How Do Successful People Think: 10 Extraordinary Mindsets To Adopt

how successful people think

Everyone knows that successful people think different from ordinary people. It is their thinking that shapes their lives. So what do you think about most of the time?

Brian Tracy, the personal development guru says this:

“People become what they think about most of the time.”

You will become who you think about most of the time.

If you think about reaching your goals, working on your dreams and how to reach your target, you will eventually achieve what you want because you hold the thought long enough in your mind that your mind will work on it.

On the other hand, if you think about defeat, failure, setbacks, how bad things are, and what is the worst that can happen, you will eventually live that life.

Your thoughts will become the self-fulfilling prophecy. Whatever you think in your mind most of the time, you will become.

Thus, to be successful, you must first adopt the successful thinking.

Your Thinking Will Determine Your Action

Henry Ford once said, “Whether you think you can or you can’t, you are right.” This is absolutely true.

You are no different from successful people who accomplished outstanding result out there.

The only different is that they think differently and hence, they act differently.

Your thinking shapes your actions.

If you think about defeat, failure, and setbacks all the time, you will never take much action because you are already defeated in your mind.

There was once an old man running a coffee house. His business is good and people always gather in his cafe to have meals and coffee breaks.

The old man is deaf and he can’t hear what others are talking about in his café.

One day, one of his regular patrons showed him a newspaper indicating that the economy is bad.

The old man was in shocked and thought that the economy is good all this while. The old man thank his customer who showed him the newspaper for preparing him for the slump.

The old man then cut his budget for advertising and he tries to lower down business expenses everywhere.

Guess what happens next? Because he cut the advertising budget, fewer people are visiting his cafe. And because he lowers down his business expenses and to save cost, he used less quality food and drinks.

The old man then feels the pinch and truly believes that the economy is slow.

What can you learn from this story?

Your thinking will shape your actions, and hence, your life.

Therefore, if you think about great things and expecting good results, you will align your actions with your thoughts.

You will take more action and do more.

However, if you are always thinking about bad things and negative stuff, your action will show because you’re thinking told you so.

So change your thinking if you want to have a better life.

If you are living a mediocre life and you want to change, start by changing your thinking.

If you are poor, it is not because you have a poor money management skill, but instead, you have a poverty mindset.

If you are always feeling emotional, it is not that you have an emotional problem, but rather, you have a thinking problem.

You need to change your thinking in order for things to improve.

Here are 10 extraordinary thinking that most successful people adopt. If you want to be successful, program these thoughts into your subconscious…

1. They Always Expect Something Good

optimistic quote

Successful people always expect good things to happen.

How can you go into a business if you do not expect that your business will do good, right?

Would you buy lottery if you don’t believe that you stand a chance to win? Similarly, you will never do better if you do not expect good things to happen.

Extraordinary business people such as Richard Branson, Steve Jobs, and Michael Dell would never invest millions of dollars into their businesses if they do not expect their businesses to do great.

It is because they expect good things to happen, that they are willing to do more and do something extra.

You have to do the same. Do you expect your dreams and your goals to come true?

Do you believe tomorrow will be better?

If you don’t, chances are, you will never go all out and you will never do the extra work.

So expect good things and always think positively.

Read this article: How To Stay Positive No Matter What Happens In Life

Action Steps:

Think positively and expect amazing opportunities are coming your way each day. Every morning, visualize the success you want and position yourself in the right state of mind before you start your day. When your mindset is right, you can achieve anything you want in life.

2. They Dare to Dream and Be Different

Another thinking that all successful people have in common is that they dare to dream and they dare to be different.

When Arnold Schwarzenegger joined the first bodybuilding competition many years ago, he was in the army.

He ran away from the army camp, ignoring the punishments he might face because of his action, took the train for hours, and arrived at the competition without a proper brief.

He borrowed the brief from his competitor so that he can take part and joined the competition.

Finally, he won the bodybuilding competition and got back to his army camp. Of course, he got punished from his army officers for running away, but he materialized his dreams and the rest was history.

Do you dare to dream and do crazy things like Arnold Schwarzenegger did?

Richard Branson, on the other hand, was once stranded on the airport at Puerto Rico because his flight to the Virgin Islands was canceled.

What happened next was unbelievable. Richard Branson did not let the event stopped him. He then charted a plane to fly to the Virgin Islands.

