The basics of success if beautifully define as continuous growth. We do not have to be better than anybody else, but ourselves.
One of the books I am reading is Mindset: the New Psychology of Success, by Carol S Dweck. She has been studying motivation and has found a key distinction that I just found fascinating!
I wish I had known this before.
Let me give you MY interpretation of the differences by asking you to chose amongst options A and B.
A. Your partner loves you the way you are
B. Your partner stimulates you to change and improve
A. You chose your work based on your natural abilities
B. You chose your work based on what challenges you to grow
A. You think your potential is linked to your genes or fixed in some way.
B. You think one never really knows what one's potential is
A. You prefer an easier game that makes you feel accomplished
B. You prefer a game that you are not sure you will complete.
So well, people who think mostly in As, have a fixed or finite mindset. That means, choosing to leverage on ones' natural abilities, being appreciated for one's achievements, feeling special in a kind of superior way. May I expand on my own thinking here: These people measure themselves with others and feel important for what they've done. Thus, any criticism is taken personally and perceived as diminishing.
People who think mostly in Bs, have a growth oriented mindset. That means leveraging one's capacity to keep learning and growing, or developing in new areas. These people feel appreciated by their efforts, enjoy the uncertainty and challenges with a love for learning, and don't even think about feeling superior or inferior to anybody. To put it in my own words: these people thrive on doing, not being.
For a fixed mind person, external feedback is very important, validating or invalidating the person. For a growth mind person, the feeling on one's effort is what matters. The result is less important than the effort.
Fixed minded people look for things that make them feel secure, powerful, superior and, unbeatable. Growth minded people look for things where they are not safe, secure, where they feel uncertain about the outcome and risk failing because of the learning it provides them. They welcome questioning, criticism, and separate it from their value as individuals.
Some people are what they do or have done -the public image of John McEnroe. If I am aware of -and work to be in- the growth mindset, I liberate myself from being right, I am open for questioning and growth .. and explorations that who knows would lead to -the public image of Michael Jordan... There are many examples, and I don't like stereotyping but I do hope the message gets to you. This ties in perfectly with an attitude towards wealth, and I tie it with external or internal locus of control. To be aware of your mindset style allows you to move through hard times using the growth mindset, to stretch beyond your limits and to take risks. Of course people with fixed mindsets will believe that you cannot change your mindset, and people with the growth mindset will believe that you can!
Certainly how you view your life affects your wealth, and much more your happiness. This reminds me of coaching, a technique I like so much. In my view, coaching helps you focus on how you get to where you want to be, instead of therapy that focuses on how on earth did you get to where you are! (and that's exactly what I've felt when I've used both)
If you believe that your life is built around your journey, and that your learning is more important than your end results, you allow yourself to enjoy a walk, hold someone hands, sing out loud in the shower, blink at a bird, and indulge yourself on a special treat.. and walk away from doing things so the others can see how wealthy or not you are.
If you believe that you can change the way you manage your wealth learning form your mistakes and NOT feeling uneasy about your state right now, you will be empowered to move forward, without wasting one single minute in feeling sorry for yourself... and that is the first of the un wealthy habits too!
The best learning from this reflection is that we do not have to be better than anybody else, but ourselves.
Here is to your continuous growth.