Four Secrets to Success

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  • “Successful people take command of their life. Where most people take their circumstances and blame, complain, and dread the struggle, successful people take command of their lives, honor the struggle and bring the joy.”
  • These are the four life-changing choices you can make to develop your skills, build your community and reach higher levels of performance and joy.
  • “Contribute positivity. Contribute energy to the world, because even if you’re not doing great things yet, you can do the little things with greatness.”
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  • This is a MUST WATCH episode on the strategic lifestyle choices you can make to reach greater success and happiness in your life.
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[The following is the full transcript of this episode of The Brendon Show. Please note that this episode, like all TBS episodes, features Brendon speaking extemporaneously–he is unscripted and unedited. Filmed in one take, The Brendon Show has become one of the most viewed unscripted, direct-to-camera self-help series in the history of YouTube. It has also been the #1 Podcast in all of iTunes and is regularly in the top podcasts in Self-Help and Health categories around the globe. Subscribe to the free motivational podcast on iTunes or Stitcher.)

What’s up Team HPX! It’s Brendon.

I’m back in Puerto Rico, and I’m just pumped about shooting this video for you, talking about the four secrets to success.

These were not easy to learn along my path, but because I grew up in a town that was not near the ocean, and because I didn’t have a lot of abundance when I grew up, and because I struggled a lot throughout my life, the great lessons really came from a lot of hard work, a lot of study, and a lot of consistency in the contributions that I made in life.

Along that path I had the blessing of working with, knowing, and studying some of the world’s most successful people.

These four things always show up in their lives, and honestly I wish I figured this out 10 years earlier so I could focus on them, versus bumbling around—which is what I did. I hope in sharing my experience with you, you understand how important these four things are to your success.

1. Develop Competence

Number one is competence.

You should focus on getting absolutely competent in the skills that matter for your long-term success. What’s your dream? Break it down. Say, “Okay, if that’s my dream, what skills would I have to master—really master—to be able to have that dream?”

For me, as an example, it’s speaking with you right now.

I don’t know how many of my videos you’ve watched, but we’ve had a quarter of a billion video views, and I was mortified to speak. You guys have been in my seminars before with 2,000 people, 10,000 people, 30,000 people in an arena. I was mortified. I was terrified to get up and speak in front of people.

You’re thinking, “How did you develop and learn that?” Well, I had this dream to make a difference in the world, and I wanted to impact a lot of people in the world. I said, “If I’m actually going to help a lot of people in the world, I need to learn how to communicate.”

Where I grew up there wasn’t a lot of emotional expression or communication. If a man raised his hand in an emotional expression above his waist, he was going to punch you in the face. That’s who I grew up with. I didn’t grow up with people being outwardly expressive and joyous with facial expressions or moving their hands. I didn’t grow up with that.

I had to learn how to communicate, make an impact with people, and share what I wanted to share. I had to practice and learn that, but I had to become competent in that if I wanted to make my difference. I think that’s really important.

The greats master their skills. Think of any musician you love. They mastered their art, their voice, their instrument. Think about any person you really admire in business. They had to master business building, they had to master the process or the product. Think about anyone you admire in their health and wellness. They had to master their own body. Think about the happiest people you know. They had to master their mind.

How did they do that? They learned, they studied, and they applied.

Competence is the thing that we know gives people the edge in high performance. When you are more informed, more educated, more experienced in the things that matter most to your career, you outperform everybody else who’s just going through the motions—those who are just showing up. But when you’re learning in those dark hours of the night, when you are trying when nobody else is watching, you are developing skills.

What we know from psychology is that competence and confidence are very correlated. In high performance work we call it the competence confidence loop.The more you learn, the more you’re willing to try, and the more you’re willing to try, the greater confidence you gain. The more confidence you gain, the more you’re willing you are to try new things which teaches you even more. This confidence competence loop is the secret to lifelong success.

Keep learning and keep applying. As you master new skills that matter, and move you in the direction of the life of your dreams, the more confident you become.

As you become more confident, you try new things and you get more success.

2. Have a Contribution Mindset

The second point is to have a contribution mindset.

Do not begin the day with me me me. Do not look at your life with, “I hope to get this. I hope to survive.” Take your mind off survival. Take your mind off getting things for yourself, and ask, “How can I give?”

It’s biblical—to ask and you shall receive, but also it’s ethical to give and you shall receive.

