Sorry, this post isn’t for you.
It’s for me.
It’s for me internalize the mindset of a big-screen hero, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. Someone who, though I’ve never met, I respect and admire.
It’s for me to capture the thinking of a giant who has been kicked around, ignored, laughed at, and ridiculed only to bust through to success in endeavor after endeavor.
It’s for me to embed an absolute can-do, break -through-walls, leap-over-obstacles kind of attitude into my psyche.
This post isn’t for you. It’s for me. But you can read it anyway :-).
In fact, I’d love everyone read these ideas and watch the video at the end.
I want everyone to hear Dwayne Johnson’s heartfelt words and catch a glimpse of how this success-genius made his way through failures from poverty to continual and lasting success.
Because unlike so many other successful people who share what they’re doing today to be successful, he talks about the mindset he fostered in the past that led him to his present and will help him grow and win big in the future.
What Got You Here Won’t Get You There
There’s a book titled What Got You Here Won’t Get You There: How Successful People Become Even More Successful by Marshall Goldsmith. The title sums up the main point of the book, and it perfectly illustrates why this Dwayne Johnson video and the following mindset hacks are so powerful: The tools you need to get to where you are going are NOT the tools you used to get to where you are.
You are likely (hopefully) more successful today than you were five years ago. But to reach that next level of success five years from now, it’s going to take thinking differently.
Yet we read article after article of successful people telling us how they operate now.
Well, guess what? If you’re a billionaire, I’m not interested in what you are doing today to make you a multi-billionaire, I’m interested in what you did to become a millionaire, then a multi-millionaire, then a billionaire. In other words, if you and I are at very different levels of success, I don’t need to know what you are doing to maintain it, I need to know how you got there.
I want to follow your path, not your current activities.
If meditation is something that helped you level-up, great! Tell me about it. But if it’s something you started doing because you have a personal meditation/yoga instructor, I’m not interested.
If waking up early is something that put you ahead of the pack, helping you land deal after deal and become massively wealthy, great! I need to know that. But if it’s something you recently tried because you became CEO and wanted to be the first one in the office, it’s not going to help me on my journey.
This is why Dwayne Johnson’s video is so powerful. It is grounded in his past but leads to his future.
What follows is a summary of the tips he discusses during a motivational speech to the LA Lakers. It’s my interpretation of his “lessons learned.” Read them, then watch the video at the end. And, if you find another lesson in them, let me know in the comments below.
1. Remember Where You Came From
Everyone has a history. Everyone has faced hard times. Most of us try to forget.
Not Dwayne Johnson.
He keeps the bad times in front of him, face to face where he can always see them. He actively looks back on his life, remembering the tough times, the big failures, the bad calls.
He lets it drive him.
Not only does this keep him motivated to press forward. It (in my opinion) keeps him humble; it keeps him real.
Keeping your hard-earned history top of mind allows you to enter into the future with a different perspective.
All those times you face-planted, were written off, or otherwise failed hard can be your fuel, your driving force to perform at your peak, to ground you in reality, and to pave the way to a better future.
2. Keep Your Back Against the Wall
Sometimes, when I feel in a funk, progress is slow, and I’m not motivated to move forward, I look around and realize I’m too comfortable. I’ve given myself too much freedom. I’m not hungry enough.
When freedom is maximized and you can move in any direction, it’s easy to lose sight of what’s important.
When comfort is high, it’s easy to stay under the covers for just five more minutes. You’ve got nowhere to be, nothing to get done, no fire driving you out of bed and crush your day.
When hunger is low, it’s easy to wait for your next meal to find you instead of you going out and hunting it down.
And, as Dwayne Johnson says, when your back is against the wall, there’s nowhere to go but forward. It doesn’t matter who’s in your way; they’re not going to stop you.
You’re going to go right through them.
3. The Prep is Where Character is Made
You’ve seen what happens to overnight successes.
It’s the same thing that happens to one-hit-wonders, lottery winners, and people who catch lucky breaks.
If they haven’t put in the hard work. Luck only takes them so far.
They get a taste for success but don’t know how to maintain it. They don’t understand how to get from where they were to where they are, and they lose everything (sometimes more).
But when luck strikes someone who’s been putting the work—preparing every fiber in their body for their game, their success—they grow.
They can keep the momentum going because they know how to work with their hands to build character.
And preparation is where character is made.
“In what world do we not work everyday?” — Dwayne Johnson
4. Find Your Anchor
Dwayne Johnson wakes every morning at 4 am to haul iron in the gym.
It’s his anchor, the thing that grounds his day.
When he works hard first thing in the morning, he’s telling himself, “no-one will outwork me.”
What’s your anchor?
What’s the one thing you can do every day to give you the energy, the motivation, and the mental fortitude to crush it hard?
5. You’ve Got To Be Tired of Not Being #1
You’ve felt the struggle.
You’ve put in the work, ran the race, and came up short. Maybe more than once.
But at some point, you’ve got to tire of NOT being #1.
You have to play angry. You have to get motivated to do what it takes to grab gold. You’ve got to get hungry for 1st place.
Follow your gut, find your path, commit, and build a fire inside of you to not accept second place, to not be okay with being unseen, unheard, and unknown.
For the Skimmers
Dwayne Johnson gives us a real representation of how to build success into your life. He doesn’t tell you what he’s doing today (which isn’t relevant to us non-multi-millionaires), he tells you what’s worked for him to build a life of massive success.
Remember where you came from.
Keep your back against the wall.
The prep is where character is made.
Find your anchor.
Get tired of not being #1.