Do what no one else is willing to do.
Success doesn’t happen “to” you. It happens because of you.
In the words of Napoleon Hill, “Success comes to those who are success-conscious.” If you make progress your most important goal and actively make strides to improve, you will begin to attract success like a magnet.
During my first 4 years of blogging, I pitched guest posts to every website. I emailed every influencer. I tweeted every writer. I hand-wrote letters to authors and asked if they would mentor me.
Maybe 5% ever responded — most of which were thanks-but-no-thanks rejections.
But a few months ago, I started taking myself and my writing extremely seriously. I stopped emailing websites hoping people would say yes and just focused on building something people could no longer ignore.
The results were astounding. To name a few:
- 14,000+ new email subscribers
- Guest posts on CNBC, Thought Catalog, and Business Insider
- 35,000+ views on a big day (for 4 years, my record was 753 views in 1 day)
- $1,500+ a month in passive income (I never made a dime the first 4 years)
- A book publisher asking me to write a book for them
- A popular men’s magazine republishing my articles
- Podcast and conference speaker invitations
I began attracting enormous success when I made PROGRESS my biggest goal.
I finally stopped chasing success. I knew the more I improved, the more success I would attract; success would take care of itself.
Here are 9 easy habits you can start today that will make you automatically attract enormous success.
“Your level of success will rarely exceed your level of personal development, because success is something you attract by the person you become.” -Hal Elrod
1. Label Every Obstacle as a Learning Opportunity
“Within every obstacle is a chance to improve our condition.” -Ryan Holiday, The Obstacle Is the Way
Most people only see obstacles as unfortunate problems that prevent them from progress. They run into some difficulties, throw up their hands, and go home.
The world’s most successful people automatically attract enormous success by using their obstacles as a distinct, unique advantage. Whatever obstacles arise are immediately embraced as an opportunity to learn and grow.
Author Elif Batuman describes this mindset in The New Yorker:
“For you, every setback is an advantage, an opportunity for learning and glory. When a difficulty comes your way, you should feel proud and excited, like ‘a wrestler whom God, like a trainer, has paired with a tough young buck.’”
This implacable attitude confounds most other people, and always attracts significant success over time.
People who automatically attract enormous success do so by making every obstacle an opportunity.
It’s not enough to simply manage problems with a neutral, resigned attitude, either. In his book Good to Great, Jim Collins writes, “Managing your problems can only make things good, while building your opportunities is the only way to make things great.”
Most people view problems in a negative light, or at best, with resigned duty. Few people see obstacles for what they really are — incredibly potent, powerful fuel to teach you new skills that make you better.
If you want to automatically attract enormous success, see every problem as an opportunity to learn.
Said author Ryan Holiday, “The struggle against an obstacle inevitably propels the fighter to a new level of functioning.”
This is how you bend success to your will. For you, the harder the obstacle, the greater the victory. The more difficult the problem, the more you’ll learn and grow.
The world loves people with this mindset. Individuals with this attitude inspire faith, confidence, and trust in others.
“One of the major differences between successful and unsuccessful people is that successful people look for problems, whereas the latter make every attempt to avoid them.” -Grant Cardone
2. Teach Yourself the Skills You Never Thought You Could Learn
“Every skill you acquire doubles your odds of success.” -Scott Adams
Most people don’t know how to:
- Self-publish an eBook
- Start a blog
- Create their own podcast
- Design their own online course
- Consistently wake up at 5AM
I didn’t believe I could do any of these things. But I’ve taught myself each of these skills — and evolved into a much better version of myself in the process.
I have a degree in English. I’ve been writing for 5 years; I blog, I create content. “I’m only a writer,” I would tell myself. “I don’t do tech stuff, I’m not a business guy.”
But after a mind-numbing week of going back-and-forth with perplexing tech support, I realized I had recoded my entire website and created my first online course from scratch. It was like looking up from the hood of your car and realizing you, a complete amateur, had just replaced the transmission by yourself.
