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International DJ Armin Van Buuren shares his thoughts on success

Armin Van Buuren is one of the most successful and amazing DJ that I really love listening his tracks when writing code. I recently came accross his interview on NextShark and his answer to the question “What do you think is the secret to success” was a great one and worth to share. Here’s an excerpt from the interview:


First of all is your level of expectation. You also have to learn to be happy with what you achieved sometimes.

It’s impossible in life to always achieve exactly what you have in the back of your head so you need to learn also to be happy with what you achieved sometimes. Even if it’s only half what you had in mind at first.

I like a quote of John Lennon “Life is what happens while you are busy making other plans.” and that is what I keep telling my wife as well and to a lot of people around me.

You always expect something and then something along the way comes in and you have to alter your path again. And if you can learn to live with that and you can be practical like that and success is more easy… maybe.

It’s good to have a plan but it’s also good to… if you’re working really hard and you’re walking up against a door and you can’t go through that door then you just find a backdoor, just find your way around it. And that’s just the way that life is: Sometimes you cannot get exactly what you want, what you had in the back of your mind.

Yes it’s very important to have a good work ethic, nobody gets anywhere without hard work and you have good and bad days.

Even myself as a producer I run into disappointments almost on a daily basis because I try to work with artists that on the last moment pull back their song. You know you don’t see that, you don’t read that in the news but it’s a matter of fact and I think all artists have to deal with stuff like that: you don’t get the set times you want, you don’t get the billing you want, you don’t get hotel room that you requested… it’s something you have to deal with. It defines your character, how easy you are to deal with stuff like that.

You know life is is is a rollercoaster ride for everybody, it has its ups and its downs but if everything goes well you have more ups than downs and you’ll remember the ups more than you remember the downs. But it’s a matter of fact that everybody, no matter if you are a big artist or a successful businessman, everybody works hard to get somewhere and everybody as a certain passion.

And I want to stress that the word “passion” is probably the most important. You have to really really really want something and I think in life it’s so much more easy if you are devoted and dedicated to something.

If you like your job.. not ‘like your job’ but love your job you’ll be 200% good at it because you’re passioned about it.

So ask yourself on a daily basis: Is what I’m doing right now, is it something I love? Because if you don’t love what you’re
doing, you’re actually wasting your time. You should stop doing what you do, you should try or search for something else. Because I’m convinced that if you don’t love what you do, you’re only doing at maybe 50% or 70% of what you could do. And if you love what you do, if you’re really passionate about what you do, then you’ll go for 200%.

And then you’ll see that you can really excel, you can reach stuff beyond what you expected.

People always ask me like “Why do you do eight-hour DJ sets?”. It’s because I love it man! I wanna play all this music! Physically it’s not healthy to not go to the bathroom for six/seven hours. I do it because I just don’t think about going to the bathroom, I just feel the need to perform like I’m in the zone, I’m in the moment, I want to rock that crowd and that’s what I mean: You excel you go beyond.

Human being can really achieve… Hmm it’s like Obiwan Kenobi said : If you can put your mind to it, you can accomplish anything.

And the full interview video. His answer on “success” starts at 10:15.

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