If I were to pick one thing that everyone needs to focus on for success, it is developing the right mindset.

Allow me to elaborate, you may have heard the phrases “will over skill” or “hard work beats talent”. Well, I couldn’t agree more. I know countless people that were geniuses or had tremendous natural talent, but were unable to achieve success. The key factor in all of those who fail to reach their potential is the absence of an unfaltering mindset. The unshakeable drive of a champion.

If Lebron James had a weak mindset when he left Cleveland for Miami. He would have cracked under the pressure. People were burning his jersey, calling him a coward, saying he ran away because he wasn’t a true leader. The media was pounding him with comparisons to Michael Jordan. Will he ever be the greatest to ever play the game of basketball? He was only 23. Several athletes have been stamped as people who thrive under pressure or those who fall victim to it. Lebron had his back against the wall. He had a goal to win 7 championships in Miami. He went back to Cleveland after winning 2. His hometown later forgave him and embraced him. He led them to the Finals in the first year back with an underwhelming roster. He became a machine with the mentality of a hungry beast.

This goes the same for anyone who is working at a company that is overcoming obstacles to gain the position they want. Some people have the uncanny ability to get promoted every year no matter what happens in the economy, the company or in their personal life. The strong will overcome and the weak will fall behind.

You can have every opportunity in the world in front of you, but if you aren’t hungrier than the person in front of you, behind you, next to you, or someone you can’t see; you deserve to lose it. You aren’t worthy of the success. As Eric Thomas, The Hip Hop Preacher, said in his most famous speech, “When you want to succeed more than you want breathe, then you will be successful.”

Creating the Mindset takes discipline and years of consistency. You may not know how to begin this process. Here are some things I recommend that worked for me.


  1. Eliminate Excuses

If you are on a team, and someone fails. You all fail. Some people may say, well, I did what I could. Those people have the wrong mindset. Winners never lose. If a team member is struggling, leaders rise to the occasion. They coach their opportunities and set the team up for success. While others may feel fine with doing just their part, leaders do not take failure as an option. You have to remove excuses. If you can’t seem to figure out a problem, its because you haven’t found the right solution yet. Every time you try and fail, it offers you an opportunity to identify a creative resolution. Don’t ever accept Failure. Period.

2. Positivity

Leaders are positive. When was the last time you heard Bill Gates complain? How about Steve Jobs speak negatively? Life is full of opportunity. There are lessons in failures. If you only become bitter through failure, you will make excuses for the real reason you failed. Maintaining a positive attitude can impact your subconscious. When you remove negative thoughts, you can dedicate your energy to being happy instead of complaining. It also impacts your environment and closest circles. Do not become the person in your group that complains and responds negatively in discussions. Your energy will be felt and noticed.

3. Focus on Self Development

Self Development is a big umbrella word that many identify as gaining professional skills. Now, that is important, but there are other ways of building yourself to be a more powerful leader. When you read books, you can take away ideas, strategies, and systems to apply to your opportunities. Skills are only impactful if applied at the right time for the right opportunity. Reading the right type of books can provide new perspectives that you may not have thought of. Use this to improve your analytical skills and crush your goals.

If you are looking for the right type of books to help shape your mindset, look no further. Here are my top 5 picks to help develop your mindset.