When people think about some of the most successful people in the world today, they often say that they possess a winning mindset, as if that is some magic word that will solve all problems on their path to success. The reality is that while you will hardly find a pessimist or a person with a loser’s attitude, most of them aren’t born with a winning mindset. They worked hard to get it, cultivating it through years of hardship and tough decisions, feeding it with whatever success they could come by and eventually were rewarded with an attitude that saw not problems, but only challenges. As with most things, winning attitude can be developed and here are some tips on how to do it.
Study Winning, Not Winners
Most people look for idols and find them among successful men and women. They try to emulate them by copying their habits and even lifestyles. The approach is fundamentally wrong on two levels. First, you are trying to behave as Richard Branson or Bill Gates as they are now when they are already rich and successful. If anything, you should be modeling yourself according to how they were when they just started, in the early stages of their careers. But even that won’t do you much good. Each person is an individual and you can achieve success only by concentrating on yourself and your goals. Focus on the outcome, not on people.
One of the most popular sayings about luck goes like this: “Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity.” In other words, preparation is the key. If you are prepared, your self-confidence is high, which can have a dramatical effect on your performance, not to mention you won’t have to waste time on solving problems on the go. Preparation and planning are key to success and people who ignore them do so at the risk of peril down the road. It is true that detailed planning can be tedious and time-consuming, but taking into account how much grief it can save you, it is well worth it.
Baby Steps Are Good
In movies, heroes often accomplish their mission, be it saving the world or winning a girl, in one huge move, against all odds. Reality is a tad different. Rare are those who managed to achieve it all in one single leap. Instead, they made a million baby steps, each one taking them closer to their goal. Smaller steps are easier to achieve and they help you build confidence in your skills. They also build momentum. Accomplish enough of them and there is no goal that is beyond your reach. They aren’t as exciting, but they are more dependable and simpler to perform successfully.
Learn from Failures
Failures will happen. It is not a question of if, but rather of when. It is the ability to recover from them that sets apart losers from winners. Despairing and crying over your mishap will get you nowhere and won’t improve your situation one bit. On the other hand, if you realize that failure is a teachable moment and learn from it by performing a detailed analysis, you will be ready to continue on your path. Unfortunately, not many people have the strength and discipline to carry on after a failure and would rather give up than risk another one. There is no shame in falling, only in not standing up.
Relying on talent alone won’t get you far in the modern business world, filled with people who are both very talented and very unsuccessful. The ability to persevere, to work hard for long periods of time and be gritty is far more important than talent. Talent, like motivation, depends on factors that we can’t always control and relying on them can be dangerous, as they will often fail us when we most need them. Discipline and perseverance, on the other hand, are entirely our decision and we control it. The knowledge that you can power through any situation, regardless of how tough it is, will give you an incredible confidence boost, which a key component of a winning mindset. Some people achieve that easier than others, but the key is that anyone can be gritty. It is only a matter of deciding to be so.
Create a winning team
Rare are people who can do everything by themselves. Even if you can be one of them, do you really want to? Being Jack of all trades will soon make Jack a dull boy. Sharing responsibilities with likely-minded individuals is much more productive, not to mention a healthier approach. Not only you can reduce your workload, but surrounding yourself with winners will help you in your struggle to become one as well.
It takes time, hard work, dedication, but above all, developing a winning mindset requires a desire and will to act on that desire. The sooner you start, the sooner you will be able to enjoy the fruits of your new winning attitude.
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