Over the last 16 + years, I have studied the components of what makes a person either a success or a failure. I have looked at the way that people work. I have looked at the way that people think. I have studied what the successful people of the past did in their lives. I have even looked at what people who have failed did in order to achieve their results. Throughout the process of learning about success and failure, I have discovered a few themes that drive the results that each of us gets.
The first thing that I learned is that people are not successful and people are not failures. People are simply achieving results based on the formula that they apply to their life in combination with the mindset that they have. Take the idea of making cookies as an example. If you follow the right recipe and follow all of the instructions, you end up with fantastic cookies. But, if you put a cup of salt and a tablespoon of sugar instead of cup of sugar and a tablespoon of salt, you will get a cookie abomination. You will get something that tastes horrible and does not satisfy your sweet tooth after a meal. The thing that I have seen with lots of people that I have worked with is that lots of people will follow part of the recipe for success. Very few people will follow the entire recipe for success. Those who are willing to do ALL that is necessary will find success to be a welcoming friend. After all, each of us just achieves results that are equal to the formula that we use combined with the effort that we give.
S - Set your mind on growth.
The first step in the SUCCESS formula is to Set your mind on growth. Each of us can choose either a mindset that is fixed or a mindset that is growth oriented. Dr. Carol Dwek researched the characteristics of those who succeed versus those who do not, and she found that believing that you can learn and grow was the most important characteristic that successful people have.
U - Understand your definite purpose in life. Napoleon Hill, in the Science of Success, describes the fact that each of us needs, not wants, needs to have a definite chief aim in life. This guiding purpose will be the filter for our decisions that we make. Your purpose is your choice, and it is a reflection of who you are. The reflection side accounts for your personality and your interests. By knowing yourself, the way that you think, the way that you act, what drives you, and what interests you, you can choose a definite purpose that is fitting. I am an extrovert who loves people and loves to write. I would make a horrible accountant, but I make a fantastic trainer and author!
C - Calculate what you are willing to give in return for your desired goal and definite purpose. I don't know anyone that says that they don't want to be successful. I do, however, know lots of people that are unwilling to give the effort, learning, and investment necessary to achieve that success. Until you know exactly what you are willing to give up in order to achieve success, you will never find your success.
C - Create a master-mind group. You create personal accountability when you share your goals and objectives with the world. When you establish a small group of people who will support you, encourage you, build you up, and believe in you, you are establishing a master-mind group. This master-mind group will work in harmony with one another in order to help you achieve your definite chief aim in life. These don't actually have to be people that you know or that you hang out with. They can be anyone from history that you look up to and admire and have a mental conversation with. Each person in the group will get a benefit from being in the group. Each person in the group will work toward your success.
E - Extra Mile effort is required to achieve anything great in life. One of the lessons that I made sure to teach my children is that you are paid for what you have already done, not for what you might do. Your raises, then, are tied to your past work more than to your future work. In everything that you do, you should go the extra mile to ensure that you deliver more work, and better work than you were paid for. People are always subject to the law of compensation. We are never worth more than we are willing to give. But, when we give more than we are paid for, the reward is multiplied in the long run.
S - Self-discipline is the only true form of discipline that exists. I attended a program in Dallas, TX a couple years after I went into business and was told to write out affirmations and say them twice daily out loud. I chose to do that, while a couple of my friends chose not to follow the instructions. At the end of the next year, I had advanced beyond what I even hoped for in business. They had not. Within any formula for success, your decision to do what is necessary is just that... a decision. You have to choose what you want and then choose to do what is necessary to get it. You have to discipline yourself to stay off the internet when you can be learning, or turn off the TV in order to focus. You have to choose whether or not you will manage yourself.
