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PPI #128: 4 Cornerstones of Achievement

Eric Partaker

Achieving your dreams doesn’t require any special gifts or abilities. It just requires that you respect four cornerstones of achievement. Today you’ll learn what they are.


Plan ahead! – You need a sense of what the vision is you’re trying to achieve. You need to understand where you are heading. The plan should include the ultimate vision that you’re trying to achieve, what you need to be doing by when, an overall timeline, and also pre-empting what could go wrong. 

Take Bold Action – Remove yourself from your comfort zone. Put stress on your body and cause it to grow.

Get the Right Things Done – Schedule it, Single task, and Show up. Give yourself the same respect you would give to somebody else.

You Can’t Achieve Greatness On Your Own! – Work with others, acquire skills, expertise and learn from them.



Achieving your dreams doesn’t require any special gifts or abilities. It just requires that you respect four cornerstones of achievement. And unless you respect these fundamentals, your chances of achieving your goals is virtually zero. But by the end of today, you’re going to understand exactly what these four cornerstones are, so that you can be achieving your goals more rapidly and with better results.

Hi, my name is Eric Partaker, and I’ve been recognized as an award-winning entrepreneur and the CEO of the year. I’m also the author of two best-selling books, including The Three Alarms. And for me, achievement has been a love and hate relationship. For the first half of my life, I was not an achievement machine. I was a dreamer, and a dreamer in the sense of I had all of these great ideas, but they’d never seem to get done. I would try my hardest to achieve things and I just didn’t get the results that I wanted. And then I realized that I was going amiss on some fundamentals, which we’re going to get into right now.

So number one, the number one thing, cornerstone, that you have to respect when it comes to achievement is plan. You need a plan. You have to have a sense of what’s the vision that you’re trying to achieve? Where is it that you want to go? By when? You need to know where you’re driving. You can’t just jump into the car and hit the gas and start driving and hope that you’re going to arrive at your destination. You need a map. You need to understand where you’re going. And you don’t even need to do this just in your own. If you are working with others, or if you have others that you trust and that you’d appreciate their opinion, then you can pull them into the mix.

And you can say, “Hey, look, this is what I’m trying to achieve. This is my general plan or vision for getting there. What could I do to improve upon this? How might I make this better? What might I be missing?” Or, you could even ask, “If I were to fail in a year’s time, what would be the reasons why I would fail?” You can ask that of yourself. You can ask others to give their two cents on that question for you. But the first cornerstone of achievement is all about planning. You need to have a plan for where you’re going, or you’re basically planning to go nowhere. So that plan should include the ultimate vision that you’re trying to achieve, what you need to be doing by when, an overall timeline, and also thinking through the potential things that could go wrong.

The number two thing that you need to do when it comes to achievement is get into the mindset of taking bold action. Too often, we look at taking action that just keeps us within our comfort zone, but your growth is not within your comfort zone. Think about it this way. If you were to go into a gym and if the personal trainer said to you, “I have a great idea to help build strength and endurance today. We’re going to keep you in your comfort zone,” it’s like you’re not going to get any stronger if that’s going to be the approach by the personal trainer. You have to step outside of your comfort zone. That’s how you get stronger. You go into something uncomfortable, you stress your muscle, you stress your body, and it causes it to grow.

It’s the same thing with achievement. If you don’t stress yourself and step outside of that comfort zone with bold action, action that maybe you haven’t done before, just like being in the gym once again, and perhaps you lift that weight that you haven’t lifted before or try to run a little bit farther, it’s those bold actions when it comes to exercise that create the growth for you. And similarly, it’s those bold actions that are just outside your comfort zone that create the growth in your ability to achieve the things that you want to achieve.

So look at your plan, look at the things that you’d like to achieve, and ask yourself which of those things are within my comfort zone and which of those things would require some kind of development, which of those things would push me a little bit outside, a little bit uncomfortable, a little bit stressful. It doesn’t have to be overwhelming, but it needs to be a little bit outside, because that’s where your growth lies. It’s just on the other side of your comfort zone. So the number two cornerstone for achievement is getting into the habit of looking to take bold action, action, once again, that pushes you outside of what you thought was possible, and not by too much, but just enough that it causes your muscle of achievement to grow.

The number three thing that is a cornerstone for achievement is your ability to focus on getting the right things done throughout the day on a day to day basis. And I’m going to give you a super simple technique to help you in this regard. But before I do that, I want to ask you a question. When was the last time that you needed to meet with somebody, because it was really, really important, super important, but you decided to just not schedule the meeting? Probably didn’t happen, right? If it’s an important thing for you to do with someone else, you schedule the meeting, you schedule it and it happened.

Okay, next question. You’ve scheduled that meeting with somebody because it’s important. When was the last time that you just didn’t show up for that important meeting? Just, yeah, you just weren’t there. You booked it, you scheduled it, but never arrived. And that probably never happened either, right? Or maybe very rarely, maybe there was an emergency or something, and that was a reasonable excuse for not showing up. But I don’t mean those reasons. I mean when you voluntarily just decided to not show up, and again, it’s probably never happened.

And then last question, so for that important meeting that you scheduled, that you showed up to, when was the last time you sat there in that meeting as I am right now, meeting with you, when was the last time when you just grabbed your phone, and as the person’s talking, you just start scrolling on stuff, or they’re talking and you just kind of turn away and start talking to somebody else or looking at something else, or you just get up and leave. You sat there for your coffee, and you’re just like, you don’t even say anything to the person. You just literally get up and you walk out. That never happens.

Why doesn’t that ever happen? What’s the one word that comes to mind? Why don’t you not schedule the important things, not show up for them, not just focus on the person? Why wouldn’t you do any of those kind of like joking around things that I just said with someone else? What’s the one word that comes to mind? You probably thought of the word respect, that you have too much respect for the other person to do that. So boom, that is the third cornerstone of achievement. I want you to start having respect for yourself, because you demonstrate incredible respect for others, and if you just demonstrate that same respect for yourself, you’ll get so much done on a daily basis.

And how do I connect all this together? What do I mean? Get into the habit, this is an absolute cornerstone for achievement, of doing something I call the three S’s. If it’s important, schedule it, show up for it, and single task for it, just like you do with others. Demonstrate that same respect you do to someone else with yourself, and create appointments with yourself in your calendar to work on the things which are important for your achievement, important for your development, important for your life, important for your work. Schedule them in. Show up for them. Single task. That’s the number three cornerstone of achievement.

And the number four cornerstone of achievement is you can’t achieve anything on your own. At least, you won’t achieve something great and something amazing on your own. Nobody achieves greatness on their own. You have to work with others. That could be others through a book. You could be needing to acquire skills or expertise, and so you’re downloading somebody’s knowledge, compressed within a book. It could be meeting somebody. It could be taking a course. But you need to be working with others to also achieve the things that you want to achieve.

So what I encourage you to do is just to step back and say, how might I be making this too difficult by trying to do it on my own, and who might I ask for advice? What might I read to improve my skills? What might I do to improve my abilities? The secret to achievement lies in gathering that power from other people and bringing it into work with you.

And I’d love to hear from you, so don’t forget to leave a comment and a rating, as well. And if you’d like to get a copy of my new book, The Three Alarms, please head over to my website at That’s E-R-I-C,, where you can pick up a free digital copy of my new bestselling book, The 3 Alarms.

Eric has been named "CEO of the Year" at the 2019 Business Excellence Awards, one of the "Top 30 Entrepreneurs in the UK" by Startups Magazine, and among "Britain's 27 Most Disruptive Entrepreneurs" by The Telegraph.

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