• Humza Akhter

How Successful People Think

Let's climb inside the minds of successful people who get things done that they want to do. Who do you know that always seems to be accomplishing something great? Is it a friend, family member or colleague? Or is there an individual out there whom you admire, maybe someone famous, or perhaps an internet personality whom you've begun to follow.



Try to imagine how they might think as they move ahead and through their process of setting and achieving goals. Let's run through a series of goal-setting steps right now. We'll call the overarching goals PHASES, and the smaller goals, STEPS.


Phase one is to DECIDE on a goal. Got something in mind that you want to accomplish? One thing that positive, effective people do is make a decision and commit to it. After all, the only way to know if you can do it is if you try. We'll use a practical example here - suppose you want to learn how to change your car's oil.


So let's run through the process of learning to change your own oil, from the perspective of someone who tends to be happy, successful and accomplish a lot in their life.


No, this isn't the right goal for everybody. But someone out there at some point may want to learn how to do an oil change. Let's say that today it's you. This could be the first step in learning to maintain your vehicle. It might be fun and challenging to try something new.


Keep in mind that even if you decide that learning to change your own oil is the wrong action to take, you are still going to make the initial commitment. They call this "giving it the old college try," and it's what positive achievers do.


You will at least TRY to make this thing happen that you set out to. If you don't succeed, you might try a few more times, and offer yourself some encouragement along the way as you learn. In the end, even if you don't succeed or complete the goal, you will have learned something -- probably a lot!


Phase 2 is to PLAN how you'll accomplish the goal. Anyone who routinely gets things done knows that there must be a plan or a series of steps. So what will the steps be to changing your own oil?


¨ First you might read some instructions on how to change the oil on your model and make of car.

¨ Next you'll want to purchase the right tools and supplies.

¨ Then you might try watching someone else change the oil on the same type of car that you have.

¨ Your final step could be actually putting this new information into practice by attempting to change your own oil.


Phase 3: break the series of steps down into smaller steps. We really don't need to go into listing all of this out, because it would be a very long and detailed list. Instead let's just cover the first action to take in our series. Reading instructions on how to change the oil on your car could involve:


¨ buying a book

¨ doing some internet research

¨ flipping through magazines…

¨ or perhaps all of the above


…until you feel certain that you know the steps to changing your own oil.


Troubleshooting Along the Way


Now, suppose you run into some problems along the way during this series of steps that you're taking. Here's the part where we reinforce how positive people think.


Let's say that when you go to read the instructions on changing your own oil, you come across conflicting information. One publication explains the process differently than the next. So now you aren't sure how to proceed.


Many people would stop right there. The information is starting to frustrate them. The types of thoughts that run through their mind are things like this:


¨ This is too confusing. I'll never be able to figure it out!

¨ Maybe I'm just not smart enough to understand this.

¨ I'm bored by this, and I don't care about learning to change my oil. I quit!


At this point, someone with a negative attitude might quickly abandon the entire idea. They thought they might learn how to change their oil, but they couldn't figure it out, so they just gave up.


Is it wrong or weak to give up? Not necessarily. But at the point where you think you might give up, it's worth giving the matter some additional thought. It really depends on how set you were on achieving this thing.


You might ask yourself:


¨ If I learn how to change my oil, is it likely that this will open the door to other projects relating to caring for and maintaining my own vehicle?


¨ Do I enjoy working on things with my hands in this manner?


¨ Will I take pleasure in saving my own money learning how to do DIY auto repair projects like this one?


¨ Or is it more likely that I already have too much going on in my life, and it isn't practical to start changing my own oil, because I really don't have enough free hours in my busy day to work on things like this anyway?


If, after considering the matter a bit more, you might decide that you still want to learn how to change your own oil. In which case, it's time to find a way out of your current dilemma. If you can't get past the different instructions that are confusing you, you might try looking up additional sources, or maybe speaking with someone who is an expert on car maintenance, who can help you figure things out.


The point is that positive people who have a can-do attitude go all-in when deciding to learn something new or accomplish a goal. They are decisive. They take action. They gather information, and they repeatedly assess the situation. They don't quit prematurely or give up as soon as something becomes confusing or difficult.


Q: Is a person negative or a quitter if they opt to NOT accomplish their goal such as learning how to change their own oil?


Actually, no. A person isn't negative for deciding not to pursue a goal. They're only negative if they beat themselves up about the decision. Negativity has to do with attitude. If most of the goals you set for yourself, you quickly abandon without even trying because you don't believe you can achieve them, that's a limiting mindset. A constant quitter tends to stall out in the area of self development and get stuck.


Or if you do try and fail and then you feel bad about yourself, then that pretty much points to a defeatist attitude as well.


If you ultimately decided not to change your oil on your own, you would still have the task of getting an oil change to check off your list. So you hire someone as you would normally have. This certainly counts in as far as accomplishing something necessary in your life.


Thankfully, you can adopt a can-do attitude to wipe out that limiting mindset that's got you stuck in a rut! The time has come for a mental shift and a welcoming of exciting possibilities into your life. Let's examine that in some further detail.


To me success means effectiveness in the world, that I am able to carry my ideas and values into the world that I am able to change in positive ways. Maxine Hong Kingston

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