By – Dr. NEETA PANT
“Success seems to be connected with action. Successful people keep moving.
They make mistakes, but they don’t quit.”
— Conrad Hilton
Almost all of us always have wondered – why some people achieve their life goals whereas many others never even come close to what they hope for? Why some people thrive in their lives, jobs, academics while others simply go through the grind? Why some people seem to have it all, whereas others seem to struggle forever? Why some people bounce back from failure, while others find it hard to get back on their feet? Why some people seem prosperous, whereas others run out of luck? Wish to unfold these WHYs??? Here we go….
UNDERSTANDING THE PSYCHOLOGY OF SUCCESS
Success can mean different things to different people. For some it is money, for some it is fame, for some it is the spirit of contribution, for some it’s having meaningful relationship & for some it’s the power or quality of life. To understand success, we must understand the NEED behind it. Psychologists say we all have a need for competence & excellence. The desire to know and feel that we are good at something, can add value, can offer something that is meaningful is predominant. When we have something unique to offer, we have an edge over others, that’s where the sense of success comes in.
LEVELS/PHASES OF SUCCESS – The beauty here is that it works differently for different people.
Result/Goal/Achievement – Many of us are constantly striving in the direction of our goals, results and achievement as these things circumscribe success for us.
Happiness – Crucial thing to consider – while one is striving for the results, are they experiencing happiness, joy or satisfaction? Next phase of Success!
Meaning & Contribution – Is the work that one is doing is contributing to the larger world? Does one find the sense of purpose in it? Is it making a difference? Is it satisfying? Is it beyond just oneself? Another phase or level of success!
Now, the important thing to understand here is that all these components are intertwined and act as phases/levels of success. Unless one achieves all of them, success would remain incomplete. The achievement of only results but not happiness will inevitably cause one to burn out. If one is happy after achieving results, he/she will soon get tired of it because it’s not satisfying their core as meaningful contributors. Results/Goals are the tip of iceberg, visible, but below, are Happiness, Meaning and Contribution. Once you attain all 3, that’s where you encounter success. One or two out of all the components become meaningless and frustrating after a while.
SUCCESS is always measured in terms of results. Results are the consequences of the actions we put in, so if we replicate the actions of successful people, does it guarantee that we become successful? The answer is NO. And why NOT???; because the actions cannot be copied as everyone has a different set of beliefs.
Now the million dollar question is – what are Beliefs? Beliefs are assumptions that we hold to be true; the lenses through which we view the world. Beliefs are convictions that empower people to take unique actions. If something needs to be learned from successful people, it’s their belief system. Let’s dive deeper into the beliefs of the successful people to get the Success Mantra.
3 CORE BELIEFS OF SUCCESSFUL PEOPLE :
#1 – We have to start slow in order to finish big. – The world is flooded with unfinished success stories because we all want success to be achieved in a flash. Immediate gratification is something that lures us and when it does not come through, we lose faith and patience and give up. Success is a step by step process and there is nothing like overnight accomplishment or immediate gratification. Success comes to those who stick to their conviction and beliefs despite failures, hurdles or setbacks. Power of compounding – building on to what we have achieved on the way to success will make us reach our desired goals. Pace and finish matters rather than the speed.
#2 – Follow the Passion, money shouldn’t be the goal – Pursue the things you love doing, and do them so well that people can’t take their eyes off you. Money will follow. If money is the goal and if it takes time to come in, most of us would drop the project. That’s where the issue is. The only thing that takes us through the setbacks, hurdles and failures is the meaning, purpose and passion you have for what you do.
#3 – Failure is not the end point, rather the beginning of something bigger – Having a growth mindset is the key to becoming successful. There is something fundamentally different between people who accept failure as it is, from the people who fail and try till they succeed. Successful people persist through life’s craps, problems, criticism, rejection, pressure, crisis. No matter what, they just keep going.
RULES FOR SUCCESS
# 1 : Begin with Self Awareness –
Common thinking is – If I work hard, I will be more successful. If I am more successful, then I will be happier. If I get the promotion, I will be happy, If I buy a bigger house, I will be happier, If I go on an exotic vacation, I will be the happiest.
Our goal posts for happiness keeps changing…if we get good marks, we need better marks, if we get better marks, we want to achieve the first place in the class. Every time our brain encounter success, we change the goal post of what success looks like. Then, happiness would be beyond reach for ever. We need to be aware of where our concrete happiness lies.
# 2 : Build the Happiness Advantage
If we raise our positivity and happiness in the present, then the brain experiences what is called as Happiness Advantage – secretion of Dopamine and Serotonin. One need to use the reverse formula here – We must train the brain to think – If am happier, I will be more successful, because then –
- Creativity & Energy level rise
- One becomes more resilient & bounces back faster
- One experiences less burn out, thus becomes more productive
# 3 : Start with WHY
Successful people are who have inside out approach. Every task has 3 components to it – What, How and Why. Less successful people get stuck on the what and how part of the task whereas to become successful, most important thing is to concentrate on WHY part of the task. We need to ask – why we are doing what we are doing. What is our need, our driving force, our purpose? The minute we sort the WHY in our minds, what and how gets automatically sorted. WHY will also give us meaning and purpose which is one of the most important phases of success.
# 4 : Challenge Comfort Zone
Comfort zone refers to a psychological state in which we feel safe and do not experience anxiety or fear. It’s a safe space, where we don’t risk, but neither do we grow too. Unless one take some risks, move out of the safe space, success would be a little challenging. Try and bring some change in the way you do things. Try to do things differently, in a newer way. Do things that scare you, as you will gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience. Get used to saying YES more often to risks, opportunities & uncertainties.
# 5 : Learn Resilience
The most important quality to being successful is one’s ability to be resilient. We are designed to focus on the bad, rather than the good. Learn to withstand the quit moments. We all end up experiencing moments when we leave things in between and we quit. Resilient people are those who withstand the discomfort and have hopes that things are going to get better.
“Success is not final; failure is not fatal : It is the courage to continue that counts.”
— Winston S. Churchill