Unless we choose to be great, we will be mediocre at best. What does it take to be great? It takes an empowered mindset based in simple principles. Success doesn't have to be horribly complicated. Anything that is too complicated mentally tends to be too overwhelming to adopt into our daily lives, so much so, that we end up giving up and continuing to underachieve.
Greatness is an attitude. To be great is choice. To follow are five simple mindsets, which build upon each other, that great achievers live, believe in and apply to their daily lives.
1. Starting over.
Regardless of what this year brings, we must hold the mindset that each day we live is a day to start again. When we approach each day with the idea of it being a new beginning, we approach it with an “opportunity” mindset. It is natural, as we go along in the grind of daily life, that one day begins to bleed into the next, with each day having very little of its own individuality. When our days and weeks feel more like blurs, without any distinction between each other, we aren’t focused on the opportunity in each day. Rather, our minds when not disciplined, tend to focus on what we don’t have, what we still need and what isn’t working. This type of mental laziness keeps us from succeeding at the levels we desire because we are living in our problems, rather than our solutions.
When we can “chunk down” to live one day at a time, we discipline our minds to be more focused and productive on the work we are currently doing. Although it’s imperative to have forward focused goals, we will get to those goals more efficiently by holding the mindset that today is an individual and unique day full of hope. Life is not as much about winning or losing, as much as it is about starting again and gleaning knowledge from our past experiences. Our story isn’t over yet, unless we decide not to start.
2. A new pattern of thoughts.
Our thoughts, for the most part, are complacent and on automatic pilot. A great way to be more productive in each day is to become conscious of what we’re doing. Developing a new pattern of thinking isn’t difficult when we break it down to living one word per day. Choose a word like; productive, motivated, inspired, committed, responsible, discerning, calm, energetic, hopeful, successful, or abundant. Take that word and think about how, for example, a productive person would solve a problem, or respond to a stressful situation? If we choose a word such as successful, imagine how a successful person would walk, talk, act, socialize and perform at work.
When we live just one word, it is amazing how our brains will apply the essence of that word into our every thought, deed and action. It is easier to live one word daily then it is to make a huge shift into “positive thinking,” especially when not everything about our day is going positive. For example, if we choose the word motivated, how would a motivated person handle stress or conflict? Envision this, act it out and life will change.
3. A new wave of emotions.
Like negative thoughts, negative emotions are easy and take no effort. It takes conscious effort to remain in control of our emotional state. As we change our mindset, we start to experience a new wave of emotions that are more in line with us being in control and successful. Our emotions can become habitually negative or habitually positive but not necessarily authentic. To increase our success, we must commit to bringing a new wave of emotion into the pursuit of our dreams.
The reality of business is we are going to have good days and bad. When we practice living from simple mindsets, we are less likely to allow our emotions to hijack us into making impulsive, reactive, avoidant, or otherwise unsound business decisions. We don’t necessarily get to choose our emotions, as they are automatic due to the amygdala in the brain, but we can choose how we respond to them. In the choice to bring a new wave of more mature emotions into our business strategy, we gain greater security over our minds and decisions.
4. A new connection to the world.
As we live from the mindset of starting over, we naturally choose our thoughts more consciously. Being more conscious helps us hold on to ourselves when under the pressure of our more stressful emotions. This process leads us directly into a deeper connection with ourselves, our lives, our passions and our business. When we can count on ourselves to be the managers of our thoughts, reactions and emotions we gain a an trust which allows us to relax enough to become better listeners. The less distracted we are by our own internal chatter, the more deeply we listen, the more we learn about what it means to be successful in the world around us. True success always results from feeling as if we have or are currently making a significant and meaningful difference in the world.
5. A new belief in yourself.
In becoming mindful of our lives, in the simple ways being suggested here, we slowly but surely develop a more solid and newly found belief in ourselves. Over time this belief becomes a part of our character, rather than a temporary act. Belief in Self isn’t something we have, it’s something we do. We can choose to wake up every morning and see each day as an opportunity to practice believing in ourselves. Make it a point to enter each day with an unwavering belief that we are capable of working through each snag, working out every issue, and getting where we need to go. We can each access our ‘inner coach.’ Being conscious that we have an inner coach is the first step. This part of us helps us to live and work with greater enthusiasm. When we believe in who we are, life becomes exciting. Embodying an energy of excitement is infectious enough to attract the levels of success to us that we deeply desire.
Life doesn't need to be more complicated than it is, nor does success. The more complicated we make our lives, the more stressed, miserable and hopeless happiness and success seem to become. At its core, life is simple. When we can live and build our lives from simple constructs or ideas, success comes more easily and peacefully. No doubt hard and discipline are a part of any great person’s journey, but when this journey is backed by simple mindsets, there is joy on that journey.