Crushing Defeat or Wild Success? The 3 Pillars of a Support System

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In the early 1900’s, an author by the name of Napoleon Hill was commissioned by Andrew Carnegie (The steel magnate) to interview the top 500 richest people in the world and create the common formula for great riches. After many years of hard work, Napoleon Hill published his masterpiece “Think and Grow Rich”. The book contained the formula for great riches and Napoleon Hill became very wealthy himself by teaching people around the globe the secret to creating great wealth.

Throughout history, many people have searched far and wide for the formula for riches. Some people would call it the Philosopher’s stone (the stone that could turn lead to gold) or the fountain of youth.

The truth is, Napoleon Hill’s formula for great riches is all of the above. It can turn lead (or even thin air) into gold and can also preserve youth and beauty if used correctly.

Man has scoured the earth for these arcane abilities and yet, everything a person needs to know about success is in the book “Think and Grow Rich”.

Relatively recently, a Canadian entrepreneur and author by the name of Doug Vermeeren studied the formula for wealth and decided to do a modern study of Napoleon Hill’s work.

Doug interviewed the top 500 achievers in the world including CEO’s of major corporations, sports stars, actors, athletes and many types of people that were excluded from Napoleon Hill’s list (which were mostly industrialists, inventors and entreprneurs).

Throughout Doug’s study, he has been able to add extra insight to Napoleon Hill’s work and in some circles Doug Vermeeren has been given the title of “the modern day Napoleon Hill”.

I recently had the privilege of spending a day with Doug Vermeeren and I was fortunate to have him pass on some knowledge to me.

One concept that Doug shared was “the 3 pillars for achievement”.

Throughout Doug’s studies, he found that there are 3 things that top achievers all have:


1)   Affectionate Loving Parents

2)   A supportive partner

3)   A deep religious faith

The common denominator between affectionate loving parents, a supportive partner and a deep religious faith is that every one of the “pillars” supports achiever in the mental, physical, emotional and spiritual realms.

In other words, the top achiever is not succeeding alone, but has extra support in all aspects of life. This person has the power of many, but is perceived as succeeding alone.

To paraphrase T Harv Ecker, money is created in the physical realm because it is a “print out” of the mental, emotional and spiritual realms.

Wealth and riches are created inside of us in intangible realms and the results are manifested through physical success. We see the results of the wealth physically, but do not see the mental, physical, emotional changes, shifts and support systems that manifest physical wealth, money and success.

When we examine the three pillars for top achievement, we can easily see why top achievers have a higher probability of success if they possess all three pillars.

AFFECTIONATE LOVING PARENTS: Affectionate loving parents are very important for top achievers because parents form the base of a child’s self esteem. Self-esteem is crucial to becoming a top achiever because it allows a person to take a risk. I call self-esteem “emotional capital” and people with high self-esteem are able to take risks and withdraw from their “emotional bank account”. People with abusive parents or absent parents may have depleted emotional bank accounts and will have a much harder time taking risks. Unconditional love from a parent is very important when taking risks because the risk taker will know that no matter how bad they fail, their parents will always be there to support them emotionally, physically, mentally and spiritually.

A SUPPORTIVE PARTNER: When Warren Buffett was asked to give advice to a graduating class of Ivey League students he bluntly offered one pearl of wisdom: “Marry the right person”. When a top achiever is going to “put it all on the line” and chase their dream, they require their partner/spouse to do one of two things:

a)   Actively pursue the dream with them OR

b)   Passively support their partner emotionally, physically, mentally and most importantly, spiritually

Top achievers will go through hell and back to become the best in their field. There is an unwritten law in the world that states, “When you push on the world, it pushes back” and oftentimes, people who pursue excellence in their field are met with great adversity at every turn. Whether it is jealous peers, rivals or other unsavory people, the road to the top is not easy. Emotional and spiritual support from a primary relationship is absolutely essential for success to take place. Without this key support, a person will easily be crushed when faced with enough pressure and adversity. A supportive spouse will make a top achiever twice as strong and twice as resilient when “the world pushes back”. If you are single, make sure you heed Buffett’s advice and marry the right person.

A DEEP RELIGIOUS FAITH: Faith is a key ingredient to great success and achievement. I have shifted my spiritual belief system many times in my life but have always retained one key factor called “faith”. Faith is an extremely important part of success because faith allows a person to make leaps in logic.

For example, if we want to be the best salesperson in the country, but have only made a handful of sales, logic would tell us that our outcome of becoming the best to be very unlikely. If we listen to logic, we will always give up without trying.

However, if we feel it in our heart, guts, mind, body, and soul that we believe that we will become the best salesperson in the country, then faith will allow us to leap over the logical argument and pursue our vision with burning determination.

Faith is one of the most powerful techniques that top achievers use because it can help us to achieve things that are unbelievable, improbable and super-human. Faith allows us to harness the greater invisible spiritual forces around us that some would call “the power of intention”, “infinite intelligence”, “the universe” or “god” and use these forces to achieve our wildest dreams against all odds.

WARNING: Although faith can be extremely powerful in the positive sense, faith itself is a double-edged sword. Faith allows the user to leap in logic, which can be used in a positive way to achieve greater goals with no prior experience. However, faith can also leap logic in the wrong direction and create a closed off mind that can completely cripple a thinking mind. Use faith wisely and consider the cause and effect of such a wildly powerful tool. As the label often reads on potent substances: read the manual, consult a professional and use with extreme caution.

Although we often see success in it’s physical manifestation, true success is first created in the non-physical realms of the spiritual, mental and emotional. Only once “inner” success has been found can “outer” physical success be manifested through wealth and riches.

Having a strong support system in the intangible realms through loving parents, a supportive spouse and a strong religious faith are the foundation of the structure that is required to reach the stars and become a top achiever.

Take a moment to take an inventory of your life and your support system. Ask yourself “Which parts of this system do I have today?” and “which parts are lacking?” find ways to strengthen your deficiencies and create stronger relationships.

In the end, no one succeeds alone and great relationships can make the difference between wild success and crushing defeat.

Like grass, relationships require watering and maintenance. Take care of your relationships, water them, fertilize them, manicure them and watch them grow. Consistently be mindful of your support network, treat your support network better than gold and your results will be startling.

Thanks for reading,

Stefan Aarnio

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