If you pick up the news on any given day, you’ll find another scandal where someone stole from his company, cheated his clients, or scammed the system. This kind of behavior is not only ignored but actually condoned and encouraged in some industries. “Pulling one over” on a competitor or customer is seen as clever and necessary to “get the gold.” In some arenas, people who won’t “bend the rules” or “crush the competition” are even considered weak and not aggressive enough to succeed. Whether it’s fouling the environment or ruining someone else’s life, conventional thinkers seem to accept these consequences as necessary to success. “It’s a dog-eat-dog world,” they say, and the trick is to not be the one who gets eaten.

The same could be said about the acts of terrorism in the world. The recent attacks in Paris and other cities show that there are people that still subscribe to this way of thinking. People who strap bombs onto themselves and die in the name of their cause truly do believe that the ends justify the means.

These acts are typically perceived by conventional thinkers that they must blame someone or something. They feel the need to strike back and look for scapegoats. Often these are entire groups, such as a religious sect that take the brunt of the blame. They blame governments. They blame entire races of people. This is a victimhood mentality.

Victimhood is when people blame other people for their fate. “If only my boss would listen to me.” “If only the government didn’t have so much red tape.” “If only my business partner worked harder and did his part.” The problem with staying in the mindset of a victim is that you are powerless. Changing other people (unless they are eager to be changed) or getting them to act differently is almost always a losing battle.

The only place that you are powerful is in changing yourself. People who flourish know this. When something goes not according to plan, they focus on what they personally can do to turn it around, not what others could or should have done. They double check their own attitudes and actions to see how they might have contributed to the issues rather than

Unconventional success recognizes that the pie is big enough for everyone. Our real competition is with ourselves to become better than whom we were or what we produced yesterday. It’s not about competing against or crushing someone else.

Unconventional thinkers know that solving some of the world’s biggest issues start with looking in the mirror. They don’t blame anything or anybody else, instead focusing on becoming the best version of themselves that they can be.