Most people have an extremely limiting mindset of themselves. Some even wear these limitations as a backwards badge of honor:
- “Oh, I have no idea how to write a book.”
- “I’m awful at all that creative stuff.”
- “I can’t start a podcast, I wouldn’t know where to start.”
- “I couldn’t start my own business, I’d be a terrible businessman.”
This disbelief is negative power. As Joseph Murphy wrote in The Power of Your Subconscious Mind, “Your subconscious mind will accept any suggestions, however false, and responds according to the nature of the suggestion given.”
What you tell yourself becomes true.
Want to automatically attract enormous success? Teach yourself some new tricks. You increase your scope of influence, your ability to converse with experts in different fields, and most importantly, your self-belief.
Learning the skills you always thought you couldn’t learn destroys the self-doubt and fear that prevents so many people from ever achieving greatness.
“If you want enormous success, you must become more.” -Jim Rohn
3. Do What No One Else is Willing to Do
In his book, Deep Work, Cal Newport proposes that the people who will always be in-demand from the economy are those who can engage in long, focused periods of “deep work:”
“The ability to perform deep work is becoming increasingly rare at exactly the same time it is becoming increasingly valuable in our economy. As a consequence, the few who cultivate this skill, and then make it the core of their working life, will thrive.”
Newport is pointing to the fact that most people don’t know how to produce top-tier quality results from deep work — extremely focused, uninterrupted flow states that enable truly extraordinary results.
The economy and marketplace increasingly reward deep work skills precisely because they are becoming so rare in our low-attention span society.
If you are able to set strict mental boundaries and commit to intensely focused work times, you will thrive in today’s economy.
As author Jim Rohn once wrote:
“Successful people do what unsuccessful people are not willing to do.”
The reason some people automatically attract success is because they are willing to do the things no one else is and learn the skills no one else is willing to learn.
“Live like no one else now, so later you can live like no one else.” -Dave Ramsey
4. Be Prepared For Every Possible Opportunity
“Opportunity is a haughty goddess who wastes no time with those who are unprepared.” -George Samuel Clason
Extraordinary, life-changing opportunities pass by unsuspecting people every day.
Most people are unprepared and ill-equipped to seize a huge opportunity. Since they have accepted too many mediocre obligations, they have neither the means nor the eye to recognize truly great opportunities.
Top-quality opportunities will not wait for you. If you are not ready, they’ll pass you by and find someone else a minute later.
The magic is, once you begin seizing opportunities as they come, more opportunities will gravitate to you. The more you capitalize on, the more come your way.
Most people are simply too prideful to learn new skills — they think learning how to code is irrelevant, or that mastering new online tools should be done by someone else.
In today’s world, the success doesn’t go to the luckiest or smartest — it goes to the hungriest.
Prepare yourself. Commit to learning and creating, not entertainment and distraction.
Life-changing opportunities will come, and you must be ready to seize them when no one else is.
5. Fail More Times Than Anyone Else
“If I fail more than you, I win.” -Seth Godin
Success is attracted to those who are:
- Consistent in a world of impatience
- Committed in a world of inconstancy
- Focused in a world of distraction
The best way to learn and grow is through repeated, constant experiments. As author and entrepreneur Michael Simmons wrote:
“Success is a direct result of the number of experiments you perform.”
When you fail, you learn. When you fail more than anyone else, you learn more than anyone else.
This knowledge is what will make you unstoppable — all the lessons you learned from years of failing and getting back up again.
This commitment to learning despite setbacks reveals the hidden secrets behind success in every area, and will attract success like bees to a flower.
When I first started blogging, I had it all wrong. I was totally self-indulgent. My posts were long-winded and boring. I bragged without teaching, and lectured without knowledge. No wonder I only had about 200 followers after 4 years!
But hundreds of articles later, I’ve learned many lessons after 60 months of blogging. The reason I have success now is because of all the (failed) writing experiments I tried for years. I know what works (and what doesn’t) now.
