The Pressure To Succeed

“Don’t tell yourself that what you enjoy is not a career”

“Living a simple life, if it contains happiness and excitement, is something you should not overlook.” 

“My level of success was always determined by me”

“They are too busy working and not busy living. Life is meant to be lived brother” 

“When its time to show up on game day, I will leave my spine out there to beat you. I want you to challenge me.”

“I was a success in finding my lane as a deal maker and making money but I was a fucking degenerate who lost all my values in the process.”


  • Welcome Back: 00:35
  • First Thoughts On The Pressure To Succeed: 5:30
  • Pressure From Family: 10:30
  • Definitions of Success: 15:45
  • Head Down, All In Work… Is it worth it?: 25:30
  • Changing Definitions of Success: 34:30
  • Adversity, Asking For Help and The Journey: 41:00
  • The Pressures of Social Media: 52:00
  • Closing Remarks: 1:00:10


Everyone feels the pressure to succeed. No matter what level of success you have, it continues to build. The same is true for the opposite. Even if you haven’t done anything in life… yet, there is still an enormous pressure to be a success. This pressure is something that doesn’t leave us. Its with us when we wake up in the morning and when we go to bed at night.

Judgement is one of the first things that comes to mind when talking about the pressure to succeed. We all wonder what others will think. Whether it is parents, peers or even someone whom you have never met. The vast majority of people care about what other people think and that feeds into the pressure associated with success. Take this flood of emotions and say, I’m not going to let it scare me off. You can instead use it light a fire up under your ass and get moving. For others, like Cory, no one ever believed he was going to make shit happen. People would scoff at his dreams. He used this as a chip on his shoulder to prove everyone wrong. The fact that he had no expectations enabled him to almost relieve him of some of the external pressures. It was much more of an internal pressure for him, as it is for many others.

When it comes to those who have a lot of external expectations and pressures from family to become a doctor, lawyer, or sort of fall into the deferred plan of the family it is important to recognize that this is your life. No one can control what you do with your life. Don’t tell yourself that what you love doing is not a career. Take what you love, no matter what it is, find a market for it and you can make money doing it. All it takes is some creativity and courage. The people telling you to go follow some deferred plan are not the ones paying your bills, they aren’t the ones putting in the work, they don’t have your vision and they are not YOU. No one could tell Cory to do anything other than lifting weights. No matter how absurd it sounded then, he was able to use this as a chip on his shoulder and propel him further.

It is up to you to determine if you want to follow society’s traditional definition of success or if you want to make your own definition. John’s most successful years have never been connected to his income. They have been related to the answer to the question, ‘Am I truly excited to wake up Monday morning?’ Everyone should think about their own definition of success. When Cory was 20 years old, he had a woman pay him $20 for one personal training session. He had been making $14 per hour in the coal mines and when this woman paid him $20 to lift with her for an hour he felt like he was a success. In this moment he had validated that what he wanted to do was more than a pipe dream. There is a huge difference between when you experience what your family or society tells you is success compared with when you feel internal success. A successful life has a lot to do with simplicity. The term Mo Money Mo Problems is more than slang. It rings true. Upon becoming financially successful John and Cory have found that their lives have become more difficult. Their lives require much more management. So it is important to think about this for yourself. Do you want that kind of difficulty? Or would your rather be comfortable financially and lead a simpler life, free of these problems? Living a simple life, if it contains happiness and excitement, is something you should not overlook. Your definition of success can be different from your parents or peers. It does not matter what everyone else views as success, as long as your are successful by your definition then you have nothing to worry about.

In New Zealand the attitude is all about simply living and enjoying life. In New Zealand they do not consider their largest city a part of New Zealand because “They are too busy working and not busy living. Life is meant to be lived brother.” Rethink what success is for you and eliminate all the voices that chirp into your head telling you what success should be and figure it out for yourself. When you develop your own definition you must think about it on your own.

Is there a time frame where you need to put your head down and work more than you live? It all comes down to what your definition of success is. If your goal is to accumulate financial wealth then of course you have to put your head down and bust your ass, oftentimes turning down or missing out on experiences. However, from John’s perspective this period of his life was a real struggle on every front aside from business. He lost relationships and hurt people because he was so focused on achieving his business goals. If your definition of success is tied to financial success then, yes you have to put your head down and work like a mother fucker for a period of time. Then if you’re lucky, you will have one person who understands this and will stand by you to help you find some sort of balance. For Cory, once it was known that his business was working, a new pressure to keep it going and push it further began to take shape, even then it was still an internal pressure. This is where having that one person is incredibly beneficial, in Cory’s case it was his wife, Rachel. She would bring him back out of crazy entrepreneur mode and make sure he was able to live a little more.

When you have this focus of, ‘I can’t wait to succeed’ and you get into a system where you can be successful you can be very impressionable. John became a drug addict because of his blind ambition toward succeeding. When his head was down, he couldn’t see all the other influences that were moving him around. Since the higher ups were out doing  coke and living it up after working 16 hour days then shit, why wouldn’t John want to do the same. While he was becoming more financially successful than he had imagined, he lost his values in the process. His head was down so low and he was putting in so much time that this system, took him from a straight edge guy to an addict who almost let his addiction kill him. What enabled John to come out of this phase of his life was being fortunate enough to have people around him who loved him enough to pull him out of that hole. When you are in a hole like that, everyone who questions you is your enemy and at this time, there is only one thing that can penetrate your armor and that is love. Without his aunt, brother and friend who had the courage to speak up to him  he would be six feet under.

On the journey to success, the adversity never stops. In order to become successful in any sense of the term you are going to experience some kind of adversity and you will have to come out on the other side of it. You cannot let it beat you down because if you do then you will never achieve what success is for you. Getting through this adversity is impossible to do alone. No one is truly self made. Everyone has had outside people influence their lives and the people they have become. The most underutilized tool in life is asking for help. There is no shame in asking for help. The experiences of receiving help and giving help is all part of the journey to become successful. Everyone always says its not about the destination but its about the journey. While it is easy to hear this and brush it off as another cliche of our culture, it really is true. Oftentimes we need to look deeper into the cliches in life because there is true wisdom in there. We have just become so numb to them that we ignore it, but there is a reason phrases such as this have become so commonplace. Think about this, the lead singer of the Red Hot Chili Peppers is about to take the stage in front of 100,000 people and he says how much he misses playing in 50 person clubs. He says those were the best days of performing and he would go back and do it for free now if he could. You are on your journey now so recognize this and appreciate everything around you. This is not to say, overlook the destination or the goal, you need to know where you are going but take pleasure in the process. The stories that are told are never about how much money is in the bank. They are always about the things that happened along the way. The stories are about the fuck ups, the small success and the little things that happened on the come up.

There is a mounting pressure for young people to develop a presence and identity on social media these days. People are doing insane things for followers and likes to the point where followers have become a sort of currency. People feel like they have to start a personal brand on the internet if they want to be successful but this is not really the case. For some paths, it is necessary but it is only a small percentage of people who have ‘it’ and are able to make the most of these platforms. If you know yourself and recognize that posting a bunch of videos on Instagram and youtube is not for you, then you don’t have to do it. A personal brand on social media is not a prerequisite to success. If you don’t have ‘it’ then your time is better spent building a skillset.



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