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The Determining Factor

A friend once described adulthood as the continual process of convincing yourself that if I can just get through these next couple of weeks, things will finally settle down.

It’s especially fitting to those of us who work at magazines and are always aware of the next looming deadline. But recently, I found myself doubting if there would be any light at the end of the tunnel at all. I had been extremely busy and feeling in over my head with extra projects at work. My wife’s mother had been in and out of the hospital for months. Projects around the house were piling up. It all just felt like too much to handle at once.

And right around then, an advance copy of Marie Forleo’s new book landed on my desk. I never judge them by the cover, but when you get as many books in the mail as I do, you start to read a lot into the title. Hers couldn’t have delivered a better message for me at that time: Everything Is Figureoutable.


Marie Forleo’s no-nonsense, no-excuses message is just what I needed, and it makes her perfect as the cover person for the Determination Issue of SUCCESS.


I read the book over the weekend, and still found time to sweep out the leaves that had piled up in the garage and move the daybed. I felt more confident in the support I could offer my wife. I came to work on Monday and got ahead of some of the lingering problems.

Things haven’t finally settled down. They’ve gone off the rails since—several times, in fact. But I have to thank Forleo. She put things into perspective for me. Forleo’s no-nonsense, no-excuses message is just what I needed to hear, and it makes her perfect as the cover person for The Determination Issue of SUCCESS.

What better theme could there be for an issue of this magazine? In so many ways, determination is the defining factor in our success: How bad do we want it? That is the crucial question to ask ourselves. It is my hope that the stories in this issue will help inform your answer.

In this edition we’re dishing out advice and motivation from some of today’s most inspiring thought leaders, plus stories of regular people overcoming incredible challenges. Whether you’re working on something huge, like a business that could change your fortunes and your community forever, or just trying to get through the next couple of weeks, know that we are in your corner, and we believe in you.

You’ll figure it out. You always do.

Related: Marie Forleo’s Guiding Life Philosophy: Everything Is Figureoutable

This article originally appeared in the November/December 2019 issue of SUCCESS magazine.
Photo by Blas / Elements Envato

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Josh Ellis is the editor in chief for SUCCESS magazine. Before joining SUCCESS in 2012, he was an accomplished digital and print sportswriter, working for the Dallas Cowboys Star magazine, the team’s gameday program, and DallasCowboys.com. Originally from Longview, Texas, he began writing for his hometown newspaper at 16.

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