Essential Success

Save your sanity with serenity.

Ease your stress levels with serenity. Give yourself moments of dignity by satisfying your DISC behavior style stress relief needs. Increase your serenity with  moments of passion that satisfy your Spranger guiding value passions.

Essential moments spark both immediate satisfaction and future success.


Paula M. Kramer’s DISC behavior styles and Spranger guiding values

High I Influence/High S Steadiness
Helping + Knowledge

I/S with Helping + Knowledge


Essential Success With Serenity Example #1

Ending the pain of a terror-filled childhood

In 1989, Paula  began therapy to help herself cope with lingering childhood terrors (see Essential Success Example #3). Her first therapist did not prepare Paula for the likelihood that therapy would release the great pain she had buried for years. The start of the pain and the level of pain were complete shocks to Paula. The pain left Paula disoriented. She had trouble coping in her daily life. Her therapist was unsympathetic, merely repeating, “You’re strong.” She kept insisting that Paula had to talk about the pain for it to go away. Paula refused to talk about the pain. Instead, Paula decided to take time out of her hectic life (single parent, homeschooling parent, college student) to spend 10 minutes a day doing something she wanted to do. All of her choices were quiet activities such as writing, working a jigsaw puzzle, reading a light mystery, gardening, and sewing. On the days Paula took 10 minutes for herself, she coped much better. Over time the emotional pain subsided and eventually disappeared without Paula ever talking about it in therapy. Paula did refer to her pain once during a talk about women betraying women, but Paula never talked about her pain in therapy.

Essential Moments

10 minutes a day of doing one quiet activity (Secondary High S Steadiness)

Immediate Satisfaction

Pleasure from enjoyable activities (High I Influence need for fun)

Future Success

Freedom from childhood pain for the rest of her life


Paula’s moments of dignity gave her the serenity she needed to erase the pain of her childhood terror.


Essential Success With Serenity Example #2

Creating serenity that eases the difficulties of daily life

For years, Paula worked on her writing first thing in the morning. Once she had finished her writing for the day (if it was a difficult topic, her writing for the day could be one sentence), Paula felt serene. Writing first thing in the morning sparked a serenity that made coping with everything in her life easier.

Then Paula started babysitting grandchildren while her daughter attended college. Paula decided she had to do her exercises and shower first, then work on her writing later in the day as she could fit it in. When Paula finally did get to her writing, she felt anxious, fearful that she would not be able to get enough writing done to spark her serenity. During a period of sleeplessness and flu, Paula had a lot of time to think. Paula decided to go back to writing first thing in the morning. She decided to do whatever exercise she could while babysitting her grandchildren, such as walking in place. The first day Paula felt well enough, she worked on her writing first thing in the morning. Paula revised one page of a document and sparked serenity. Six days later, Paula succeeded at something she had been failing at.

For all of her childhood, her mother told Paula she could have something or do something, then take it away from Paula at the last minute. As an adult, Paula could get very anxious if she felt something she wanted was being taken away from her. Even when Paula recognized that situational factors were momentarily taking something away from her, she could still feel anxious. Six days after Paula started writing in the morning again, a situation came up that took her away from what she had planned to do. Previously, Paula had tried to think of other quiet activities to do, but failed. After six days of sparking serenity, Paula was able to focus on two quiet activities she could do at that moment. The anxiety faded away. The serenity from writing first thing in the morning made coping with unexpected difficulties easier.

On days when Paula can stay on her computer for only short periods of time, she creates serenity with 2 or 3 minute tasks connected to her writing.

On days when Paula cannot sit at her computer first thing, reading something as research for her writing creates serenity.

Any action connected to her writing gives Paula the first thing in the morning serenity she needs to save her sanity the rest of the day.

Essential Moments

Time to work on writing in some way first thing in the morning, or as soon after as possible (Secondary High S Steadiness)

Immediate Satisfaction

Pleasure from the ability to express herself (High I Influence)

Pride in writings that helped other people (Helping + Knowledge)

Future Success

Serenity to cope with the unexpected difficulties of daily life


Paula’s moments of dignity give her the serenity she needs to cope with the everyday life as well as with unexpected difficulties.


Essential Success With Serenity Example #3

Finding a safety experience that washes away PTSD terrors

Paula’s mother tried to kill her twice when she was very little, creating a childhood of terror for Paula. Paula has lived with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) for decades. Paula hoped she would feel safe after her mother died, but knew her mother could live into her 90’s or even 100’s.

Paula accidentally discovered that listening to the main title and end title music from the movie To Kill a Mockingbird gave her feelings of safety. Whenever Paula feels terror from her childhood, she can now wash it away with the music from To Kill a Mockingbird.

Essential Moments

Listening to emotionally satisfying music (Secondary High S Steadiness)

Immediate Satisfaction

Feeling the terror wash away as soon as she listens to the music

Future Success

Knowing she can feel safe at least part of everyday for the rest of her life

Discovering more and more energy to be creative and effective in other parts of her life


Paula’s moments of dignity and moments of passion gave her the one thing she thought she would never have — the ability to feel safe.


© Paula M. Kramer, 2010 to the present.
All rights reserved.
Last updated May 4, 2020.