François de Neuville

Certified High-Performance coach, speaker, author, husband, adventurer, former commando-paratrooper, and tsunami survivor.

The No-Bullshit Guide to Creating Success and Fulfillment in Life & Business

This is an honest no-bullshit guide to creating success and fulfillment in life and business. So, let me warn you; it is probably not the “easy, no effort, immediate effect” answer you were looking for, but something that actually works. If you’re still seeking the shortcut, keep looking; good luck and goodbye.

There are no shortcuts to creating success and fulfillment. You must do the work, live intentionally, and put growth over comfort. And, to put the stakes even higher, you have limited time to do it. Every day, if you want it or not, you have a little less off it, and you can never have it back. To use your time wisely, you must reach a higher level of self-mastery. This is the answer.

Suggestion: in this article, I explain the foundation and refer to many others articles that go in-depth into each specific part to help you build your toolbox and create success and fulfillment. Pin it, save it, wishlist it, memorize the URL, or whatever; you will not be able to explore everything in one day. Choose one section and go deep; learn, reflect, and act. Only when you have created a tiny change, go to the next. Accumulating information will not change your life. Action will.

The latest research shows that, on average, across 195 countries, 100 in 100 people are looking to achieve success and fulfillment in their lifetime. Ok, I made that up; no need for such research. It is pretty obvious. What is interesting, though, is that when you look for the search terms volume for success, happiness, and fulfillment: success comes first.

Google trends comparing succes, happiness and fulfillment

I know this is a guide to success but let’s slow down a moment. Why are people so obsessed with chasing success? How many more people have to create tremendous success and still find themselves unfulfilled for us to understand that success is not everything? Even you, reading this right now, thinking, “yeah, ok, but I still want to be successful!”. I get it, me too! But WHY?

We have this illusion about success and money. We think this is the end goal. While the only thing we really want is to be happy and feel good. And to increase the intensity of our happiness, we need fulfillment.

Success may or may not lead you to fulfillment and happiness. But a fulfilled and happy life will make you feel successful. To have it all, you have to focus on both success and fulfillment while making sure you create happiness along the way.

How to create success and fulfillment in life & business

11 ways, 5 keys, 3 principles, one secret, 9 tips,… and the list goes on! (Btw, why is it always odd numbers? 

Because people make it up!

They use the research in psychology to be more impactful. Odd numbers create more interest because it takes longer for the brain to process. They are, therefore, more thought-provoking and get your attention. Fair enough…

So here is the 3 part formula (no hard feelings for the 3, please) to create success and fulfillment in life and business:

the success formula for success and fulfillment in life & business

You’ll notice 3 different verbs (3 again.. how random?!): to BE, to DO, and to LIVE.

Those 3 principles are the secrets, the best tips, the key elements, and the real way to create success & fulfillment in life and business: The no-bullshit guide to creating success and fulfillment in life and business

We all want fast results with effort! 

7 figures in 7 days, 5000 followers in 2 hours, beach body without working out, weight loss pills,… 

The worst is that people buy that! And have no long-term results, while others make a fortune! 

I am not a marketing expert but if you want to sell something, make it easy, cheap, fast, and guaranteed results without effort!

Those shiny promises directly address the lazy part of our mind that wants to conserve energy and avoid pain while having more immediate pleasure! We are always looking for shortcuts! I don’t blame you; I do it too!

But wait, how much are we willing to lie to ourselves? The reality is that it takes more than a to-do list to create success & fulfillment. It takes a change in your actions, identity, and how you show up every day. It requires effort, time, and reaching a higher level of self-mastery.

Let me show you the way. No bullshit.

Let me put it straight: You’re not here to be average.

The status quo is like a magnet pulling us to reality and away from our dreams. It makes us follow the pre-programmed life: get a job that pays the bills, buy a house, save for retirement, get married, have kids, and die. In other words, do like everybody else and try to minimize the struggle.

Average is boring.

An average life is void of creative expression. It’s life by default based on society’s standards. But it is comfortable, at least we like to think so: stay safe, get by. And that is why it is dangerous: we become too comfortable, settle in and slowly forget about our ambitions and wild desires.

There will always be a possibility for more impact, more health, love, money, fame, success, and fulfillment. I don’t want more because I don’t have enough, but simply because I don’t want my life to be just “nice,” “fine,” or “OK.”  Why would I settle for average when I can experience more?

Isn’t it what we are here for? To become the best of who we can be and support others on their journey?