“Success is neither magical nor mysterious. Success is the natural consequence of consistently applying the basic fundamentals.” -Jim Rohn
Most people are afraid of failure. Since their self-worth is tied to their performance, any failure is confirmation that they aren’t good enough. If they suck at something, it means they suck.
But your self-worth is completely independent of failure. Failure is simply an opportunity to learn, to grow, and to discover new lessons.
The more you fail, the more growth you’ll experience. The more growth you have, the more success will find you.
“If someone is better than you at something, it’s likely they’ve failed at it more times than you have.” -Mark Manson
6. Behave Like a World-Class Winner — Even If You’re Not One Yet
“Winners act like winners before they become winners. That’s how they become winners.” -Bill Walsh
Most people are living beneath their potential.
Anyone can achieve greatness. Anyone can evolve into better versions of themselves. Anyone who wants to can realize even their most lofty goals.
But most people won’t.
The reason most people will never avoid mediocrity is because they believe they need to feel like a winner before they can become one.
But this is backwards. You act like a winner first; you become a winner by doing so. Acting “as if” becomes acting “as is.”
Success is attracted to individuals with powerful self-belief and the will to achieve their goals. The way to get there is by putting on the hat of a winner, so to speak. Even if you’re not a world-class winner yet, acting as if you were stimulates your mind to begin thinking like one.
“As a man thinketh, so he is. As he continues to think, so he remains.” -James Allen
Every day, I wake up and tell myself I’m a top writer on Medium.com. I declare every article I write will gain tens of thousands of views. People will read my words and become transformed; I will change lives and make great loving helping people become extraordinary.
At first, my writing simply wasn’t that good. But writing every article with the expectation of its greatness is a powerful tool.
Once my writing gets off-track — when I get self-indulgent, or when I ramble, or just write confusing points — an alarm in my mind blares. “Hey. This article is going to be read by tens of thousands of people, so cut that crap out. That’s not what great writing looks like.”
That focused voice wouldn’t be there if I didn’t act like a world-class writer first — even if I’m not one yet.
7. Be Authentic, Vulnerable, and Genuine With Others
“Some of the greatest moments of one’s life are not pleasant, not successful, not known, and not positive.” -Mark Manson
When I see someone baring their heart and soul in a post or a video, I’m just captivated. I love hearing vulnerable stories, especially people overcoming the worst circumstances to win what they never could.
One of my favorite current writers doing this is Tiffany Sun. I love her work, and her vulnerability and brutal honesty about her painful relationship history makes her one of the most refreshing writers on Medium.
If you’re honest and vulnerable about your struggles and failures, people relate to that. Connections are made. Heads are turned. Attention is captured.
Success becomes inevitable.
This is why I’ve decided to be so forthright about my addiction to pornography, my work in 12-step program environments, and just how low I felt for over 15 years of hell-on-earth addiction.
People email me all the time with their own stories in response to my honesty. I build trust and connection. I’m not some car salesman or some flashy entrepreneur with a Tesla and a silver tongue — I’m just a regular guy with some serious problems I’ve overcome over a long time.
Author Grant Cardone once wrote:
“Many people think in terms of ‘I have to do what my colleague/neighbor/family member is doing’ instead of ‘I have to do what’s best for me.’”
In his new book, David Kadavy wrote: “When our true self doesn’t get a chance to follow its desires, it acts out in strange ways.” My man Tim Denning put it this way: “Not being you will destroy you.”
The more you are yourself, the higher you’ll go. The more “you” you become every day, the more success and opportunities will find you.
Stop living someone else’s life. Be honest and vulnerable — it’s what we’re all dying to hear.
8. Be a Giver, Not a Taker
“The world gives to the givers and takes from the takers.” -Adam Grant
Most people are takers.
They take what they can get. Money, opportunities, the last piece of cake — most people would not be quick to selflessly give what could’ve been theirs.
This “scarcity” mindset causes a tremendous level of misery, fear, and resentment. David Foster Wallace once penned, “If you worship money and things, then you will never have enough, never feel you have enough.”