S - Systemize your success. When you look at people who are successful in any given field, you will find that they each have specific habits that they follow. Aristotle said, "We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not act but a habit." Charles Duhigg, in his book, The Power of Habit, says that everything that we succeed at can be broken down into the right habits. Sales people have the habit of calling on prospects, presenting their goods and services, proposing to do business, implementing the work, and billing for it. If this is done on a daily basis, then it is a natural extension of who you are. People who are out of work can find a job if they are in the habit of professionally applying for five new jobs per day, five days per week. This one habit, instead of the habit of waiting for someone to care for them, is what sets successful job seekers apart for those who are unsuccessful. When a habit is formed, and it becomes a part of who you are, then it becomes easier and easier to do. Duhigg says that your brain goes on "auto-pilot" when the queue, or trigger, for the response pattern kicks in. You respond, and then you are rewarded. When the person begins to crave the reward, and they have the trigger, the response patterned is assured. Figure out what the five or fewer things are that you need to do on a daily basis in order to be successful.
Mindset, model, and mode are the keys to being successful in anything that you desire to do. You have to start with the right mindset, create the model of success by studying others, and put yourself in the right mode every single day in order to win. If you will do this, you will find that success isn't actually that hard, it is just a habit.
To Your Success,
Jody N Holland
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Dr. Carol Dwek and her team of researchers studied what the fundamental differences were between people who were successful and people who were not successful in life. Dwek identified one simple difference in perspective that is largely responsible for whether or not you find your way to the top. That characteristic is... mindset.
Dwek indicated that there are two basic mindsets. There is a fixed mindset, or someone who believes that their basic characteristics are set in stone and do not change. Things like their IQ, their abilities, and their skills in life don't change. In other words, they believe that you can't teach an old dog new tricks. The other side of that spectrum is the growth mindset. This is a person who believes that there is always something new to learn and they like challenges because they provide an opportunity for growth.
We are not born with a fixed mindset. That develops over time based on the labels that we give to events in our lives. It also has a lot to do with the labels that we accept from others. As an example, when a student is told that they did a good job on a test and the idea that they did good because they are smart is reinforced, they will actually gravitate towards the fixed mindset. The idea of doing good because they are smart instead of because they put in great effort reinforces the idea that smart people do good on tests. If a student is praised for the effort that they put into a test and are told that they did good because they worked hard at it, they will gravitate toward the growth mindset.
The things that we heard and had reinforced in our lives as young people combined with the meaning that we assigned to events and experiences in our lives shaped the way that we see the world now. Reality is simply the accepted interpretation of events going on around us. My reality about whether or not I can learn and whether or not I can grow is really just my perception of those things. If I accept that I can grow, then I can. However, the vast majority of people have been conditioned to believe that they are who they are and there isn't anything that they can do about it.
On a daily basis, I coach executives to believe that they can be anybody they want to be, do anything that they want to do, and have anything that they want to have. The problem is that my coaching almost always begins with helping create a new perspective for these executives. I have to demonstrate to them that they have the ability to grow and develop, that they are not fixed. I can't tell you how many times I have heard, "I have 20 years of experience," or "I know what I am doing. I have been doing this for 30 years." The simple reality is that these folks learned skills a number of years ago and then, for whatever reason, began to believe that they couldn't learn any new skills. The fixed mindset creeps up on you when you begin to believe that you have reached the pinnacle of your potential or your skill. As long as you believe that you can always learn something new, that the world is available for your, then you will continue to grow and develop.
Living with a growth mindset positions you to accomplish so much more of what you are capable of. The growth mindset opens you up to opportunities. It makes it possible to live a life of purpose, of challenge, of excitement, and of possibility. When you sit down to look at your life today, ask yourself if you have ever been capable of learning. Ask yourself if you have ever had fun overcoming a challenge. Ask yourself if you are capable of beating a new challenge, of learning new things, of growing on a daily basis. If you are, and you and I both know that you are, then take action. Find a way to grow a little bit today. Find a way to claim this opportunity to throw off the fixed mindset and embrace the growth mindset.
To Your Success,
Jody N Holland
If you are interested in booking Jody as a keynote speaker, shoot him an email or click the "Chat With A Superhero" button.
Jody is a writer, motivational speaker, consultant, and entrepreneur. He has been the keynote speaker at over 250 events around the world. Jody speaks more than 150 times per year at different programs, and he has given more than 10,000 speeches during his career.