Understandably, most parents want to shield their children from the harsh realities of life.
But if you never learn these brutal truths, you’ll probably never be successful.
Success is something you attract by the person you become; if you want to achieve truly extraordinary goals, you must know how the world really works. You have to see things clearly, for the way they really are.
I’ve learned lots of these truths the hard way. I’ve lost friendships, gotten fired, went broke, and succumbed to addiction, destructive behaviors because I didn’t understand these truths. It wasn’t pretty.
But learning these lessons has made me more resilient, self-assured, and successful than I’ve ever been.
1. It’s Not About You. It’s Never About You.
When I graduated college, I was shocked to discover…no one wanted to hire me.
I couldn’t believe it. I had a college degree! I was responsible and talented and special — give me a high-paying salary!
But I didn’t realize that it wasn’t about me. These companies didn’t care who I was, what I’d done, or how talented I was. They didn’t care if I had a good GPA, that I was eager, or that I really wanted a job.
They cared about them.
They cared if I could solve their problems. (Preferably paying me as little as possible.)
That’s all that really mattered.
It was a brutal wake-up call. But once I learned this lesson, I got way more successful in my career. I started getting jobs and promotions and raises because I knew what the company was really looking for — if I wanted something, I had to earn it. I had to provide real value.
This lesson totally changed my writing, too. I had been blogging for years with no readers to show for it. I didn’t realize that no one cares about some random blogger’s “thoughts about the world.” People want to be entertained, to have their problems answered, to feel something. Just like companies, people want their problems solved.
Once I realized this truth — once I started writing for people and solving their problems— my writing exploded. I got more readers and income than ever before.
Stop thinking it’s all about you. It’s not about you. It never is.
It’s about other people — helping them, giving them what they need.
Help others, and you’ll find your own needs are met.
“Want a billion dollars? Help a billion people.” -Peter Diamandis
2. More Discipline = More Freedom
“The goal of life is not to relax on the beach, sipping mojitos all day. The purpose is to find something you love that adds value to the world.” -Ben Foley
When I was a kid, my ultimate goal was not having to do anything — no more school, grades, homework, waking up early, curfews, or adults telling me what to do.
To me, a “successful life” meant one where I could spend my days doing nothing. And I tried really hard to get that.
Now that I’m older, I’ve realized the real truth: more discipline actually gives you more freedom.
When you live an undisciplined life — spending your time, energy, and money on whatever you want — this actually increases your anxiety and stress. If there are no rules, anything can happen, which is an exhausting, stressful way to live your life.
Before I created a budget, I would spend my money on whatever I felt like. That might sound nice, but look a little closer, and that’s a perfect recipe for huge anxiety.
Even filling up my car with gas or buying groceries brought intense fear; can I afford this? I’d wonder. How much money do I have left? Oh god, I don’t know. I’m too afraid to even check my bank account. I was always worried about money.
After I created a budget, I felt way more relaxed when I spent money. Spending money didn’t stress me out anymore, because I knew how much I had. More discipline actually brought me more freedom with my money.
You may crave an unrestrained life with no rules or limits. I did.
But deep down, your body craves structure. Your mind works best in a system, not some wild ride where anything goes. The more disciplined you are, the more freedom you’ll have in your life.
So make rules. Make a system. Your mind craves boundaries and limits, because the mind excels in structured environment. Unrestrained freedom usually creates more anxiety and stress; a focused environment helps you grow.
3. The Rich Get Richer & the Poor Get Poorer
In life, the rich usually get richer and the poor usually get poorer.
Like I said, I’ve been writing for years. The first several years, I had no readers. I remember I had less than 200 email subscribers after almost 5 years of work.
Now that I’ve gotten much more successful, everything’s different. And I understand now more than ever: the rich usually get richer, and the poor usually get poorer.
For instance: just the other day, a huge blog reached out to me and asked if they could repost some of my work. I’d never talked to them before, never even heard of them. I said sure, no problem.
The next day, I gained hundreds of new email subscribers from that one article they reposted. I didn’t even do anything. Someone came to me, offered to help me out, and in one day I got more readers for free than I did after years of hard work in the beginning.
Back in the day, I begged people to read my work. I tried everything. It felt harder and harder to succeed. But now, opportunities come into my inbox every week, without me even looking.
Now, just because you might not be blessed with the advantages of others doesn’t mean you can’t win.
But you have to fight harder than others. Many people are simply unwilling to do that.
It’s true that, for the most part, the rich get richer. So work hard to get into that “rich” category where your rewards start to multiply without you even doing any work.
4. What You Believe is What You Become
“Most people knock on the door of their dreams once, then run away before anyone has a chance to the open the door. But if you keep knocking, persistently and endlessly, eventually the door will open.” -Les Brown
The biggest turning point in my writing career — the one that transformed me from a no-name blogger with no readers into a 6-figure author, coach, and speaker working from home as my own boss…
Was when I started treating myself like a professional.
Before, I called myself a “writer.” Sure. But I didn’t act like one. I never invested in myself with books or courses or training. I didn’t study my craft. I never really thought success was possible. So I spent years in mediocrity.
Then, after years of failure, I had had enough. I decided to start taking myself seriously.
I started treating myself like a real professional.
So what do professionals do? Well, I bought expensive courses teaching me how to write. I started meeting other high-level writers and asking them how they did it. I started telling myself I was truly one of the best writers on the Internet.
And that’s when everything changed.
Within one year of this mindset shift, I went from no-name blogger to getting over a million readers. I was offered my first book deal. My email list grew by over 1000%!
Best of all, I was getting messages every week from my readers, telling me how awesome my writing was, and how much it was helping them.
Before, I didn’t really believe I was a great writer. I didn’t even think I was a good one. So that’s what I became, for years.
Now, I know I’m a great writer. That’s not to brag, that’s just how I treat myself. I take my work seriously. I spend time studying my craft, and learning how to do it well.
What you believe is what you become.
“As a man thinketh, so he is. As he continues to think, so he remains.” -James Allen
5. Most People Won’t Ever Be Successful
Success isn’t about money or fame — there are countless rich and famous people who lead horribly imbalanced and shallow lives.
Success is about being the person you were truly meant to be. And sadly, most people won’t reach this level.
It’s hard to fully express yourself. It’s scary and painful and risky. It takes a lot of work to be yourself, and to have a life lived on your terms.
This fear and unwillingness to do the work is what keeps most people stuck in mediocrity. It’s always easier to stay in the safety and security of the crowd, even if it means giving up who you really are.
But as Louis Sachar, author of Holes once wrote:
“So, what’s it going to be — safety, or freedom? You can’t have both.”
You can either step forwards into growth and freedom, or step back into safety and security. Sometimes, being in the secure crowd is what you need. It’s OK to go with the flow for a while.
But in the end, your success will be determined by whether you ever decided to step out into uncertainty and did the work you needed to do. And sadly, most people simply aren’t willing.
These are hard, brutal truths. Most people weren’t aware of these lessons for most of their lives.
But if you want to be successful, you need to see the world for how it really is so you can navigate it with clarity and confidence.
https://anthonymoore-ext.clickfunnels.com/get-extraordinary-checklist-optinHelp others, not yourself. More discipline makes your life better. Place yourself in a position to learn and grow, because the rich usually get richer. Do the work.
Ready to Level-Up?
If you want to become extraordinary and become 10x more effective than you were before, check out my checklist.
This article originally appeared on Medium.