He used a blackboard and wrote, “Virgin Airlines, $39 one way to the Virgin Islands.”

He walked around in the airport and within minutes, he sold all the seats and filled up his plane.

After that, he got inspired and called Boeing to see if there were any 747s for sale. That was how Richard Branson started his Virgin Airlines.

So dare to dream. Dream big and dare to be different.

Too often, we tend to think small and don’t dare to be unique. We have been trained by our education system to be ordinary and to stay the same.

We have been conditioned by people around us to think normal and act normal. No wonder most people are not successful.

Hence, starting from now on, dream big and dare to be different.

Action Steps:

Try to do something different each day or each week. If you want a better result, you must do something different or something better. It is alright if you fail. You can learn from the experience. Ask yourself this question every day, “What could I do differently to achieve better success?”

3. They Will Never Quit

successful people don't quit

Successful people always hold on to their dreams and they will never quit.

You have to be the same.

Thomas Edison failed more than 10,000 attempts before he finally invented the light bulb.

Do you know that Walt Disney was fired by a newspaper editor because “he lacks imagination and no good ideas”?

Do you know that Akio Morita started a company selling rice cooker that cooks the rice as much as burn it? The rice cooker was a complete failure but that did not stop him from building giant Sony Corporation.

Do you know that Steve Jobs was fired from Apple, the company that he started? But he never gives up pursuing his passion and eventually got back to Apple and created revolutionary products like the iPhone and iPad.

Successful people will never quit.

A winner will never quit and a quitter will never win. So if you quit and if you give up, your goals and your dreams will be thrown into the drain.

They will be gone forever. So do not give up and do not quit no matter what.

This is one of the most important thinking that you must adopt if you want to create remarkable result in life.

You will never hear from those who quit. So continue to work on your dreams and keep moving forward and do what is necessary each day.

It may be difficult and it may be tough, but this is what makes it all worth it.

Recommended reading: How To Not Give Up On Your Dreams: The 7 Steps Process

Action Steps:

Choose not to quit and not to give up. Keep on working on your dreams and take action on your goals. You can change your strategies and your plans, but not your goals and dreams. When you don’t get the result you want, improve your strategy, not quit.

4. They Take Calculated Risk and Go All In

If you are someone who doesn’t dare to take the risk, most likely you will never amount to something extraordinary in life.

When you read the biographies of successful people like Richard Branson, Steve Jobs, Michael Jordan, Michael Dell, Walt Disney, etc, you will notice that they are all risk takers.

While I’m not saying that you should simply take risk, all I’m suggesting is that you take calculated risk.

Just like if you want to invest in a stock, you need to do your research and study the company and the business before you make your move.

And even if you have done all your research and study, there will still be some form risks involve, but those are minimal.

And this is exactly what successful people will do. They will think, study, do their research and then they will jump in and take calculated risk.

Arnold Schwarzenegger ran off from the army camp because he knew that when he got back, he can take on the punishments.

Richard Branson charted a plane because he wanted to get to Virgin Island no matter what happens. So he might as well just sell the tickets and recover his cost in charting the plane.

Sometimes when your dreams and the drive kick in, you will just do whatever it takes regardless of the risk.

Some people are willing to work day and night for their business and some are willing to quit their job to start their own business.

You must find out what works for you. If you can take the risk, do it.

Go all in after you have made the decision. Work on it day and night. Spend most of your time working on your dreams.

This is how successful people are able to produce amazing results in life. You can do and be the same.

Action Steps:

Study the situation, do your research, analysis and do your homework before you make the move. Commit to constant and never ending improvement to become better with what you do.

5. They Believe in Themselves and Their Dreams

believe in yourself

Will Smith said, “The first step is you have to say that you can.”

Do you believe in yourself and your dreams?

If you do not believe in your dreams, who else would?

Great people are able to do great things because they believe in themselves. And as a result, they are able to tap into their maximum potential to do great things.

When you truly believe in something, you will go all out and do your best to achieve it.

When you trust your ability and yourself, you will do it. Even if you fail to achieve it, it is alright because you have at least tried.

But if you do not believe that it is possible, or when you have doubts, you will never do your best because you know that it is not possible. You will hold back and you will never go all out.

So never have doubts on yourself and your dreams. Believe that it is possible to achieve what you want.

