Well, it’s official. If you want to be truly successful in life, Guardian writer David Smith, has plumbed the depths of Donald Trump’s pysche and found the golden key.

If you long to scale the heights that DT has reached, at all costs avoid any temptation to self-reflection. Do not think about your deeper motives. Do not take a long hard honest look at yourself.  Avoid and/or attack anything that might in any way call into question the view you hold of yourself as a powerful “winner” or that might cast any doubt upon your version of the world. And always surround yourself with people who support the image you have of yourself. Anyone who dares to challenge your persona must be banished.

Self-reflection, and its close cousins self-awareness and self-criticism, are for losers. They are the enemies of “success”.

David Smith writes:

How Donald Trump got to this once unthinkable, preposterous height is a story of immigrant ancestors working hard and making good, of hustling and hucksterism, of show business and showmanship, of success and celebrity, of bending the truth and branding the enemy, of a particular interpretation of “the pursuit of happiness”.

It is also a story of monumental ego undented by self-doubt. Trump’s swagger, eager to establish himself as the alpha male in the room, is said to be matched only by his lack of introspection. “He is a world-class narcissist,” says David Cay Johnston, author of the upcoming The Making of Donald Trump.

Smith goes on in his lengthy Guardian piece to recount a conversation with Donald Trump Mark Singer describes in his 2016 book Trump and Me.

“OK,” I say. “You’re basically alone. Your wife is still asleep” – he was then married, but not for much longer, to his second wife, Marla Maples – “you’re in the bathroom shaving and you see yourself in the mirror. What are you thinking?”

From Trump, a look of incomprehension.

Me: “I mean, are you looking at yourself and thinking, ‘Wow. I’m Donald Trump’?”

Trump remains puzzled.

Me: “OK, I guess I’m asking, do you consider yourself ideal company?”

(At the time, I deemed Trump’s reply unprintable. But that was then.)

Trump: “You really want to know what I consider ideal company?”

Me: “Yes.”

Trump: “A total piece of ass.”

In a chilling comment Smith says Mark Singer, after frequent contact with Trump,

determined that Trump does not have an interior life. He “had aspired to and achieved the ultimate luxury… an existence unmolested by the rumbling of a soul”.

Smith and Singer are not alone in their belief that Donald Trump lacks any hint of an interior life. Trump adviser and long-time friend Roger Stone,

agrees there is little room for self-reflection. “I don’t think he has a lot of time for psychobabble. Like Nixon and Reagan, both of whom I worked for, he’s not terribly introspective. He’s more interested in the next fight, the next battle.


If you hope to win in the war of life, you must always be looking forward and preparing for “the next fight, the next battle.” You certainly do not have time to waste sitting around doubting your motives or questioning your view of the world.

It seems a chilling qualification for occupying the most influential chair in world affairs.