5 Self-Development Principles Drake Uses

As someone who has studied personal development principles for over a decade now, I take notice when I see celebrities and public figures applying these principles to their own lives. I happen to be a fan of Drake and have always admired his application of personal development principles in his life and his music.

In this post, I approach some of these principles from a completely different angle than I normally do. I’m aware that this angle will not resonate with everyone but I thought it would be a fun change of pace! So, if you don’t vibe with it, keep calm—I’ll be back to regularly scheduled content soon ;)

What this post is not

This post is NOT meant to imply that you should aspire to be exactly like Drake. He has both positive and negative qualities, just like everyone else.

This post is NOT meant to idolize everything about hip-hop/rap music. I’m fully aware that, as a genre, it has some problematic messages.

What this post is

This post IS meant to show how Drake has used certain success principles to create his version of success.

This post IS meant to be a fun and lighthearted way of studying timeless success principles using Drake as a case study.

Principle #1: Law of Attraction (Visualization)

Back in 2007, when Drake was still unsigned and mapping out his future, he searched online for "world's craziest residential pools." He fell in love with one of the homes that came up and set it as the desktop image of his computer.

In 2012, Drake purchased that very same property.

“This house was the desktop image on my computer years before I bought it.” —Drake

This story shows the power of having a clear picture of what you want and keeping it in front of you, sometimes known as creative visualization. According to people who know him, Drake has also been known to make vision boards, which I think is awesome.

Let’s take a look at a few more Drake lyrics that show his belief in this principle…

“Always felt like my vision been bigger than the bigger picture.” (From “How Bout Now”)

When you hold a picture, idea, or feeling in your mind of a particular reality, your subconscious mind goes to work to help you experience that reality. Drake dreams big and used this principle to manifest his dream home.

“I believed it. Yeah, I thought it and I achieved it.” (From “Club Paradise”)

This is one of my all-time favorite Drake lines because it seems to be a reference to the book that inspired me to start the ThinkGrowProsper Instagram page—Napoleon Hill’s classic success book Think and Grow Rich!

“All I gotta do is put my mind to this sh*t.” (From “My Way” Remix)

This lyric further reinforces Drake’s belief that success starts in the mind.

Principle #2: Positive Self-Talk

Something I’ve always appreciated about rappers is their ability to use the power of the spoken word to create their reality. I’m reminded of the time Jay-Z referenced this principle in an interview one time when he said, “I believe you can speak things into existence.”

The words you speak and think act as commands to your subconscious mind. They tell it what kind of reality you want to experience.

When you say things to yourself like, “I’ll never be able to afford that or I have the worst luck or I’m not good at such and such,” over time, your subconscious mind will accept these statements as reality and create tangible evidence of them in your life.

In that sense, the words you speak are self-fulfilling prophecies.

But the opposite is also true. You can speak and think positive things like: “I can make enough money to afford that. I am always in the right place at the right time. I am confident in my skills and abilities.”

Over time, the positive things you think and say to yourself will also tend to manifest themselves in your life.

Yes, I know that rappers (Drake included) can sometimes take this too far and move from positive self-talk to outright bragging/cockiness real quick. But with Drake, it goes deeper than just money or material things. You can tell his core beliefs about himself when he says lyrics like:

“Really, I think I like who I’m becoming.” (From “Crew Love”)

This lyrical affirmation further reinforces this concept into Drake’s subconscious mind and also serves as an encouraging reminder to himself. It also seems to convey Drake’s belief that growth is a process and we are all on ever-evolving journeys.

“If I ain’t the greatest then I’m headed for it.” (From "0 to 100")

Self-talk that is too outside of one’s current belief system is usually ineffective and lacks creative power.

For example, if you’ve never lifted weights before, it doesn’t matter how many times you tell yourself you can bench press 900 pounds, you probably don’t truly believe you can do it without putting in some work first. In this scenario, it would be more effective to adopt self-talk that says something like: “I’m getting stronger every day. I’m becoming the strongest person I know, etc.”

In this line, Drake recognizes that there are lots of other talented artist and leaves room for the possibility that he may not be the absolute “greatest” at this exact moment. However, at the same time, he confidently affirms his direction, intention, and focus. This self-talk comes from a place of self-awareness and is infused with real belief, therefore possessing far more creative power than a wild claim.

