You know what amazes me about success? When I look at people around me who are just ultra successful—I mean, whether it’s in their physical body, whether it’s in their finances, whether it’s in their relationships, whatever—it’s not that they’re any smarter. It’s not that they’re any more talented. They weren’t born with something special. Instead, they simply have a different mindset.
So, for the past decade, I’ve been obsessed with mindset changes and mindset shifts. I’ve observed that by changing the way you think about life and about a problem, it can impact results in a dramatic way.
6 Simple Mindset Changes to Achieve More Success in Life
Alright, so let’s talk about some impactful mindset shifts.
1. From “I can’t” to “How do I?”
I first heard this concept—changing from saying “I can’t,” to asking the question, “How do I?”—when I was reading Rich Dad Poor Dad years ago. Author Robert Kiyosaki makes a statement that poor people tend to say, “I can’t afford it.” But rich people ask the question, “How do I afford it?”
So, “I can’t afford to go on vacation.” No. “How do I afford it?” Yes.
“I can’t afford a house.” No. “How do I afford it?” Yes.
Here’s a good example of that: Some people say, “I can’t afford a house.”
When I was 21, I said the same thing. But then I realized if I bought a duplex (two houses on one lot), I could live in one of them and rent the other one out. Then, I could live for free. So now all of a sudden, I’m living cheaper than everybody else around me, even though I’m the guy who at first thought I couldn’t afford it.
Well, how do you have the money to buy a duplex? There’s a thing called an FHA loan, which is just 3.5 percent down—in fact there are even 0 percent loans out there for those willing to ask the question, “How do I?”
That’s why mindset shift number one—everyone, I believe, needs to understand and get past this—is moving from saying, “I can’t,” to asking the question, “How can I?”
2. From “I have to” to “I get to”
A lot of people will complain (myself included) about things like, “Oh, I have to do this job,” or, “I have to go do this work. I have to make this video today out here in Hawaii. Dang it.”
No. “I have to” becomes a very negative way of looking at the world and everything you do. You know, a lot of what we do in life, whether you’re successful or not, is pretty mundane stuff.
I have to go get the car washed. I have to get the oil changed. I have to stay up until 3 a.m. with my newborn baby and make sure that my wife gets a little bit of sleep at night.
But successful people generally don’t say, “I have to.” Instead, what they say is, “I get to.”
Somebody once said to me that the things that we complain about today are often the things we prayed for and asked for years ago. And I think it’s so true in the way we look at it.
I have to stay up until 3 a.m. with my little kid, who is crying all night. No! I get to.
By focusing on “I get to,” we can recognize opportunities in things instead of seeing problems in things.
So, I want to choose to see the opportunity, the idea of moving from “I have to,” which is a complaining mentality, to “I get to,” which is a mindset of abundance and blessings.
3. From “I want to” to “I will”
Let me ask you a question: Have you ever said, “I want to lose weight” or “I want to gain some muscle”?
You want to do things and then found out later you didn’t actually do it. I’m guilty of it. You’re guilty of it. We’re all guilty of this—”wanting” to do something. But here’s the thing. There is a massive difference between desire and commitment. And that’s why the third mindset change I want to talk about is moving from, “I want to do it” to “I will do it.”
Again, it’s a difference between desire and commitment: “I plan to do something” versus”I’m actually going to do it.”
Now, why is it that sometimes we do things and sometimes we don’t? I’m fascinated by this topic.
I had a conversation with a good friend the other day who was saying, “Look, every day now for a year,” he says, “I have been making sure I hit 10,000 steps.”
He’s got his Fitbit watch. He hits 10,000 steps. He makes sure of it.
He’s like, “Why do I do that? And I’m so good about it. Yet when it comes to, like, my real estate, I need to go and make a simple phone call. And I’ve known for weeks I need to make this simple phone call. Why have I not made that simple phone call? How can I be so dedicated to this thing in my life and not other things?”
So, you have to convince not just the logical side of your mind that you’re going to do something but the emotional side. And the best way to do that: figure out your “why?”
Why is it you want to do whatever you’re doing? You know, the friend who is doing the 10,000 steps every day, he has a very strong “why” for why he wants to be healthy. But maybe his “why” isn’t strong enough when it comes to that phone call to develop his real estate business.