The moment you think you are on top of the mountain, you stop climbing. The thing is, there is no top to the mountain you’re climbing. There will always be a next level. The key is to be content with what you have while striving for more because it is available to you. I want to be above average because I can. You can.

Life is better when you feel good in your body and mind, experience positive emotions, and feel connected to something bigger than yourself.

When you decide to be great, you design your life, and it is unique in every aspect because it reflects the depth of who you are and the best of who you could be. In my book The Illusion of Time,”I explain that you can be great or make excuses, but you can’t do both simultaneously. You have to choose.

Don’t settle for average. Don’t make excuses. Choose to be GREAT.

To be great, you have to learn to master yourself. 

Self-mastery is not a result; you never really get there. It is following the ultimate process of getting better and better. And transform unconscious incompetence into unconscious competence. 

Part 1: BE GREAT to create success and fulfillment in life & business

Being great means showing up at your best and holding yourself to your highest standards consistently. It is choosing the path of excellence through self-mastery and aiming to be the best of who you can be. We can divide self-mastery into four pillars (Yes, it is an even number; I’m being reckless!): body, mind, emotions, and spirit.

Pilar 1: Learn to master your body

Yes, it is fundamental and common sense. But no, it is not common practice. We tend to overlook the basics and are attracted to fancy stuff. However, you can’t skip that part.

You can have a luxury villa; your body is still the only place you really live in. No sports car, yacht, or private jet will ever compensate for feeling shitty inside. 

I believe mastering your physical body is the simplest step toward being great. But I have to say, it is not easy. With billions of information on the web (most contradictory), knowing whom to trust and what to do is confusing. Learning to sort information and making your own decisions is essential, but we’ll cover that in the next section about mastering your mind. 

You have to learn to nourish your body well and master your food psychology so you can feel at your best and sustain the high level of energy necessary to create success and fulfillment. Having a strong identity around your health will help you face the clever tricks of the food industry that is more preoccupied with making profits than how you feel and act out of integrity in your daily decision. I am not talking about resisting temptation; I am talking about not even being tempted by what you should not eat. No temporary yo-yo diet but a change in your relationship with food to create a healthy lifestyle forever. Yes, it is possible! It changed my life, and it will change yours!

Furthermore, how our society evolves leads us to an ever more sedentary and passive lifestyle. You can order anything from your home, work from home, order ready-to-eat meals, and even clap your hands to switch off the light or ask out loud when you want to play music. We live in lazy land! And our mind likes it! But does our body? Hell, no.

Your body is designed to move. It is not an optional feature. It is a requirement for your health.

You cannot delegate this one. No matter how rich you are, you cannot pay someone to do it for you. Yep, you’ve got to move your ass! 

Don’t worry; you don’t need to be a bodybuilder! You simply need to learn the best intentional movement practices that will keep you fit and healthy.

  • Do you move every day? Great!
  • Do you eat properly? Fantastic!

But that’s not over yet!

The No-Bullshit Guide to Success and Fulfillment

If you don’t create a sleep routine that is right for you and optimize your day to tap into your genius, you will dangerously enter the red zone and exhaust your body. We can debate how much sleep you need to function optimally or when it is best to have meetings or to work out. The thing is, there is no correct answer; it is different for everyone. So if you are not following your schedule, you are probably following someone else’s.

Sleep is the easiest way to restore your body, but it is not enough to maintain well-being and build resilience. You must build the discipline to do the things that make you feel more like yourself. Sounds funny to say it as if it is not automatic to do such things. But the truth is, it is not! We get so caught up in our daily life, between work, households, tasks, etc., that we don’t make enough time for ourselves. We believe that we must always be productive, and we accumulate pressure and stress. I know that, just like everybody else, you don’t have time. But it is not about having the time or not. It is about making the self-care habits that will change your life non-negotiable. Plus, you deserve it.

Lastly, let’s not forget about your presence. Because, yes, appearance matter. Not only your look but also how you move, talk, or stand. You have to understand what it means to show up as your best no matter what and show up intentionally. This is how you can become a better role model and lead the way for others, especially if you are a leader. And you are a leader! Do you have a brother, sister, kids, colleagues, friends, neighbors, etc.? You have a positive or negative influence on all the people in your life. What if you lead the way and become the positive force that inspires people to become great?

Pilar 2: Learn to master your mind

Our mind is our biggest gift and can also be our biggest enemy. Unfortunately, we weren’t born with the manual; and per default, it operates unconsciously. Mastering our mind takes practice and time. Over the past millennia, thinkers have tried to understand the human mind to harness its full capacity and make sense of our behavior. Nobody really cracked the code, but all can agree that our mind is a powerful asset that can help us create wonders or keep us prisoner.