When I was younger, my mother once explained the concept of tithing to me. “If you close your fist around your money, you can’t lose it — but you can’t receive any more, either.”
An open hand — with your money, connections, information, and knowledge — can feel like you’re giving away all your value. That’s how it usually feels for me.
But giving attracts people. True givers — ones who don’t expect anything in return, ones who truly have no strings attached — are so rare today. Meeting someone like this is truly a breath of fresh air on a smoggy day.
“Giving your time and attention without the expectation of something in return is a key strategy of professional advancement.” -Adam Grant
9. Be Quiet and Listen to Everyone.
“The key to being a good conversationalist is a genuine and unselfish interest others. That, and practice.” -Frank Crane
In the year after I graduated college, I conducted about 30 informational interviews.
I would reach out to some awesome person on LinkedIn and ask them out for coffee. These were high-level people — founders, CEO’s, directors, and the like.
About 90% of the people accepted my invitation. I was shocked to hear how few times they had ever been asked out by someone like me.
They had incredible knowledge and wisdom, and they were happy to share with me. I gained mentors, job offers, I got my friends great jobs, and I was introduced to some seriously incredible people I would have otherwise never had access to, like coffee with the CEO of a $10MM marketing business.
It was then I learned — be quiet, and listen.
So few people truly make a point to become a student and learn from those who have found success.
An old parable comes to mind:
“Once upon a time, there was a wise Zen master. People traveled from far away to seek his help. In return, he would teach them and show them the way to enlightenment.
On this particular day, a scholar came to visit the master for advice. “I have come to ask you to teach me about Zen,” the scholar said.
Soon, it became obvious that the scholar was full of his own opinions and knowledge. He interrupted the master repeatedly with his own stories and failed to listen to what the master had to say. The master calmly suggested that they should have tea.
So the master poured his guest a cup. The cup was filled, yet he kept pouring until the cup overflowed onto the table, onto the floor, and finally onto the scholar’s robes. The scholar cried “Stop! The cup is full already. Can’t you see?”
“Exactly,” the Zen master replied with a smile. “You are like this cup — so full of ideas that nothing more will fit in. Come back to me with an empty cup.”
Most people believe they already have it all figured out, yet wonder why opportunities, luck, and success continues to elude them.
Choose to become a student first, and success will find you.
(BONUS): Be More Consistent Than Anyone Else
“By showing up consistently to do the work, you’ve already won.” -Srinivas Rao
For every day you keep going, thousands of others quit.
Often, success comes at the end — to those who are still there after everyone else has left. It’s like compound interest, where the largest gains come after much time has passed.
Most people quit before they even get a chance to succeed. They try something for a few weeks, even a few months; but before they reach a place of automatically attracting success, they give up and go home.
“Success is nothing more than the long-term investment of time.” -Nicolas Cole
If you want to automatically attract enormous success, you need to be more consistent than you’ve ever been. This is how you reach the level of compound interest that gives you riches and treasures that most people will never know.
Now that I’m finally a consistent writer, opportunities flood my inbox every day; a book publisher contacted me to ask if I’d be interested in writing a book for them. A popular men’s magazine wanted to republish several of my articles. Big-time writers reach out to me.
Of course, I’m still doing the work and getting out there to make my own success. But I’ve also reached a place where success is coming to me.
“Success is the result of relentless, proper actions taken over time.” -Grant Cardone
Most people don’t automatically attract success.
It’s not surprising; success is difficult. It costs a lot. It requires sacrifice, consistency, and becoming more than you are.
But once you reach the point where you begin automatically attract enormous success, you’ll start evolving every day.
Change is hard. If you’re not in a place where you attract success, all this might seem impossible.
Do not be discouraged. No one is able to adhere to all these principles, all the time. As they say in 12-step meetings, the goal is progress, not perfection. As long as you’re growing, you’re making progress.
Do what you can. Soon, you may be surprised to find success finding you.
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