I’ve read numerous books, observed and interviewed countless successful people, and even used my own experiences as case studies. After years of research, this is what I have concluded:
Whether or not you’re successful at accomplishing something does not really depend on your friends, your connections, or the amount of money you’ve inherited. Rather, what really determines your level of success are the nine mental traits I’ve listed below. These nine mental traits lay the FOUNDATION that is needed to accomplish anything.
You have to have a goal, something you really want.
Mental Trait #2: Deep Emotional Response
Your goal must trigger a deep, positive emotional response within you. You should feel great just thinking about this goal—and even better when you think about accomplishing it. However, this shouldn’t be forced; rather, it should happen naturally. If this feeling of deep, positive emotion is absent, you will not have the enthusiasm and drive to realize your goal. That’s why you hear so many successful people tell you to find and follow, at all costs, your true passion. Doing something you’re not passionate about just for money is a fool’s journey. Remember that the average person dies at 61. Budget your time on things you care about accordingly.
You must strongly believe that your goal will come true. There should be no doubt in your mind that you will have what you want one day, and that it’s only a matter of time. If you have any doubt whatsoever, this doubt will creep into your plans of attaining what you want and will sabotage you. There must be NO doubt that what you want will come true. This type of self-doubt is the most common trait I see in people who don’t reach their goal. They usually have a desire, they usually have a deep emotional response, but what they’re most often missing is a strong belief in their ability to actually make their desire come true. They just don’t believe and trust that they can achieve their goals.
Mental Trait #4: Compulsive/obsessive thoughts about your goal
This means finding yourself compulsively thinking about accomplishing your goal, and everything that comes with your accomplishment. Once nothing else in life other than achieving your goal seems to matter, your thoughts are strongly aligned with your goal and you have an exponentially greater chance of seeing it through.
For example, say we have two people: John and Dmitrie. John and Dmitrie both have the same goal of graduating from college with straight As.
Although John wants straight As, he spends most of his time thinking about parties, dating, socializing, and what drug he’s going to try this coming weekend. These thought patterns inform his choices and actions. Instead of studying in order to make straight As, he goes to parties, socializes, and does drugs on the weekend.
Dmitrie’s thought patterns, on the other hand, are aligned with his goal of getting straight As. Dmitire spends his entire day thinking about ways to optimize his chances of getting straight As. He thinks about studying, interviewing professors on related topics, and learning about ways to reduce test anxiety. Because thoughts lead to similar actions, Dmitri finds himself studying, interviewing professors, and, ultimately, getting straight As in college.
Your mind tells your body what to do. If your mind is thinking about things that aren’t aligned with your goals, your body will do things that aren’t aligned with your goals. Thus, you will never see your goals through.
Desire + deep emotional response + belief that desire will come true + compulsive thoughts about desire = strong mindset and high likelihood of completing a goal.
I really can’t overstress the four key traits above. If even one of those traits is absent, you will not succeed in attaining your goal.
Once that strong mindset is in place, there are a few other mental traits that determine whether or not someone will succeed.
Mental Trait #5: Don’t limit your thinking or potential
Often times, people have scattered thoughts. Random thoughts come in and out of their head 24/7. One key trait that will help you is to learn how to direct your thoughts in a way that facilitates the realization of your goal. Take hold of what you’re thinking at any given moment in time, and force (and, ultimately, train) yourself to only think about things that will help you accomplish your goal. This is an active not a passive process.
Three times a day, stop and ask yourself: Am I thinking about the goal I want to achieve?
Mental Trait #7: Thinking oriented towards problem-solving
Here is a typical thought pattern of a non-successful person: I’m fat. I hate being fat. Being fat hurts my social life. The result is the person becomes depressed and demoralized.
Here is a typical thought pattern of a successful person: If I’m going to be thin, I need to educate myself about nutrition and learn to stabilize my emotions. I’ll go buy a book on nutrition and human motivation. As you can see, this person doesn’t even think about their problem, but rather spends all their time thinking about a solution to their problem and most importantly, takes ACTION!!! The result is the person accomplishing their goal of losing weight.
You’re going to need to do something about your emotions. If you want to succeed, they simply have to be controlled and directed purposefully. People who are successful are masters at controlling their emotions. This one is tough because people are naturally hedonistic creatures. They mainly want to party, get laid, and do things that don’t require much consideration, thought, or effort. However, if you want to develop the most aesthetically appealing body out there, you have to learn to control your emotions or they will control you. It’s as simple as that. Emotions are like the wind: they blow in all sorts of directions. You can’t allow your dream of developing a great body to be blown off course because of petty emotions. Make decisions for yourself. Don’t allow emotions to make them for you.
I call these kinds of frivolous emotions “the voice inside your head”. Whenever times get hard—whenever they get really, really hard—that voice will start trying to talk you out of doing something you initially intended and wanted to do. Most people listen to the voice. That’s why most people never end up seeing any goals through in life. The voice is the ultimate killer of dreams. It’s pathetic. The voice will throw logical arguments your way that totally make sense at the time. The voice will tell you that life is short, you are young, and you should therefore drop your studies and go to that party. Honestly, the voice is often right—from its hedonistic vantage point, that is. Although the voice is right about how to temporarily satisfy hedonistic desires, it couldn’t be more wrong when it comes to seeing goals through and actually finishing shit and being a somebody in life. Ask yourself which is ultimately going to make you happier: the party tonight, or the satisfaction of seeing your goal through?
Again, if you really want to succeed, if you really want to be the absolute best at something, you have to completely kill this voice, not just neglect it. It won’t simply happen overnight; it will take years of conscious, daily effort on your part. All great soldiers, industry leaders, and brilliant scientists have mastered this skill in themselves. If you do not master it, you will not be the best at anything. I don’t know how many times I’ve seen so many brilliant and talented people throw that talent and precious time away to partying, drug use, and associating with the wrong crowd.
Mental Trait #9: Assess, using the “Closer or Further away?” test
This is a self-regulation method mastered by those who consistently see goals through. It’s pretty simple actually. Whenever deciding on an action, you ask yourself if that action would bring you closer to realizing your goal, or further away from it. If a specific action brought you further away from your goal, you simply would not do it, no matter how appealing that action may be at the moment. You must be completely focused on you goal. There should be nothing in your life that is incompatible with attaining your goal.
This applies to people as well. If certain people distract (divert you further away) from your goals, you must quickly stop associating with these people. They’re poison and they will infect you. You must quickly get rid of your negative, unimaginative, unambitious, hedonistic, and disorganized friends. Their weak mentality is a result of being slaves to their instincts to fulfill a pathological but constant need for pleasure, instant reward, brainless fun, and entertainment. Erase their numbers and erase them from your life, immediately. It is of vital, impetrative importance that you do this. It’s tough but you have to do it. TRUST ME!!!