The Guaranteed Formula for Success

Everday in the morning, before I start the hustle and bustle of the day, I have my “to do lists” ready for me and covering all aspects of life: business, projects, kids, home, etc. Sometimes the number of lists I have and the number of items on these lists scare me as I feel like I am not going to get through it all.  The little story that I have read in Tom Peters’ recent book “The Little BIG Things: 163 Ways to Pursue Excellence” made me appreciate the benefits of living with my to do lists.

I have two notebooks to keep my to do lists and daily notes; one for business, the other one for personal stuff

A man approached J.P. Morgan, held an envelope, and said, “Sir, in my hand I hold a guaranteed formula for success, which I will gladly sell you for $25,000.”

“Sir”, J.P. Morgan replied, “I do not know what is in the envelope; however, if you show it to me, and I like it, I give you my word as a gentleman that I will pay you what you ask.” The man agreed to the terms, and handed over the envelope. J.P. Morgan opened it and extracted a single sheet of paper. He gave it one look, a mere glance, then handed the piece of paper back to the gentleman and paid him the agreed-upon $25,000. The contents of the note:

  1. Every morning, write a list of the things that need to be done that day.
  2. Do them.

It is worth to start preparing your to do lists as the formula is so simple.


P.S. 1: Having to do lists is an important part of effective time management. For further reading, these sites will be interesting for you:

P.S. 2: Tom Peters is best known with his book “In Search of Excellence” (1982) which became a worldwide best-seller. His recent book  “The Little BIG Things: 163 Ways to Pursue Excellence” (2010) has also been viewed as one of the best management books. The book includes 163 tips which are validated through Tom Peters’ experience.

Edited by Neville Wells

One Reply to “The Guaranteed Formula for Success”

  1. Didem says:

    Reading Tom Peter’s book will be one of the things I’ll put in my to do list 🙂 Thanks.

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