Sometimes the situation is tough and it is difficult to believe that things will go right. All you need to do then is to say that “It is possible!”

Action Steps:

Choose to believe in your dreams and believe in yourself. Consistently feed your mind with inspirational success stories and how other people have done the things that you want. Reprogram your mind with possibility through reading the examples of how successful people made it.

6. They Are Always Ready To Learn And Improve

Success will be short-term if you are not willing to improve and make changes.

If you look at all the extraordinary people out there, you will notice that they are always learning, improving, and trying to get better each day.

Abraham Lincoln has a great quote about learning and improving:

“Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.”

How can you become better or the best in your field? You learn and improve your skills. How do you think Michael Jordan or Kobe Bryan become the best in basketball? Well, the answer is simple, they train, they learn and they keep improving their skills every single moment.

When reporters ask Michael Phelps, the Olympic swimmer who won a total of 28 medals, what contributed his spectacular wins, Michael replied that he sleep, eat and swim.

Michael Phelps dedicated most of his time in the pool, learning to swim faster and better. He tries to perfect his skills and keep on improving his swimming techniques.

What about you? How much time do you spend on improving your skills and knowledge? How much time do you spend reading each day? How many seminars and courses do you go for each year?

The more you learn the better you become. The better you are the better results you will get. That’s how success is made.

Action Steps:

Start thinking like successful people and keep on improving yourself. Create a schedule for reading and commit to attend classes and seminars to future improve your skills.

7. They Sacrifice For Their Dreams

pay the price for success

Are you willing to wake up early, work harder and stay later? Are you willing to sacrifice your leisure time and use the time to work on your dreams instead?

Success will never come to you without any hard work. Most people are not successful because they are not willing to trade their leisure for the hard work.

If you read the book, What The Most Successful People Do Before Breakfast, you will discover that most of the successful people wake up extremely early. They want to have a head start before others did.

  • Tim Cook, the Apple CEO wakes up at 3.45 am each day for work.
  • Michelle Obama gets starts her day as early as 4.30 am.
  • Tim Armstrong, AOL CEO starts his work at 5 am.
  • PepsiCo CEO Indra Nooyi wakes up at 4 am every day and reach office by 7 am.
  • Haruki Murakami, a famous Japanese writer, wakes up at 4 am each day and work for 5 or 6 hours straight.

What about you? Are you willing to sacrifice your sleep time? Are you willing to ditch your social media time or throw away your TV time?

Success is definitely not easy, but the rewards will be well worth it.

Recently, Jackie Chan, the world-famous Chinese actor won an Oscar award. Jackie said that after 40 years of hard work with many broken bones, he finally got the award.

There’s no free lunch in this world. If you want something, you have got to be willing to go for it. Go all out.

We all have 24 hours a day, and there is only so much we can do. It is near to impossible to achieve work-life balance. Read James Clear’s The 4 Burners Theory to understand more.

When you spend time building your business, you will automatically neglect other areas of your life. That’s just the way how it operates.

You can leverage on systems to be more effective, but somehow, you will still need to let go something that is less important to you.

“Nothing ventured, nothing gained.”

Action Steps:

Be willing to sacrifice and spend less time on unnecessary activities. Let go some of your activities that do not contribute to the success that you want. You have to be more effective and learn to leverage on systems to work faster.

8. They Take Massive And Consistent Action

When it comes to success, there’s no way you can achieve it without doing anything.

Most people understand about taking massive action or working hard, but what most of them forget is the consistency.

Steve Jobs did not build Apple into a mega tech company within a short few months. Michael Jordan did not become the best in basketball overnight. Rome was not build in a day.

You have to understand that it is hard work plus consistency that creates outstanding results in life.

If you want to build a successful blog, don’t expect to publish a few articles and you will be successful.

If you want to close more sales, don’t expect to work hard for just 3 days and big closings will come to you automatically.

When you look at successful people who have accomplished amazing feat in life, they did not achieve the result in just a few short months. They spend years building and creating the success they want.

In 2012, a Korean singer, Psy, got famous because of his hit song, Oppa Gangnam Style. Most people thought that he was lucky because he got famous because one song.

Little did people know that Psy has been working hard in the music industry for more than 10 years. He has released a few albums before, but none of them got the results he wants. However, Psy did not give up and he continues to work hard. Until 2012, Oppa Gangnam Style made him famous. Go here to read the full article.

