Statistically speaking, most of us grew up in the lower or middle class. I did.
We learned the specific behaviors, mindsets, actions, and lifestyle of those around us in our same social class. These experiences created most of our perspective of how the world works, and taught us our place in it.
Unfortunately, many lessons we learned were negative. They were based on small thinking, scarcity, and fear. Many lower and middle class citizens have become jaded and bitter, and they’ve spread this mindset to their children.
But if you want to develop incredible discipline and achieve an upper-class lifestyle, you need to shed the beliefs of the lower and middle class.
Before we go on, let me be clear:
When I say “upper class,” I don’t mean those rich snobs who inherited their parents’ money and spend it wrecking cars that cost more than a small house. I don’t mean the greedy 1% who constantly try to distance themselves from the poor and their problems.
What I say “upper class,” I’m referring to the kind of people who manage enormous amounts of money, fame, influence, and popularity and consistently make the world a better place with their gifts.
The world’s most successful, wealthy, and influential people are extremely disciplined. Sure, some of these people inherited their fortune and didn’t earn a penny and have no self-control whatsoever — these people will probably end up broke.
No, most successful people aren’t distracted by the cheap entertainment. They put in the work no-matter-what. Many came from nothing, first generation millionaires who earn more than the last 5 generations combined. They hustle, they learn, they work their asses off developing a killer mindset that can handle a high amount of pressure.
This could be you, if you wanted.
In the words of world champion chess player Josh Waitzkin:
“Mental resilience is arguably the most critical trait of a world-class performer, and it should be nurtured continuously.
If left to my own devices, I am always looking for more ways to become more and more psychologically impregnable.
When uncomfortable, my instinct is not to avoid confrontations but to become at peace with it. My instinct is to seek out challenges as opposed to avoiding them.”
Is that your mindset? Is your life based on the world-class mindsets and beliefs of upper class performers? Do you seek out challenges and focus on building your resiliency? Do you invest in yourself, working towards important goals?
If you want to have consistent discipline to do what you should do, take a lesson from the world’s top performers. Act like they do. Treat yourself like they treat themselves.
Develop an upper-class mindset, and you’ll start acting like upper-class. Pretty soon, you’ll start seeing upper-class results.
Why Some People Are Still Getting the Same Results After Years of Trying to Change
One of my favorite quotes from best-selling author Darren Hardy is this:
“The key to becoming world-class in your endeavors is to build your performance around world-class routines.”
Our beliefs create our routines, which create our life.
If you truly don’t believe you can succeed at a high-level, your routines will reflect that; you’ll probably spend more time on entertainment and distractions that consistently putting in hard work. You’ll probably continue to get the same results you’ve always gotten.
When you truly start believing you can succeed, your life will look a lot different. Remember, belief becomes reality. The person who truly believes they can make a million dollars this year behaves extremely differently than the person who doesn’t even think that’s possible.
The reason some people are still getting the same mediocre results year after year are often because they simply don’t believe success is possible. They still live their life with a lower or middle class mindset.
Of course, things like systematic racism, sexism, and all types of xenophobia are very real and present very real problems for talented performers stuck in an oppressive cycle. These issues need to be addressed and dealt with, and there are many things out of your control.
But in the meantime, you must upgrade your own mindset. You must start thinking with an upper-class mindset, and model your behavior after very successful people. What you think is what you become, and the surest way to start thinking you can succeed is to start acting like it.
In Kevin Hart’s autobiography, he described a time early on in his comedy career where he hit a major wall. He felt he had reached the ceiling for his potential, and there was no way to improve his performances to reach true greatness.
But after talking with some mentors and studying the true comedy greats of the time, he realized he was acting very differently than the comedy legends.
Hart had a silly stage name for himself (“Lil’ Kev the Bastard”) and focused on fictional stories to make people laugh. The greats all used their own names — Johnny Carson, Jerry Seinfeld, Chris Rock, Eddie Murphy. They also focused on the realest stories of their life, even tragic ones, to make people laugh at a far deeper level.
