For most people, it’s easier to defend their mediocrity than confront and change their reality. It’s easier to lash out at success than trudge the long road to it and actually earn it.
This is why so many people are living lives that are, frankly, mediocre.
When I was growing up, my Christian church-going family and friends seemed to scorn wealthy people. We didn’t know any “rich” people. Having lots of money seemed like a disease, a sin. But although wealth was “bad,” it seemed my family and friends never had any money (my family eventually went bankrupt and I watched as we lost the house, cars, and family business).
I grew up with the mindset that when it came to wealth, fortune, and essentially anything upper-class, there’s only one response:
“That only happens to other people.”
This was the same after college, too. All my friends were broke, in-debt, and barely scraping by. Being debt-free? Owning your car? Paying off all your loans? Being financially stable? The answer was the same:
“That only happens to other people.”
It wasn’t until I got so sick and tired of being broke and unemployed that I finally got serious about getting what I wanted. I ignored the negative mindset of many of my family, friends, and colleagues. I paid off all my college loans, and my wife and I became debt-free before we were 25 years old. We owned our cars. We built up a big savings, more than almost anyone we knew.
We eventually saved up enough to go teach english in South Korea for a year. We traveled to nearly a dozen countries in 16 months. I developed a full-time writing business where I make enough passive income to take off any day I want, whenever I want.
Don’t let “that only happens to other people” be your creed. Because if it is…
Pretty soon it’ll become true.
“Most people are only operating at a fraction of what they’re capable of.” -Darren Hardy
“People are always asking me about the secrets and tricks I use to get results. Sorry if this disappoints you: there are no secrets. There are no tricks. It’s simple: ask yourself where you are now, and where you want to be instead.” -Tim Grover, Michael Jordan’s personal trainer
If you want what no one has, you must do what no one has done.
There are no “secrets” to success. Success isn’t complicated. As best-selling author Jim Rohn once wrote, ““Success is neither magical nor mysterious. Success is the natural consequence of consistently applying the basic fundamentals.” If you consistently follow these fundamentals, you can accomplish and achieve more than anyone in your family ever has.
I learned this firsthand as a writer. After 4.5 years, I had no followers, no views, and no income. But frankly, I wasn’t doing anything special — I would post every once in a while just like everyone else. That was it.
I wasn’t following the fundamentals of success: consistency, discipline, perseverance in the face of rejection.
It wasn’t until I decided to become consistent and write every day for a month that I started to see progress. After a few months of doing what I’d never done — consistently producing high-quality content — I saw huge, disproportionately large success. A little over a year later, I’m earning thousands of dollars a month as a full-time, self-employed writer.
I learned that if you want something, you’ve got to be willing to do whatever it takes. Otherwise, you’re highly likely to end up stuck in mediocrity and criticizing others, claiming that success “only happens to other people.”
“If you want to live an exceptional and extraordinary life, you have to give up many of the things that are part of a normal one.” –Srinivas Rao
The thing is, most people are not willing to do “whatever it takes.”
They might give 50%. Some might give 75%. A few might even go as high as 90%.
But very few give that last remaining chunk of energy and motivation.
The truth is, it’s often this small amount of extra effort that finally unlocks success. Sometimes, it’s the only way you can succeed. When you’re someone who consistently does whatever you need to do to succeed, people will notice.
Opportunities will come. You’ll start attracting success instead of chasing it.
“As a man thinketh, so he is. As he continues to think, so he remains.” -James Allen
You’ll never achieve more than you think you can get.
Do you believe you’ll soon become 100% financially independent?
Do you believe you’ll never get divorced?
Are you positive you’ll ever travel the world?
What you believe determines what you become. You see what you look for; you attract what you are.
Most people don’t realize their beliefs determine the rest of their life; what you believe today has real effects on tomorrow. Your income, success, health, and who you ultimately become are based entirely on what you believe will happen.
As Michael Jordan once said:
“You have to expect things of yourself before you can do them.”
If you believe you can can, odds are you probably will.
But the opposite is also true — if you know you can’t, you’re probably right.
