By Jeff Waller, 7 Mindsets Co-Creator and VP of Educational Services
My son’s soccer coach uses an age-old mantra that “Attitude is everything, and everything is attitude.” Give him a player with a good attitude, and he can work wonders. If a kid has a bad attitude, he/she will struggle to succeed…plain and simple. Moreover, the player with the bad attitude adversely impacts his team and drains much of the coach’s time and energy. As with soccer, our outlook and the emotions we maintain dictate so much of our success in life. How we feel and the energy we put off impacts our relationships, our performance, and the nature of what we take out of the moments in our lives. Creating and maintaining a success mindset is really about maintaining a high level of positive energy in ourselves.
Easier said than done, right? Many of us lead very full lives with jobs, families, and financial responsibilities. We experience adversity, setbacks, and disappointment. There are complexities which create clutter and make us lose sight of how we feel and how that impacts what we are doing. So how do you combat the constant force of fatigue and negative emotion? Here are 5 simple strategies for maintaining a positive outlook in your life to drive positive and purposeful action and greater levels of happiness and accomplishment.
Here are 5 ways to have a success mindset:
1-Be more grateful – Studies show that regularly practicing gratitude can have greater positive effects on your health than even regular exercise. Energy flows where attention goes, and our mood is often determined by what we recognize and think about in our life. Our mood not only affects our health, but it also has significant implications on our performance and ultimate effectiveness each day and throughout our lives. Make sure to take time each day to practice gratitude. Seek opportunities to notice the things that are going right. Lastly, understand that it is much more than simply saying thank you; it is about truly feeling grateful. When you do say thanks, become present and connect with the positive energy of gratitude inside of you.
2-Serve others – In our work with disadvantaged youth, one of the most powerful tools we have is the use of service projects. We find that no matter your situation in life, when you are helping others, you feel a surge of positive emotions born in the understanding that you have real value, and that you can positively impact the lives of others. Serving others is truly the gift that gives twice–first, through the service provided to the person in need, and secondly, through the empowering and validating emotions that are given back to the giver.
3-Practice mindfulness – Almost all of the negative emotion in our lives is created through regret of past actions or anxiety about the future. Understand that all of the power you have is in the present moment and what you choose to do with it. With that in mind, practice being present. Meditation and prayer are great tools to help you develop these muscles. In our research, we discovered that the great achievers throughout history had devices that would keep them in the present. For example, Einstein played the violin and believed that much of his creativity was born through the process of playing music regularly. For you, quiet time, music, reading, sports, or art may be ways to help you be fully in the present moment. Find something you can do daily that gets you in the zone.
4-Dream big, but play small – Success thinking is not a straight line, and it is never accomplished in one large brush stroke. It is a series of a thousand tiny actions and accomplishments. We, as humans, need some level of gratification and feeling of accomplishment to stay motivated. Too often we set big goals, but ultimately come up short from being overwhelmed by the challenge. Have the big dreams but set the smaller goals that will take you down the path at a manageable pace. Find ways to measure and recognize the little accomplishments, that when added up, lead to extraordinary achievements.
5-Get moving – There are few things as powerful to a positive state of mind than the process of simply taking action. Action eliminates doubt and puts us in a position of influence rather than being the victim of circumstance. When you start feeling financial pressure, create a budget or develop a new revenue generation strategy. When you are feeling unhealthy, start reading books or begin planning a new exercise program. The key is to lean into the discomfort by acting on those things. By doing this, you will attack fear at its heart, weaken it, and empower yourself with an influx of positive energy.
Remember, “Attitude is everything, and everything is attitude.” When you raise your attitude and the way you interact with the world, the world will respond in kind with greater levels of joy, meaning, and success.