Making A Habit Of Success

The battle to become a success is fought in the mind. That's where success is won or lost. Are you training your mind to support your success - or sabotaging it?

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Shatty Mashego is the author of Born For A Purpose. He believes our lives and successes are a product of the way we think. Here are his lessons on creating a mindset that helps you achieve your goals.

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We're all born for a purpose

We all have an ultimate reason for existence. For me, success isn't where we live or what we drive; it's whether you've been able to identify your purpose, run with it, and see it to the finish. That's what ultimately brings peace and happiness.

Too many people do what they don't enjoy for the sake of a pay cheque. Some realise it; some don't. I want to encourage every person I encounter or who reads my book to figure out their purpose so that they can live a more fulfilling life.

Anyone can discover their true purpose with the right tools. Purpose is a journey, it's not an event. I believe there are certain pointers that can help you determine your purpose. What is your passion? Write a list of the things you love or that make you feel alive.

Focus on your dreams — even the wild ones that seem out of reach

What interests you? Does your daily life align with those interests? Act on the little you do know. No one is omniscient. Very few people are lucky enough to know exactly what their purpose is. They discover it because they're looking for it. You need to work on the little you know, and as you do that, your purpose will become clearer.

Understand that everyone experiences fear, but you should never let that define you. Deep down, we know what we're born to do, but we let fear and insecurities hold us back. This is why it takes work to uncover our purpose — we need to find those deep-down fears, and bring them to the surface.

I experienced this when I wrote both my books, but particularly during the first one. I questioned everything I was doing — could I write a book; had the topic been covered before; would anyone care what I had to say? Fear cripples us. You need to do it anyway. No one ever made an impact being fearful.

Just go for it

Madiba said, "It always looks impossible until it's done.' If everyone ignored their fears and just did it, we would transform lives — our own and those around us.

There's no such thing as perfect. We always want perfect conditions when we start something. In my case, I had no budget, and no publisher. I started writing my book anyway. I believed I would unlock the funds along the way, and I did. I published the first book myself, which gave me the confidence to do a second book. Eventually I plan to help other writers publish their books.

Practice until self-confidence becomes a habit

I put my ideas down on paper, and then entertain the idea in my head until I believe I can do it. I build the self-confidence in my idea. I visualise its success. Once that's in place, I start working on a plan to make it happen.

There is a proverb that says, "As a man thinketh, so is he'. Focus on positive framing, both in your mind and in what you say. Words have so much power; this includes the people you interact with, and your own internal voice. Pay attention to that voice, and foster positive thoughts. You can build a positive inner voice. Once you've established that habit, it's practically a super power.

Everything happens in your mind

What you allow into your mind determines where you go. You need to expose yourself to positive information — feed your mind with the right stuff. Our thoughts are processed, and they become the bedrock of our belief system. You can train yourself to be positive. Similarly, contribute positively to other peoples' way of thinking as well.

Avoid negative people

I'm not saying surround yourself with "yes' men, but choose companions who are also inherently positive and supportive. There's a big difference between constructive criticism that supports you and negative comments telling you that you can't do something.

Life is war, but most of the battles are fought in the mind, so this is where you win the war. For me, overcoming my fears allowed me to write my first book. The result was that I was moved into the marketing and communications department of the bank that employs me.

I've written a second book, and I'm doing talks for associations and corporates. I'm living my purpose, which is to help other people overcome their fears and to live their own lives of purpose, all because I conquered that first hurdle — fear.

Achievements and failures are both a part of life

It's our responsibility to nurse our esteem when it's bruised, and foster our self-confidence. It's a fine line — confidence does not mean arrogance. Stay in touch with reality.