The unconventional secrets of high-achievers

These strategies fuel success.

Behind every triumph is an essential approach, mindset, or twist of ingenuity that allows someone to rise above the day-to-day. Below, five go-getters share the linchpins of their success.

Learn from failure.
“The only way to really succeed in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is to lose,” says Louis Levy, vice president of The Levy Group, his family’s 80-year-old fashion conglomerate. “A black belt is a successful failure. And that’s what successful people are, really—they’re people who have been able to experience failure and take a step back and improve themselves and never, ever stop.”

Welcome chaos.
“Throughout my career, I’ve definitely had an attitude to say yes to everything,” says Jen Atkin, hair stylist of the sisters Kardashian, Sofia Vergara, Jessica Alba, and other celebs. “And when you say yes to everything, chaos comes. Most people tend to run from chaos but I love it. I use chaos to fuel me.”

Find the positives.
“Working on yourself and having a positive attitude is not easy, especially if you’re dealing with depression,” says songstress Kim Petras. “Sometimes it seems really impossible, but you have to believe and think about the things in life that make you happy.”

Think like an underdog.
“Somehow I always reverted back to the mindset of being the undersized kid who had to walk on,” says Baker Mayfield, who went from a two-team college walk-on to the number one NFL Draft pick and Cleveland Browns QB. “No matter what situation it was, no matter who I was around or whatever everybody else was saying, I always mentally took myself back to that spot where I had to earn my way onto the team. That's the same mindset I try to carry every day.”

Set small goals.
“I think the experience of powerlifting helped me with acting and auditions. It was all about setting small, incremental goals and adjusting my expectations, knowing it could take a long time but that all I needed was the next step,” says Matt McGorry, star of Orange is the New Black and How to Get Away with Murder.