Every situation is different, and no one can predict what a person will need to do in order to succeed, but here are some observations about the kinds of attitudes that can help people be more successful:
- Competition can be motivating:
While many people use competition as an excuse for not doing something, those who really want to win see competition as an opportunity, and they’re willing to do the tough work necessary to win.
- Learn to deal with your fears:
Fear is one of the greatest deterrents to taking risks. People worry so much about failing that their fear paralyzes them, draining the energy they might otherwise be using in more productive ways. Fear also puts imaginary difficulties in our paths, creating problems even when we haven’t experienced any. And fear spreads because the people around us sense when we are fearful of something. One of the best ways to overcome fear is to simply do the thing you fear the most so that it no longer controls you.
- Beaten paths are for beaten people:
Sometimes the thing that will help you become a winner is not something you dread doing or don’t want to do, but rather something you are dying to do yet don’t have the courage to try. Successful people are those who are willing, at some critical point, to take a risk—not a foolish risk, but one that they have carefully thought through, recognizing both the positives and negatives that may result from the action.
The ability to take such a risk moves you off the beaten path and sets you apart from everybody else. It may make you uncomfortable, but it also can make you a winner.
Tips for changing your attitude
- Give a little bit more. Be willing to give your full 100 percent to every endeavor.
- Dedicate yourself to a single goal. While you don’t have just one chance to win in life, you also don’t have to be lured by the notion that the grass may be greener if you switch options.
- Learn to be flexible. Be prepared to adjust if the situation calls for it.
- Find a hero who can inspire you when you are discouraged. It helps to remind yourself that even the most successful people suffer setbacks.
- Be prepared. Be aware of things that could go wrong. Consider all the possibilities available, so that when the inevitable problems crop up, you’ll be ready with solutions.
- Vary the time of day at which you perform your tasks. Energy levels vary for people during the day. Some work best from 5 a.m. to 12 noon, others from 4 p.m. to 2 a.m. If you find your concentration lagging, then change when you do that particular task, and rearrange your priorities accordingly. Using your optimal energy times will increase your productivity and, in turn, keep stress levels and negative attitudes in check.
Make silly or outrageous bets. Bet a friend that you’ll complete a task by a certain date, or before he will, or better than he will. The loser buys the winner tickets to a local sporting or theatrical event. Or bet a friend that you’ll actually do something (versus not doing it), and then when you do, she’ll take you to a movie. Bet that if you don’t complete the project, you’ll do something outrageous like enter a marathon; give a bottle of wine to a competitive coworker or wear a wild dress or crazy tie.