Side note: It’s interesting to compare this line, which he said several years into his mainstream career to another statement he made much earlier in his career: “Last name: Ever, first name Greatest.” (From “Forever”)

“If I die, I’m a legend.” (From “Legend”)

At first glance, this line seems cocky. But something I love about Drake is that he doesn’t take himself too seriously and says a lot of things tongue-in-cheek.

In my own life, something I’ve noticed is that the more lighthearted I am about “success” and pursuing my goals, the less resistance I encounter and the easier it is to mold my reality. Drake making the claim that he’s a legend might be a little presumptuous, but he’s just having fun. That positive, lighthearted energy tends to come back in one form or another.

Principle #3: Maintaining a preferred emotional state

An important part of creating your ideal reality is maintaining a positive emotional state. This is a main component of the Law of Attraction. Life does this thing where it aligns you with people, things and situations that match the energy or emotions that you put out.

The primary way you "put energy out" into the world is through your emotions. When you put out emotions of a certain vibrational frequency, you will tend to attract circumstances, people and things that are of the same vibrational frequency. In other words, what you put out is what you get back. The physical manifestation of this process is what “creates” your reality.

Drake exemplifies this principle perfectly when he says:

“Just as a reminder to myself, I wear every single chain, even when I’m in the house, ‘cause we started from the bottom now we here...” (From “Started From The Bottom”)

It’s no secret that material wealth and prosperity are important to Drake. He seems to be aware of the idea that like attracts like, which is probably the reason he adorns himself with material reminders of his wealth. He wants to keep experiencing those feelings of prosperity and wealth because he intuitively knows that those feelings will tend to attract more experiences of prosperity and wealth into his life.

Principle #4: Persistence

This is a principle Drake believes in quite strongly.

“If you thinkin' I'ma quit before I die, dream on.” (From “Over”)

Drake states, in no uncertain terms that he does not intend to give up. Ever.

“The only thing I did to end up here was put the work in.” (From “Weston Road Flows”)

Persistently taking the necessary actions required to achieve our goals is something we all know we need to do if we want results. But how many of us actually do it? In this line, Drake reveals his key to success.

“Yeah, I want it all, that’s why I strive for it.” (From “Successful”)

Drake knows that anything worthwhile takes effort of some kind. This may take different forms, depending on the goal. The action could be mental, emotional, spiritual or physical, but it is still action. Get clear on what you want and then strive for it.

“Tell the young high school kids keep dreaming because they sure do come true.” (From “Schemin’ Up”)

Drake was one of those high school kids who had big dreams. And although he’s had ups and downs, he never gave up on them. That’s the power of persistence at work.

Principle #5: Following Your Excitement

If you’ve been following this blog or my Instagram account for any amount of time, you’ve probably heard me talk about this principle A LOT. It’s a concept that has made the biggest impact on my life and one that I really enjoy discussing.

The idea here is that the things that excite you are not random. They are somehow connected to your path, passion or larger purpose in life—even if you can’t see how. Your job is to take action on these things on a daily basis. When you do this, your life will become an ecstatic explosion of joy and synchronicity.

“The moment I stop having fun with it, I’ll be done with it.” (From “Too Much”)

From this line, it seems that Drake lives by this exact principle. If you study his backstory and the backstories of countless other successful people in the arts and entertainment industries, a common thread is that they all followed the things that excited them with intensity and integrity. Even when it made no sense. Even when they couldn’t see how they were going to make it.

When Drake’s TV career wasn’t serving him anymore, he left and pursued what truly excited him—music. It seemed to work out pretty well for him.

Best of March #TGPbookclub

March was about revisiting many of my old favorite books. I love revisiting old books I've read in the past. It amazes me how I can gain new insights from the same information depending on what's going on in my life, my mental state, etc.

Many of you have asked me to keep a log of the books I share on Instagram and Instagram stories. I'll be posting these lists every month. If you're looking for my core list of book recommendations, click here.

The Daily Stoic – Ryan Holiday

The philosophy of Stoicism is essentially a bunch of powerful mindset shifts. I've been a fan of Ryan Holiday for awhile and he does a great job clarifying this ancient philosophy into bite-size nuggets.

A New Earth – Eckhart Tolle (book + audio)

So many gems in this book. One of my favorite quotes, "the primary cause of unhappiness is never the situation but your thoughts about it. Be aware of the thoughts you are thinking."

Awaken the Giant Within – Tony Robbins (audio)

Tony covers a lot of fundamental principles from developing new habits to challenging old beliefs. A classic I revisit often.

