Most of us are looking for change, looking to improve ourselves, get smarter, more charming, fitter, more successful and much more, yet many don´t actually achieve any of this.
Why is that?
Are you also looking for personal change, but unable to find it? Are you also born with a timid personality or lack of talent in the field wished to be good at? Do you also read about famous and successful people, hoping you could be them, knowing it will never be possible as you aren´t as gifted or talented?
Then you are like 95% of the population. The 95% that think that the reason why they aren´t successful in what they want is because they have the wrong personality, aren´t smart enough, not talented enough, or any other excuse.
This is not true. Nobody is born with a “talent” for success or achievement. Sure, some might be born into better odds than others, but others again have created great things out of nothing.
In order to illustrate what it is that makes some people successful, and others not, I have broken down the “usual suspects” to prove to you that you too can change and achieve more.
One reason for this is that most of us still haven´t accepted the idea that personalities are fluid, that they develop over time and that we can strongly influence how it develops.
Most people still think we have the personality we were born with throughout our lives, and we are therefore not able to change, and have to stick with what we were “given”.
Fortunately, this is all wrong. The brain´s plasticity means that our brain is always learning, adapting and creating new neural connections. And as the brain develops, our personality changes accordingly.
What we choose to feed our brain, what forces our brain to adapt and form new neural connections, therefore largely influences our personality.
This is why “choosing” your environment is so important if you want to develop your personality, as your personality is a direct product of its environment.
If you spend the majority of your time hanging out with negative people, lounging on the couch, eating junk and watching reality tv, that´s what you become.
If you spend the majority of your time around inspirational achieving people, eating healthy food, working out and always working towards your goals, you become an achiever.
Sure, we are born with different personalities, how they develop over time is very much within our own power.
Another misconception is the idea of talent. We seem to think that the people who are very good at something, be it music, sports, sales, languages, etc, to be born with a special gift or talent.
Nothing could be further from the truth, as Anders Ericsson explains in his book “Peak: Secrets from the new science of expertise”.
Those who are really good at something are the ones who have trained and worked hard at perfecting their craft. Those who are really good did not stop and give up because someone else seemed to be more “talented”. Instead, they decided to work hard to become as good themselves.
“The good news is that to excel, one need only look within.”
More often than not, those who seek change are dreaming of it, and often more than happy to talk about it, yet not doing anything about it.
Many experience a form of cognitive dissonance where they think they want to improve and change, yet do nothing towards it. Their “Wants” aren´t aligned with their “Do´s”.
They might be fully aware that their personalities are fluid and aware that they can work hard to get better at their chosen field, yet they don´t ever get anywhere as they simply do not have the willpower and discipline to push through.
If you don´t have the discipline to get up early and work towards your goal, then all the dreaming and talking about it in the world will be pointless.
The best way to improve your discipline is to practice gettingup earlier in the morning. For external inspiration, check Jocko Willink´s Twitter Feed.https://twitter.com/jockowillink
Then there is the issue of luck. What is luck? To me there is no such thing as “luck”. And there are especially not any people who are luckier than others.
There are however circumstances and coincidences.
Most of what we call “luck” is merely a coincidence. “Oh that homeless man was so lucky he was sitting right there just when Zuckerberg walked by and decided to donate 1.000.000$ to the first homeless person he met”. That´s not luck, that´s a coincidence. The man happened to be sitting right there at that time. Zuckerberg decided to walk by there at just the same time, just as he had decided to donate. Coincidence.
We also often confuse circumstances as “luck”. If someone is born into a wealthy family, and somewhat easily built his own success on that wealth, that person is not “lucky”. That person was born in certain circumstances which he took advantage of.
Those who appear to be luckier are the ones that pursue it. If you keep up winning at sweepstakes, it´s because you are partaking in a lot of sweepstakes. And if you win in the first one you participate in, that´s a coincidence, still not luck.
Don´t ever excuse lack of luck, or others abundance of luck, to anything. It is the equivalent of blaming your misfortune on the alignment of the stars. There is no such thing.
Instead, go and create your own luck.
Lack of Guidance
Mentorship, or even trustworthy guides. Many may have all the right intentions, just not know what to do. They lack clear guidance. And searching around online can be more misleading than leading.
The world is full of people willing to give advice, yet many of them do so motivated by a host of different reasons, few being to the benefit of the reader.
A personal mentor is ideal, but where do you find one such? Unfortunately, there aren´t enough personal mentors around for the people needing mentoring, nor is there a “mentor directory” where you can look one up. A personal mentor will appear in your life at the right time, when you start pursuing one, but don´t let not having one hold you back.
Good news is, you can actually fairly easily provide very good guidance for yourself. All you need is to remove yourself from your own situation. This is naturally easier said than done, but imagine that it isn´t you, in the situation at hand, but a friend, and the friend is asking you for advice. Ask yourself these three questions:
Where am I?
Where do I want to go?
How am I going to get there?
Or rephrase it to:
Who am I?
Who do I want to be?
How will I become that Person?
And answer those questions objectively. Trust me, the answers will be very clear for you, and you will have no trouble building an action plan based on them.