What can Success Psychology teach us about enhancing our vegan outreach?

One of the most famous and successful golfers in the world, Tiger Woods, was asked by a fan, “What do I need to do to be successful like you? I will do anything. Just tell me what it is!”

He replied, “No you wouldn’t, or else you would be doing it already!” The fan disputed this, imploring him to divulge his secret. He repeated “No you wouldn’t because if so, you would be doing it right now!”

We can learn from this wisdom to understand what causes people to become vegan and for us to influence them to change.

We must dispel the myth that once we have a fail-proof method for success, we can confidently use it to influence change, in ourselves and others.

Why is it a myth?

It’s a myth because it makes us feel that success is dependent on something outside ourselves. If we just got it, we would be successful.

The reality is that success is not outside ourselves; it begins within us and then through interaction with our physical and social world.

To discover what Tiger’s wisdom reveals about becoming a successful vegan advocate, let’s first consider what ‘success’ actually means.

What is Success?

The Late Earl Nightingale who recorded The Strangest Secret once said, “Success is the progressive realisation of a worthy ideal’.

This simple definition resonates with me because it can’t be measured in wealth, achievements or power, but starts with a worthy ideal. That ideal could be becoming the best parent, community worker, singer, animal rescuer, or advocate to create a vegan world.

Success is then “progressively realised”—it is something you work towards every day and begins with what Nightingale said, “We become what we think about…..all day long!”

From my studies of Tiger and others, I have observed that successful people learn and apply key ingredients for success: From these, I encourage you to:

  • Set a big goal and act every day until it is attained;
  • Develop a positive mindset and commitment to what is required to be the best;
  • Educate yourself on what’s involved and learn from the best coaches in the world;
  • Don’t compete with others, instead refine your vision as your criteria for success;
  • Exercise a mindset of continuous improvement;
  • Moderate your actions to get the best outcome and never give up, even if the pace of success is not immediate;
  • Realise that ‘practice doesn’t make perfect” – “perfect practice makes perfect”;
  • Feel successful every day because you are progressively realising your worthy ideal.


As Tiger pointed out, for someone to change, they have to develop a visceral desire to move away from pain and towards the pleasure of success. The vegan knows a lot about pain as they carry the “burden of knowing’ with all the outcomes of vystopia. They feel the loss of important relationships, the frustration that people they love are eating a diet that’s making them sick, the constant reminders of animal cruelty inherent in every day activities, and of course what happens to animals behind closed doors every day.

Moving from Vystopia to Being Part of the Solution

  • It is very easy to stay locked in your pain and frustration and look for the next shiny object that will teach you how to get other people to change. However, this results in anger, cynicism and depression. Rather, access the positive outcomes of living meaningfully as a vegan and access your real power, so you can play your part in creating a vegan world.
  • To be successful at being a vegan agent for change, you must move from pain to an unrelenting belief and mindset that a vegan world is possible. It’s even inevitable, when we all develop the requisite mindset and actions. You must learn how to pass pain through your body, become an exquisite communicator and use a range of methods to more closely meet the needs of those you are speaking to.

Develop Your Sweet Spot and Use Other People to Advocate

  • Each of us have what I call a “sweet spot”, which is our particular gift to the world. When we get in tune with our unique method of expression, it feels very easy. We enjoy the process. When we struggle, it can be a sign that this is not our real calling and we must discover it.
  • Some vegans are on the frontline and share undercover footage of animal exploitation. Others open vegan eateries, are legislators, film-producers, health coaches, sanctuary owners, writers. Many of us speak out daily to others about veganism, learning to become great communicators across all walks of life. Each of us has our part to play but can also use the talents and resources of others.

Resources From Others’ Sweet Spots to Invite Others to Change

I would like to share two resources that you can access and use in your vegan outreach.

The first is a panel discussion that can be shared with people specifically concerned about child-sex trafficking and who may have seen the recent film, Sound of Freedom. It makes the link between this heinous trade and the exploitation of animals and how these are not separate issues.

The second is the new 17-minute film, The Next Girl, which skilfully uncovers the exploitation of animals in the dairy industry.

Both use powerful principles of change, namely that we must meet people where they are at and address the concerns they have. Each of these tools reveal the human displeasure against human exploitation and helps viewers see that all violence is related. They both demonstrate that our actions to reduce exploitation are limited if we are still part of violence through our daily non-vegan choices. I hope these valuable resources help you in your vegan outreach. I also encourage you to discover your sweet spot, refine your worthy ideal and do what is necessary to be the most powerful voice for change in 2024.

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