The Secret of Success: How to STOP Being a Failure and START Being a Winner

The sign of success or failure?

When I first started working right after college, I got a job on Wall Street.  The massive buildings, the hustle and bustle, I really thought that I had made it.  What I made in money was far surpassed by what I gained in knowledge of human behavior.  Within the first few weeks of working 7 days and 100 or more hours each week, my mentor grabbed me and pulled me into a conference room.  I had not slept more than 4 hours over the course of the past 10 days and I was exhausted.  Fortunately, he was here to offer me some words of wisdom and I will never forget what he told me as long as I live… “Do you want to know how to make it here?”, he said.  “Of course!”, I responded happily.  He said, “Work hard, keep your head down and keep your mouth shut and hopefully, you will make it through the downturns.”  This was the verbal equivalent of kicking me in the groin and asking me “what’s wrong?” as I roll back and forth on the ground.  While Knute Rockne and Vince Lombardi were busy rolling over in their graves at the complete and total lack of motivation those words provided, I sat there staring into my cup of coffee completely mystified.  I worked my ass off in school to try to get the toughest job I could get so I could be successful and this is what I got?  Lesson #1:  Success is a journey NOT a destination.

Rockne & Lombardi knew the secret of success

Whenever I think about what my mentor said, it is more reminiscent of how to survive being held hostage rather than advice on becoming successful.  Did Arnold ever say to anyone, “Lift weights, eat well and hopefully if you hang around long enough you will win a bodybuilding competition.”  HELL NO!!!   THIS is Arnold: “For me life is continuously being hungry. The meaning of life is not simply to exist, to survive, but to move ahead, to go up, to achieve, to conquer.”  If Arnold had been in the conference room, he would have flipped the table over after hearing what my mentor had said!!!  Arnold had a WINNER mentality, but that is not enough…he also SURROUNDED himself with the best.  Think about it, everyone that Arnold trained with finished at the top of the Mr. Olympia competition and they were all World Class Bodybuilders.  In fact, Arnold’s training partner Franco Columbu won 2 Mr. Olympia titles and finished in the top 5 overall when he and Arnold competed together.  So, the easiest way to stop being a failure and start being a winner is to SURROUND YOURSELF WITH WINNERS!!!

Arnold & Franco surrounded themselves with success!

If you want to become good at basketball, don’t play against little kids and dunk on an 8 foot rim.  Play against guys who are bigger, better and tougher and your level of play will increase.   The same goes for lifting, don’t train with people who are below you, train with those who you want to emulate.  When you want to lose weight and all of your friends are out of shape, you are going to find yourself at fast food joints and you will have to deal with getting hassled when you choose to eat a salad or pass on dessert.  Who needs that?  Yet, if you want to lose weight and you hang out with people who are in good shape and whom you want to be like, you will find yourself eating better.  No matter whether it is sports, fitness, diet, or anything else, if you surround yourself with those who are more accomplished than you, you will reap the benefits of their experience and you will catapult ahead of your peers and achieve tremendous success much faster than you would alone.  This is one of the easiest things you can do to better yourself in any area of life, yet so few people do it. 

So, this all sounds great, but where do I go from here?  Well, what is your goal and who has achieved what you want to achieve?  Once you determine the answers to those 2 questions, seek out the people who you want to be like and read everything that they write and learn as much as you possibly can from them.  The most important thing is to ask questions and LISTEN.  I read everything I can get my hands on related to success, fitness, entrepreneurship and I seek out those who know more than me and ask them questions.  The vast majority of people love talking about themselves so, it is not hard to get them to tell you about their favorite subject.  Go ahead, surround yourself with successful people, learn from them, reap the rewards and become a winner!!!  BE UNSTOPPABLE!!!




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