How to Be Successful — With a Simple Change in Mindset

T-bag Diet Fail

(Comic by Nijaz Sedic. Check out this post to learn more.)



What is the secret of those successful few?


You know, those bastards that seem to have all the luck. Things just always work out for them. Even when the shit hits the fan — when everything looks about to fall apart — it somehow manages to come out in their favor. They’re better off for it.


What the fuck?


Don’t you hate them for that? Come on, admit it. You know you do.


What do they have that you don’t? And why the hell can’t you ever seem to catch a break?


Success is a Mindset


So here’s the hard truth: success is not something you achieve. It doesn’t come from accomplishing a goal. It’s not about win or lose.


Success is a trait. A characteristic. A part of your personality.


It’s who you are.


Most people get their cause and effect reversed here. They see a successful person and think, “If I could accomplish all those things, I’d be just as successful.”


No. You wouldn’t.


Your thinking is backwards. The reason the successful individual has accomplished so much is precisely because they were successful in the first place. They had the mindset. They had the drive.


Success is a behavior, and like any behavior, it is something that can be changed.


It can be trained.


That’s right. Success can be trained. And you can do it yourself. You don’t need to pay for expensive “How to be Successful” courses online. You don’t need to hire a life coach to show you the way.


You can do this yourself . . . if you choose.


But here’s the rub: it’s hard fucking work. We’re talking about changing your mindset here. Changing your view of the world . . . and how you view yourself.


Do you think a few positive affirmations first thing when you get up in the morning are going to do the trick? Do you really believe that listening to subliminal recordings while you sleep is going to turn you into some fucking ambitious take charge go-getting beast?


Quit deluding yourself.


If you want to be successful you have to earn it. You have to change your mindset long before you’ll ever see even a hint of results for your effort. If you’re serious about turning your life around, you’d better be prepared to do the work.


So here are the qualities you need to start training. You’re going to need each and every one (and more) on your journey towards developing the success-mindset.


1. Take Resposibility – This is absolutely fucking vital! You won’t accomplish shit until you do. I cannot stress this enough. You need to take the blame for everything. I don’t care how far of a stretch it seems.


Lost your job because the economy tanked? Your fault. Should’ve chosen a different job.


Girlfriend dumped you? Your fault. Should’ve treated her better.


Car broke down and you don’t have the money to fix it? Your fault. Should’ve put more maintenance into it.


I don’t mean to be an asshole, but the only way you will ever own your life is to accept full responsibility for all of it. Good, bad, and all the rest.


Take ownership.


It will free you.


Because when you accept all the responsibility, you accept all the power. The power to make yourself. The power to act.


The power to run your own damn life.


2. Take Action – So you’ve accepted responsibility and the power to act that comes with it. Good for you. Now use it. Do something already. The power does no good unless it is exercised.


Do you think the successful just sat on their ass while good fortune fell all around them?


No. They went out and made shit happen. They took chance after chance. They didn’t cry about why things never went their way. Instead, they got the ball rolling themselves.


Do what it takes. As long as it takes. No lesser stance will suffice.


Because nothing will happen for you that you aren’t willing to make happen yourself.




3. Pay Your Dues – Now you’re getting somewhere. You’re putting in the hours. You’re making shit happen. You’re going after your dreams.


But the road’s been tough.


You haven’t seen the results you thought you’d see by now. It all seems like a lot of work with little to show for it. You’ve even thought about giving up. Just calling it quits.


Congratulations. You’ve made it to The Test.


This is where most people’s journey ends. The Test always presents itself when you are at your most vulnerable. It seems a cruel twist of fate, but it makes sense. After all, strength defies the need for testing – trials can only come from battling weakness.


When faced with The Test, you have only two options. Pass or fail. Just like any other test.


But this is not some simple quiz to be completed during class. The Test can last for years. Yes, years. Why do you think the Odyssey is such a powerful tale? Are you willing to face ten fucking years of struggle?


If not, then you’d better reassess your goals. Because it just might take that long. Can you tough it out?