When you change your mindset from getting to giving, you change your mindset to contribute. When you think about your day, your work, your mission, your life as a way to contribute, instead of going into work to complain about your job washing dishes, you ask, “How can I do this and help contribute to my team? How can I contribute to someone else’s day? Everyone else who’s working in the kitchen, let’s all have a great day!”

Contribute positivity. Contribute energy to the world, because even if you’re not doing great things yet, you can do the little things with greatness.

Approach everything with the mindset of service. The contribution mindset is what always makes the difference. Is it true that some people become really successful, rich, famous, and have everything out there that everyone wants, but they’re still miserable? It’s because they’re not feeling the satisfaction and the fulfillment of service.

They did everything they needed to get something for themselves. They became something, but they never felt fulfilled because they didn’t give and serve others along the way.

The contribution mindset can change your life.

3. Build the Community You Need

For me, what I learned along the way is the third C: community. Where I grew up, I didn’t have a lot of people who were trying to really better themselves. I appreciate you because you’re here for your personal development.

People watch my videos because they want personal professional development, and so I appreciate you being here.

I call you guys Team HPX. HPX stands for High Performance Experience because I believe that not everybody wants to live the high performance experience, not everybody wants to reach the next level, not everybody wants that extraordinary vibrancy and connection and excellence that comes from trying to be your best.

For those of you here, my belief about Team HPX is that we have to build the tribe necessary to succeed and enjoy life.

You can’t just take the energy and the people you have in your life. You need to strategically build the people around you to have the community you need to succeed and enjoy life, and that often lifts people up.

“But Brendon, my spouse doesn’t support me.”

“People make fun of me.”

“The kids in school don’t understand.”

“The people at work shoot down my ideas.”

It’s not that you have to kick everybody out who’s negative. It’s not that you have to get rid of all these people, because sometimes that person is your spouse, your brother, your sister or your friend. It’s not that you have to get rid of them or judge them in any way.

What you can do is limit your exposure to them. Even if you can’t do that, because that’s the person you are in love with right now, what you can do is separately build what you need. In other words, successful people build the community they need.

They don’t hope to have it, they’re not born from it, they don’t always have it in their current circle, but what they do is go off and build it. So ask yourself, what’s YOUR dream? What do you really want to achieve? And what are the types of people you need to be around to have that? Experience that? Accelerate towards that?

I had to start shaping new friendships. I had to do more networking in my industry to meet new people. I had to get myself around others. I went to seminars, workshops, and networking events. I got myself around high achievers. I wasn’t born around many of them. I had to get myself around them, and by getting myself in that proximity of a peer group that was positive, ambitious, service-oriented, and competent at what they do, it raised my game.

Other people can really inspire you. Build the community you need.

4. Take Command of Your Life

The last thing that I’ve learned that’s so important, is that successful people take command of their life.

They take command of their thoughts, command of their emotions, and command of what they’re doing during the day. They’re less reactive than other people because they say, “I’m going to be the captain of my ship,” and that sense of command is the difference maker in their lives.

Where most people take their circumstances and blame, complain, and dread the struggle, successful people take command of their lives, honor the struggle and bring the joy.

They decide what their day is going to be about and they work diligently towards their dreams instead of being distracted or run by impulse. They are focused and they choose discipline. They have commanded their life at levels most people don’t.

Anyone can have a bad day, come home, Netflix, chill, and give up their day and the next four hours to tuning out. What I learned about successful people is when it is a struggle, when it’s easy to be discouraged, when it’s easy to go Netflix and chill, they say, “No man, you know what? You had a bad day, so take command and do something positive for yourself.” They take the next two hours and create, work, and connect. They spend time with family and reset themselves consistently.

That’s what I mean by command. We can’t control everything, isn’t that true? We can’t control everything. Some days someone’s going to be a jerk to you.

Some days the project is going to fall apart. Some days it’s not going to go the way that you want, but what successful people do in those moments is reconnect to their personal power. They say, “Okay, what did I learn? What can I do next? What’s my next right action of integrity?”

They take command of themselves. They don’t let themselves feel sorry for themselves. They take command of themselves and don’t let other people tell them exactly what to do.

They say, “What should I do now” versus “I guess I’ll give up.”

First, get extremely competent at what you want to succeed at in your life. Learn all the skills around it. Second, adopt that contribution mindset that says, “Okay I know what I am going to do here and that is give.”

Give good energy, serve others, take care of others, contribute things that are excellent. Third, build the community that you need. Fourth, take back command of your life. You do these things and success won’t be secret. It will be strategic.