The Mental Side of Success

What is the most important aspect of your life? When you look at the different areas, mental, emotional, physical, and financial, what strikes you as being at the top of the list in terms of importance? While the answers will vary, the truth is health is the most crucial thing in your life. Without your health, everything else is lessened. For example, many pursue money throughout their lives only to find, when their physical condition deteriorates, that they wish they had taken "better care of themselves". At the same time, many find that even the greatest riches in the world cannot buy one more time. Steve Jobs is an example. He might have been worth $3 billion but he is still dead in his early 50s. All the financial success meant little at the end since he lost decades due to illness.

That being said, when we look at success, what do you think is most important? Obviously, if you read the title, you know that the mental side of things is the answer. Everything else stems from this. Life is first created in the mind and then manifested in the physical world. In other words, everything starts with an idea.

When we look at the world around us, we see many people who are weak. When it comes to their mental conditioning, their ability to excel is seriously hindered. Alcoholism, drug abuse, hours spent watching television, lack of common sense, and emotional chaos are all signs that people have not conquered their mind. In fact, they allow it to run free without a single restraint. Left to its own devices, the mind will completely destroy a person's life. No success will ever result.

I will offer up an example that really drives home how forceful mental strength is. Stories written by prisoners of war exemplify the tools necessary for success in this environment. Here is a situation where people were malnourished to the point where they were nothing more than skin on bones. At the same time, in many instances, they suffered extreme physical and psychological abuse. In short, everything was taken away from them. So, why did some survive while others perished. Certainly the abuse of the captors did have an impact in many instances. However, there are numerous stories about people who "decided" they were going to survive the ordeal (Victor Frankl is one such person). Their success was derived first by their mental state.

When we discuss factors for success, we often cover topics such as determination, persistence, focus, and commitment. Notice where all these activities occur: in the mind. They are mental states which one is free to choose to adopt or not. Being disciplined is nothing more than a mental state where one decides to do what is required at that moment. Nothing happens until the proper state is achieved in the mind.

Consider the way people approach weight loss. We live in an obese society. Today there are more overweight people as a percentage of the population than at any other time in our history. One does not have to travel far to find someone who is "on a diet". How many people do you know who have said they were going to lose weight only to remain the same (or worse lose it only to gain it back). Each of us knows multiple people who fit into this category.

So, the question arises why did they not experience success in this area? It is simple: they chose not to. Their mind allowed them to fail. They did not adopt and maintain the mental state to succeed. Somewhere along the line, the urge hit to "cheat" on their program for weight loss. As you can see, this is a mental decision. At the same time, the option to skip a workout resides in the same place. Everything that is done, or not done, is decided upon mentally. It is these decisions that allow failure to occur.

Tony Robbins has stated that a true decision is nothing more than cutting off any other possibility. This means, in this example, that if one decides to lose 50 pounds, there is no other possible outcome. Everything will be done because the person has mentally determined this is how it will be. All action will align with this mindset to, eventually, produce the result. If Victor Frankl, among others, can use this technique to survive hellish conditions, then one can apply it to everyday situations which are not life and death. Success is a result of mental deciding to succeed.

The world rewards those who are mentally conditioned to succeed. Even those who excel utilizing their bodies are mental giants. Take athletes as an example. Many will say they succeed because of superior natural talent. Sure, that is part of it. However, do not overlook all the hours put into training to get their bodies in that shape. It takes mental discipline to exercise and eat properly to operate at a world class level (anyone on the yoyo diet plan understands how tough it is). These people face the same challenges as everyone else. The idea of cheesecake or potato chips is just as appealing to them. Yet they pass on them because it is not part of their curriculum for success.

Therefore, to succeed, you need to take control of your mind. Too many of us allow fear to run our daily lives while operating in a haphazard undisciplined way. Success is really a simple thing to achieve. Today, we have blueprints in all areas of life. If you want to be physically fit, there are thousands of websites packed with valuable plans how to achieve it. Financial success is the same way. We can learn how to excel in any area of life if we follow the steps. Sales is a prime example of a field where success is a step-by-step process. So is the stock market, real estate, and another other business endeavor. If you want to bake a cake, it is best to follow the instructions. Life is that way also. Everything always breaks down to the basics. So why don't most people succeed? In my estimation it is because they simply fail to decide to.

Consider this premise as you go throughout your day. How are you allowing your mind to take control in a negative way? Are there things you should be doing yet you are focusing you attention elsewhere (i.e. ignoring)? Is this a mark of a disciplined, mentally strong person? Remember, everything is first created in the mind. Success occurs here...everything else is just rote action repeated until the desired outcome is achieved.
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