Hart changed his entire act. Modeling after the comedy great, he started telling stories from his life, stories everyone could relate to. He started using his real name. He stopped employing under-qualified friends and family members and hired real professionals to manage his money and acts.
Hart went on to become one of the most famous comedians in the world, selling out stadiums across the world.
If you want new results, you have to start doing things differently. Start treating yourself like a professional, and you’ll start seeing high-level results.
Want To Make Millions? Then Act Like a Millionaire.
In his autobiography, Arnold Schwarzenegger wrote:
“The only way you become a leading man is to treat yourself like a leading man, and work your ass off.”
Your life is a direct product of your standards. You’ll get what you put up with.
The truth is, most people tolerate mediocrity. They tolerate low-level relationships, income, and health. A lot of people always feel tired, disrespected, and slow.
Extraordinary people don’t tolerate mediocrity. They refuse to allow low-level people or circumstances dictate their life.
Winners. Optimists. Doers. Believers.
These are the kinds of friends successful people have.
Incredibly successful people have extremely exclusive friend groups. If you have a bad attitude, if you complain, if you’re pessimistic and negative…it’s very likely you don’t know any successful people.
You probably don’t realize it, but successful people stay away from you if you have a bad attitude.
The most successful people in the world are grateful for just about everything. Problems and obstacles are opportunities to improve. Successful people are generous and help others. They see things not as they are, but how they could be.
“The mediocre have a very narrow perception of reality, and in turn, their lives. They see things as they are and not how they can be.” -Aditya Mehta
Surround yourself with people who force you to level up and become more than you are.
You have so much to learn and so far to go: you can’t afford to commiserate with those who would choose security and stagnation rather than the discomfort of growth.
Hal Elrod once wrote, “Where you are is a result of who you were, but where you go depends entirely on who you choose to be.”
I would add that where you go also depends on who you surround yourself with.
You’re on a long journey right now. Thick forests, dry deserts, and frigid mountains lie in your path. You need to pass through all of them to achieve enormous success.
Will your current friends help you on this journey?
Or are they the type of people who just want to set up camp and never leave?
Upper-Class Success Means Focusing On Your Craft
“Every skill you acquire doubles your odds of success.” -Scott Adams
In the 1970’s, the famed black politician Jesse Jackson was famous for his constant encouragement towards African Americans in America. “Nobody, but nobody,” he’d yell on TV, “is too poor to turn off the TV two hours a night!”
Best-selling author Gary Vaynerchuck recommends 2 time slots during the day to focus on learning new skills and putting in the work towards your success:
5:00am — 7:00am and 7:00pm — 9:00pm.
I have a little puppy who needs constant attention. Some of us have kids, travel a lot, have a disability, long commutes, etc. It’s hard to find free time, let alone time dedicated to putting in work on side-projects.
But if you want to reach upper-class level success, you need to spend time on your craft. A Super Bowl-winning quarterback needs to know more than just how to throw a ball; they’ve put in time learning nutrition, public speaking, brand management, contract negotiations, leadership, and other skills.
It’s on your to make time for these skills. You might have to give things up to do this; my friend wants to be an architect, at a 29 years old with a pregnant wife, it was tough to imagine going to grad school for 3 years.
But once those years are up, he can enjoy the fruits of his labor for the rest of his life. You can bet he’s tired and exhausted working such a daunting schedule, but he’s putting in the work now so he can live off his craft for decades to come.
For me, I’ve had to learn all kinds of new skills besides “writing.” I’ve had to wake up early and stay up late and work on weekends learning skills I’ve never had to do before:
- Social media ads
- Automating email lists
- Online course creation
- Website coding
- Amazon affiliate links
If you want upper-class success, you’re going to need to learn more skills. Spend less time on entertainment and distraction and more time on learning and creating.
“Take into account that you have been educated with restrictions. Be aware of this so that you don’t underestimate the possibilities.” -Grant Cardone
If you keep doing what you’ve always done, you’ll keep getting the same results.
All of us grew up with limitations, especially those of us who grew up in the lower and middle class. Upper-class performers, those who contribute mightily to the world and enjoy enormous success in their work, do things most people don’t do.
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