Retired Navy SEAL: This mindset is what makes Bill Gates and other 'outliers' so successful

Retired Navy SEAL David Goggins: This mindset separates people like Bill...

There are successful people like executives and athletes — and then there are "the outliers" like Bill Gates and LeBron James, says retired Navy SEAL David Goggins, who is now a motivational speaker and New York Times best-selling author.

Those are the "the uncommon amongst the uncommon," Goggins tells CNBC Make It. And they tend to think differently: "Their minds are wired in a way that they don't just want to be great at something. They want to be the absolute best that's ever done it."

Even when they do become the best, they're not satisfied. They never think they've made it, says Goggins. Instead, they tell themselves that, no matter what, what they've done isn't enough.

They stay hungry, and they keep achieving.

Retired Navy SEAL David Goggins

Most people don't think that way, Goggins adds. Most people have what he calls the "I arrived" mindset.

"Everybody has these bars," he says, whether they are work-related, like becoming the CEO, or appearance-related, like losing 25 pounds. "You have these bars and once you get there, you've made it. There's a party. There's a big celebration. People are invited. There's a trophy. Maybe there's a bonus check. Maybe you wear some big thing on your uniform. Who knows what it is, but it's a completion of something."

But outliers don't think in terms of completion — and you shouldn't either, says Goggins: "There's a laundry list of things that we could still accomplish, so that you can be a better CEO, so you can be a better person."

It's not about getting there. It's about what you achieve every single day.
Venus Williams

Take Venus and Serena Williams, for example, who have achieved more in their careers than most people could dream of. Between the two of them, they've won 30 Grand Slam singles titles (that's in addition to the doubles titles they've won together), and they've earned $130 million in prize money alone.

But if you ask them, the tennis legends will say they haven't yet "made it."

"I don't think like that," Serena told CNBC in 2016. "I'm still going and doing the best that I can."

Her older sister said something similar in a 2018 interview with CNBC Make It: "It's not about getting there. It's about what you achieve every single day, so in that sense I don't ever feel like I've made it."

"I'm always trying to make it," she added.

Don't miss: Retired Navy SEAL: This mentality 'rubs everybody the wrong way' but it led to my success

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Ex-Navy SEAL: What to do if you know more than your boss
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