Success, no matter the angle you look at it, is a function of mental attitude. When successful people talk about success, most ingredients the ‘world’ admire is usually missing. Success could be defined as, “feeling that tingle of excitement about what you do; sticking with what matters through hard times; living a life you can feel proud of in retrospect.” In this article, you will discover how mental attitude is the key to success.
Laura Garnett compiled different definitions of success from different successful people. In her findings, she discovered that success is not all about money and material well-being. According to her, “I grew up equating money and power with success, and for a time, that framed my definition.”
She, therefore, defined success as:
“Spending the majority of my time focused on work or tasks that are fulfilling, leveraging my Zone of Genius, maximizing my potential and helping other people in a meaningful way while providing the freedom, lifestyle, and experiences that I desire.”
What one man defines as success is different from what another man defines as success. Different entrepreneurs define success in different ways, depending on what drives and motivates them. The definitions gathered by Laura all hinged on one’s mental attitude.
Similarly, Shana Lebowitz gathered the definition of success from 12 successful people and discovered that success is not measured by monetary values. For instance, Richard Branson says that success is about happiness; Arianna Huffington says that money and power are not enough to measure success.
Furthermore, Mark Cuba says, that one does not need money to measure success, while John Wooden said that success is a matter of satisfaction and Warren Buffett relates success to relationship.
Maya Angelou believes that success is about enjoying your work, while Bill Gates defines success as making an impact in the society. To Deepak Chopra, it means constant growth while to Barack Obama, success means changing people, but not power.
What is your own definition of success?
The definition of success cannot be objective, but subjective. Success can be defined in the way you see life. No one should define success for you.
From the foregoing definitions, success means one thing; “Your mental attitude.”
If success is a function of mental attitude, then what is mental attitude?
Mental attitude could be defined as a complex mental state involving beliefs and feelings and values and dispositions to act in certain ways. Mental attitude is your mindset, the way you see, perceive and approach things. Mental attitude could be seen as a function of attention, decision, belief, motivation, and positive affirmation.
In his book, Think and Grow Rich, Napoleon Hill’s first statement is, “Truly, “thoughts are things,” and powerful things at that, when mixed with purpose, persistence, and a burning desire for their translation into riches or other material objects.”
Hill is simply referring to one’s mental attitude. In yet another book, Success Through A Positive Mental Attitude, Hill emphasized that success is a function of positive mental attitude (PMA) while failure is a function of negative mental attitude.
The power to maintain a positive mental attitude lies within us. No one can determine your success, but you. People may encourage or discourage you, but the end result is your attitude to achieve your greatest desire. That is the beginning of success.
Positive mental attitude is a matter of being optimistic, hopeful, expectant, confident in every situation. It is believed that having a positive mental attitude attracts positive changes and increases achievement. PMA will place you in a state of mind that will constantly seek ways of winning and obtaining favorable and desirable outcomes in every situation and circumstance.
Live Bold and Bloom noted that each person has about 45,000 negative thoughts a day. It means that most of our daily thinking is always negative, unpleasant and harmful. People always think negative thoughts; our society is predominantly engrossed with negative thoughts. The author disclosed that negative thinking focuses on the past and the future. Thinking of frustrating and disappointing past, and being afraid of the future will bring.
According to Adam Sicinski, an average individual has about 60,000 thoughts per day. These thoughts are predominantly negative. He estimated that out of the 60,000 daily thoughts, 95% of them are repeated daily, while 80% of these repeated thoughts are negative.
In his report, he stated that it is worrisome that:
“95 percent of the thoughts that people have form the foundations of the emotions they experience throughout the day. This is significant because our emotions form the foundations of our attitude, and our attitude is what shapes our happiness and success in all areas of life.”
When our thoughts are predominantly negative, we develop a negative mental attitude which impacts on our success negatively.
Restating on the importance of mental attitude to success, Antonio Guterres, UN Secretary-General stated that, “If we change our attitude to mental health, we change the world.” According to him, “Although health encompasses both physical and mental well-being, mental health is mostly harbored as an afterthought.
Research has also shown that positive mental attitude affects longevity and quality of life. Chicago Tribune reported Norvid as saying that,
“People with PMA are individuals who look at the glass as half full versus half empty. “I see many patients who despite their multiple medical problems are able to deal with life in a positive way and maintain their strong friendships and family relationships.”
Mental attitude empowers everything in life including health, success, and life itself.
Therefore, attitude is a function of thoughts, as earlier said. To overcome these predominantly negative thoughts in us, we must develop a positive mental attitude that welcomes success, progress, prosperity, accomplishment, hope, and the likes.
How to Build Your Mental Attitude
Building a desirable mental attitude that will guarantee
The following are relevant to building a positive mental attitude.
Key to Success No.1: Choose what to think
The statistic that 80% of our daily thoughts are negative is staggering. The truth is that you have the power to choose what to think. Hill said that nature has endowed us with absolute control over but one thing, and that is thought.
No one can impose what to think on you; you have sole control of your thoughts. However, people can help us shape our thoughts if we give in to their thinking. This can be achieved by what we hear, see and read.
Therefore, to shape your thoughts towards a positive mental attitude, choose carefully what you hear, watch, and read. Read, watch, and listen to thought-provoking, inspirational, and motivating stories, articles, and speeches that will help shape your attitude.
Key to success No.2: You are more powerful than anyone or thing
Thoughts are the greatest thing that can change and shape a man’s future. Declan O’Flaherty advised that we should know how powerful we are. He disclosed that “We create our outside reality through the thoughts and beliefs we maintain about life in general. What we believe in our inner world, we see in our outer world.”
According to him, what you are is greater and superior to what you can imagine or see.
