Keeping Score for Success

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Principle #21 in Jack Canfield’s book “The Success Principles: How to Get from Where You Are to Where You Want to Be” is “Keep Score for Success.” Successful people know that keeping score helps you measure your progress and it also helps keep you motivated and excited as you’re progressing toward any worthwhile goal.

“You have to measure what you want more of.”

– Charles Coonradt, author of The Game of Work

Metrics for Keeping Score

There are a multitude of metrics you can use to keep score. These include:

  • Grades for students
  • Points in just about any sport
  • Number of times you exercise weekly
  • Number of minutes you exercise weekly
  • Monetary sales for sales people and businesses
  • Amount of money you save or invest monthly or annually

Of course, you can go much deeper into any of these metrics. For example, the ending score in a baseball game says which team won. However, you can find a wealth of different statistics on:

  • Pitchers (such as wins, earned run average, strikeouts, saves, and more)
  • Hitters (such as batting average (AVG), runs batted in (RBIs), home runs, stolen bases, and more)
  • Players (such as errors, outs, innings played and more)

The movie Trouble with the Curve showed how baseball scouts, managers, and coaches typically know these statistics (and more) inside and out. Most of us know only the basic stats.

That’s a key point though. If this is your business (or something you’re really interested in), you know the important metrics.

Know the Successful Score

In baseball, a batting average of .340 (34 percent) is awesome. Ted Williams had a lifetime batting average of .344 and is considered by many to be the greatest hitter ever.

As a comparison, the overall batting average in any given year is about 28 to 29 percent. This is good to know for up and coming professional baseball players. They don’t need to get on base all the time to be successful. 

However, if you’re taking the Security+ exam, a score of 34 percent is a dismal failure. Instead, a passing score is about 83.33 percent. A passing score of 750 is required, but this is on a scale of 100 to 900. If you do the math, 750 / 900 is 83%.

I recently received this email from someone using the online Security+ practice test questions.

“Hey Darril, I have been studying your questions online and reviewing your performance based questions as well. I feel like I have a good handle on these questions. Do you think that I am ready for the sec+ exam?”

After a quick look, I saw that his scores on the “Test Your Readiness” online quiz were 56% and 61%.  It reminded me of the fictitious question I wrote out in this post.

If I fail all of your practice tests, will I still be able to pass the Security+ exam?

Of course, the passing score on a practice test isn’t the only metric. The deeper metric is within yourself.

As I repeat often, you should be able to look at any practice test question and not only know why the correct answers are correct, but also why the incorrect answers are incorrect. This way you’ll be able to interpret the actual questions and answer them correctly no matter how CompTIA words them.

How Are You Keeping Score

Are you working on a goal? If so, you know what success with that goal looks like. You can also track your progress by keeping score along the way.

For example, if you’re working on the Security+ exam, you might have a goal of “I will pass the Security+ exam by June 30th of this year.” Ultimate success is passing the exam.

You can can also keep score on the way to your goal. This includes keeping track of your practice test scores, tracking your study times, and tracking how many chapters of a study guide you’re reading or reviewing on a regular basis.



About This Post

I’ve been learning from Jack Canfield (of Chicken Soup for the Soul fame) since 2008. I credit much of my success (including authoring or co-authoring more than 40 books) to applying principles in my life that he teaches. I’m currently going through his book “The Success Principles: How to Get from Where You Are to Where You Want to Be,” covering one principle a week.

Here’s a link to other musing’s on Jack Canfield’s Success Principles.

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