When I started my job training leaders, executives and entrepreneurs, I quickly realized that many of them lacked the foundational keys for success. A leader should drive people to be the best of themselves, but many leaders neglected their own mindset.

In my opinion, mindset should be an ongoing process to improve, and my goal is to come up with a framework to solve discontentment. I began this framework with 6 essential keys to achieving greatness:


6 Keys to Greatness

1. Perspective and gratitude

Easily the most important, and the main topic of this discussion. I will do into more detail below.

2. Internal locus of control

How we allow elements of our past and external forces to affect our lives. We cannot change the past, but we can use our experiences to determine our present and future. The past is not our fault, but we must own our decisions and actions in the present.

3. North Star theory

Developing a clearly defined purpose for your life. This lays the foundation for the next step.

4. Self-discipline

Now that you have a purpose, self-discipline is needed for the execution of that purpose. The things you do day to day and the actions and choices you make require self-discipline to reach your purpose.

5. Perseverance

Building resilience so you can handle the goals you set up for yourself. The larger the goals, the more perseverance you’ll need to have.

6. Leadership

The amplification of your goals. Leadership is not just about you, but getting other people in line with your goals. We only have so much time and energy in our lives, so as a leader you must also focus on impacting others. Leading others will maximize the impact of your purpose. Shift your purpose away from what you want, and focus on how your legacy will affect others. This is the only path to true contentment.

What is Greatness?

Greatness is ultimately up to you to define, but I define greatness as living a life full of contentment, purpose and impact. Nobody wins at life, no matter what happens we all end up in the ground. Don’t focus on the end of your goals, focus on the process.

If your end goal is to get something, you can just buy it; the purpose of life is the process, work, struggle and growth. Learn to love the process, because the process is the entire point. Achieving greatness is looking back at your life at the end and smiling. The foundation of this greatness is perspective and gratitude.


Perspective is your worldview, which you are able to change. I advise people to write down a personal bio of their failures, mistakes and regrets, and another bio of what they learned from their mistakes and were able to overcome.

Too many people listen to their negative bios, but remember what you’ve learned from your mistakes. You can’t control the negativity around you, but you can control your own perception. Follow your positive bio to be your best self, and show others how the world should be.


Note: This article was created from a speech given by Sean Patton, at a LevelUp conference held over Zoom.

Sean Patton previously worked for the military, and now teaches leadership skills to executives and entrepreneurs, as well as holding 1 on 1 training sessions with entrepreneurs.