Everything the human species ever created started with a single thought. Look around… Your house, clothes, the device you are reading these lines on, the technologies, etc. But also what you see when you turn the tv on; wars, chaos, fear, suffering, and misery (yes, apparently, they only show that…). That is how powerful the mind is. Our thoughts are a creative and destructive force.

Thoughts come unconsciously or are consciously created. To use our mind as a tool, we must accept that we are both the observer and the thinker of our thoughts. Controlling your thoughts, therefore, means learning to direct your attention to the thoughts that are serving you best and discard the rest.

When you control your thoughts, you influence how you live your life.

While exploring your mind, you’ll start understanding the different narratives you’ve been playing over and over again. Yes, I am talking about the voices in your head.

You have to overcome the voice of the doubter to build self-confidence, choose discomfort, and embrace the imposter syndrome. You are meant for more than good enough.

You must deal with your inner critic to stop sabotaging yourself.

You must develop the willingness to take risks and face the voice of the realist with a growth mindset to live limitless.

Every day you are creating yourself. But transformation takes time, and to keep taking actions over time you must learn how to build self-discipline. To unleash your inner greatness you’ll have to hold yourself to the highest standards and follow the non-negotiable virtues of a man of true character

Sometimes your mind will take over, and negativity will settle in. Eh, we’re human! That’s ok! But you must learn how to bounce back and stay motivated to create success and fulfillment in your life and business. This is the power of commitment.

Mastering your mind doesn’t only mean controlling your thoughts but also developing your cognitive functions. 

In a world overloaded with information, developing your learning and thinking skills is crucial to make the best decision. You don’t need to know everything, we have Google for that, but you absolutely need to know how to research and navigate information.

The No-Bullshit Guide to Success and Fulfillment

As I mentioned above and in my book, we will never have enough time to do everything we want in our life. Our life is the result of what we put our attention to. We have to make wise choices and procrastinate on the right things to master our time and improve our productivity.

Knowing what to do with our time also implies knowing how to interact with the people around us. With nearly 8 billion people on the planet, communication is inevitable. The quality of your life is highly correlated to the quality of your relationships. To create success and fulfillment in life and business, you must learn to master relationships and become a better communicator to influence and persuade people to help you in your quest and support them to be the best they can be.

Transformation doesn’t happen instantly. It takes time, intentionality, and an understanding of how to create habits for success and fulfillment while mastering the art of patience to keep choosing long-term fulfillment instead of short-term gratification.

Pilar 3: Learn to master your emotions

We are very complex beings—the result of millions of years of evolution. Are you feeling special right now? Better be!

To survive and adapt to our environment, we developed multiple ways to analyze the data we receive from our senses. We consciously and unconsciously use those data to adjust our behavior and respond to life’s events.

Our unconscious mind creates emotions based on those data to communicate with the rest of the mind about what it notices. 

The No-Bullshit Guide to Success and Fulfillment

Unfortunately, we are not supported enough to make space for our emotions and learn to use them. Often we are taught to suppress, ignore, and even avoid them. As a result, we miss valuable information about ourselves and get blind to other people’s emotions.

To be great, you have to learn the language of emotions.

When you understand how you feel, and why you feel that way, you can respond better to life. Let’s face it; life is not a smooth ride. That would be boring anyway. Experiencing the full spectrum of our emotions makes us human!

So yes, you will experience hardship and have to deal with pain and suffering.

If you follow your dreams and ambitions, you’ll have to demonstrate courage and overcome your fears

Sometimes you’ll win, and sometimes you’ll fail. You’ll have to overcome negative self-talk and stay in charge to create a more positive psychology when things get tough. With more responsibility, you’ll probably feel overwhelmed, have to deal with stress and anxiety, and eventually develop the resilience to not quit when things are getting difficult.

I don’t want to sound pessimistic. But you don’t live in unicorn land. Better equip yourselves to face those moments and respond to life rather than react.

But not only that, a greater understanding of yourself helps you stand firm with who you are and not give a f*#¡ about what other people think while setting boundaries and dealing with negative people without cutting ties.

Pilar 4: Learn to master your spirit

Ok, the title of this section is a bit weird. But it looks good for the structure (I told you, people make shit up!). Let me rephrase it: you don’t master your spirit; you discover who you truly are (I can’t come up with any attractive blog title, so click anyway!).

