“Success is 80% Mindset and 20% Mechanics.”
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Focus on the process
Focus on the process rather than the end result. We often focus on the end product: when I have X I will be happy, or when I have $1,000,000 I will be able to buy Y. However, this increases your stress and fosters an unhealthy focus on what you do not have, and takes focus away from how you can master your current situation to increase the likelihood that what you desire will happen.
For Bill Walsh (Jamison and Walsh, 2010), one of the greatest coaches in the history of the NHL, the score, or in this case your end goal, will take care of itself if you just focus on the process. For example, if one of his players was doing something incorrectly, he would take him aside and explain how he should have been doing it. Then he would ask him to do it again. In this way, Walsh celebrated whenever his team did something well, unconcerned as to whether this resulted in a goal or some sort of end product. This creates a more productive environment, increases focus on the moment, and makes you more efficient.
Don’t think that success = rich
Another important shift in mindset if you seek success is to be clear what you mean by the word ‘success’. If you mean ‘to have lots of money’ then that is fine, but if you are not clear about this then you will not know if you have achieved your goals. Likewise, you may realize that you are successful according to many definitions of success, but that this is not what you wanted.
This illustrates the inalienable fact that most successful people are dynamic and restless, reaching a goal and then moving onto the next one. This is illustrated by an article by Business Insider (Snow, 2014) on what are called the ‘pajama rich’, a group of people so rich that they can go to a five star restaurant in their pajamas and still be served.
These people have an extraordinary propensity for depression, according to all of the evidence. As one journalist writing about the super rich put it, “when money is available in near-limitless quantities, the victim sinks into a kind of inertia.”
This shows that you need to clearly define what you mean by success, and know that it is never completely achieved. Even if you gain a huge amount of success, more than anyone could even imagine, you need to continue setting yourself goals, and continuing to progress. As success guru Tony Robbins puts it, ‘Motion Creates Emotion’: you need to keep moving in order grow. This is the key to success.
Value the important over the urgent
Stephen Covey, in his book ‘The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People’ developed a matrix for time management. Eric Jackson believes that if you remember one thing from this landmark book about how to be successful then you should remember this. This strategy allows you to plan a strategy for dealing with tasks as they arise. There are four sections in the matrix, from Urgent/Important to Not urgent/Unimportant. Of course, tasks that are both urgent and important need to be dealt with swiftly. However, we often mistakenly reject to take care of the important but not urgent, such as long term projects and exercise and meditation.
An article in Forbes (Jackson, 2012) states that important things matter greatly to your life but in the short term they will not bring any real benefit. They are things we put off, like relationship building in work by attending a conference, or sending marketing emails, or attending the gym to recharge your batteries and look after your health, or even meeting up with friends to catch up. This is a mistake, as this will allow you to recharge your batteries and will take care of the infrastructure that will allow you to grasp the success that you deserve.
So, the key is to value the important as well as the urgent. How many times has somebody told you that something is urgent, or have you received an email that is marked ‘urgent’, only to find that it is nothing of the sort? Know that important things will always be important, and that to neglect them would be to neglect things that will give long term, lasting benefit, rather than a quick fix.
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