Key to Success No.3: Create a mental awareness system
Live Bold and Bloom discusses a system by which you can create awareness of your thought pattern using a rubber band. This system will enable you to catch what you are thinking each time you see the rubber band. It must not necessarily be a rubber band. You can choose anything that is handy for you.
I personally love this idea because it helps in calling oneself back each time one is lost in thought. It will help you to ask yourself these questions:
What I’m I thinking of? What have I been thinking of in the past “how many” seconds? Are my thoughts positive or negative? Are they related to my desire and goal in life?
If your thoughts are negative, you can easily replace them with positive thoughts.
Key to Success No.4: Live a life filled with gratitude
Many times, we do not remember the good things that happened to us. We always dwell on the bad things. If we can form the habit of being thankful for the good things that happened to us, we will easily form a positive mental attitude.
This can work with the above suggestion. Imagine catching yourself lost in thoughts of a negative past. Quickly switch to your positive past and begin to give thanks to God for what He did. This is one of my major tricks of building a positive attitude. Be thankful at what you gained rather than agitate over what you lost and the disappointments you faced.
Key to Success No.5: Have faith
One of the cardinal keys to success discussed by Napoleon Hill in Think and Grow Rich is faith. According to him, “faith is a state of the mind that can be induced or created, by affirmation or repeated instructions to the subconscious mind, through the principle of autosuggestion.
He also noted that faith can be induced through the principle of persistence. Having faith means believing that you will get what you desire. This means if you desire evil you get evil, if you desire good, you get good. This means that you choose what you believe.
There are many more ways that can help you create a positive mental attitude discussed by Adam Sicinski. Some of them include empowering your language, shifting your physiology, cultivating present moment awareness, asking effective questions, and associating with inspiring people.
Mental Attitude Vs Creativity
Creativity is a mental attitude that can be acquired through learning and continuous practice. We have pointed out in previous articles that our contemporary way of doing things create more problems. So, to solve these problems, we must think within and out of the box.
The world is a competitive place, if we fail to play our role smartly, we will become a dumping ground for others’ mistakes.Kelechi Agomuo, Kmacims
The same is true for a family, a society and a nation. To avoid being a victim, we must constantly upgrade our potentials. To constantly upgrade our potential, we must fire up our mental attitude, which is a function of creative thinking.
The Success Equation
According to Brian Tracy, success is a function of talent and attributes. Put differently, success and human potential is a function of talent, knowledge, and attitude. He represented this in an equation as follow:
HP = IA + AA x MA
Where HP stands for Success or Human Potential
IA stands for talent or other Inborn Attributes that could affect success positively or negatively
AA represents Knowledge or Acquired Attributes, including skills, experience and so on that could influence success positively or negatively, and
MA stands for Mental Attributes which could be negative or positive.
One’s mental attitude reflects his/her thinking capacity. Tracy noted that the Mental Attribute is the powerhouse which everyone has control over. Indeed, we all have the power to control what we think. Consequently, MA determines the success or failure or anyone if other factors remain constant.
Boosting your Mental Attribute
From Brian Tracy’s equation, we can make a little addition to have the following equation:
HP = IA + AA x MAc
Where c stands for Creativity which could also be positive or negative
I am not a mathematician, but from the law of indices, we know that, if c = 0, then MA = 1. This implies that success is a function of Inborn Attributes (IA) and Acquired Attributes only. At this level, one’s success is controlled by his/her genetic attributes and the knowledge or skills gained. He/she will always follow instructions based on what is learned, with zero input. Analytically, such a person could remain a loyal employee, working for others all his/her life.
It could also be a situation when one is working against his/her will. Many organizations in developing countries are filled with people who are working for the money. They are not passionate about their jobs, neither do they care to improve their skills. They only go for courses if it will fetch them promotion. In this case, c becomes zero, because they are not contributing creatively to the success of the organization.
A negative c would lead to the negative application of Acquired Attributes (AA). When creativity is negative, it leads to diminishing mental attribute which affects AA. For example, if one thinks of how to steal or siphon funds from an organization or institution, and finally succeeds. A day will come when it will be discovered and such person’s reputation will be at stake.
Nothing destroys success speedily than negative creativity.KmacIMS
Negative creativity could also mean the acquisition of the wrong skill or knowledge.
However, if c is positive, there will be the exponential impact on our mental attitude. This alone can boost success to the highest degree. This is when creativity leads to great inventions and innovations. The truth is that success is not what we are now, but depends on what we are becoming tomorrow. It is a function of what we think. This is why King Solomon says that man is what he thinks.
The above equation is a simple analogy of how creativity impacts on one’s mental attitude as well as success. If creativity is this important, then we must develop it; and help our children develop such way of thinking.
Learn Creativity at all Cost
Our last article showed how creative children can be if allowed to process their imaginations. However, our traditional education does not permit this. They basically teach English language, mathematics and basic science in our school systems. Students are rewarded based on their performance on these subjects, but creativity is not rewarded. We don’t encourage creativity, we rather stifle it. But, how can we teach or learn creativity in our schools?
Studies have shown that creativity is a skill that can be learned and managed. According to Louis R. Mobley, creativity is highly correlated with self-knowledge. Thus, people can be allowed to be wrong, because there is no perfect answer to solving a particular problem. Moreover, wrong and bad ideas can form a building block to the solution we seek.
Conclusion Drawn: KmacIMS
Your success is in your , not in hand of any person alive. Stop
According to Dr. Condoleeza Rice, “There is nothing standing in your way to do whatever you want to do provided you know what you want to do and love it. Education is of no value, talent is worthless unless you have one unwavering aim. Never find yourself without a compass.”