The 10X System for Goals, Action, and Success

This article is an excerpt from the Shortform book guide to "The 10X Rule" by Grant Cardone. Shortform has the world's best summaries and analyses of books you should be reading.

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What is the 10X system for success? How does Grant Cardone break down the 10X system in his book The 10X Rule?

The 10X system for success asks you to multiply everything by ten. This means, you pursue goals that are ten times higher and take ten times the effort. The result is, hopefully, success that is ten time greater.

Keep reading for a breakdown of the 10X system for success.

How to Set Goals Under the 10X System

Since your daily actions determine the course of your life, do the following:

  • Write down your goals two times every day to fix them in your mind. Make it the first thing you do each morning and last thing you do at night, every day until you achieve them. Also, revise them during the day as you think of ways to improve them.
  • Choose goals just beyond your reach, which will motivate you. If your goals are so small that you aren’t compelled to think about them daily, you’ll lose interest.

What to Write

  • Set goals that encourage or require you to live up to your potential. Approach goal setting with a 10X mindset (big goals, followed by big action equals big success). Remember, the bigger the goal, the more motivated you’ll be to overcome resistance. Further, only big goals generate so much success that they can’t be scuttled by unexpected problems, such as financial or health emergencies.
  • Word your goals as though you’ve already accomplished them. Here are examples of Cardone’s 10X goals:
    • I’m in great physical shape
    • I have a net worth of $100 million
    • My income is over $1 million a month
    • I own a home with no debt
    • I create unique programs that improve people’s lives
    • I have a top-rated TV show
  • Align your goals with a larger purpose to generate additional motivation and energy. To do this, you must be clear about the reason for each goal. For example, if your goal is to save $100 million, include what you want to do with the money, such as financing a dream like post-graduate education, buying a ranch, or helping your community.  
  • Align your actions with your goals and purposes. In the 10X system, you need to be taking 10X action to achieve 10X goals. Don’t spend your time doing unrelated things. For example, when Cardone worked at McDonald’s as a young man, he hated the work because it wasn’t helping him achieve any significant goal (he didn’t know what his goals were). But a coworker loved the job because it aligned with his goal—he wanted to learn the business and open his own franchises, which he eventually did.

The bigger (and further from average) your goals are—and the better they’re aligned with your purpose—the more they’ll energize you and drive your actions.

10X Action

There are numerous books, programs, and speakers providing advice on how to succeed in business by setting goals, practicing time management, being disciplined and persistent, and managing your career.

But you don’t hear much, if anything, about the one mindset or behavior that will guarantee extraordinary success: extraordinary effort.

In looking at his own life, Cardone realized that the common denominator in each of his successes was that he put in 10 times more effort than anyone else did. For every sales presentation, call, or appointment that others made, he made 10 presentations, calls, or appointments.

When he began investing in real estate, he looked at 10 times as many properties as he could buy. He started a business without a business plan and little knowledge or connections, but through extreme effort, he made it a success. Whatever he did was done in a big way, with massive action.

Most of the problems in people’s lives—from failed diets to financial or relationship problems—stem from not taking enough action.

Four Levels of Action

Applying enough effort is more important than having the right idea or business plan. Most people don’t do enough (take sufficient action) to succeed. Everyone opts for one of these four action levels, but only the fourth brings success:

1) Not doing anything: People who choose passivity have given up on their dreams. They’re bored and lack motivation or a sense of purpose.

2) Retreating: People who retreat or backpedal often do so because they fear action will have negative consequences.

3) Taking average action: Most people put in an average amount of effort, or enough to get by. But an average level of action is the biggest hindrance to success because it seems most acceptable, but produces only average results. 

4) Taking extreme action: Only people who apply extreme action achieve extreme success. However, in the shorter run, be aware that approaching any task with extreme action creates problems—for instance, more work or more clients to service—but it leads to more success. If you’re not creating problems, it’s a sign you’re not putting in enough effort.

Doing nothing and retreating result in failure. Taking average action produces no better than average results. Only extreme action guarantees success. 

The 10X System Views Success as a Duty

People often think of success as an option, something that may or may not happen; they wait for it to show up. Cardone’s life changed when he stopped waiting for success and began thinking of it as his ethical obligation—that is, as a duty to himself, his family, and his company.

Those who treat success as an option or who make excuses for not succeeding aren’t living up to their potential. And not living up to your potential is unethical. This applies to every aspect of life: work, marriage and family, health, faith, social contribution, and legacy.

When you begin thinking of success as your responsibility rather than an option, you behave differently under the 10X system. You take the idea of living up to your potential—creating 10X success—seriously because it not only affects you, but also your family, company, coworkers, and colleagues. And because failing to do so is unethical.

The 10X System for Goals, Action, and Success

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Here's what you'll find in our full The 10X Rule summary:

  • How to set goals that are 10 times bigger than average
  • How to use extraordinary thinking to achieve extraordinary results
  • The 3 myths that will sabotage your chances of success if you let them

Rina Shah

An avid reader for as long as she can remember, Rina’s love for books began with The Boxcar Children. Her penchant for always having a book nearby has never faded, though her reading tastes have since evolved. Rina reads around 100 books every year, with a fairly even split between fiction and non-fiction. Her favorite genres are memoirs, public health, and locked room mysteries. As an attorney, Rina can’t help analyzing and deconstructing arguments in any book she reads.

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