4. From “It’s not my fault” to “It’s my responsibility”
When things go wrong, some people love to say, “It’s not my fault. I didn’t do it.”
In contrast, successful people claim everything is not necessarily their fault—but it is their responsibility.
You know, Jocko Willink has a great book called Extreme Ownership. And it’s all about this concept that it doesn’t matter whose fault something is. Regardless, leaders and successful people take ownership and responsibility for everything in their life.
So no more of this, you know, “Well, it’s not my fault that this happened.” No, it’s all my fault. It’s all my responsibility.
I’ll give an example. The other day I was planning to go to the gym. But, you know, my kid didn’t sleep very well and I was up kind of late, so I ended up sleeping in a little bit.
Now I can turn around and blame this on a two-week-old baby. Or I could say, “No, Brandon. This is my fault, my responsibility.”
What could I have done differently? What could I have changed in my routine to make sure that I could have actually made it to the gym? Or maybe I could have gone anyway, despite being tired. And so successful people look at situations and say, “No, it’s my responsibility. I don’t care why it happened, but I’m going to make sure it doesn’t happen again.”
5. From “I’m lucky” to “I prepared and work hard”
A lot of people think that rich people are just lucky. Successful people are lucky. Great athletes are lucky.
But talk to any of those great athletes, rich people, or successful people, and you’ll find out it’s not luck. Yes, there’s luck in everything. But there’s also the old quote, “The harder I work, the luckier I get.”
Luck happens all the time to everybody, but people who are prepared for it, prepared to take advantage of the luck, they’re the ones who actually get to reap the benefits of that lucky situation.
So, you’re lucky. I’m lucky. But you know what? When I look at something, I’m prepared for that luck to come.
Here’s an example: When I was 24 years old, I read a book called The ABCs of Real Estate Investing by a guy named Ken McElroy.
It’s an awesome book all about buying apartment complexes. I read that book, and I was so excited about it. I told a couple at church the next day: “Someday I want to buy an apartment complex.”
You know what they said to me? They looked at me kind of funny. And they said, “Well, Brandon, we actually have an apartment complex we want to sell.”
And now you’re probably thinking, “Lucky!” And that was lucky. Right, what are the chances?
But think about it this way—I read that book and I made sure to tell everybody I knew around me—everybody—what I was looking to do. I told everyone that I was into real estate and that I wanted to buy an apartment complex. The people at church weren’t the only people I told.
Furthermore, the four previous years, I’d been buying small real estate deals, getting to the point where I would be ready to buy an apartment complex. So, although there was luck and happenstance that I mentioned it to that couple on that day—and they had an apartment they wanted to sell!—if it wasn’t that day, maybe it would’ve been six months later or a year later.
Eventually, my hard work and my diligence would’ve paid off to get me that apartment. So, is it luck? Yes. Is it preparedness? Yes. Why can’t it be both?
Point being, if you want to get more lucky in life, get more prepared. Work hard.
6. From “It happens” to “It was intentional”
A lot of people just think that everything in their life happened by accident or they suddenly just woke up this way. This is what they got.
But successful people realize that nothing happens. Everything—everything in the world—is a result of something else that made it happen. I’m sure that’s a law of something, but everything that happens is a result of something else.
And so we can reverse engineer that and say, “Why did that happen?” and understand that it wasn’t an accident. So, if you’re unhappy with any part of your life, realize this: Every decision you have made for your entire life has brought you exactly to where you are today. Every decision you made, it brought you here.
Now, that might sound negative, but I mean it in a very positive way. Because now you can acknowledge that every decision you make going forward will lead you somewhere else.
I’m not saying that you can have whatever you want if you just work hard and dream. There are some things that just won’t happen. I will probably never make it to Mars or Pluto. That’s just not going to happen.
But the point being, by setting an intention to go after something, you can build plans and work toward that outcome rather than just seeing where you end up 10, 15, 20 years from now.
So if I can encourage you with that final mindset shift today, it’s to stop treating your life like an accident and start treating it like something you can take action on.
What do you hope to accomplish, and how can changing your mindset help you get there?
Join the conversation in the comments below.