“You are the average of the five people that you spend the most time with, so choose them wisely. Losers invite defeats. Winners demand victories. Play with people who are better than you, and those who share the same ambitions.”

We are all riddled with flaws. Some are deep rooted in our DNA, but unfortunately most are a result of our mind-set. They are self-manufactured, or manufactured by the losers that we surround ourselves with.

The good news is, you can control their impact, or indeed lack of it, on your life.

Adopt a growth mind-set, and a belief that you can do whatever you want to do in life. Most successful people become successful because of learned behaviours and skills. They are not born world champions. They have no right to do what they do, but they just do it anyway. They work and work, until they win.

Focus on your strengths and build on them, rather than dwelling on your problems and your setbacks.

I’ve got a lot of flaws, flaws which you read about in nearly every article. This article however, is different. I’m going to focus 100% on the things I’ve learnt to become a better performer, and hopefully one day an achiever of all my lofty ambitions.

Here are some ways in which you can adapt and evolve your mind-set, to become a world class version of yourself. No matter how big or small your ambitions, it is you, and only you, who can make them happen.

A) Surround yourself with the right people

You are the average of the five people that you spend the most time with, so choose them wisely. Losers invite defeats. Winners demand victories. Play with people who are better than you, and those who share the same ambitions.

That applies to everything. I’ve become a better golfer this year by playing with better players. I’ve created a growing business by networking with like-minded people.

I’ve got old friends I haven’t spoken to for months because we don’t share the same ambitions anymore. And that’s OK, people grow and change as they go through life.

As we get older our desires become more intense, and time becomes even more valuable. Spend your time wisely, with those who can help you grow, and of course those who you love.

Drop one losing friend today!

B) Your environment is more important than you think

I can’t work, be creative or even be happy if my surroundings aren’t clean, tidy and well organised. I’m a bit OCD like that, but that’s me, so I play by those rules.

Your environment rubs off on you, it can have a huge impact on your performance. Would you get more done on a balcony, overlooking a pristine beach in the California sun, or on a packed commuter train? It’s the same principle in your workplace. Make your environment somewhere that inspires you — make it your happy place. It will then become your creative place, and magic will happen.

This is crucial to maximising your productivity and the quality of your output. Just like surrounding yourself with the right people, you also need to surround yourself with the right ambience.

C) Consider your priorities – daily

I have a ‘to do’ list every day. There are always too many things on it, so I split it into the one or two most important things, and then the rest. If I get the most important things done then it’s a good day, if I get through the rest – even better. Never compromise on doing the important things well, always understand your priorities.

D) Know that you have time

Play for 2025 and beyond. Great things take time.

And it’s never too late to start. Whether you’re 17, 35 or 58, you have time.

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E) Take regular breaks

Avoid burn out, excess stress and misery at all costs. No matter how well or how badly things are going, taking a step back when you need to is crucial to winning the long game.

Taking a break not only allows you to re-charge, it allows you to strategise, reflect, celebrate your life and invoke a new sense of gratitude. Return ready to kill it!

F) Add assets to your armoury that last a lifetime

Always be learning. No matter how much of an expert you think you are at something, there is always more to learn. Whether you’re just starting out in a new field, or if you’ve got thirty years of experience, top performers know that they can learn from everyone, and their desire to improve is constant.

If you lose all of your money, or you get fired, or if you need to start over for any reason – no one can ever take away your bank of knowledge. You own that for life, and you can use it to win again and again. You are your biggest asset, always be investing in yourself.

G) Network

Your network is your net worth. Put yourself out there and always over deliver on your promises. Grow your network by meeting new people in your niche, and add value to them without expecting anything in return.

One day, when the shit hits the fan, these people will be there for you.

Your network is not only your backstop during hard times, it is also the biggest gateway to new opportunities that you will ever have. And always remember…

It’s not always about who you know, it’s about who they know!

H) Show empathy

The more you consider another person’s situation, actions and feelings, the more you can help them and influence them. This applies in sales especially: you need to know what problem(s) your product is solving for potential buyers. Then major on that: show them what you can do for them.

Listen – understand – problem solve.

None of us have had the same experiences in life so everybody is different. How they feel about things are different, they act differently, and they have different drivers, assumptions and fears. Listening helps you to understand the other person, and then you can act accordingly.

Whether you want to be liked, to make a sale, to help someone, whatever – empathy will make you relatable.

I) Demolish your comfort zone

Push your boundaries – do something that scares you every day. Hug a stranger, ask for 10% off at a restaurant, make that call you’ve been dreading, ask someone out on a date or even quit your job.

If it scares you, it means you need to do it.

J) Move

Do some form of exercise every day. Even if it’s just 5 minutes – like walking the dog or doing one set of weights. Keeping your body active, is not only great for your health, it keeps your mind alert too.

I find it amazing how one big gym session after a couple of days of relative rest can change my entire mind-set. If you are struggling for drive, determination and enthusiasm to do your work, then go and work out. It changes everything, no matter your fitness or capability.

K) Play

Play is crucial throughout life. Play helps us socialise, learn, problem solve and communicate. Play helps to develop a winning mentality and most importantly of all – play is fun. We need fun!

L) Do

The most important thing in life – don’t tell me about your dreams, show me!

It is impossible to grow and develop yourself if you don’t jump in and do. Learning, improvement and confidence can only emerge from action. This is why failing is never terminal – you learn from every experience; developing yourself and becoming stronger in the process.

This is why so many successful entrepreneurs have failures along the way – they are essential stepping stones and often the only way to learn valuable lessons.

Importantly too, doing doesn’t mean high risk. You don’t have to quit your job to develop a side hustle. You don’t have to spend thousands to read books and learn. You don’t need to neglect your family to find the time to have new experiences.

M) Don’t stop

Life is an ongoing monster of a roller-coaster ride. Take the rough with the smooth. Expect bad things to happen, because life isn’t easy. Embrace any problems as challenges, that you can solve and grow from. Enjoy the great moments, and if you continue doing the right things, they will become more and more plentiful.

The greatest are seldom the smartest, they just stayed the course. So no matter what happens…

Never, ever, give up. Perseverance always wins in the end.

-Matthew Brown

This article is the 50th published on The Business of Life Club — thank you for your support so far. This is just the beginning!

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