I previously wrote on the importance of developing a mindset of success – you can read it here. A major factor in being successful throughout your life will be how you think about your abilities and the circumstances around you.
As I touched on before, The Locus of Control, as introduced by Julian Rotter in the 1950’s, speaks to the extent to which people believe they have control over events in their lives. Those with a strong external locus of control believe factors outside themselves are to be blamed or responsible for what happens to them. Whereas those with a strong internal locus of control believe events in their lives are primarily derived from their own actions. Our ability to develop a mindset of success relies on our belief that we have some degree of control over what happens to us.
While simply willing ourselves to experience success won’t work, believing we are capable of achieving success and being proactive in bringing that success to will. Consider the following eight steps to help you find success:
1. Have a Growth Mindset – Having a growth mindset is this: instead of expecting perfection, we focus on growth, thereby allowing ourselves to look at each experience in life as an opportunity to learn and get better. According to Carol Dweck Ph.D., “It’s all about your mindset. Successful people tend to focus on growth, solving problems, and self-improvement, while unsuccessful people think of their abilities as fixed assets and avoid challenges.”
2. No Risk, No Reward – At some point in your life, you’ve taken a personality test or two. Inevitably you’ve determined how risky or risk-averse you tend to be in any given situation. Understanding where you naturally fall on this spectrum can be useful in determining professions that may or may not be great fits for you; however, risk, in general, is not something to avoid, but to effectively manage. Risk is the possibility you may lose something, or that there will be an undesirable result. So why do anything risky? Taking risks stretches us and can lead to greater results. One must be smart about the risks they take, but when we accept the potential consequences – as either a learning experience or a great success – we will find ourselves open to the possibility of greater success overall.
3. Embrace Mistakes – We all make them…they are unavoidable, no matter what you do. The key is to learn from them and then move on. You may have heard a variation on the following phrase at some point in school or your career: failure is a pre-requisite to success. Failure or mistakes indicate trying, living, and experimenting. The key is to not REPEAT the mistake. Some mentors and professors may even say, “I hope you fail.” Not because they want their students to be unsuccessful, but because they want them to be successful. Success doesn’t just happen – at least not a majority of the time. It takes trial and error.
4. Be Curious and Inquisitive – Do you know what many of the smartest, most successful people in the world have in common? They never stop learning. They are constantly absorbing from sources and individuals all around them. Take advantage of the knowledge others have and apply it to your arsenal of understanding and experience. Ask questions, ask why and When you do, you challenge the status quo and will discover new ideas and concepts.
5. Be Gracious – The road to success is not paved or built by one person only. Like mountaineering, your success will require the help and assistance of many individuals along the way. Be grateful to and for those who contribute to your success. Celebrate them and your success along the way – doing so will only welcome more success to not only you but those around you.
6. Stay Focused – There’s a card game called SkipBo which on its surface is really quite simple. However, it’s the kind of game that when you lose your focus for any amount of time – no matter how brief – opportunities to win quickly pass you by. Often our goals in life and in our careers can be the same way. We allow doubts, fears, negativity, and other unproductive emotions distract us from what we want to accomplish. Drown them out and stay focused; don’t let critical opportunities pass you by.
7. Be Enthusiastic – Nothing great ever gets done without enthusiasm. Think about some of the synonyms of this word “enthusiasm”: eagerness, interest, fervor, passion. Without these characteristics you won’t experience success – they are driving emotions and motivators to pursue the seemingly impossible and to push through difficult setbacks. Think about the classic feel-good story of a young man named Rudy – who didn’t necessarily have the physical skill or pedigree to become a college football player, but whose passion for playing on the Notre Dame football team drove him to accomplish that very goal. His enthusiasm, passion, and tenacity ultimately allowed him to succeed.
8. Be Balanced in MIND/BODY/SPIRIT – There is truth in the old adage of, “moderation in all things.” We must be balanced in our mind, body, and spirit to experience true happiness and success. There are several examples one can reference of individuals who so focused or obsessed in one aspect of their life that all other areas fall apart. Stay healthy and lead a balanced life.
Make every situation, decision, and outcome an opportunity for future success – doing so will help you achieve greater success. Visit, www.chuckgarcia.com to learn more.