How to Set Yourself Apart From the Average

Embrace success, pursue your passion & live your best life

How to Set Yourself Apart From the Average
Photo by Matheus Ferrero on Unsplash

Embrace success, pursue your passion & live your best life

A few weeks back, I was chasing a personal goal. I wanted to make three videos each week, write seven articles, and work on editing the second draft of my upcoming novel. I wanted to do all these on top of working for my day job as a civil engineer and my part-time PhD in geotechnical engineering.

I had designed a routine, and everything was going on great. A few days later, I hit a roadblock. Call it a creativity block, or self-confidence block, but I just couldn’t keep going.

I felt burnt out as if no matter how hard I try, I will never make it there. Add to that the comments of a few “friends” who told me that I was aiming to fit in too much and if I kept going at that pace, I would not be able to go on for long, and I felt even worse.

“Maybe I am aiming too high,” I told myself. “Maybe I need to aim for something less, something more reasonable.”

Image: Goodreads

Just then, I came across the book The 10x Rule: The Only Difference Between Success and Failure by Grant Cardone. And, what shall I say, this book opened my eyes.

Broadly speaking, the book introduces the 10x rule, which says that to set yourself apart from the average people, you should set targets that are 10 times bigger than what you think you can achieve.

And, to make those dreams a reality, you need to put in 10 times as much effort as you usually do. Taking massive action is the only way to fulfil your true potential.

In order to reach more daunting heights than you ever thought possible, you must both think and act at levels that are 10x beyond what most people normally think is necessary.

And most importantly, when you fail, you should upscale your efforts, and not downscale your dreams. I felt like the book spoke straight to my heart, especially when the author quoted insights like-

“If you start small, you probably are going to go small. People’s failure to think big usually means they will never act big enough, or persistently enough! After all, who gets excited about so-called “realistic” goals?”

This article is about the key insights of the 10x rule, how it changed my life, and how you can apply these to your life to embrace success and set yourself apart from the crowd.

Setting High Enough Goals

In the quest for success, most people tend to chase goals that are realistic and within their reach. As Cardone stresses, anything is possible, and you have much more potential than you realise.

“Most people will admit that their goals are well below their potential — because most of the world has been convinced, persuaded, and even educated to set small, attainable, and realistic goals.”

The word “realistic” is based on the experiences of other people. More often than not, it reflects on what they have tried to achieve and fail. The world tries to project this limiting belief on you until you learn the carry the weight of someone else’s failures on your shoulders.

Don’t make the same mistake.

Set your goals not based on what has been done before, but what you wish to do. Just because there is no precedence, does not mean there will never be something of that scale done in the future.

“If you underestimate your potential, then it is impossible to set appropriately sized targets.”

Always remember: you are setting these goals for you, and not anyone else.

There is no shortage of success in the world. So, don’t be afraid to put in the work. Because, no matter what the size of your goal is, it will require work anyway. It is better to pour your blood and sweat into something you genuinely believe in, rather than what the world has taught you to believe is attainable.

Competition Does Not Exist

The author argues that in the world of forward-thinkers, there is no competition. Envy and spite are negative qualities that limit your ability to think creatively. You will be so consumed by what someone else is achieving, that you won’t be able to work on your own methods and on honing your skills.

When you have set yourself as a player in the game, aim to dominate, not to compete. If the old saying was, ‘Competition is healthy’, the new saying is, ‘If competition is healthy, domination is immunity!’

When you try to compete with people in your field, your work inadvertently ends up being copies of theirs. Forward-thinkers don’t copy, they create. They set their own rules without thinking of what others have done.

So, how can you dominate the field?

The first step is to decide that you want to dominate. Then, you have to be willing to do things no one else in your field has even thought of. Set your goals on such a level that they will overshadow everyone else in your sector completely.

“Never play by the agreed-upon norms within which others operate. The rules, norms, and traditions of any group or industry are usually traps that prevent new ideas, higher levels of greatness, and domination.”

You don’t want to run the race everyone else is so engrossed in. You want to be the only one considered as a viable solution. Of course, you can always learn lessons from the ones who wish to compete, as long as you don’t end up chasing them.

The mindset of dominating your sector will send out the message clear to all potential customers: that you are here to stay, and no one else will get the job done as well as you can do.

Obsession is Not A Bad Thing

To dominate your sector, you need also to let the desire to win dominate your senses, your every waking thought. You have to want it so bad that every fibre in your body vibrates with the belief that you can reach there, that you can do it.

If you are not obsessed with the things you want to achieve, you will spend a lifetime being obsessed with making up excuses about why you didn’t get to live the dream you had once cherished.

If your obsession does not yield results, pause for a moment and redouble your efforts.

When it comes to creative pursuits, there is no such thing as failure — as long as you continue creating. You don’t fail until you choose to give up.

“There is no shortage of how many times you can get up and continue! There will always be another hand, another day — and another chance.”

Don’t be deterred by problems. Anyone who does not encounter problems probably lives a static, stagnant life. When you are moving forward on the path that leads to your dreams, you are bound to create problems at every step along the way.

Use the problems as stepping stones to keep pushing ahead.

Abundance, Not Balance

This is especially relevant to people who have a job and are trying to stabilise their side hustle. Grant Cardone proposes the idea that the only people who put limits on what is available to them are concerned about “balance.”

“Quit thinking in terms of either/or and start thinking in terms of all and everything.”

With proper planning, prioritising, and scheduling, it is possible to achieve excellence in all the tasks you set out to do. For that, you need to draw clear boundaries and have a vision of the kind of future you want to live in.

Once you have made that clear, set expectations on the people around you to accept your vision and priorities. With the people you care about on board, you can arrange your schedule in such a way that it accommodates everything you want to excel in, including time for family, friends, your passion, and your profession.

Criticism Precedes Admiration

Another common mistake most people make while chasing their goals is that they underestimate the number of hurdles they will have to overcome on the way.

And one of the major hurdles is going to be the people around you calling you out and telling you that you are “dreaming too big” and “working too hard”. You’ll know you are following the 10x rule and taking massive action when people start criticising what you are doing.

But, you have to understand that people who are weak and experts at making excuses for their lack of success are more likely to be intimidated by your success and try to attack you as the first resort. They intend to degrade you, and not to see you grow.

However, receiving criticism is only proof that you are on the right path. If your success is enough to intimidate other people, keep pouring in the hard work and achieving more. As the author says,

“After all, what better way to retaliate against criticism than to keep succeeding?”

After a certain threshold is reached, the same people who judged your actions will shower you with praises. Massive success will turn the criticism to praise.

Final Thoughts

If you ever wondered what really separates the successful people from the mediocre ones, this book gives you an honest answer: big dreams, hard work, and a dogged determination never to give up.

There are no short cuts to success, and Grant Cardone’s story does an excellent job of motivating you, of lighting a spark of motivation in your heart to get off the couch and start working on your dreams.

Cardone’s writing will work a few small miracles for you.

  1. It will help you get your head in the right place and cultivate a mindset that allows you to embrace success.
  2. It will help you look past your excuses and identify how to attack your target in a way that guarantees success.
  3. You will understand exactly how much action you will need to take in order to achieve the results you’re after.

If you are someone who feels lost in life right now, you should definitely read this book. The 10x Rule is an incredible motivator, and it will lay out a no-nonsense and pragmatic roadmap for success you can apply in your life.

If you enjoyed this story, here are a few others you might find useful-

How to Focus on One Thing at a Time for Best Results
Get the most out of each task.
How to Be Your Biggest Fan (Even on Your Worst Days)
Lessons I learned from Jen Sincero — love yourself fiercely and achieve your biggest dreams

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