How To Develop A Mindset For Success

Changing my mind was a fast track to joy in my life

John Caswell
Just Thinking
Published in
4 min readDec 15, 2022


A Mindset Is A Choice

It’s a whole bunch of choices — and we ignore the big ones staring us in the face.

The major changes I made always felt like the spur of the moment.

Things like — ending a long-term relationship, quitting alcohol, starting a new business, coming off most social media or adopting a new workflow. I remember very clearly when the decisive moment arrived. And that was that—time to change.

For a long while, I believed the last piece was the only piece. How wrong.

A sequence of circumstances had all added up—an accumulation. In my subconscious brain, my habits, confirmation bias, judgments and feelings had been collecting the evidence — building the case — and finally, enough was enough.

Subconsciously a lot was going on — countless tiny circumstances were being stored away, waiting for my lazy consciousness to catch up. Not so much spur of the moment.

My Mother And Father And My Mindset

This is my hack

In my prior mind:

  • I thought people paid attention. Consciously I assumed that people in my circles were as interested in/cared about the things we were doing as much as I was.
  • I wanted perfection. Consciously I wanted the best possible result. Whether that was where I lived, who I was with or the product we were making.
  • I had changed, and the world around me had too. Consciously I hadn’t realised how much. I had also missed how fast and how much it mattered.
  • I hadn’t defined who were actual friends. Consciously I was pretty lax on who I let get too close. I had completely underestimated how much they would disappoint and hurt.
  • I let popular opinion influence my opinion. Consciously I trusted the stories that seemed to fit my view. In truth, I hadn’t crash-tested my view. In some cases, I didn’t have one.
  • I wasn’t following my passion or beliefs. Consciously I was easily convinced to do something for the benefit of others. I had convinced myself that I would get back to my priorities later. I often didn’t.
  • I had zero ‘me’ time. Consciously I convinced myself that being full-on with everyone and everything all the time was the only way to be.

But now:

  • I do what I love. No compromises, no prisoners.
  • I have no obsession with an outcome or exit. I love doing the work to get there as much as getting there. I have no real idea where there is.
  • I enjoy failures as much as successes. Failures teach me more, and I keep going. Failure is merely a clue to success.
  • I’ve formed my own opinions. It’s OK not to be on message if being on message means a belligerent, slavish, dogmatic betrayal of evidence, reality and truth.
  • I continuously redo everything all the time. Once I have something I feel great about, I will try to improve it. I’m continuously shipping.
  • I’m out of love for material things. A pandemic was the last straw for needing stuff because it’s cool. Apart from the tools to achieve my work and dreams, retail therapy is firmly off the agenda.
  • I can almost immediately sense who will be in my tribe. I’ve learned to identify the tiny things that suggest whether I’m safe or will regret getting closer to some people. Buzz killers need not apply.
  • I make the time and space to be curious. Curiosity is the raw material of creativity, enlightenment and an upgraded mind. Embrace others’ ideas to test your own and improve on them. Give them credit.
  • I’ve always got barges on the canal. Making sure I can do more of what I love means creating the future I need. No one else will do that, so I’m constantly investing in possibilities.
  • I focus only on what I can do anything about. I feel lucky that I’ve managed to build a position where I can determine it. I am in control of its value, the impact it has, and the difference it will.
  • I give everything away. Everything I do is published and free to air. The idea that anyone can steal and then do what we do inspires me. I’ve realised that we’re successful because of our values and how we do things rather than a specific tool or technology.

In conclusion

Although this is a highlight reel, it’s about how my mindset changed.

This isn’t meant as a scientific definition nor about neuroscience. This is about how change is hard, but with realisation, it’s pretty obvious. I would bet that most people reading this will see themselves and their own experiences here.

In General. If more of us spent a little time choosing differently based on how we genuinely felt about things and stopped compromising in favour of what others want them to feel or think, the whole world would be a far better place.

In Work. I’m lucky to work with leaders who are prepared to work to change their minds — and as a result, change their chances of success.

I hope it helps change your mind.



John Caswell
Just Thinking

I'm John Caswell - The founder and CEO of Group Partners. We Help Clients Make Strategies That Work. I’m The Head Of Crayons.