When it comes time to pay your dues, you’re going to need strength. You’re going to need persistence. Fortitude. You’re going to need the ability to grit it out. To take your hits and keep on coming.


Fuck the pain.


Fuck the hurt.


You gotta keep on. Move forward. This about challenge. You’re either up for it or you’re not.


If you can stick with it past the point where everyone else throws in the towel, if you can pass The Test, then success is virtually assured.


4. Dive Into Risk – The difference between those who succeed and those who don’t is that the former see opportunity wherever they look, while the latter see only hardship.


This world is absofuckinglutely RIPE with opportunity. If you don’t see it that’s because you’ve got your blinders on.


But it’s not enough to see all the possibilities. You need to be willing to make the most of them. It’s scarier than it sounds.


It means taking a chance. Being willing to fall flat on your face. Accepting the consequences that may result.


Most people aren’t willing to put themselves out there. They’re too afraid to leave the safety of their comfortable little bubble.


That’s why they achieve nothing.


If you ever want to make something worthwhile of yourself, you’re going to have to face all that uncertainty and more.


Because when you’re forging your own path, you don’t always know what direction you’re heading . . . and the terrain can be treacherous.


5. Step Up Your Game – Success requires one-upmanship. Sometimes against others, but more often against oneself.


The success-mindset depends on the constant pursuit of growth. It’s not enough to achieve something of note. It’s not enough to just reach a goal.


You need to smash that goal into little fucking shards.


You need to do better. You need to be better.


If you can achieve one goal, then you can achieve another — an even greater one. Successful people never reach the top of the mountain. They understand that there is no top. The road always goes uphill.


That’s just how it is.


It’s not about reaching some ideal level of achievement. It’s not about “having enough.” You might have enough money, and that’s just dandy, but you’d best never have enough of the challenge.


The challenge is what drives the successful. Not the riches or the glory. They know that no matter how far they’ve come, they can always go further.


If you’re looking for success as a means to the easy life, you’re going to be sorely disappointed. Well probably not, since that mindset will never see success anyway. But if you did, you’d realize that life is never easy.


It shouldn’t be.


What would be the point?


6. Share the Success – Nobody achieves anything great all by themselves. When you start your journey towards success you will need help. It’s a given. What you do with that help says everything about you.


Will you be a user? Milking other’s talent for all it’s worth then discarding them when you feel they have nothing left to offer?


Or will you help lift those who lift you? Spreading the prosperity. Repaying kindness with kindness.


Will you hoard the value? Or will you create as much value as you possibly can and share it with the rest of the world.


True success comes not from amassing a fortune and living on your own little island in the tropics. It comes from making a difference. Not just for yourself, but for those around you.


Are you making a difference?


If you were the tide that lifted all boats, then you made a difference. If you leave this world with more opportunity than it had before you, then you made a difference.


If your legacy speaks of love and humanity, no matter the scale, then you were a success.


Make Your Choice


So now you understand. Success is a way of thinking. And you’ll need to come around to this way of thinking before you’ll ever have a chance at reaping its benefits.


Make no mistake about it, this level of change may just be the hardest fucking thing you’ll ever do. Even harder than walking the road is finding it in the first place.


This is how you find it.


You make a choice. You choose to live successfully.


Despite all the work it takes.


Despite the risks.


Despite the results you’ve yet to achieve.


You make the switch. You train yourself. You develop your success-mindset.


It doesn’t matter if you’re scared or hurting. You do it anyway.


It doesn’t matter if you backslide every so often. One burger ain’t gonna kill all the weeks of dieting you’ve put in. One step back isn’t going to erase the countless steps forward you’ve made.


So make your choice and accept all that comes with it.


Responsibiltiy. Power. Opportunity.


Risk. Fear. Uncertainty.






Make your choice.



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  1. I used to hate those with more than me. Now I pity the fools who have more but either didn’t earn it or don’t share it. Number 6, by the way, might be the most important.

