The four Crucibles of Success
Bill Cottringer

“The ‘luck’ of success is when your talents and efforts meet the right opportunity to apply them.” ~Anonymous.

There are four crucibles to success: Purpose, Perspective, Principles, and Passion. No substantial, long-range success can happen without these four Ps working together to produce needed change and get the best results in anything anyone is trying to do from winning the World Series to being good parent to growing an organization. Fortunately, the four P’s all conveniently blend together as a powerful interactive driving force. Each are discussed briefly below


Whatever starts out right, has the best chance of finishing well and having a focused purpose is a primary starting point that provides a road map to success when you apply these four Ps. Without having a clear purpose in anything you are doing, there is no real finish line in sight. You live your purpose by finding the best perspective of viewing life and people, and applying important success principles, with your growing passion.

One grand purpose we may all share is to learn, grow and improve into our best self-actualized self—physically, intellectually, emotionally, socially, vocationally and spirituality. Another one is to use our talents to make a contribution to life becoming a little better for us all, in helping others meet their needs in being happy and successful. Finding you unique purpose isn’t always an easy pursuit because it may be so close to you that you can’t see it.


What you see as the “truth” is mostly dependent upon where you are doing the looking in time and place. The best place is always in the middle to see 360-degrees—up and down, left, and right, and inside and outside. And fortunately, this “golden mean” viewpoint is virtually timeless.

The good thing about a perspective is that if you don’t like what you are seeing, then all you have to do is change locations in time and place. One quick way to improve your success is to listen to, learn from and accept other people’s perspectives, especially when they are nowhere near yours. We all have a small piece of the reality puzzle and so sharing them and fitting them together for a bigger version is a useful perspective in itself.


The only genuine shortcut to success is finding and applying tried and true success principles. The most widely useful principle is a perturbation point, or just “P” Point for short. This is a situation where a small, strategically timed and placed intervention get the biggest results. Two good examples are a newspaper headlines and book titles drawing readers attention. Another example is changing an ineffective approach to interacting with a difficult person to get better results.

There are global principles about how life and people work, such as all humans having similar fundamental needs to satisfy, and practical everyday principles, such as being sensitive to the point of no return before it comes and goes. Sometimes assumptions mistakenly appear as principles and can be unpacked with a little validation before they lead to failure. It is the convictions we develop thoughtfully, which are worth fighting or even dying for.


Actually, it is passion that both drives your purpose, perspective, and principles and is also a by-product result from applying these other three crucibles. It is kind of like success and happiness being what you get from doing the things with which you achieve it. The positive energy of passion is made up of the empathy and mindfulness needed to do the right thing in the right way to get the right results and having great fun doing so.

People can achieve short-term success without passion driving these other P Points, but it is the passion of engagement that brings life and meaning to our purpose, perspectives, and principles, leading us to the fast lane of long-term success. Probably the biggest obstacle to finding and using passion is the bad habit of making judgments about experiences before we have them.

Practice any one of these contagious 4 Ps and watch your success and happiness grow exponentially by their inseparable interactions

Author's Bio: 

William Cottringer, Ph.D. is retired Executive Vice President of Puget Sound Security in Bellevue, WA, along with being a Sport Psychologist, Business Success Coach, Photographer and Writer living on the scenic Snoqualmie River and mountains of North Bend. He is author of several business and self-development books, including, Re-Braining for 2000 (MJR Publishing); The Prosperity Zone (Authorlink Press); You Can Have Your Cheese & Eat It Too (Executive Excellence); The Bow-Wow Secrets (Wisdom Tree); Do What Matters Most and “P” Point Management (Atlantic Book Publishers); Reality Repair, (Global Vision Press), Reality Repair Rx (Publish America); Thoughts on Happiness; Pearls of Wisdom: A Dog’s Tale (Covenant Books, Inc.) Coming soon: A Cliché a day will keep the Vet Away (Another Dog’s Tale). Bill can be reached for comments or questions at (206)-914-1863 or