So often we decide we need to change our behavior. We pick up a book or read an article about how to manage better, how to get in shape, or even how to amass wealth. We think if we absorb new information, this will lead to a new way of thinking, which will in turn lead to a different course of action and net different results.

As an example, one of the best-selling book genres is self-help books, and of them one of the best-selling books of all time in this category in Napoleon Hill’s “Think and Grow Rich”. Even the title of this implies change your thinking, change your life.

But titles are deceiving. While almost every successful entrepreneur I have known has read Hill’s best-known work, what they realize that the other purchasers of this title didn’t understand is that thinking is secondary to action. If you read Hill’s work, you will see that what he is really saying is to change your behavior first and the mindset will follow.

It’s easy to pick up a book, read it, and hope for change, but as my business coach use to tell me “Hope is not a strategy!”. The strategy is to create habit, habit will lead to new ways of thinking. But of course, this is the hard part. This is where real work comes in.

In the book “Turn the Ship Around” author and former submarine Captain L. David Marquet, talks about “acting our way to new thinking”. What he explained was that while he couldn’t get inside the head of every crew member and change their mindset, but he could set a standard of action by his crew, which in turn would reinforce the mindset he wanted the crew to have.

What are the behaviors that will help you reach the goals you have set? What does success look like? What do the successful people you wish to emulate do on a daily basis? Change your actions, and you will find that mindset follows, as well as the intended results.


Marquet, L. D. (2012). Turn the ship around!: how to create leadership at every level. Greenleaf Book Group Press.

Hill, N., & Cornwell, R. (2019). Think and grow rich!: the original version, restored and revised. New Holland Publishers.