The Single Most Important Principle in the Lives of Successful People

by Alexander Heyne · 0 comments

All ultra successful people have that one principle behind their success.

Whether that’s Robert Kiyosaki: “Invest in assets not liabilities.” 

Or whether that’s Richard Branson: Work out.”

Or Napoleon Hill: “Have a burning desire for something and stake your entire existence on achieving it.”

I [although not ultra successful or even successful] have a mantra that goes way to the core of my character, and I’m here to tell you why you need one too.

I say it hundreds of times every day: every time I go to a new place, every time I show up for work, every time I read a book, every time I go to a coffee shop, every time I chat up a pretty girl, every time I go to the gym.

It goes like this: When confronted with a decision (even very basic decisions), I ask myself this: How do 99% of people go about doing this? Now, how am I going to go about doing this?

And most of the time, I choose the anything-but-what-99%-of-people-are-doing answer.


Because it almost always works better than the 99% answer. And it requires way less work.

It really goes back to the idea of success involving developing effective systems that you run yourself through.  A mantra or principle is a system too, whether or not you know it.

There are 2 reasons why all successful people have their “principle” that they live by, and why you need one too.

  1. It’s something to fall back on for motivation. When work is kicking your ass or things aren’t going well, you go right back to your #1 man.
  2. It’s a system, and by default enhances efficiency.  My system works because it’s on autopilot — I start something, and when it doesn’t go well I run through the system. Almost all of the time I get the results I want after using it.

My #1 Man in a nutshell

My principle is more about the following: what people do “most” of the time usually involves the “least” amount of thought. The approach works, but it isn’t efficient or even optimal.


In the gym:

Most people in the gym look the same year after year, right?  I write down what they’re doing, and limit my strategy to anything but that. I look insanely different from year to year (last year being a prime example, I put on 15 lbs of muscle and maintained a six pack).

In a relationship:

Most boyfriends get their girlfriends some flowers and go to a nice dinner for valentine’s day or for their anniversary.  It’s fine, it works. But it’s not special or unique, no matter how in denial you are (that’s for you , guys). Think about that next time you want to do something actually extraordinary.

In business:

Most businesses do exactly the same thing and wonder why they aren’t standing out.  Even just today at work I was talking with the CEO of our startup about corporate culture + values. He goes, “What a bunch of dumbasses, have you ever seen a list of corporate values that were actually unique?  We value innovation, team work…. blah blah blah. Same old shit.”

The bottom line: This principle is literally the single most effective thing I have put in my brain, ever.  End of story.

It’s ultra effective when you’re trying to stand out, it’s ultra effective when you’re building a business or thinking up ideas that haven’t been done before, and it’s ultra effective in making your life exciting as hell.

This “rule” of mine is more or less my sales pitch in life. 

Do what you love is a generic sales pitch, it’s not yours.  Everyone wants to do work that’s meaningful.

What you need to ask yourself is what your individual sales pitch is.  What do you constantly harp on people about? What principle is so painfully obvious to you that you constantly notice it?

Game Changing Ball Busters

A while back I wrote about the power of having a story.  The people we remember and admire most are those who have a story, some grand plan that moves us and motivates us to do bigger things with our own life.

It’s kinda like your sales pitch, your underlying 2 cents.

And it’s the single most important thing that many people lack from their lives.  When the going gets tough, people with a story, with a sales pitch, with a mantra can say:

Okay, what’s my story, what’s my “why” behind this, what’s my principle I fall back on?

If you don’t have any of those — when the going gets tough you get lost, you get frustrated, you quit.

So today I ask this: what’s your story,  what’s your sale’s pitch every day, and what is that one phrase — that thing that sums up the meaning behind everything that you do? What’s that thing you call on for your second wind, when all the things have gone wrong or you don’t think you can go on?

When something you have built for years has fallen and collapsed, when you get back up and start building it again (you WILL get back up), what line of inspiration is running through your brain?

Success is simple in a world of chaos.

You can read all day about how people became successful. You can read about stories, about principles, how-to get rich books, inspirational novels, whatever.

But you can quadruple the time to success if you do this one simple thing: find your wing man, your mantra, your principle to success, that one spark of motivation that lights your brain on fire every time you hear it.

And engrave it in every ounce of every action that you do.

Success is simpler than you think, and beyond every how-to book, every success story, or every billionaire, there is often that one, tiny, simple principle at work.



Photo credit Inkstainedwriter

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