My “Success Bucket”

“Do your little bit of good where you are; it's those little bits of good put together that overwhelm the world.” - Desmond Tutu

I love Tutu’s concept of creating change. I believe that real long-lasting changes within ourselves and in our society come mostly from our small, consistent and relentless daily labors. When I started bodybuilding at the age of fifteen, I did not look like I could be a successful athlete. I wasn’t even a hundred pounds at five foot five. Not only did everyone I knew laugh at me when I told them that I wanted to make bodybuilding my life, but they told me I had picked the wrong sport. But I knew this was what I wanted, so I put together a rigorous weekly workout schedule for myself, I adhered to healthy eating only (or what I thought was), and I even got up early each morning to jog before school. But each day when I looked into the mirror I still saw a ninety-seven pound kid. So I knew that if I was to change into what I could see in my mind’s eye, then I needed an intellectual tool that would help me visualize my success each day. I needed to keep myself motivated even though my eyes were telling me that I wasn’t anywhere near my goals. As a matter a fact, at that time I figured that it would take me about twelve years, according to my calculations, in order to look like I wanted to. So I came up with my “Success Bucket” visualization tool.

In my mind, my success was the body and life that I wanted. I would visualize it often and clearly. I would imagine that every workout I did, every meal I ate, every vitamin I took, every single thing that I did that would contribute to my bodybuilding dream’s success was represented in my mind as a single drop in my bucket of success. Every rep, every meal was like I was adding little drops of success into that bucket in my mind. I knew that when the bucket was filled up I would arrive! I figured I couldn’t do much about the big things in my life that could help me, like great genetics, lots of resources to aid me, support from friends or family, but I could do everything about the things I controlled like what I ate, when and how I worked out, sleep, etc. I also knew that it would take years for me to fill up my bucket in my mind. To me, it didn’t matter how long my process was, what mattered was that daily I could contribute to my success bucket. I could be better than the day before, even if I couldn’t see it yet.

Today, I know that I only control two things in my life; what I think about and what I do. Little did I know at fifteen, this was all I would ever need in order to achieve the physique and the life that I would visualize each day. Not a day would go by without me dropping my little drops of success into my success bucket. In the end, this tool would keep me encouraged and would motivate me to do anything and everything in order to succeed. I knew that lots of little successes would add up to much larger successes the longer I focused on the work I had to do. Add to your success bucket each day as often as you can. Be relentless and you will find that there is power in aggregating lots of small successes.

About the author
Tad Inoue is an IFBB Professional League judge, Nutritionist and Professional Diet Coach for many clients and athletes worldwide. Tad has been in the bodybuilding and fitness industry for over 32 years and his clients include professional athletes, top amateur atheletes and all other competitors in figure, bikini, men and women's physique and bodybuilding, as well as individuals interested in optimal health. Tad was a National competitor in the NPC for over 30 years and now focuses his passion, knowledge and experience on helping and instructing others in fitness, wellness and athletic competition. His education includes philosophy, theology, nutrition, biochemistry as well as dietetics. He specializes in contest preparation for Figure, Bikini, men and women's Phyisque, Bodybuilding and fat loss for optimal health. Tad is also a speaker on mindfulness, motivation and joyful positive living.