How the mind works is astonishingly complex and beautiful.
It is unarguably our greatest asset for survival and progress, yet we take it for granted, not appreciating its immense power that remains untapped, rotting within the confinements of our own consciousness.
It’s easy to attribute success to what we know to have contributed to it — whether it be our physical strength, our ability to analyze and process information quickly, or any other quality that defines who we are as an individual.
The same goes for the unsuccessful.
We correlate our lack of interest, care, or elements that are outside of our own control closely with failure.
But before one can become (un)successful, one thing is for certain.
How we think determines how we fare.
Everything starts with belief.
I know… I know… It sounds cliche. It’s been written about over, and over, and over again.
But belief alone doesn’t work wonders by itself.
Believing that you can do the job is only part of the equation.
Kobe Bryant didn’t just “believe” he could be the best player in the NBA. He put in the work to prove everyone that he could. He asked himself, “How can I be the best?”
4:00 AM workouts.
He overworked everyone else.
“We all have self-doubt. You don’t deny it, but you also don’t capitulate to it. You embrace it.” — Kobe Bryant
How can I improve the quality of my performance?
Studying athlete performance and mentality is one of the most fascinating and inspiring experiments. Unlike may of us corporate job holders, athletes can’t afford to “get comfortable” in what they do.
In the NBA, if you can’t adapt to how the game changes, sooner rather than later, you’ll get waived.
You’ll be left behind. No paycheck.
No ‘Hall of Fame’ for you.
On the other hand, those who quickly adapt — those who embrace a forward, progressive thinking — eventually rise to the top.
As an exercise, I set up daily reminders in my calendar to ask myself one question:
“How can I do a better job today?”
I found that even when my mind wonders and begins to worry about the plethora of other things that need to get done on a particular day, these daily notifications help bring my focus back to what matters most.
Becoming a better “me”.
I owe it to myself, to the people I work with, and the organisations I work for.
So I challenge you to ask yourselves:
How can I improve existing processes, both at my firm and in other endeavors outside of it, to excel and increase my value?
How can I be a better partner? A better friend?
What can I do differently in my approach to building genuine connections with other professionals; to seeking new job opportunities; to diversifying my sources of income — all towards achieving my desired outcome?
You are what you think you are.
Be progressive, not regressive.
Rid yourself of the old thinking, “That’s the way we did it where I used to work, so it ought to be the same way here.”
Think, “How can we do it better here than where I used to do it before?”
Reflect on your past performances, learn from your mistakes, and draw out your game plan to attack the next day with a stronger mentality.
Don’t dwell on your failures.
In business, at home, in your community… the success combination is do what you do, better (improve the quality of your output) and do more of what you do (increase the quantity of your output.)
Take on the shitty work tasks that no one else is interested in taking on.
Accepting greater responsibility on the job makes you stand out and shows that you’re valuable.
It’s a compliment to be asked to take on more responsibility. There’s a reason most entry-level candidates don’t make it past the mailing room in their first jobs.
They see it for what it looks like — not for the mentality it helps you grow.
Don’t dwell on having to put up the extra hours while others are sipping on their cocktails.
Don’t lose sight of the bigger picture.
“A person who thinks their job is important receives mental signals on how to do their job better. And a better job means more promotions, more money, more prestige, more happiness.” — David J. Shwartz
Concentrate on improving your performance, always
Don’t let tradition paralyze your mind.
Eliminate “impossible”, “can’t do it”, “it won’t work” out of your vocabulary.
Be experimental. Try new approaches and be progressive in everything you do.
Ask yourself daily, “How can I do better?” and “How can I do more?”
There is no limit to self-improvement.
“The only way to prove yourself is to show that you’re willing to improve yourself.” — Adam Grant