    • I can’t help but picture you with a mohawk as you say that you “pity the fools.” But you’re right Dan, having what you didn’t earn usually leads to trouble. It leads to a lack of respect. Earning your success and paying your dues develops the proper perspective. It helps you keep things real.


  2. “It’s hard work” Yeah it fucking is! I can’t tell you how many people ask me for help losing weight because they have no “willpower.” Or they’ve tried to lose weight but it didn’t work.

    My response is: you have to want it badly enough. Then it doesn’t matter how many cupcakes are sitting in front of you, you can pass them up because you WANT to lose weight and know that cupcake won’t get you to your goal. It takes work! It’s not EASY!

    • Damn straight! You nailed it Lisa. If you want it bad enough you WILL do whatever it takes to succeed. You won’t let setbacks deter you. You won’t make excuses. You’ll do the work necessary to get to where you need to go. You’re living proof of that.

      An achievement is an achievement because of the struggle that went into it. So we should be thankful that it’s hard. Otherwise, it just wouldn’t be worthwhile.


      • YES! It is SO EASY to make excuses. I don’t have time to exercise (really? Everyone is busy but lots of people find time). My thyroid. I’m too tired. I don’t have willpower. Just do it! 🙂

        • The path of least resistance is the easiest to follow. Of course. But it never leads us anywhere worth going. Excuses litter the way.

          And did I mention that excuses kill kittens?

          It’s true. Every excuse we make is kitty murder.

          Only when we cut the crap and ditch the excuses can we begin to realize our own potential. It feels amazing when you start to tap into it


  3. Great comment and post Trevor! I have found success happens first in our mind followed by taking action. If we can have an image of our desired future in our mind then put action behind it we can do great things.

    • Thanks Dan. There is nothing we can’t achieve . . . so long as we’re willing to become the person it takes to achieve it. Changing ourselves will always be the most difficult part of the journey. In reality, it is the journey. Because as we begin to change, all the pieces start fitting together. Change is hard, but the success that follows is just a natural byproduct of who you’ve become.


  4. I forgot to take notes, for that was an epic tale! Full of responsibility, attitude, discipline and growth – I like it! Responsibility I think is a biggy, but I don’t want to make the mistake of trying to take the responsibility of others, my back can only hold so much weight, no matter how much farmers walking I do! 🙂

    The mind is truly the place to reap the riches and make it to the top. Thanks for the inspiring read!

    • Thanks Nick! I’m glad you enjoyed it. We are what we believe we are. And we believe what we are because we live it. If you’re not living it then you are deluding yourself. Fantasy accomplishes nothing.

      If you keep upping the weights on your farmer’s walks, your shoulders will soon be broad enough to support both the dumbbells and the responsibility. Keep it up buddy!


  5. Awesome post Trevor. You’re absolutely right as well – success is something we are. One of my favourite quotes is “Success is something you attract by the person you become.” – Jim Rohn

    I live my life by taking responsibility. I was first introduced to that concept in ‘Rich Dad Poor Dad’, I think – it’s amazing. I think it’s one way to bring yourself out of hard failures, tell yourself that it was your fault BUT it’s a lesson also, so you bloody well do better next time.

    • Thanks Sam. I like that quote . . . it rings true.

      Success require taking risk. And risk will often lead to failure. The success-minded person is willing to accept those failures as part of the process, learn from them, and keep on going , but the success-challenged are too afraid of the failures and so never take the chance in the first place. You can never achieve something if you don’t even attempt it in the first place.


  6. Yep, success is a habit and a way of thinking. When we change our mindset, we change everything. Everything is created twice – in our imagination fo rthe first time and in reality for the second time.

    • I like the way you put that David. Success must first start in our head before it can ever become anything real. There’s power there when you think about it.


  7. Great post! Your best one yet.

    You nailed it when you say share the success and ensuring you’re making a difference. Having a strong and purposeful ‘WHY’ to doing something can create a tonne of motivation and momentum that is simply unstoppable.


    • Thanks Brendan! That means a lot.

      “Why” is the key. If your reason isn’t meaningful to you, your results will be sub par, at best. Finding your “why” is every bit as important as the “how”. Both are required in order to reach our full potential.


