Anyone who guarantees success is a charlatan.
But, there are traits you can adopt that dramatically increase your odds of being successful. That’s what you want, better odds. And if you embody these traits, your odds will be so high that on a long enough time scale success is likely.
People of all races, genders, and backgrounds can have these traits. You don’t have to be a genius to have or adopt these traits. Even after a lifetime of exhibiting the opposite of these traits, you can change and adopt them.
If you don’t, you won’t necessarily live a bad life. You’ll just live whatever life you’re living right now extrapolated out into the future.
You have to ask yourself if that’s what you want.
What does your life look like five to 10 years down the road if you stay the same?
If you like the answer, stop reading this post and live your life. If the answer scares you a little bit, it’s time for some reflection.
Like anything I write, these words will ring hollow unless you embrace them at that deep and visceral level.
Do your best to embody these traits, give yourself time, and watch amazing changes happen in your life.
Somehow, someway, you just have to get it in your head that you’re going to be the one to pull it off.
Most successful people are delusional.
Being delusional doesn’t make you unrealistic, per se, because with the right level of delusion most people could pull off the dreams they have in the back of their mind.
Being delusional means you’re a standard deviation or two above the average person when it comes to believing yourself. You’re going to appear delusional to most people in society because you believe in yourself.
But how do you do it?
You have all that negative self-talk and a lifetime’s worth of evidence that you haven’t achieved a huge goal. Most of the people you see around you are living from a limited paradigm. Society does everything it can to make you weak, helpless, and dependant.
If you want to reprogram your mind, you need to get your reps in. Use whatever tools and methods you have at your disposal to convince yourself that you’re capable of more. I’ve read some of my favorite personal development blog posts dozens of times. Same with blog posts about becoming a successful writer.
I had to walk two miles every day to drop off the deposits when I worked as a manager at the video store. I listened to audios back and forth every single day. Even back then, when I was making $10/hr, I was convinced, deluded, that my life wouldn’t always be that way.
As far as the attitudes of other people around you? Screw them. You have to stop identifying with the masses altogether. Don’t look down on them, but make sure not to think like them.
Self-starters who learn how to iterate through trial and error do much better than those who wait for all the answers.
I get emails from aspiring writers all the time that ask me questions I never would’ve asked anyone back in the day:
If you want to be successful, you have to put some of the pieces of the puzzle together yourself.
There are tons of resources out there to help you build your own tailor-made education. You should become a master at using Google. You can watch free videos on YouTube, buy cheap online courses, or go all-in on premium ones.
Just understand that no one is going to give you the entire game step by step without you having to do anything.
Some of the most important times in my writing career involved going through these massive blogging guides and following every single step without skipping one.
If the article said ’17 steps to build my email list’ I’d do all 17. And whenever I followed the steps without skipping any, the strategies worked.
The strategies work.
I get it. It’s tough to be proactive. That’s where the motivational and inspirational content comes in. Delude yourself and then implement the information you pick up along the way.
Long-term patience isn’t the most important form. You need a special form of patience that you deploy in the present moment.
A huge yet underrated factor of becoming successful is your ability to deal with minutiae. Most writers abandon their careers after trying to set up a blog — tons of little tedious steps.
Starting any business has a series of tedious steps involved — setting up the website, writing little bits of copy, doing outreach, calling some dude in China to get sample products, setting up analytics, etc.
If you can survive the initial ‘death by a thousand cuts’ aspect of starting a new life path, you’re most of the way there.
If I can do it, you can do it.
How do I know? Because I’m one of the most absent-minded people you’ll come across. I have a terrible time paying attention to detail, I don’t like to plan anything, and I always wait until the last minute to do everything.
So how did I discipline myself enough to get my business off the ground?
My dream was compelling enough to build enough discipline to follow through. I found something I enjoyed, which is why I tell people to focus on their strengths. Find something you’re pre-disposed to doing and your odds increase.
Then, get through the tiny little steps it takes.
Looking back, it doesn’t even feel like I ever did the work. My blogs, my email marketing software, all the little landing pages I created, the step by step guides I followed, the little micro-technical-skills I’ve developed — all of this stuff just exists now.
Once you complete the step, the step is complete forever. Do this a handful of times and you’re off to the races.
I’ve noticed an inverse correlation between the degree to which you accept the official narrative of society and the odds of success you’ll have in life. As I educate myself more, I believe the official narrative less. Hell, at this point, I don’t believe it at all.
I talk about this in my book. Society is set up for the individual to be mediocre. On the other hand, though, the machine doesn’t mind if a few cogs are missing because the vast majority of people will remain cogs.
If you can combine skepticism of the narrative with the ability to smile and nod, you have a shot. What do I mean by ‘smile and nod’? Well, when you become more awake and aware, most of the people you interact with will say some BS statement throughout a conversation. Just smile and nod.
Avoid the need to become a self-improvement evangelist. It won’t work. I save those messages for forums like these. In my day to day life, I try to be normal. It’s hard. The need to ‘show people the light’ is strong but ultimately useless.
The world is going to spin as it always has and most people will obey as they always have. Be different. Stick to your convictions. When you level up more, you’ll start to feel like you’re the crazy one. Most of what you see in society will contradict the way you think. This will annoy you and frustrate you.
Let it go and focus on your mission.
When you start to focus on the other narrative — the narrative of infinite upside, potential, and opportunities — you’ll find other people who understand that narrative, too.
You can build your own tribe of people who understand this narrative. Your peers and your tribe will become a safe haven for your mind in a world full of programmed people.
Some people move through life simply unaware of the vast opportunities available to them. You can change your life by spotting and seizing and a handful of opportunities and running with them.
A friend asked me to write for his website five years ago. I’d always wanted to write. When the opportunity presented itself, things clicked. I knew this was something I’d been wanting to do so I gave it a shot.
Prior to that, I was doing lots of reading and studying. This helped me develop the attitude that I needed to seize said opportunities.
In the past five years, I’ve kept my eyes wide open and followed this strategy. In the beginning, when you have no real traction, just say yes to everything, because you never know.
As you become more successful over time you’ll have to be more discerning about which opportunities to take based on things like money, time, and how much fun the opportunities are (this could be the number one factor).
At a certain point, you’ll see the crazy abundance of opportunity in the world to the point where it kind of annoys you that you can’t personally seize each one of them yourself.
Opportunities are everywhere. Stop looking at all the negativity and outrage in society. Instead, ask yourself “What am I not seeing? What am I not keeping an eye out for?”
As you’re training yourself to spot opportunities, it’s like magic the way new ones present themselves. Almost as if they were already there the whole time.
Funny how that works.