Youn Elan, code weaver at large
Youness El Andaloussi (Youn El Andaloussi)
Senior CSM/CSPO Software Developer
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The power method

Most people agree that both success and self actualization are important. We all tend to put our own spin on the definition of a successful life. Whether we prioritize money, physical accomplishments, art, or even answering deep and thorny philosophical questions (but isn't the answer 42?).

Even if definitions of success vary, a common thread seems to emerge and this is my take; this is what I call the power method, where each letter stands for one of the following words:

  • Purpose
  • Optimization
  • Widen Horizons
  • Enjoy life
  • Redefine limits

How do you know you got there if you don't know where you are going? How do you know you have achieved success if you have not defined what you want to get out of life? Part of it involves setting goals in an iterative process, refining them as you go along and reevaluating which one moves to the top and which one is no longer relevant. However, that is only the first step and the most important part is following through… putting the efforts needed and persisting as long as it takes to get things done.


No matter how hard you work, you only have 168 hours per week. If you remove the time you sleep, your commute time, taking care of basic needs, a huge chunk of that disappears. This is why it is important to optimize your life. This includes:

  • Optimizing your time - As they say, time is money. Planning and tracking time spent will make sure you use that resource wisely and if there is a way to work smart, save time, make use of it.
  • Optimize your space - For a long time, I was convinced that even in a mess, there could be a method to the madness... that is until I actually tried organizing myself. Making sure you don’t waste hours looking for things, making sure you are comfortable will go a long way to equip you with tools for success
  • Optimize your mind - Though some will say this is not really optimization, I disagree. Come to peace with major events in your life, clear your head, sort all issues out. Only then can you focus on success, move on and shine.
Widen horizons
  • A great way to foster success is to be a lifelong learner. By learning, you keep your mind sharp, you open yourself to new opportunities and you get ahead of the crowd
  • Though they say curiosity killed the cat, without curiosity we would not have any inventor, our world would cease advancing and very few people would push the limits. For success, it is vital to try new things, experiment, think out of the box
  • Keep an open mind - stereotypes and pre-made ideas limit one's view of the world. By keeping an open mind, it will make it easier to react when an opportunity comes up, it will prevent bigotry and open many different horizons while bringing positivity
  • Listen - Though it is important to know what you want and be confident in your beliefs, it is very important to listen to others as well
Enjoy life

The importance of enjoying life seems so obvious. Yet, many people tend to overlook it when they look at the steps to success

  • It boosts self esteem which in turn helps people want to attempt more fun/interesting challenges. It helps them persist when the going gets tough and get passed short term obstacles while keeping in mind longer term objectives.
  • Many health related issues are related to stress and mood. By having fun, you are improving your health and improving your energy.
  • By enjoying life, your mind is clearer, you can focus more and in the end are able to achieve more
  • People who enjoy life are more likable and more people will want to help them when an obstacle comes up
Redefine limits

Limits are made to be redefined and in order to succeed, you have to innovate, be a trend setter, have a positive impact and improve things behind you. For me, this involves:

  • over deliver - if you do that long enough, you will stick out of the crowd and naturally attract success
  • work smart - sometimes, to over deliver, you don't necessarily have to work harder (though to be fair, many times you do)
  • work out of your comfort zone - As they say, the "magic happens outside of your comfort zone." 

This is my definition of success, I am curious to hear what other people think.

