Thursday, February 19, 2015

5 Steps to Creating a Mindset for Success...


All people want to achieve some form of success in their life.  Even though the definition of that success may vary for each individual, the road to achieve that personal milestone is the same.  Obtaining the success you desire involves a series of actions or 4 "steps" that are controlled by our thought patterns and the mindset you choose. 

1.  Develop Emotional Intelligence 

In order to effectively develop a mindset for success you have to control the factors that may influence or impact that desired outcome.  One ingredient necessary to achieving success is your aptitude for being emotionally intelligent.  That is the way a person observes, assesses, prioritizes, and responds to the emotions encountered daily.  When someone can successfully control his or her reactions to the stimuli that affect emotions then he or she:

  •  Becomes a better team player through improved communication.
  • Increases empathy and understanding for others through active listening.
  • Asserts and proactively says no negative to being impacted by negativity. 
  • Delivers confident decisions in tune with his or her intuition.

Sounds like a smooth transformation, but managing emotions can be very challenging.  Some individuals allow emotion to affect responses like a rudderless ship adrift in a stormy sea.  It is not until a person learns to harness the power of emotions that the ship is able to reach the chosen destination.  This list is actions that a person who possesses a high level of emotional intelligence exhibits:

  • They remain calm and assess the quality of their emotions.
  • They take time to understand the causal effect behind the way they’re feeling.
  • They evaluate the validity of their feelings with a rational barometer.
  • They use a retrospective viewpoint to ensure consistency in their response.
  • They identify the triggers that were the precursors for their stress.
  • They capture the moment by using a journal to track frequency of feelings.
  • Finally, they assert control rather than becoming a victim to their emotions.

When you begin to implement these practices you’ll improve your emotional ability, and be more effective in using the appropriate emotional responses with others.  Then you’ll take the next step on your journey to achieving your mindset of success.  You’ll realize you are growing personally and professionally, and you can be more reliant in pursuing your hopes and dreams. 

 2.  Be Self - Reliant

According to Merriam and Webster, "Self Reliance is being reliant on one's own efforts and abilities".  The pursuit of your own ideas and dreams can be a difficult road fraught with negativity, but by ignoring damaging opinions you demonstrate your ability to have the internal strength necessary to achieve your dreams.  The second step in creating your mindset for success occurs when you:
  •    Believe that you have something to offer the world - A self-reliant person is able to see the value they hold because they have self-esteem.  Therefore, they are able to deflect negative things said or done to them because those aren't the images they see in the mirror.
  •  Are Confident in your ability to generate things that hold meaning and value - A self reliant person will be that inventor or leader that might go against the grain because in addition to their self esteem they are self confident about their talents and abilities.  They believe they have what it takes to get the job done.
  • Aren't swayed by negativity - Self reliant people can see the positive in situations because they look at life as a bunch of untapped possibilities.  They take full responsibility for their lives and don't play the victim role.  
  • Are Willing to forge the trail alone - With the world view that possibilities exist, it's not much of a leap for the self reliant person to pursue their dreams even if they have to deal with naysayers.  Their goal is to determine their happiness, and create the life they desire.
  • Enjoy collaboration and promote team success - The self reliant person is a good team player because their goal in collaboration is the same for others as for themselves.  They want people to make the most of their lives, and achieve their hopes and dreams.  Therefore, they willingly offer their support to ensure the success of the team.
  • Seek counsel if needed because you understand you don't know everything - Self reliant people are able to search out counsel when needed to support their success.  There is a huge difference between healthy self confidence and arrogance, and the self reliant person understands the wisdom at being able to see an issue from a variety of angles creates the best outcome possible.
  • Continue to look for opportunities to learn and improve - Learning and improving is a process that never ends.  Self reliant people pursue opportunities to increase their knowledge and skills because they understand it's the only way to stay ahead of the curve, remain relevant, and support their independence.
 How can you develop your self reliance, so that you can create a mindset for success?
  • Make a list of your abilities, knowledge, and skills.  Seeing it on paper will help you realize what you have to offer.
  • Create a list of ideas you have that you would like to pursue at your job or in your life. Take the idea a step further by plotting out a start to finish algorithm.
  • How do you look at life?  Start each day by choosing one positive quote that you can focus on throughout the day.  Use positive talk to reinforce your self esteem and confidence.  Be grateful.
  • Don't allow others to crush your dreams.  Write down five goals that you want to accomplish. Use the smart method - specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and time specific.  Put this list where you can see it daily.  Stay focused, and reduce your interactions with any naysayers if you're unable to sway their negativity.
  • Look for opportunities to be a giver.  Add to the collaborative process.  Share your special knowledge or talent to improve the process, and create a win-win for all involved.
  • Do you have a mentor or someone that you can turn to for advice?  Make your own decisions, but cultivate a relationship with someone who will give you honest feedback concerning your thought process on ideas/projects you're pursuing.
  • When was the last time you took a class, read a book, or watched a webinar focused on improving your personal and professional skills?  Choose 1 thing you will do each month to increase your knowledge or skills.

You're on your way to creating your "Mindset for Success".  The biggest determiner of your success is your willingness to do whatever it takes to achieve that definition of success you've created for yourself.  Along the road, help others to catch your vision and encourage them to pursue their hopes and dreams.  If you start taking these steps you'll soon be on your way to ensuring you have the mindset to win.  Take care, and have a great day.

3.  Develop a Purpose

The reason for which anything is done, created, or exists.  In order to create a mindset for success you must have a purpose.  A purpose gives you direction, a reason to get out of bed, and can ignite a passion in you and others around you.  So, do you have a purpose?  How do you know?

