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The Psychology of Success

Nobody is going to do it for you...

When I first went to Nepal with a heart full of pain, I climbed a mountain to change my life. I found out that I was the same arsehole at the top as I was at the bottom. Since then I've been able to demonstrate that the psychology of success isn't about achievement, it's about the mindset you have at the start. That's Innerwealth's core gift.

1. Winner or Loser

I was sitting in a coffee shop today and a really nasty person sat next to me and literally shoved me to make room. 30 minutes earlier I was on my road bike in the rain when a person in a car tried to run me off the road. Losers get distracted by this stuff, winners are grinners, they just smile and recognise jealousy, envy and anger when they see it. There's no ignoring it, that just multiplies the problem. What we do is to recognise it, and go back to focussing on the coffee or enjoying riding the bike. Simply ask yourself "will my reaction change anything, escalate something or make it worse. Most of the time people want your attention when they behave badly, best solution, as Pavlov and his Dogs will demonstrate is to not reinforce their behaviour with any reaction.

  • Observe it
  • Label it (their problem)
  • Refocus

2. Energy Giver or Energy Taker

Keith Richards "there are only two types of people in the world "energy givers and energy takers." While a person is focussed on personal change, they are an energy taker (sucker). When a person says "there's nothing to change in me" then they are an energy giver. Energy givers aren't worried about themselves. They are thankful for who that are and what they've got. An energy taker thinks something is wrong all the time, first with themselves and therefore with others. Energy suckers are always rescuing people, wanting to fix somebody, or themselves.

  • Relax about it - you are who you are.
  • Resign yourself to it - It is what it is.
  • Refocus on the task at hand

3. Achiever or a Time Waster

A goal too small will deflate and demotivate. A goal too big will elate and depress us. Setting Goals is too easy to get wrong. We have to set goals that are both challenging and achievable. Goals will be broken down into short, medium and long term. They will also be divided by class: can change, can't change and don't change. Goal setting is a powerful science. It can make the difference between a life of struggle for no end and a life of struggle for an end. Goals can also be intrinsic (what you want to experience) and extrinsic (what you want to end up with). Add the sense of a greater purpose (a big why) and goals become the difference in life.

4. A Fighter or A Giver-Uper

Disruption is the game called life. On every corner someone is going to shout, "you're an idiot!" that's the name of the game of life. At this point you're going to be challenged to give up, buy into the comment or get angry and shout back. But what if there's a fourth option? Resilience isn't a strategy, it's a way of thinking. Real resilience means that you see order in chaos. As an example: someone yells "you're an idiot" my response would be "yeah, I know" because I embrace that every human has every trait and my idiot self is as worthy of love as my handsome self is. There are 3,500 positive and 3,500 negative human traits. We all have all of them. Resilience is a question of how many of those qualities you accept and embrace in yourself. I have a great process for teaching this.

5. A Doer or a Dreamer

Soft skills in any field of endeavour are crucial. Maybe they are, with all else equal, the differentiator. But talent, skill and ability are going to set the benchmark. Without them, no soft skill on earth will make an ounce of difference. Experience is a hard skill but again, often we settle for what we already know and experience can be a ground hog day form of do it, do it and do it the same again. Ability needs to expand, new learning, and most often those new learnings are revealed by errors. We grow on the border of "fuckups" and glory.


Headspace changes a person. It changes their response to and attitude toward life, sport, people and themselves. Headspace is heart space, really your heart in life is a thought. So, try to be with an open heart and know that when you start to think too much it's because your heart has shut. Open it, because it makes the difference between a winner and a loser, a giver and a taker, an achiever and a waster, a giver-uper and a fighter.

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