Web Dev Power Drupal site where I gather some of my thoughts about computer programming
Share Poems My poetry website with over 700 of my poems. Custom made site which uses plain text file to avoid database overhead. It includes a trilingual poetry generator
DC Explorer DCExplorer is a website built using code igniter which features HTML5 canvas drawn metro map with code igniter
Friendly Tomorrow Friendly tomorrow has my thoughts about the future
Github page Github page
Stackoverflow Stackoverflow page
SoundCloud my music
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Twitter Handle Follow me on twitter, @YounElan
Yountris Simple tetris javascript implementation
Power Method The power method - my philosophy of life
Fun Fact
It helps to look ahead and visualize where you want to be. A year from now, what would you have wished you did today?
When a door closes, at least another opens... the problem is we focus too much on the first door to see the others open
When they ask me what I do, I say whatever it takes. You have to be willing to go the extra mile on your path to success
A record company told the Beatles they were no good, they sounded old & boys band were a thing of the past. Persist, do something awesome
Discipline is the bridge between goals and success - Jim Rohn
To excel is not a destination but a constant voyage - Brian Tracy
Proceed as if success is unavoidable. A lot of our limitations exist only in our minds
Before being an entertainment mogul, Walt Disney was fired for a lack of imagination. Persisting always yields results
One of Edison's teachers said he was too stupid to learn anything. A healthy self esteem is key for success
Henry Ford went bankrupt 5 times before he succeeded. Never let failure discourage you
The first person who hired Elvis Presley as a singer fired him the first night, recommending he give up music for a different profession
One of Einstein's teachers said he was a lost case, too slow and stuck in unrealistic dreams. Never let someone else's opinion let you down
Tolstoy failed university. They told him he was not capable of learning. Never let failure stop you on the road to success
When he started, studios told Charlie Chaplin what he did was nonsense. With persistence, a legend was born
Leonardo de Vinci has never been to school. Always respect knowledge but remember success is not limited to degrees
One of Bethoven's professors told him he was a pathetic composer. He proved him wrong even if he was deaf
Be passionate, always. Even if Van Gogh only sold one painting while alive (to his sister), he painted over 800 paintings
Never push back to tomorrow what can be done today
Who risks nothing, begets nothing. Sometimes, taking a calculated risk at the right moment makes all the difference
The best way to predict the future is to invent it - Richard Bandler
As your self esteem improves, your performance increases too - Zick Ziglar
What drowns people is not the jump itself but staying under water does - Paolo Cuelho
With enough persistence, nothing is impossible. Wherever there is a will, there is always a way
Petit à petit l'oiseau fait son nid. Rien n'arrive du jour au lendemain et persister permet d'arriver à ses fins
There is only one way to fail, give up before succeeding - Olivier Lockert
Do not be afraid of being slow, be afraid only to be at a standstill - Chinese proverb
The word chance is synonym to tenacity of goals - Ralf Waldo Emmerson
Today is the first day of the rest of your life, a brand new chance to excel. It is never too late to be what you might have been.
No one can know what they really capable of until they try
No extraordinary person complains about the lack of opportunities
Never be afraid of failure. If you want to double your success rate, you have to double your failure rate - Brian Tracy
If 'O' stands for Opportunity, it's absent in 'yesterday', once in 'tOday', thrice in 'tOmOrrOw'. There's always opportunities waiting tomorrow.
It is not the number times we fall that matters, it is the number we get back up... because in the end what matter is that we are standing
After how many times should a baby trying to walk give up? Obviously none. Giving up is not a trait we are born with - Anthony Robbins
It is better late than never... and it is never too late to be what you might have been
To be strong cant be equated with physical force but it is more about having a never failing willpower - Ghandi
No obstacle is unsolvable. It is about dividing each difficulty int as many subdivisions necessary to succeed - Descartes
The best way to start is to stop talking and start doing - Walt Disney
Always remember that all those at the top all started and the bottom and persisted until they got their way
It is nice to have what you want... but meanwhile, always remember to want what you have
More often than not, we are limited by our attitude and not by the opportunities that come to us
It is the little details that make a huge difference. Going the extra mile and making an extra effort change everything - Mark Tway
To have a list of goals is key in life... otherwise how will you ever know you got to where you want to be?
Failure is the foundation of success and it is by failing that we build - Lao Tzu
Many times, the one who tries to do too much ends up doing very little - make priorities, focus and get things done - Italian proverb
The past is behind use, future is very unpredictable. That is why it is important to focus on the present
Be at peace with yourself... if you can't trust yourself, why would others do it?
A list of goals that is not written down is like a wishlist
To succeed, it is key to have alist of goals and remember that for everything there is a cost... and it is not always money
Obstacles are these horrible things in life that we see when we get our eyes off of our goals
The best opportunities in life go to those who make sure that things get done while owning up to their responsibilities - Napoleon Hill
Time is more precious than gold. We can always get more money but wasted time can never be gotten back
Do not attempt to do too many things. The best way to get many things done is to focus on one thing at the time - Mozart
Life is a never ending cycle that keeps repeating - every time is an opportunity to fix previous mistakes you made and do things differently