It’s a challenging thought and a somewhat confusing one. But if you don’t know what makes you “you,”; you’ll always feel lost or out of alignment. It is a highly relevant topic in this society where the system tries to make us all the same. Discovering who you are is understanding your values, what you stand for, and what makes you unique.

Knowing who you are, helps you discover your gifts and what you love doing (not what people told you to love doing). And when you combine those with answering a need while making money doing it, you create purpose. This time, I didn’t make it up; Mrs 神谷 美恵子 popularized this old concept of Japanese culture in her book “生きがいについて” in the 60s. It is known as 生き甲斐, oh yes, sorry: ikigai.

The No-Bullshit Guide to Success and Fulfillment

Having a deep sense of purpose is a strong predictor of happiness and fulfillment. It puts words on why we do what we do and gives a sense of meaning to our existence. I got so overwhelmed the first time I heard about finding your purpose! I put so much pressure on myself and couldn’t find it! Here is why: it is nowhere. You don’t find your purpose; you create it.

When we expand our definition of self, we contemplate our place in the universe and our interconnectedness with all that is. I don’t want to speak cosmic language, and I don’t care about your religious beliefs; what is important is what it means to you and how it affects your life. The way you call it doesn’t matter; it is the knowing that there is more. We are more powerful than we think. Sometimes we are scared to hear the voices inside our head and feel the presence or tap into our higher self. You can learn to connect to your essence with these three simple and effective practices to unlock your full potential (Meditation, Gratitude, Inner guidance)

Part 2: DO GOOD to create success and fulfillment in life & business

We are social species. We don’t thrive solo. I don’t know anyone who doesn’t experience fulfillment from contributing to another being. Except if you live on a deserted island, you inevitably interact with other people.

What influence and impact do you have on the life of others? How do you contribute to making the world better (for the people, the animals, or nature)?

It can be as simple as making someone smile or as complex as solving a world’s problem. To me, it is not important how significant your impact is; what counts is to have one.

Doing good is being intentional about how you show up for others. Are you a good friend? Son? Daughter? Husband? Wife? Colleague?… 

When I thought I was about to die seconds before being hit by a deadly tsunami, I only thought about the people in my life. The smiles, the laughter, the support, and the love. Not my business, my bank account, or my productivity level. It is never too late to learn how to be there for the people you love.

Nothing equals the feeling of unconditional love, contribution, and leaving a positive impact on the people who cross your path.

Part 3: LIVE EPIC to create success and fulfillment in life & business

Life is too short not to make it extraordinary. But what does that mean?

Living an extraordinary life means living YOUR life and not settling for what society and people say. Maybe it means being minimalistic, being a nomad being the best mom and dad, or being a business owner; whatever form it takes, it reflects YOU.

You might have noticed that since the beginning, I haven’t discussed success in terms of achieving a specific goal but in terms of being and mastering yourself. 

This is the final missing piece: what do you want your life to be about? Have you ever defined your own metrics for success?

Living epic is to go after your dreams, set ambitious goals, and enjoy the journey to reach them. It is to build a present as appealing to live as the future.

The Formula: Be Great, Do Good & Live Epic

That’s what it takes to create success and fulfillment. I don’t think there is a specific order. But I recommend you start with simple, easy changes and keep building from there step by step.

We often want to make big steps at once, like New Year’s resolutions. Usually, people try to make too big of a change and give up shortly after.

Think about a plane; a difference of 1 degree in its bearing doesn’t mean much at taking off but will result in a totally different location for landing. You might not be able to see immediate change, but over time, it will add up to a magnificent transformation.

The question remains: are you ready to commit?

Are you ready to be the one nobody can beat because you never give up?

Life is not a game to win but a game to play. 

I help people play bigger, better, and faster.

Let’s Play!

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Download Chapter 1 of my new book: "The Illusion of Time"

After nearly dying in a tsunami, I dove deep into personal growth, trying to find answers to my questions. I promised myself to live every single day to the fullest and inspire others to do the same. But for that, I had to get better at life. In my book “The Illusion of Time,” I put together 11 lessons to not suck at life and make the most out of it.

Download Chapter 1 of my new book: "The Illusion of Time"

After nearly dying in a tsunami, I dove deep into personal growth, trying to find answers to my questions. I promised myself to live every single day to the fullest and inspire others to do the same. But for that, I had to get better at life. In my book “The Illusion of Time,” I put together 11 lessons to not suck at life and make the most out of it.

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