Successful? Why, yes I am.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

The Mindset Determines Success

If someone were to ask you, ‘What truly determines success?’. How would you answer that? Is it hard work? Education? Running a profitable business? At peace with oneself?

All of the above and more qualities add to the chances of being successful in life. But to make the most of the above qualities, we must all have a positive mindset. Easier said than done eh! Our emotions fundamentally lead to the actions we take in life. If we try to be positive, and feel enlightened, this helps infinitely in performing daily tasks, setting goals, being more organised etc.

I am genuinely trying to be a more positive person. I have been doing the following for the last 12 months and I have found it greatly assists me in keeping a balanced mind;

  1. Start a diary. Doesn’t have to be kept upto date everyday, every-hour etc, but keep a small notepad on which you can jot down your comments/thoughts when you feel like it. What this actually achieves is that it allows you to put your thoughts into context. There has been many a time, when I’ve been stressed due to exam preparations or just simply depressed wondering where my life is heading. Writing down these feelings greatly helps to clear the mind and allows the mind to unblock all those thoughts that are stuck in your brain-pipes. Ever had a business/cool gadget idea? Write it down! You will be amazed at how much it helps to clarify ones feelings and thoughts.

NB: I recommend not keeping a proper diary which has dates listed and limited room for you write under those dates. What I did, and am doing at present is I bought a small notepad (half A4 size) with about 300 pages, (I drew a calender with dates for reference) and I write down my thoughts, ideas, goals and miscellaneous stuff when I feel like it.

  1. In your notepad/diary also jot down things you want to do. This can be anything from washing the car, to doing your tax return etc. Now mind you I don’t do this all the time, but I do try to jot down some goals that need attention. Once you start doing this, it will become somewhat of a habit. One thing I will recommend highly is to look at your notepad/diary at least once daily. Even if you have nothing to write, open it up, flick through to the latest page and see if there is anything you forgot about or need doing. Simple.
  2. Create a motivation whiteboard. I've got one. What do you do to create one? I bought a whiteboard (90cm x 60cm) from Officeworks for $28. I've currently got it setup as two columns. On the RHS column at the top, I have written down long-term and short-term career goals. Long-term: what position I want to be in say 5 years and what $$$ I want to be earning. Short-term, what certifications/exams/study I need to do in the next 6 – 12 months. Underneath this, still on the RHS column, I have broken down my financials into rough numbers. This basically includes monthly after-tax income, and estimated monthly fixed expenditures, eg: mobile bill, fuel bill, managed fund saving etc. I will go into how I organise my finances in detail in another future post.

Now on the LHS column, this is where I do most of my free thinking. I write down short-term dates for things I would like done, for example when I want to sit for my certification exams (this takes up about 10% of the LHS column). The rest of the space I leave dedicated for me to communicate with myself, motivating myself to write down things that I am proud of, my best achievements in the last 24 months, things I want to achieve and other off-topic stuff. Basically it acts like a sounding board. I have found in most instances discussing personal growth goals and ideals with friends and colleagues gets shot down pretty quick. Mainly because it seems to be human nature that we don’t like to see other people succeed. Thus these people are unlikely to boast the same level of enthusiasm as yourself on plans you have about your future etc. The only people that might support you are those who already have similar goals. They do exist but are rare.

Actively taking part in the above three has helped me immensely. It’s a significant part of the reason why I believe and say to myself that I am successful and will continue to be successful in the future.

I have found the greatest hurdle in having a positive mind-set has come from within. The above helps me cross this hurdle in a major way. Once my positive mental mind-set becomes more permanent, I sincerely believe it will allow me to study more efficiently, organise my time better, allow me to live a more balanced lifestyle, and best of all will give me confidence through success.


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