Movies often tell the story of a person suffering from an illness and when doctors cannot find a physical cause for the problem, the doctors tell them, "It's all in your head." We have discovered that our minds influence our lives much more powerfully than most people realize. Occasionally an illness is “all in your head,” but the path to a better life is there. I like to call it making your own luck. We all make our own luck, whether bad or good. Certainly, some things that are out of our control, but so much is determined by our mindset. Below are my top ten ways to develop a success mindset.
1. Be Positive – Attitude is the most crucial factor in determining success. Baseball coach Yogi Berra said, “Baseball is 90% mental, and the other half is physical.” Though Berra’s math may have been off, the claim that success is 90% mental, and 10% physical has continued to echo through the years with motivational speakers, self-help books, and coaches. The ability to stay positive when things aren't going your way makes it possible to push through the challenges that sidetrack people who lack the mental fortitude to persist.
2. Live in integrity – In a study of 341 salespeople from different industries, the most successful individuals were not the brightest or even the most skilled, but those customers felt were honest. Not only do other people judge us by our integrity, but we also judge ourselves. If we commit to getting in shape and improving our health, and we begin eating more carefully and exercising regularly, our brain begins to form habits of healthy living. If, however, we say we want to get into shape, but our behavior says otherwise, our brains will refuse to accept that we are serious about getting healthy, and our thoughts, actions, and even our body chemistry will not be congruent with our goal. For success changing any habit, the will and the imagination must agree.
3.Protect your reputation. To establish credibility, you must work to develop a good reputation. By being careful about what you promise and delivering on those promises, people will see you as a person of your word and trust you to do what you say you will do. An excellent way to ensure that your reputation is good is to underpromise and overdeliver. If you give a time or price estimate, try to come in under the time/cost budget. If you promise you will do something by Thursday and deliver it on Wednesday, the beneficiary will be impressed, and your reputation will grow stronger. Keeping your promises is essential to a good reputation.
4. Be authentic - People prefer doing business and being friends with people they know, like, and trust. People will find it easier to trust you when you are genuine, likable, and easy to talk to. Authenticity is establishing congruence between who you are and how you behave. It is the strength of character that people admire in others. When you are authentic, you know and trust yourself and can evaluate your strengths and weaknesses without denial or blame. Being authentic means acting in ways congruent with your needs and value. Authentic people have open and honest relationships.
5. Set goals - Setting goals creates a target for where you are going and what you are going to achieve. When you set goals and track your progress, you can adjust your effort and direction, which increases your chance of success. Knowing your goals helps you to stay on track, adjust as needed, and achieve success. Because of the rapid changes in our lives and the world today, people and companies can no longer succeed without paying close attention to where they are, what they are doing, and whether they are on track to reach their goals.
6. Find what you love - If you find you have to drag yourself out of bed and force yourself to go to work every day, it may be time to find work you can love or make changes in how you are working. It can be scary to do something different, but current shortages in personnel and increases in entry-level salaries make this an excellent time for people to pursue careers especially when a new job is something they have "always wanted to do.” Changing jobs is not a panacea and may not be necessary to restore joy in your work. I have worked with clients who were ready to quit their jobs and we identified small adjustments they were able to make that enabled them to rediscover joy in their work life. Once made, they were able to regain the enjoyment they had lost for their job, and they no longer felt the need to quit. Talk to a coach, job counselor, or someone you trust about what kind of change will work for you. Make sure to include the people who are important to you that this decision will affect.
7. Take yourself lightly - A sense of humor and a healthy perspective will help you maintain a more balanced life. Your career is important, so is your family, your faith, and your health. While work-life balance is not possible for most people, work-life integration is an achievable goal. I often work with clients who find themselves having to burn vacation days at the end of the year to keep from losing them. Vacation time balance at the end of the year means that a person worked when they could have had paid time off. Using your leave benefit wisely can help prevent burnout. Make a point to spend the time you are not working doing things you enjoy. Make the most of vacations and even long weekends by spending them recharging yourself doing things you love with people whose company you enjoy and who make you a better person.
8. Be the very best you can be - Personal development is the difference between people at the top of their field and those in the middle or at the bottom. Lifelong learners are constantly upgrading. People committed to personal growth seek sources of inspiration. They read and listen to books, watch inspiring videos, and spend time with people who make them better. You aren’t using the same cell phone or computer you used five years ago. Doesn’t it make sense you should update your personal skills as well? The difference between remarkable success and just getting by is small. If you want things to be better, you must be better. While you’re developing mentally, don’t ignore your physical and spiritual self. Exercise, yoga, meditation, and prayer are all ways to improve ourselves.
9. Be particular and be grateful – Jim Rohn said, “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” I recently made a list of the ten people who have most positively influenced my life and to whom I am most grateful. Not all of them are still alive, but those who are, I have begun spending time with them by phone or in person. I was lucky enough to have lunch with one of my favorite people Friday and had to laugh because she said she had just attended a real estate class in Houston. The presenter encouraged them to make a list of people who had influenced them and let those people know how grateful they are for them. Gratitude is catching on everywhere! Be particular about who you spend time with, select the best people you know, and work hard to deserve having them in your life.
10. Know the law – When you understand the law of attraction and master it, life becomes much easier. The ability to attract into our lives what we are focusing on is powerful. Focus on the negative, and you will bring negativity into your life. Focus on the positive, and good things begin to happen. The law of attraction like the law of gravity or the law of relativity, is an observable phenomenon. Many people aren't aware of such a law, but quantum physics has shed light on the incredible impact our minds can have on our lives and the universe. The power of attraction isn't new age hocus pocus. In the Bible, Second Corinthians, 9:8 says, "God can make every grace abundant for you, so that in all things, always having all you need; you may have an abundance for every good work." Whether you believe that what goes around comes around or think of it as Karma, it is the law of attraction hard at work.
Above are my top ten ways to develop a success mindset. Pick the one that you like the best and make it a habit. When it becomes part of your way of being, pick another. Even if you don’t implement all ten, implementing even a few of them as new habits will make your life better. If you have a favorite, please share it with me in the comments or email it to me at the address below.
Cami Miller is a business coach and partners with leaders on all levels to develop strategies for success. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.