The psychology of success is a big topic and, in a sense, everything discussed on this entire website falls under the psychology of success. So to get us started, I’ll touch on six important aspects in this article. You can then follow links to further information and check out my posts, etc.
Vision – goal setting
Goals are key. Highly successful people are intensely goal-oriented. Without a goal, you’ll dissipate your efforts and waste your days. With a goal, you’ll move inexorably in the direction of that goal, accumulating your efforts. Earl Nightingale likens it to a river running in a straight, smooth channel:
Earl Nightengale – A Goal Gives Life Direction
“You will become what you think about… that’s why having a goal toward which to work is so very important. It gives our minds a focus and our lives direction.
The most successful people are future-oriented and having goals allows them to make decisions about what to do today in terms of whether or not it will help them achieve their goals. That means they end up doing the “right things” more frequently than unsuccessful people and that leads to accomplishing their goals.
Before you go any further, I invite you to watch the video in the sidebar. It’s about goals and it offers you a chance to sign up for a free nine-step Goal Setting Workout.
Discipline – getting yourself to take action
Tony Robbins recorded an audio program called Personal Power some years ago. And can you guess what it’s about? Personal Power could mean charisma, or influence or maybe the ability to focus your thinking… but he actually coined that term to talk about the ability to get yourself to take action. Other people call that self-discipline.
Ah, but there are different forms of discipline. You can get people to listen to you with threats and fear… and you can turn that on yourself as well. You can engage in an internal shouting match between your lazy side and your “disciplined” side (and consequently use up a lot of the energy you might have applied to being productive.)
You can even get yourself to take action by appeal to a sense of duty or obligation.
But what’s the psychology of success in terms of discipline? It has to do with aligning your goals with your values (I call this congruency), and then building a healthy work ethic into your self image (seeing yourself as a producer).
- More on the congruency thing in my Goal Setting Workout.
- More on Motivation and Self Discipline in my other article on that subject.
Positive Mental Attitude
I read Norman Vincent Peale’s The Power of Positive Thinking when I was eight years old. (It was my grandfather’s copy. I also borrowed and read, at age eight, Dale Carnegie’s How To Win Friends and Influence People. Those two classic books were an awesome introduction to the psychology of success for me! I’ve been an avid reader of personal development literature ever since.)
Successful entrepreneurs are optimistic, open minded people. You don’t make fast progress by dwelling on negativity.
Problems arise, for sure. Entrepreneurs face many more challenges than mere employees. But entrepreneurs FACE them. Their attitude is: that’s the problem, how do we solve it? They focus quickly on the solution. In fact, isn’t business about solving customers’ problems and bringing solutions to the market?
Look for future blog posts on this subject. For now, let me tell you one thing about W. Clement Stone (I might as well mention that he co-wrote Success Through A Positive Mental Attitude with Napoleon Hill.) Stone was a self made billionaire in the insurance business. I’ve heard that whenever his co-workers told Stone about a problem, he’d say, “That’s good,” and launch into finding a solution. Ordinary people worry and fret over problems; billionaire W. Clement Stone always said “That’s good.”