Programming Your Mind Towards Success
Programming Your Mind Towards Success
By Mark Wager
Here’s an easy question - do you want to be more successful? No matter what a person has they always want more, more money, more confidence, more time. A question that is not so easy is how can you be more successful? Well that is where this week’s article can help you. I coach a lot of successful people who strive to be even more successful and they do this by programming their mind towards success.
Your mind is a probability machine
If you are a regular reader of my articles then you will already be aware of the phrase that your mind is a probability machine. Everyone sees the world in different and unique ways because your mind views the world and your place within the world in a way that increases the probability of you being safe.
In your view of the world, you see yourself as confident enough to do what is necessary yet you may lack the confidence and have self doubt to push yourself beyond what you believe you are capable of achieving. These limitations are the mind’s way of keeping us within a safe zone and this is fantastic if you want a safe life but if like me you believe that a life worth living isn’t a safe life then you need to start programming your mind towards success and here’s how to start doing it.
Don’t aim for being the best instead aim for the impossible
One of the things that I’ve noticed when coaching successful people is that of all the people who tell me that their goal is to be the best never actually end up becoming the best instead the people who have a different ambition don’t measure their success by what other people achieve instead they focus on what they can do. The All Blacks goal is not to win the game or to score more points than the opposition, the All Blacks goal is to have the complete performance because they know if they achieve this then the score takes care of itself. Start programming your mind by not judging yourself by what other people do and start focusing on what you would be at your best and start aiming for the impossible.
Associate with successful and positive people
There’s a phrase in Latin “ferro acuitur” which means iron sharpens iron. An effective way to start programming your mind towards success is to ensure you create an environment that encourages success. This can be achieved by ensuring you surround yourself with successful and positive people. Now before you think you already do this let me explain what I mean by this. When I talk about successful people you need to look at people who are either already doing what you are aiming to do, for example if you want to be an author then start talking and associating with authors. Believe me you can learn more from an hours conversation with a person who is currently living your dream than you will from a years worth of academic studies. When I talk about positive people I don’t mean people who will tell you how amazing you are. That's not being positive that’s being delusional and associating with delusional people who are not going to help you. Being positive is about having full confidence that you can achieve something no matter the obstacles.
Avoid the 5 year goal trap
Let me share with you a common experience about ambitious people who set up their five year goals very positively for the future. They discuss all the amazing things they plan to achieve. Then when I ask them about what have they have done today to achieve that goal, their response is usually a long silence. When I ask what have they done this week, again there’s usually silence or a retelling of how amazing their five year goal is. Now don’t get me wrong. It's quite okay to have a five year goal as long as it doesn’t become a mental trap.
Remember your mind is aiming to make you feel safe by keeping you firmly within a comfort zone and one way to do that is to convince you that future aspirations are the same is being ambitious. No matter what you want tomorrow, if you are not willing to do the hard work today then don’t fall into the trap instead take your ambitious goal and break it down into the smallest possible tasks. Just like how a long journey is a combination of many single steps your goal is a series of small maybe unglamorous tasks but once you can identify these tasks, you won’t worry about your five year goal in the future because your focus is on today.
Never give up
If you truly want to be successful, you need to appreciate success is found at the end of failure. The most successful television show in the world at this present time is Game of Thrones, whether you love or hate the show you can’t deny its popularity and it’s impact on modern culture, yet the story could have been very different. At a talk at Oxford University the creators of the show David Benioff and D B Weiss spoke about the time that they had to convince the executives at HBO not to cancel the show because apparently the first episode for the show, the pilot was so bad that the executives didn’t want to commission a full series. It was so bad that the original first episode has never ever been shown to the public. It would have been easy for the creators to quit but instead they saw failure as an unpleasant but necessary part of success and they made dramatic changes including recasting several of the main roles and the rest is history. If you want to become more successful there’s no guarantee of success but there is a guarantee of failure. It's up to you whether failure is where you end your story or it’s a temporary learning stop.
The question you need to ask yourself is not if you want to be more successful instead you need to ask yourself how successful you want to become. If you want a safe life then listen to your instinct, your inner thoughts because your mind will keep you within your safe zone yet if you want more then you need to change your thoughts and start programming your mind towards success.
Posted: Wednesday 8 May 2019