Anything You Want – Derek Sivers

One of my all-time favorite books on the entrepreneur mindset. It will change the way you think about owning and running a business, guaranteed. It has so much simple, straightforward, and practical wisdom in just 84 short pages.

The Alchemist – Paolo Coelho

The Alchemist is one of those timeless stories whose lessons stay with you forever. It resonated with me on such a deep level the first time I read it and still to this day, it gives me goosebumps when I re-read this magical fable.

Motivational Quotes to Get the Blood Moving – Marcus Almond

I stumbled on this book in a bookstore in Brooklyn. It jumped out at me. I was pleasantly surprised to find it is a compilation of original quotes by the author with brief explanations.

The Power of Your Subconscious Mind – Joseph Murphy

My favorite part of the book is that the author shows you how to put this principle into practice and make it work for you.

Our ThinkGrowProsper Journey

I started ThinkGrowProsper as an Instagram account back in January of 2014. I began by posting insights and positive reminders for myself during an extremely difficult time in my life.

What most of you don’t know is that I’ve had some behind-the-scenes help from a special someone...

Meet Vanessa...

Photo credit: Kristen Curette (@poorartist)

Photo credit: Kristen Curette (@poorartist)

Vanessa and I have been together for six years. In fact, we just got engaged this past November! (Fun fact: I proposed to her via a surprise musical performance in the middle of the courtyard at our favorite restaurant...but that’s a story for another time).

Vanessa was the first person who made me aware of Instagram back in 2013. She was always scrolling through her feed looking at pretty pictures. I’ll admit, I kind of teased her about being “glued to her phone.”

But the tables turned when I started @ThinkGrowProsper in 2014 and became obsessed with posting inspirational content and responding to all the positive feedback I was getting! Vanessa showed me the ropes and cheered me on from day one.

Fast forward to the end of 2015. TGP had evolved into a massive community of people seeking daily inspiration, wisdom, and resources for personal growth. Through sales of my e-book and well-aligned partnerships, I made more money that year than I had made in the past three years combined!

ThinkGrowProsper grew into a community for people looking for daily inspiration, entrepreneurship insights, and resources for designing the life you love. 

Although things were going well, there was still so much I wanted to do with TGP. Our account had grown so quickly and I wanted to create a space where I could personally connect with the TGP community. It was way more than one person could handle alone. For the first time, I considered hiring someone to help me.

At the time, Vanessa still had a 9-5 job at a non-profit. She mainly handled marketing, education and outreach there, which entailed managing their email list, website, workshops/events and social media—all things I needed help with for TGP!

You can probably see where this is going.

In January of 2016, Vanessa joined me full-time to help take TGP to the next level. She took over the business/technical side of what we do and has made it possible for us to be where we are today!

For the past year and a half, Vanessa has been behind the majority of the website development and off-Instagram content for TGP. With her help, we created a free mini-course on getting unstuck, which has now been taken by over 30,000 people! She has also been instrumental in creating the TGP blog, which has helped us reach a new audience and talk about the TGP philosophy from a more personal/lifestyle-based perspective.

The truth is, Vanessa has always been the driving force behind ThinkGrowProsper in one way or another. Way before she came on full-time, she had already been contributing to TGP—she was my original editor, sounding board and cheerleader. She inspires me every day and makes me want to be a better human in so many ways.

That’s why, going forward, you’ll see her contributing more of her own personal thoughts on our blog and in our weekly emails. I think so many of you will be able to relate to her unique perspectives and experiences. She’ll also be able to connect with a portion of you that I might never be able to reach as effectively on my own.

Things you should know about Vanessa:

  • She has a background in education, health and nutrition and is a holistic nutritionist

  • She is an absolute GENIUS and loves learning (she even took a tax preparer class "just-for-fun")

  • She watches cute babies on Instagram whenever she needs an emotional pick-me-up

  • She has the most amazing hair in the world and no matter where we go, random people always compliment her on it

  • Her spirit animal is a bear because it’s really strong, but also really cute

  • She loves taking pictures of the Tucson desert landscape and sunsets

  • She is the love of my life and business partner

If you subscribe to the TGP newsletter, you probably already know most of this story. But I wanted to write this blog post to formally say that TGP would not be where it is today without Vanessa. You certainly wouldn't be reading this blog post right now!

Years before I met Vanessa, I wrote down a goal to be with a woman who supported me in everything I did and who I could build an amazing life and business with. I couldn't have manifested that reality any more accurately.