How to Live a Remarkable Life – The 10 Pillars of Success

I’ve been thinking recently about how I define success, and what a life well-lived encompasses. I’ve come up with ten pillars that I believe create the foundation for how I wish to live my life. My goal for outlining these is to help myself define my beliefs, but more importantly, to amplify the success of you, the reader, who may share the same values.

Below are the ten pillars I have defined as the keys to success. If you like these ideas – great – you’ve found a community of like-minded people.


1. Be the gladiator in the arena, not the spectator in the sidelines

It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood…who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.
-Teddy Roosevelt

To be the doer and not the critic. This distinction defines how you spend your days and how you tackle the inevitable problems life will throw at you. It’s easy to remain on the sidelines and judge those in the arena from the safety of the crowd. It’s easy to watch their vulnerability, their failures, their missteps with guilty pleasure. In fact, this seems to be how most people live their entire lives.

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How Reading Impacted Warren Buffett, Mark Cuban, and Malcolm X

I’ve written before about how reading is the key to success. But it can be hard to see the causation because it doesn’t just happen overnight. So below are three firsthand accounts from influential people who have “made it” highlighting how reading has impacted their lives.

1. Warren Buffett and Charlie Munger

I group these two together because of the extent to which they share the same ideologies. The duo is legendary for their longstanding business and investing prowess through investments at Berkshire Hathaway, which has consistently outperformed the market since its inception.

The result has spawned an army of devoted followers and has earned Buffett and Munger titles of two of the richest men on the planet. As a testament to their influence, thousands of people fly in from across the world to spend just a day listening to Buffett and Munger speak at their annual shareholder’s meeting.

So when Buffett or Munger give advice, we should listen. The two largely share the same philosophies on best business practices and investment styles, and they also happen to agree on the same method for success. In a 2007 commencement speech given at the USC School of Law, Charlie Munger said:

I constantly see people rise in life who are not the smartest, sometimes not even the most diligent, but they are learning machines.

They go to bed every night a little wiser than they were when they got up and boy does that help, particularly when you have a long run ahead of you.

He goes on to reference Buffett as an example of such a learning machine:

If you watched Warren Buffett with a time clock, I would say half of all the time he spends is just sitting on his ass and reading. And a big chunk of the rest of the time is spent talking on the phone or personally with people he trusts.

Buffett echoes his partner’s sentiments. When asked how to get smarter at a conference, he held up a stack of papers and said:

Read 500 pages like this every day. That’s how knowledge works. It builds up, like compound interest. All of you can do it, but I guarantee not many of you will.

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Tyrese Gibson: Success Is In Your Mind

I didn’t know who Tyrese Gibson was before today, but I have a great deal of respect for him now. I came across a video he shared a few days ago in a wisdom-fueled rant. The video seems to be directed towards the black community, but the message applies to everyone. It’s a nice wake up call if you ever find yourself complaining or victimizing your situation.

The interesting thing about this is every successful person in my studies and observation think along the same lines as Gibson. Consciously or unconsciously, the people at the top of any field have all trained their minds such that their thought processes are at a higher level than you or I. They’re operating at a different level and it reflects in their actions.

Check out the video below. Note the language is NSFW.

If you really got a problem with your life you’ll change it. You’re not tired of being broke, you’re not tired of being stuck…You’re not tired, because if you were tired, you would actually do some shit about it. Anybody who is determined to do something, who wants something to be different, will eventually be different.

It’s very simple. Change your mind and everything about your bank account, your environment, the safety of you and your kids will change.

I’m tired of everyone complaining as if they’re on the receiving end of whatever this world wants to dump on them, and they don’t have a choice.

Excuses sound best to the person making them up. You have created every excuse in the world in your mind. And you figured out how to justify it in your mind, and it makes sense to you. That’s why you’re still in it. That’s why you’re out of shape, that’s why you’re still doing the same shit you’re doing. Once you justify it, you stay in it.

Find Your One Thing

I have a problem. I have an inability to focus on just ONE thing. I’m constantly trying new things out and sticking my hand in every cookie jar. You would think this is good, but I’ve found that too much choice and variability often simply leads to inaction.

For instance, I’ve been trying to start a side business or endeavor of some sort. The problem is, there are so many different avenues and routes that I’m constantly pulled in different directions. Here are some of the things I’ve looked into:

-Real estate, acquiring rental properties
-Kindle Publishing, writing/outsourcing eBooks
-Starting an online business, creating and selling products
-Freelancing
-Making money using eBay/Amazon as a platform
-Playing poker in underground games
-Creating apps, hiring developers
-Starting a podcast
-Starting a YouTube channel

The culmination of all this, however, is a sense of overwhelm.

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