What makes someone a champion at anything? It could be a sport, some form of art, a business, or heck even poker. Whatever it is, given the same opportunities, and even the same skills, what makes some people excel while others get nowhere?
To a large extent, an individual’s psychology plays a big part in determining success or failure. This is especially true in everyday life, where the basic skills are easy to develop, and life offers the same opportunities to all. Qualities like patience, perseverance in the face of discouragement, the willingness to take a risk along with the level-headedness to avoid too big a risk, objectivity, not being overly emotional, and possessing self-understanding. These are all psychological qualities that help people succeed. And the best thing is, these qualities can be developed! So let’s look at some of the important principles whose understanding can give your, walk of life, a psychological edge.
To a large extent we live in the world our minds create. It is not events that affect us so much as it is our interpretation of events that makes us happy or sad, worried or confident. This is why the Seven Sages urged individuals to “know thyself.” Unless we understand the way our minds influence us, we are bound to make mistakes. And because our minds tend to justify those mistakes, we will keep repeating them.
One powerful tendency of the human mind is to divide everything up into opposites. There is always me vs. you, friend vs. foe, right vs. wrong, good vs. bad. And once we have defined a situation according to one of these opposites we persist with our one-sided view, instead of a process, we become rigid in our decisions, and we miss important information that could change our decisions (we basically resist change).
All of these consequences make us approach life from a perspective that is contrary to the way the life actually operates. First, life is never a fight. The way life moves is impersonal. There is no point to struggle and argue with the way life goes. Our goal is simply to learn to recognize patterns and go with the flow not to debate them! If we made a wrong decision, and life proves us wrong, we can learn a lesson. But there is no need to get emotional over it.
Next, life is fluid, and our responses should be nimble and adaptive. Rigidity in life is not going to lead to success. Life is always right, and if it proves us wrong there is no need to blame our self. Just change our self!
And finally, life is always providing new information. A developing formation could present a warning that a change in direction is imminent. But if all we want to see is confirmation that life will continue in our favor, we could miss the opportunity to get out before the big turnaround. Don’t let what we want to see keep us from seeing what is actually there.
Our mind will play tricks on us. That is why we have to understand how our mind works. Always question our view of life and be alert to anything that could prove us wrong. This will give us the openness and adaptability that every successful individual needs!