In today’s world of motivational speeches, inspirational quotes, and self-help books, we become convinced that we are destined for great things. You — yes, you reading this email right now — can become successful, rich, famous, and better than everybody else while posting #blessed on your Instagram.
But there’s a fundamental flaw with this mindset that the self-help industry pampers to us: it is not realistic. In fact, it can be quite toxic.
The first article I ever published was about how you can do anything you set your mind to. I still stand by every word I wrote. But one thing I never discussed is what you should actually set your mind to. What should you strive toward? What makes someone “successful”?
When it comes to motivational videos, articles, and quotes on social media, there’s an obvious truth we all kind of know, but never want to actually acknowledge — most people watching/reading that motivation will never become rich, famous, or be the best at anything.
We are all inherently aware of this. But just like with advertising, as I discussed in my book The Social Gladiator, we think that we are exceptions to the rule. The problem is that everybody thinks that and you are most likely dead center in the middle of the rule.
Today, I want you to redefine what “success” means for you.
Step away from the superficial, material things. Yes, money is great. It can help you be happier, healthier, and live a more fulfilled life. If you’re a guy, banging a lot of chicks will give you a huge ego boost and you will feel more confident for a while. Of course, traveling is amazing and can broaden your perspective about the world.
But none of these things will make you successful. Anybody can be happy when good things happen. It’s one of the easiest things in the world. If you give a hundred broke people a million dollars, 100/100 of those people will probably crap their pants with joy. Happiness is not special.
What determines your level of success is how well you deal with the hardships of life. Because experiencing extreme negative emotions and shit situations is a fucking guarantee for every single one of us. Yet, if a hundred people have the same bad thing happen to them, each of them will react differently.
This is where each of us is unique. Well, more unique, at least.
Researcher and psychologist Carol Dweck has studied this for over twenty years. She has undoubtedly found that people with a strong mindset, who face challenges head-on and deal with their problems without breaking down, they are the ones who end up succeeding the most in life.
Not only are they happier because they don’t let the bad things hold them down, this mindset actually helps them achieve more in other areas of life, be it business or relationships.
She named this the “growth mindset”, a term you may already be familiar with.
To put this in a better perspective and explain the dangers of not adopting a growth mindset in your life, I wrote an article you should check out:
Redefine what success means for you. Instead of asking yourself: “How awesome do I want my life to be?”, ask yourself “What problems do I want in life?”. Doing this will make you more successful than most people on this planet.