Most people in this world have a purpose, but may not think of it as some big philosophical issue to discuss.  A good example may be a parent.  They may have other things in life that drive them and take their time, but providing for their child's needs is the driving purpose for all they do.  How do you choose your purpose?  Often people experience the opposite where they feel like they've been born with a purpose, something they have to do in their lives that will make an impact.

How do you either find your purpose or develop one if it seems to be a lacking piece of the puzzle for you?  It's a very similar process to goal setting.  Here are some tips you can use to get start:

-  What are the things that are important to you in life?
-  How do you look at the world?
-  Are there things you enjoy doing that bring joy to your life?
-  Can you think of some current challenges that you'd like to help solve?

Take a piece of paper and start answering these questions.  Start to filter your answers for similarities.  Then prioritize what's left with what's most important to you.  Hopefully you should have something written down that makes you feel passionate and excited.  Now you have your purpose, but a purpose without action doesn't accomplish anything.

So let's look at an example of how we could make this process work:

-  First of all I want to be successful in my life, which means having a career I enjoy, family and friends that I care about, and a cause that improves the lives of others.  Also, I'd like to make some money to be able to take care of my family.

-  Once I'm done writing my list I see that the things that hold value for me are to care about other people, do something that makes me feel like I make a difference, use my knowledge of medicine and health to create solutions to problems, be able to have the flexibility to spend time with my family, and make an income that provides for our needs and enjoyment.

-  What sticks out to me on the list is the central theme about working with people to make a difference with the knowledge and skills I posses.

-  My action is to find a job, a volunteer organization, or start a business where I can impact the lives of others using my medical background that will provide a living to support my family.

-  I'm going to start a business to help people take control of their health.  With this being my purpose it will guide the decisions I make, influence how I spend my time and efforts, and impact how I'm able to support my family.

This example was very generic, but your purpose can be very specific.  The importance of the exercise is to understand that we have to be driven by something in life.  We have to have a reason for taking a breath every day, for choosing how our kids will see us, and to live life using your gifts and talents so you won't have regrets about what you could have done.

4.  Be Tenacious

Tenacity means not easily pulled apart, tending to cling especially to another substance, persistent in maintaining, adhering to, or seeking something valued or desired.

Creating your "Mindset for Success" is similar to building a strong foundation on which a house is built.  It will be the mechanism to support additions to the structure, weather storms adequately, and keep you secure for years to come.  If you want to be successful you have to build the same strong and sturdy resolve to follow your dreams that will result in your success.

During the initial construction you laid out the boards of emotional intelligence.  That was so you could create a framework that wouldn't buckle under the pressures of emotional challenges.  Then you took out the blueprints and tried to see the lines, but the page had been smeared.  You had a deadline for this project, and knew you had to rely on your own skills.  You took out your pen and sketched out the missing components, so the job could be completed on time.

The next day you unveiled a sign that was going to stand in front of this new home.  It wasn't going to be like all the other homes on the block.  It had been built with many rooms, a large kitchen with plenty of room for a family, and an extra large laundry room that could fit three sets of washing machines.  As you removed the packaging from the sign it said “A New Day Home - A place for transitioning mothers of domestic violence".  This house had a purpose, to care for these women in transition by providing a safe and warm home where they could start to get back on their feet.

On this journey, you experienced challenges with not enough supplies and missing information, but you knew there were some women struggling to get to a safe place with their children.  Therefore, you worked long hours; you used your ingenuity, and remained dedicated to getting this home built on time.  You were tenacious in building this amazing structure.  On the day the front door opened, you were there to see the smiles on those ladies faces who would be the residents and heard the pitter-patter of their kids little feet running through the halls.  Your hard work and dedication resulted in this successful outcome.

Being a success takes work, but more importantly it calls for an inner strength that requires you to weather the storms of life, be resourceful with limited support, keep your eyes on the prize, and have the "intestinal fortitude" to keep going, so you achieve the impact and success that makes a difference.  

5.  Act with Integrity

Being successful is a result of our thoughts and motivations.  How we achieve that success also involves our actions.  I put the definition above for the final ingredient along with a picture that holds symbolic meaning for me in regards to ethics and honor.  The final ingredient or step for "Creating a Mindset for Success" is Integrity.

How we interact with others is crucial to our success.  Granted, I'm sure we can all name plenty of people that have worked their way to the top who might not hold this value close to their heart.  Those people still have to look in the mirror in the morning, and no one knows how they feel looking back at a person who doesn't have integrity.  Here's a quick story.

It was part of this company's leadership program for all managers to go through specific training to learn skills, and be in step with the culture of the company.  On the first day of the class there was an agreement that was made that allowed the managers to speak freely without reprisal.  As the week progressed there were a number of discussions concerning payroll, computer systems, and staff. During one of these discussions a manager in attendance started making disparaging remarks about one of their employees.  Some people looked uncomfortable because the employee being discussed was known to be a hard worker.

After the meeting that night, one of the managers who'd been disturbed by the whole event found the employee, and had a pep talk without providing any details of the earlier conversation.  This manager felt it was their duty to look out for the best interest of this employee.  Eventually word got back to the other manager who reported this to their superior, and the manager who had d the discussion with the employee was forced out of the company.

Where does integrity fit in this story?  Who's doing right and who's doing wrong?  Sometimes there are difficult situations we're exposed to where we have to act with our belief of integrity.  Those actions should represent a consistent track record of responding in the same manner to create positive outcomes.  Achieving success is a process that involves our entire being from our thoughts, to our emotions, to our motivations, and results in the actions people see.  You can create a foundation for your success by adopting this 5 step method that will result in achieving your dreams while remaining true to yourself. 

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Thanks for visiting. I would love to hear your thoughts. Take care, Dave.