10X Thinking: Your Life is Your Responsibility

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 10X thinking? How is accepting total responsibility essential to 10X thinking?

If you want to achieve great success, you need to take ownership of everything you do. The core of 10X thinking is that you take responsibility no matter how good or bad the results of your actions are.

Read more about 10X thinking and the responsibility you must take on.

10X Thinking: Things Happen Because of You

10X thinking and the attitude of a successful person is that things don’t happen to you, they happen because of you and the actions you take. Successful people take responsibility for everything that happens in their lives, good or bad.

If you’re willing to take credit when you succeed, you have to take responsibility for problems too. Taking responsibility enables you to take the big actions that create big success. 

Whiners and victims think much differently and therefore don’t do well at creating success. You can’t have a 10X mindset and take 10X actions when you’re making excuses. So it’s critical that you rid yourself of victim thinking, which plagues about half the population.

Victim Thinking

Here’s how victims look at life:

1) Bad things regularly happen to them.

2) Someone or something else is to blame.

Here’s how these beliefs preclude 10X thinking and action:

  • If you blame others you will never create and build your own success—and you’ll be a “slave” to others who use you to achieve their own goals.
  • By blaming others, you give them control over whether you succeed; thus, you’ll never be in control of your life.
  • When you take the role of victim, you’ll never be secure or learn your own capabilities because you believe you’re helpless.

Until you give up being a victim, you’ll have nothing but problems. However, when you approach situations as an actor rather than someone being acted upon, you can take charge of your life and begin setting 10X goals and taking 10X actions..

Change Your Mindset to 10X Thinking

Whatever happens in your life is a result of what you’re doing and thinking. Therefore, you need to change to a 10X mindset to be successful.

Cardone’s life changed when he took full responsibility for creating success. He didn’t grow up with wealth or connections, nor was he unusually talented. But he achieved greater success than others expected of him—because he was willing to put in extreme effort, assume control, and take responsibility for results and events, even negative things like the flu, a car accident, or losing data in a computer crash.

He adopted the attitude that while you won’t have a say in everything that happens to you, you can choose how you respond. Claiming responsibility and control puts you in a position to act to improve your situation going forward.

For instance, if the electricity goes off in your neighborhood, you can think about what you can do next time to minimize the impact. This isn’t an obsessive type of control; it’s a healthy sense of empowerment and a way to find solutions.

Assume you can influence what happens, even in situations you once felt were beyond your control. 

Assume Total Control

When you take total responsibility and control of your life, you begin thinking about how to keep problems from occurring. When something negative happens, ask yourself how you can ensure it doesn’t happen again or how you can minimize the chances of a recurrence. The point is to avoid victim thinking.

For example, if someone rear-ends you, you may have a legitimate reason to be upset with them, but refusing to assume the role of victim is more important than venting. Instead, think about how to reduce your chances of being rear-ended—for instance, take a route with less traffic, avoid rush hour traffic, allow more time for your trip, and ensure that you’re paying attention and not driving erratically.

Going even further, consider whether you subconsciously prompted the accident to give yourself something to complain about or blame for other problems. Many people believe your thoughts are powerful enough to attract into your life the things and people you focus on mentally.

(Shortform note: To learn more about the philosophy that your thoughts become your reality, read our summary of Napoleon Hill’s Think and Grow Rich.)

Remember that anytime you assume a victim role for the sake of being right, you’re giving up your power to make good things happen. To tap your full potential and live by the 10X Rule, you must assume radical control.

Take Control With 10X Thinking

This book argues that things don’t happen to you, they happen because of you. Therefore, you need to get rid of victim thinking and take responsibility for everything—good or bad—that happens in your life. By doing so, you take control and can act with a 10X mindset.

  • Think of something bad you interpreted as happening to you. Who/what did you blame? 
  • How would the event look if you reinterpreted it as something that happened because of you? What was your role?
  • What could you do differently in the future to minimize the chances of this event happening again or to minimize its negative impact? What’s the difference in how you feel now, compared to your original approach of blaming someone else?
10X Thinking: Your Life is Your Responsibility

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  • 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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