because of the decisions you and those around you made. You will continue to feel that way if you decide to stay where you are.

Nothing will “happen” that will change anything (except for the worse). You’ve got to make a number of secondary decisions if you are going to move forward and not let your life situations decay.

The good news is you can make the decision to get out of this situation and experience “new life.”

Experience New Life

You’ll experience feelings that will at first be very uncomfortable, often cause fear… and eventually empower you. Eventually those feelings will inspire you….feelings that will enable you to further your journey of success.

So if it all comes down to decisions…what the heck is standing in the way (besides all the decisions of the past that continue to impact us)?!

There are a number of obstacles…than can lead to disastrous consequences…most of which can be remarkably easy to overcome. Here they are….

Familiarity, comfort, habit, resistance and fear. Those four horseman of the apocalypse.


Comfort is an enemy of success in relationships, career…everything.

To succeed, you depart from your comfort zone out of Gate F 11 in the Blue Concourse. Next week I’ll talk a LOT about The Comfort Zone. For the moment, if you don’t get on the plane and do some really different things…you decay. You have entropy. You have failure.

Think about it. While you are in your comfort zone, you sit back and find comfort in being mentally lazy or living that which is familiar.

Then, people expect things to just happen. People get comfortable and often think they are supposed to lay back in the recliner and the world will wait on them.

This mentality will kill a successful spirit…and the security of those that depend on the guy in the recliner.

The comfort mindset is the enemy of achievement and security.

End Comfort Zone Begin Life

In caveman terms….the successful lifestyle calls for you to go out, kill something and drag it home.

If you want it, go get it.

No animal ever came up to the Neanderthal’s villa and said, “Hey bud, time to kill me so you have food for next week. It’s 100% you to get up and grab your spear…geesh.”

Success doesn’t come knocking at your door. It just does not happen. Not when you are awake, at least.


Habit can be an enemy of success OR it can be the backbone for achieving success. Let’s talk about the bad guy first. You can probably answer this question before you even finish hearing it.

Question: What are some habits that crush any chance of achieving success?

Potential Answers:

  • Laziness
  • Complacency
  • Procrastination
  • Lack of Self-Control

Do any of these look familiar? Are you where you want to be? Perhaps a couple of the above habits need to be banished from your life?

One of the most difficult things to do is to stop a bad habit. And then of course…another extremely difficult thing to do is to start a good habit. Now combine those and try to stop a bad habit and start a good habit at the same time.

Two decisions and effort will be required.

What are they???

Page 3

Become Angry Enough to Change

Here’s a good way to overcome the indecision insanity.

Get angry enough at your current circumstance that you D-E-C-I-D-E to make a change. The most effective tool for change is a concrete, rock solid, put my life on the line and kick my butt…. decision.

There is a common attribute that almost all successful people have. That attribute is habit. But not just any habit. The habits of success will bring success in your life.


Resistance can be a good thing. But it’s not a good thing when you are trying to achieve something. Resistance can be seen through behaviors such as procrastination and just negative thinking in general. Resistance can cripple any potential successes or be a blockade to keep successful living from flourishing.

How do you know if you’re resisting successful living?

Not rocket science….

Are you in the same place now you were in 3 months ago? 6 months ago? 1 year ago?

You are successfully achieving…resisting successful living.

Why would anyone want to resist successful living?

People are too comfortable to change. Evolution hasn’t wired you to think past getting your genes passed on to the next generation and keep them alive until they are old enough to fly on their own.

There’s always a very reasonable question of the unknown element of success. On a nonconscious level there is an absolute terror of success. Sometimes that fear is paired with another…the fear of failure.

Which brings us to the next horseman…Fear.


Fear can be the most crippling, unrelenting, paralyzing, scary emotion you will ever experience, if you let it. Fear plays a part in our every day lives and it can keep you from failing, flailing, falling or from a fling.

And…it will keep you from taking risks. It will push you back toward that which is familiar.

Consequently, it will keep you from successful living.

So how do you overcome and vanish fear?

You have to get angry and walk through the fire of fear.

Are you afraid of heights?

Climb a mountain.

Are you afraid of meeting someone who could become a new boyfriend or girlfriend?

Go strike up a conversation with interesting people every chance you get.

Do you fear public speaking?

Sign up for The Professional Speaking course this month.

You can decide to be a person of fear or you can decide NOT to be.

Fear can be your end, or it can be your beginning.

If you decide fear is going to rule your decisions about how to succeed or not, then you won’t, so hop in the recliner and watch old Starsky and Hutch reruns. But if you decide that fear will be your motivator to overcome everything that may hold you back, then you will be on top in a short amount of time.

Here’s a secret: It’s not as far to the top as people think it is….not anymore!

Fear = Limitations

Fearless = Endless Opportunity

Next week I’m going to give you a few exception to the “rules” but for now, grab and digest the rules.

How do you create an incredibly successful life?

Page 4

Creating an Incredibly Successful Life

Do you look around observing how certain others seem to be living that life of success that you are after?


Create Your Success

They decided to get on a raft because the current life was a road to desolation.

They built the raft.
They got on the raft.
They got a map.
They set sail.
They arrived to a whole new set of problems.
They got sent back, or they found their dream.

It was like that in 1620 when a bunch of white dudes came over from England and ran into some of my ancestors here in North America.

Of course, I was lucky. My direct ancestors weren’t eliminated by one side or the other.

The answer to success is not in wishing for success. The answer to successful living dwells within the one who is doing the reaching.

Look, what sets you apart from everyone else?

Go ahead. Briefly consider 3 areas in your life that are absolutely, without a doubt, totally different than anyone you know?

What are some habits that you have and no one else can claim?

Your habits. Scratch them down on a piece of paper. The more, the better.

Next week I’ll show you what to do with that list and how to use it!


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