What Does it Take to be Successful?
When someone asks, "what does it take to be successful?" how do you respond? We start by defining success.
And no matter how you look at it, success is being able to live the life you want to live, nothing more and nothing less. Whether that's a life of wealth, happiness, or being the proud owner of 5 cats, only you can define what success is.
And after defining success, we always let people list the attributes they believe will lead to success:
- Work hard every day
- Work smart every day
- Have good ideas
- Have lots of ideas
- Know the right people
- Know the people to avoid
- Look after yourself
- Look after others
- Invest your time wisely
- Invest in what matters to you
- Never give up
- Know when to give up
And while the above answers are all technically correct, they're all symptoms rather than the cause. After all, you can invest your time wisely and still reap little benefits. You can have incredible ideas and still have limited success.
In our mind, the key to success is an impact mindset. Your mind is what produces the thoughts and motivations necessary to complete any of the actions that will lead to success. If your mindset is impact-focused, then regardless of what decisions you take, your true north is on maximising the impact of your time.
So what makes an impact mindset? We're glad you asked.
You're Willing to Be Persistent
An impact mindest knows that success comes from time and incremental impact. There's no way to become incredible at anything without persistence, and an impact-orientated mind will be prepared to put in the reps. Whether that's planning, creating goals, or taking relevant action, an impact mindset knows that nothing worth having comes easy.
Your Mindset is Long-Term vs Short-Term
Being persistent without vision will lead to failure. And an impact mindset knows that long-term goals create the most significant impact. While short-term goals are essential to remain motivated and to survive in general, it's the long-term goals that matter. There are only 24 hours in a day, but there are 8,760 hours in a year.
You're Brave Enough to Ask Questions
All learning comes from curiosity. Whether you're learning to code or becoming the next Steve Jobs, it's important to be brave enough to ask questions at a moments notice. An impact mindset knows that there are no stupid questions to ask, especially if you're confused or lost. Look past your ego and remember, that there's something to learn from everyone.
You're Prepared to Fail
Pushing past your limits often means that you'll fail while doing so. An impact mindset knows that failure is a necessary evil, and it isn't precious about this. All progress comes with new and unique challenges, both good and bad. Through persistence, an impact mindset will continue to stretch and reach for important goals, even if it fails in the process.
You Have Strong Opinions Weakly Held
This means having a mind which is open, and incredibly passionate about the beliefs and knowledge already absorbed. However, when shown evidence beyond reasonable doubt, an impact mindset agrees, learns and adapts. Show someone with an impact mindset a better route forwards, and it won't be stubborn or upset by the change, it'll lead the charge.
Developing an Impact Mindset
Creating an impact mindset is the product of consistent, incremental work. Thanks to neuroplasticity, simple changes to the way you think and act will make a colossal impact on the way your overall mindset.
Below are a few, examples which will help you develop an impact mindset.
Book, journals, and quality articles are often insights into years upon years of experience from incredibly intelligent people. With books, a lifetime's worth of knowledge is compressed into a few hundred pages. Read every day, and your mind will develop a keener sense of understanding, producing a more profound intuition around impact in general.
Don't accept anything at face value, this doesn't mean being difficult, but don't be afraid to question why things are the way they are. If the answer you've received isn't good enough, then make sure to continue asking questions until it is. Question everything, and you'll see the world through different eyes.
Stand for Your Beliefs
An impact mindset is born from an incredible belief system. If you stand for nothing, it becomes impossible to channel your energy towards impact. What will you fight for, and what will you stand for? Voice your opinions, have your say, and help others understand your thinking.
In the same way that you can't develop strength without stimulating your muscles, you can't improve the power of your mind without thoughts. Take time every day to think, and give your mind time to piece together unique ideas. You can't buy thoughts, so the way you think and the time you spend on improving this is invaluable.
You have power over your mind—not outside events. Realize this, and you will find strength.