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The Story Behind TBLS

For its creator, Elizabeth Kemler, ThinkBuildLive Success is a distillation of decades worth of life lessons. Prompted by her determination to overcome internal and external struggles in her own life—and to achieve greater self-empowerment—Elizabeth began developing a comprehensive set of ‘best practices’ for daily life.

It’s one thing to get an education, it’s a completely different thing to show up at work and know who you are and where you’re going, and feel good about that.”- TBLS online student

"Many years ago, I made myself a promise-that I would not let all my struggles, mistakes, and seeming failures be for naught," says Elizabeth. "This project has given me the opportunity to make good on that promise. As such, TBLS has been informed largely by my own personal and professional challenges and the many, varied attempts I have made over the years to address them effectively." The tools Elizabeth created for herself were continually refined as she applied them to her life. That refinement process is how ThinkBuildLive Success was born.


The completion of TBLS pilot programs at two medical training schools confirmed for Elizabeth that the program could be used effectively in formal instructional settings. Teachers and administrators reported that TBLS inspires the kind of self-inquiry that leads to greater self-awareness and personal responsibility, and students acknowledged a stronger sense of their own potential. These positive and often moving results convinced her that many others could benefit from TBLS.

"There is no magic to becoming self-empowered—anyone can do it. All that’s required is a willingness to look closely at what’s not working in our lives, and a commitment to making more informed and intentional choices going forward," explains Elizabeth. Through her work with a broad range of people, from inner city youth to corporate executives, she has come to see that we all experience the same essential human struggles. "I don’t believe in a one-size-fits-all approach to life. We are a million variations of 'works in progress,' with an infinitely greater capacity for 'progress' than I think most of us are aware."

Elizabeth realizes that 'success' is a word weighted with meaning and open to interpretation. That’s why the program encourages readers to engage in their own process, determine priorities, and set goals that are personally meaningful and challenging for them. "I never liked the word 'success' because it felt like a cultural ideal that was beyond my grasp," she says. "I see now that I have the power—we all do- to decide what success means to us."