Doomed To Succeed

Steven Barnes
4 min readMay 18, 2019

My goal in life is to enable one million awake, aware, adult human beings. Some would say this is helping people achieve mastery in their lives. I’ll buy that, because as Jerry Pournelle said, “once you’ve mastered anything, you know how to master anything else.”

The definition of “Mastery” embraced by Lifewriting uses it as a verb rather than a noun, a vector rather than a position. Once you have the “basics” of your craft at the level of unconscious competence, and have committed to the path for a lifetime, you are as much a “Master” as anyone else on that path, even if they are horizons beyond you.

It is SO hard to help students understand this: they make the mistake of thinking “Mastery” is some distant, unattainable thing like “enlightenment”, rather than something they can actually access within themselves.

There are signposts along the way, things that tell you you are doing the work, and are in the zone where the changes happen. I want to share with you one of the clearest of such signposts I’ve seen.

Over on the Facebook Lifewriting page, MISTY SOL said: “Just sent out another story!!! I’m shooting for 2 a week…also…on my daily writing thang… and you know what, I don’t care anymore if they accept my stories. You want to know why? I don’t care because I’m a writer, a storyteller, and have been for a long time. I’m good. I know who and what I am. And I’ll have readers. In fact, some pretty important people in the publishing biz are reading my work. I know this because I have over 20 rejection notices from the past year (and counting). If they don’t publish my stuff, that’s their business, literally. I’ll just keep writing because obviously, I’m obsessed with stories.”


Want to see what someone “doomed to succeed” looks like? If her goal is to publish lots of stories THIS IS HOW YOU DO IT. Change the nouns and verbs a bit, and you could apply this to any arena of life at all…and make a Winner.

Can we please parse this, one line at a time? I’ll apply the two tools I’m using most right now (the “Hero’s Journey” is always hovering in the background, but one needs help navigating the Road of Trials.)

M.A.G.I.C. (“Magic” equals Action times Gratitude times Intention times Conviction) and Brendon Burchard’s “Peak Performance: (Clarity, Energy, Necessity, Productivity, Influence, and Courage)

  1. “Just sent out another story!!! I’m shooting for 2 a week”. Two…
Steven Barnes

Steven Barnes is a NY Times bestselling author, ecstatic husband and father, and holder of black belts in three martial arts.