The same goes to all the successful people out there. They work hard and they are extremely consistent with their work.

Successful people did not work hard for just a day or a week. They work hard consistently; they work hard for years.

This is why even after they have achieved great accomplishments, they continue to work hard because it has become their habit. And they know that success is not a sprint. It is a marathon and they have to continue to work for it.

Action Steps:

Stick to your goals and dreams. Never give up and don’t quit. Create a schedule and work on it consistently. What you do once in a while is not as important as what you do each day.

9. They Focus On What They Want

focus on success

If you look at all the successful people out there, you will notice that they focus in what they do best. Take sports as example, what do you think will happen if Michael Jordan tries to excel in every sport?

What if Lionel Messi plays football, badminton, tennis, take part in swimming, kick-boxing, etc?

Do you think he can still achieve the outstanding success in football? I don’t think so.

When you focus all your energy into one area, that’s when magic happens and that’s when you will shine.

If you try to do too many things all at once, you will end up becoming average in everything.

As the saying goes, “The jack of all trades, but master of none.”

You don’t want to be the jack of all trades; you want to be the master in your field. Imagine if you want to build a successful internet business. You start a blog and you work hard on it. After 3 grueling months, you did not see any profit coming in and you lose confidence and decide to discontinue building the blog.

After that, you discovered affiliate marketing and you decided to give it a try. You made a few sales here and there, but it was not sustainable and you need to spend a lot of money on advertising.

And then you come across e-commerce, and that’s what everyone is talking about right now. So you start an e-commerce website selling stuff. After a couple of months down the road, you feel that the competition is too tough and the profit margin is low.

And again you quit. You jump from one project to another. You switch from one goal to another.

Does this sound familiar?

So stop jumping from projects to projects. Focus on your goals until you achieve them and then only you expand to reach for other targets.

If you fail to reach your goal, ask yourself this question, “What could I do differently?”

When you ask this question, you will search for new ways to do things. Your mind will give you better solutions to reach for what you want.

Instead of doing the same thing every year, try to improve your plan and implement different strategy to achieve your goals.

Action Steps:

Focus on your goals until you achieve them. Stop changing projects or goals, unless they don’t serve the purpose anymore, you should consistently improve your strategy, and not changing your goals.

10. They Network With Other Successful People

Yes, successful people network with other successful people. If you are a professional tennis player, would you train with a rookie who does not know how to play tennis at all?

Of course, you won’t. You will die of boredom because the match will be too easy for you. However, things will be different when you play with other professional players.

Suddenly, the match becomes more interesting and it is very competitive. You feel the fun and you give it your best.

The same goes in life. If you want to be great, you have to mix and network with other great people to become great.

When you talk and network with other great people, they thinking will influence you.

Les Brown said, “If you want to fly with the eagles, don’t swim with the ducks. If you run around with losers, you will end up becoming a loser.”

If you want to know how well you did in life, just look at the people you mix around with most of the time. You are the average of five of your closest friends.

Steve Jobs and Larry Ellison are best friends. They went for vacation together and when Steve was fired from Apple and wanted a comeback, Larry Ellison said that he wanted to buy Apple for Jobs.

Bill Gates and Warren Buffett are great friends. Both of them are the richest person in the world and they hang around with each other during many occasions. They talk about basically anything about life and business.

Henry Ford and Thomas Edison first met in 1896. They became good friends ever since. They exchanged gifts and birthday wishes, they travel together and even bought neighboring vacation homes together.

So who are your best friends and who do you mix around with most of the time?

Action Steps:

Always choose to mix with people who are more successful and are doing better than you. You want to learn their mindset, their beliefs, and their attitudes and then apply them in your life to create outstanding success too.


These are the 10 extraordinary mindsets you must adopt if you want to be successful. It all starts with your thinking.

If you think you can, you can. If you think you can’t, you are right too and you won’t make it.

So choose your thoughts wisely. Think like successful people to produce the same amazing success like them.

Start with these 10 thoughts in this article.

So which thought is the most important to you? Share with me in the comment section below.


Shawn Lim

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  1. No matter how much talented or skillful person you are, if you don’t have the stamina to work hard for your goal, you won’t ever succeed. They never give up even though series of hurdle arises. Thanks for this inspiring article.

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