Bruce Lee put it this way: “One will never get any more than he thinks he can get.” What you truly, deeply believe is true about yourself and your future is most likely what will happen.
What do you believe?
The problem is, most people don’t have powerful self-belief in themselves. Most people think this is about as good as it gets. For the most part, most people believe the best they can be is merely “good.”
Why? Because it’s easier to stay in mediocrity than undertake the difficult process of upgrading your belief system. It’s easier to relax in “good” instead of busting your ass towards greatness.
If you want to have an incredible, successful life, you need to begin believing success is the only possible option.
“One of the greatest turning points in my life occurred when I stopped casually waiting for success and started to approach it as a duty, obligation, and responsibility.” -Grant Cardone
When Arnold Schwarzenegger was just beginning his acting career, he received many offers for lesser roles — crude villains like Nazi officers, evil henchmen with no lines, and the like. All everyone saw was a foreigner with a thick accent and big muscles.
His agent begged him to take the roles. He refused.
Years after becoming the most famous leading man in Hollywood, he wrote:
“The only way you become a leading man is to treat yourself like a leading man, and work your ass off.”
The more clear you are on your goals, the more opportunities will come your way.
Before Peter Dinklage joined the case of the globally popular show Game of Thrones, he refused to play leprechauns or elves — the only parts he was offered for someone his height. He held out, and treated himself like a leading man.
If you want to be a leading man or woman, you have to treat yourself like one. Otherwise, no one will take you seriously. If you don’t believe in yourself, how can you possibly expect others to? You’ll never get more than you think you can get.
In his autobiography, actor Bryan Cranston revealed that when he’s casting for a production, he almost never hires actors who seemed shaky and unconfident in their audition. Why?
“Not because they are untalented, but because they haven’t yet come to the place where they trust themselves, so how I can trust they’ll be able to do the job with a sense of ease? Confidence is king.”
If you do not predetermine what you will (and will not) do, you’ll always end up taking good-not-great opportunities at best. Likely, you won’t be able to consistently secure even those opportunities. If you want higher success, begin believing you’re capable of that, and treat yourself accordingly. People are watching.
When my wife and I moved to South Korea to teach English, I told myself I was going to use all my spare time to create my ideal life — running my own business as a writer.
When the wrong opportunities came knocking, it wasn’t hard to say no. In fact, it was a no-brainer. It didn’t matter how much I was being offered — to be a youth basketball coach, career coach, data analyst, church musician, or private tutor — these things weren’t going to help me reach my goal, so the answer was obvious.
I wanted to become a top-tier writer, so that’s how I treated myself. That’s how I saw myself.
After a year of treating myself like this, I had:
It’s very hard to say no to an opportunity if you don’t know where you’re going.
But it’s extremely easy to say no if you know what you want.
“If the ladder is not leaning against the right wall, every step we take just gets us to the wrong place faster.”
If you want the lifestyle of a leading man or woman, you need to treat yourself like that (and work your ass off).
Otherwise, you’ll constantly be unsure and uncertain in your decision-making, often making choices that pull you farther and farther from your goal.
The higher the standards you set for yourself, the more likely you’ll finally land the leading role.
We are kept from our goal not by obstacles but by a clear path to a lesser goal.”
“You can’t allow yourself to think that you’re the victim, or that’s precisely what you will be.” -Ray Allen
Most people will continue to live far below their potential, criticizing the “upper class” and “1%” of people who are actually living their ideal life.
The creed of many lower and middle class individuals stuck in mediocrity is simple:
It’s easier to stay in mediocrity than actually do the work. But if you want your ideal life, full of great relationships, abundance finances, optimal health, and personal freedom, this can’t be your creed. If you let it, you’re destined to live a life below your potential.
Choose to upgrade your mindset and develop your capacity for enormous success. You attract what you are; you’ll never achieve more than you think you can get.
You might even miss blessings meant for you, but pass over you because your vision was too narrow to accept it.
If you want to become extraordinary and become 10x more effective than you were before, check out my checklist.