  8. Wow really powerful and really motivating. Really well said…

  9. Great post again, Trevor. I was looking forward to catching up with your blog this evening. I’ll be honest, I got my ass kicked tonight in Taekwondo sparring … two freaking’ 1st degree and 2nd degree blackbelts kicking me in the head multiple times quite simply … sucks ass.

    I tend to beat myself up over it afterwards. The 2nd degree has years of experience on me. The 1st degree guy is a former Marine. And me … I’m still over a year away from becoming a blackbelt. But still …

    Getting kicked in the head a few times is a test, I suppose. I reflected a lot when I was driving home. The whole time asking myself … WTF? You rerun the scenarios, ask yourself how you could have blocked, etc. But the only real solution at this point is take the couple of days to rest up, regroup, and get back to it Monday.

    There’s a great video clip of Al Pacino giving a locker room speech from the movie Any Given Sunday. It’s about 4 minutes long. He talks about fighting for inches with regards to success (and failure). Check it out if you get a chance, especially if you haven’t seen it. It’s a great complement video to go with your post.

    Keep up the good work!

    • Thanks Jeffrey! Getting kicked in the head by a couple of blackbelts sounds like a rough way to start your weekend, man. But like you say; rest, recoup, and back at it again on Monday. Call it paying your dues. When you’re the blackbelt kicking folks in the head you can look back on these days and know you earned it.

      I never saw that movie, but I’ll check out the clip on youtube. Thanks for the suggestion.


      • Nijaz Sedic says:

        Why don’t you cheer Jeffrey up with some of those pictures of you after your boxing match. Maybe they wouldn’t be Jeffrey’s cup of tea, but they would make my day for sure.

        • Do you still have those? I’m not sure I have my copies anymore. Email them to me and I would consider posting them up in a related post sometime. Could be fun.

          • Hmmm … boxing match? Could be fun indeed. You could make a post on your endeavor to go along with the pics.

            I’ve always enjoyed the amateur endeavors over pro. I guess, because you know the pro is going to kick butt regardless of the sport or task. But the amateur is more real. You’re going to see more of his mistakes, for example. And that keeps things real, honest, and down to earth.

            I liken this to drag racing. You know the top fuel guys are going to do 5 second quarter miles all day long on ESPN. But it’s a lot more fun to watch the guy who could be your next door neighbor run an unlikely and very fast 10 second quarter in a shitty looking Honda Civic.

          • Ha! Good point Jeffrey. You’re right, there is definitely something to be said for the amateur. They do seem more real. More human.

            And certainly easier to relate to. We always set the pro’s up on a pedestal, but the amateur is just like the rest of us. Struggling.


  10. Damn, this is motivating

  11. The responsibility bit really helped. Thanks. You are absolutely right that you have to take responsibility for everything that has happened to you. That’s what it takes to be able to change it.

    What society really demands of it’s participants is responsibility – growing up means being the one responsible to make it work. It’s just with all this deference we are supposed to have to authority, to teachers and bosses and parents, we give up all our power. It’s comforting, in a way, to be helpless, until you realize that life will suck until you rescue yourself. As soon as you start doing entrepreneury stuff, it becomes absolutely clear that the only thing between success and total shit is you.

    • I love how you put that Morgan. . . “the only thing between success and total shit is you.” Sounds like a great post headline. And it’s so true. Especially what you say about society.

      I have a lot of problems with modern day society. I think we’ve fucked things up in a multitude of ways. And one of the things that really gets to me is what you say about giving up our power. Society only pays lip service to the idea of the individual. What it really does is train us and ingrain us to give up our power and become just another cog in the machine. Individuality is snuffed. Remarkability is shunned.

      Such a fucking loss.

      Sometimes, I think it’d have just been best that we never even created civilization in the first place. Living the life of a hunter-gatherer in a small tribe of powerful and unique individuals sounds pretty damn idyllic to me. Not sure if it actually was, but I like to think so.

      Thanks for the great thoughts Morgan.


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