If achieving straight As, being physically attractive, and winning athletic championship titles are things that interest you, follow the five steps outlined below, and you will also achieve those things:
Step 1: Explicitly define what you’re trying to accomplish. What is your specific goal?
What I did: Before I began college, what mattered to me most was becoming an intelligent, good-looking, physically fit man with unshakeable determination. Those things meant the world to me, and I honestly wasn’t aware of anything else outside of those goals. I didn’t care about parties, I didn’t care about socializing or dating, and at times I didn’t even care about sleeping. It meant so much to me that I was willing to sacrifice anything and everything to achieve those goals. It was just that simple for me.
What you need to do: Find what you’re trying to accomplish. Once found and clearly defined, see it through all the way. Nothing else should exist in your life outside of that goal. Most people turn in fear at this point and settle for something less than they actually want.
Step 2: Circular benefits of activities:
What I did: I wanted to be intelligent, but I also want to be physically fit. Mastering one of those things takes a lifetime, but mastering both takes some serious time management skills, a mature character, and solid planning. You still only have 24 hours in a day. You still only have one brain, two legs, and two arms. At this point, strategy and control of emotions become the most important aspects of the entire game plan.
How could I merge the two without sacrificing either? Well, I thought to myself, I’ll pick up the study of psychology. Psychology will teach me about the human mind and how to improve my motivation and confidence. I will learn and become more intelligent through the study of psychology, and I will use my knowledge of motivation and confidence to achieve any goal, such as being physically fit and earning straight As
The sense of wellbeing that results from being physically fit will enhance the quality of all aspects of my life and will thus improve my studies. My improved studies will then enhance my intelligence which will then lead to better workouts. You see the circle?
What you need to do: Create this circle of mutually beneficial tasks. One task should lead to better performance in the other and vice versa. Stay away from tasks that don’t lead to improvements in other areas as well.
Step 3: Create a Grand Strategy:
What I did: Having a grand strategy means knowing where you currently are, where you want to be (your endpoint), what resources you have available to you, and how to use those resources to get to your endpoint. A grand strategy should always be written out and never just kept in your head. Below is an outline of how I wrote out my grand strategy.
Vision Board:on this vision board, which was located in my room, I had a detailed list of my objectives that needed to be accomplished on a weekly, monthly, and yearly basis. My progress on all these objectives was measured externally. For example, I measured the progress of my intelligence through my GPA and I measured my physical fitness progress by my progression pictures. The vision board, with all my goals, was the first thing I saw every day when I woke up and the last thing I saw every night before going to bed. This provided me with constant reminders to keep my mind focused on my goals and nothing else. This is huge. If you neglect this step, you will lose sight of your long-term goals. Do not neglect the vision board.
Weekly calendar near bed: this calendar, which I wrote out every Sunday for the entire week, outlined everything I needed to do during the week, which got me closer and closer to my end goal. Every single day described specific things I needed to get done at specific times and in specific ways. Whenever I woke up, I would look at this list and have a mission for that day. My days became very productive once I started implementing this technique. This technique of setting goals and monitoring progress is crucial for success.
Role Models: These are people who I never wanted to copy exactly, but people who I wanted to resemble in one way or another. Having pictures of these people all over my room reminded me every day of the person I wanted to become and values I wanted to represent: integrity, hard work, intelligence and honesty. This also helped to keep my mind focused and to not associate with people who didn’t represent my value system and goals. I firmly believe that you will most likely become a representation of your environment and the people with whom you associate. If you hang out with unsuccessful people, you yourself will become unsuccessful. If you spend time with successful people, you yourself will become successful. It’s a pretty simple concept, really.
Warning: Do not copy anyone. Find out who you are deep down inside and just be that person. Being someone else is unnatural and consumes too much energy. It will lead to burnout.
Step 4: Controlling emotions – the most important and the most difficult task. This is what separates the best among from the “coulda, woulda, shoulda” crowd.
This one is tough because we’re naturally hedonistic creatures. However, if you want to see hard goals through, if you want to really be successful in life, 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 goals to be blown off course because of petty emotions. Make decisions for yourself. Don’t allow emotions to make them for you.
I call 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. 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, you should 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. Ask yourself what is ultimately going to make you happier.
Again, if you really want to succeed, if you really want to become 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.
Step 5: “Closer or Further Away?” Assessment
This is another mental skill I used over the years. It’s pretty simple actually. Whenever I decided on an action, I would ask myself if that action would bring me closer to my end goal or further away from it. If that action brought me further away from it, I simply would not do it, no matter how appealing it was at that 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. Erase their numbers and erase them from your life, immediately.
See what 50 Cent has to say about picking friends:
Warning 1: This type of lifestyle is very intense, extreme, and unnatural. Most people will not understand it and will actually be repulsed by it. However, it is the only way to become the absolute best at something.
Warning 2: It will drive you absolutely crazy unless the goal you are trying to achieve is something you want more than anything else. In other words, if achieving your goal isn’t your true passion, it will not happen. There are no ifs, ands, or buts about it. There will be too many hard times and lonely nights, and you will end up quitting sometime down the line. It must be your passion if you are going to succeed.
Warning 3: Be ready to be alone. Your goal has to be worth more than friends and more than relationships. The only friends you should have are friends that are as intense and passionate as you are about the same things. They have to share that burning desire you have. You will not find very many people like this because this type of lifestyle is just too intense for the average person.
Look at Einstein, Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, and pretty much any other person who is the best in their field. I don’t mean good in their field, I mean the ABSOLUTE fucking best. I mean there is no one fucking better. They have a few things in common:
A. They devote every single minute of every single day to their respective field (90-100 hour work weeks!)
B. They have very few to no friends because they’re too busy mastering their craft
C. They found something they’re naturally good at and passionate about and they continue working at it
That’s not a normal way of life. If anything, there is something pathological about it. However, remember this: The founders of great ideas who truly helped society spent all their Saturday nights in laboratories, libraries, and classrooms – not clubs, bars, and parties.