19 Things Successful People Need to BECOME

When I started writing books in 2002, I decided that they wouldn’t be categorized as “How-To” books.

But rather: “How-To BECOME” books.

I think “becoming” is cool. Plain and simple. Especially the last three letters of the word: -ING

-ING represents a lifelong process.
-ING represents continuous improvement.
-ING represents growth and change and maturity.

It’s like my mentor, Bill Jenkins, used to tell us when we were kids: “You are in the process of becoming what you will someday become.”

What about you? What are you BECOMING?

I’ve been asking myself that question for several years now, and I’ve discovered that it doesn’t warrant just ONE answer. Each of us is becoming a lot of different things. So, today I’d like to share my (unfinished) list with you. I say unfinished because since becoming IS a process, I imagine my list will change over time. And so will yours…

NOTE: While you’re reading, think about your own life – your own process of becoming – and consider what items might be on YOUR list.

19 Things Successful People Need to Become

1. Become a Questionnaire. Be known for your questions. Be known for your attitude of curiosity. Be known as a thinker. Are your questions changing people?

2. Become an Apprentice. Think Skywalker. Think Yoda. Find some old dude who’s achieved great success in your field. Buy him lunch once a month, ask questions, shut up and take notes. Who’s your Jedi Master?

3. Become an Asker. The smartest, wealthiest and successful-est people in the world know how to ask. They ask for help. They ask for clarification. They ask for coaching. They ask for the sale. They ask for the sake of asking. They ask for themselves. They ask for others. What are you afraid to ask for?

4. Become an Explorer. When I was growing up, one of our favorite movies was called Explorers, staring Ethan Hawke and River Phoenix. Coolest movie ever. The film was about these nerdy teenagers who built a spaceship from junkyard parts and an Apple II, then traveled around the universe. Add it to your Netflix cue TODAY. Anyway, I don’t really have a point here. I just think exploring is cool and fun and, most importantly, important. What did you discover this week?

5. Become emotionally naked. Stick yourself – your truth – out there. Just try it. See how people respond. Odds are, they’ll appreciate your radical honesty and reciprocate. And if they don’t, fine. Screw ‘em. Don’t assume they have good taste. What part of your truth are you hiding?

6. Become idea prone. Don’t just read a bunch of books on creativity. Actually practice it. Do it. BE it. See how many ideas you can come up with per day for a week. There might be a lot of crap, but certainly a few diamonds will surface. Besides, the best way to have an awesome idea is to have a lot of not-so-awesome ideas. How many ideas did you come up with last week?

7. Become immensely successful. The cool part is, you accomplish this NOT by striving to become successful; but by intentional dedication to truth, service, purpose, passion, validation, and of course, being the BEST. What type of success are you trying to achieve?

8. Become incredibly selfish. Not all the time. But give yourself permission to spoil yourself. To do something just for you. To be completely self-serving, self-absorbed, self-centered and self-involved. As long as you do it with awareness and in moderation, it’s all good. Are you spoiling yourself enough?

9. Become less anonymous. Stop being a secret. Stop winking in the dark. Anonymity is bankruptcy. Get busy getting visible. Get noticed, get remembered and GET business. Who knows you?

10. Become less rigid. Flexibility is attractive. Become known as someone who goes with the flow. Someone who’s willing to say, “Whatever…” Where are you too stiff?

11. Become marginally extroverted. Even if you’re introverted. Even if you’re shy. Even if you hate parties. You’ve GOT to stick yourself out there, at least a little. And if you’re having trouble figuring out what to say, that’s easy. Just get on the topic of passion. It changes everything. How many people did you go out of your way to ignore last week?

12. Become more yielding. Don’t try, allow. Don’t fight, welcome. Stop resisting what IS, and just let it be. Whatever IT is. As it says in The Tao De Ching, “Any over determined action produces its exact opposite.” So, think of yourself as a rock in a stream, letting the water wash over you. You’ll be fine. What are you resisting?

13. Become radically loving. Jesus and Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr. did this. And their actions sent a powerful message that resonated forever, notwithstanding the fact that they were all murdered. So, sure, radically loving people is unexpected and scary and abnormal. But MAN does it make people wake up and notice you. Who hates you that you love in return?

14. Become so effortless. That people can’t even tell you’re doing what you’re doing. That you make it look easy. Like you’ve been doing this all your life. All you need to do is practice, practice, practice. What can you do without thinking?

15. Become spontaneously cooperative. “Agree with thy adversary quickly,” as it says in the Gospel of Matthew. Great advice. Kind of reminds me of a book called Aikido for Life, in which the author writes, “Unified intention can accept and redirect the most awesome brute strength … Conflict must be viewed in terms of the importance you consciously assign to it … There is an inordinate premium placed on a quick response.” Sweet. How quickly are you cooperating?

16. Become the shaper. Of your moments. Of your days. Of your life. Of your BEING. And, of other people’s thoughts. Of other people’s lives. Of other people’s BEING. Whom are you molding?

17. Become totally empty. Of thoughts, expectations, evaluations, appraisals and judgments. Now, obviously, this is a pretty tough practice to master. It takes a lifetime. But, even in the smallest moments, if you can learn to empty yourself – to “take out the trash” as Zen masters suggest – you will be able to move swiftly and brilliantly from a peaceful center. What mental clutter is blocking your progress?

18. Become unconditionally constructive. That doesn’t mean being a know-it-all, having an answer for everything or morphing into a Bottomless Solution Dispenser. It means collaborations, critiques and suggestions; not groundless criticism. Whom are you building up?

19. Become your beliefs. Stop thinking things. Stop believing things. Stop talking about things. Wisdom comes from DOING. That means action and trying and experimenting and experiencing and, often times, failing. That’s how you become your beliefs. And nobody can argue with those results. What are you talking shit about but not doing shit about?

What are you becoming?

For the list called, “65 Things I Wish Someone Would Have Told Me When I First Started My Company,” send an email to me, and I’ll send you the list for free!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
Author, Speaker, Coach, Entrepreneur

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