What is the difference between those who achieve their goals and those who do not? Deep down inside, everyone wants to succeed. But the difference between the people who can and do and those who can’t and do not is measurable by their mindset.
You can choose to settle for a life of mediocrity and regret, or you can choose to live your life to the fullest and realize all your goals and dreams, desires, potential, and fulfillment. You can look back on your life at missed opportunities or you can look back on your life as a wonderful journey of fulfillment, realization, and accomplishment.
God gives everyone a certain, unique individual potential, but it is up to the individual to find that potential and then utilize it to make the most of one’s life. Accepting your unique personal individuality and differences is one of the keys to unlocking your own unique personal potential. You must ultimately decide what it is you really want to accomplish, what you really want to do, and then once you find that, it is up to you to see it through and carry it out to the reaching and fulfillment of your goals.
Environmental Overriding and Reconditioning
Unfortunately though, it’s not that simple. It’s not that easy. The greatest difficulties that arise as you pursue your goals and aspirations stem from your environment. You can have all the potential and talent or passion in the world, but if you are surrounded by the wrong people or environmental obstructions, then it is going to be nearly impossible for you to succeed in accomplishing your goals. Still, by becoming aware of this factor and the dynamics which surround it, you can at least develop strategies and methods to counteract them and offset them, which will allow you to have the advantage on success and accomplishment.
Ultimately, you must adopt the mind of the achiever and say goodbye to the life of mediocrity which is produced by the mind of the underachiever. As with every goal in life, and because health is wealth, this ideal of living and succeeding can be first and foremost witnessed with your fitness goals in an elementary analogy: why is it that some people achieve their goals they set while others never do or continually fall short? Why is it that relatively so few actually achieve the body and fitness goals they want and deserve? The answer comes down to understanding the mind of the achiever versus the mind of the underachiever.
Rising Above Mediocrity and “The Norm”
In many environments, it is normal behavior and expected of you to be mediocre. People generally feel more comfortable and secure in a mediocre situation because naturally it keeps them inside of their comfort zone. Many people in these environments have substantial insecurities so that if you set your standards higher, they become insecure and uncomfortable. The analogy that comes to mind is the “crabs in the crab barrel”. If you have ever seen a basket of crabs, you will observe that the ones that try to crawl out of the basket are always clawed at and literally brought back down into the basket (environment) by the other crabs. This is quite a sight and phenomenon, and it is a perfect analogy of what happens in such environments.
Anybody can settle for less, but in order for you to thrive and be successful in accomplishing your goals, you are going to have to find a way to not allow your environment to bring you back down to the level of mediocrity. Although many theories float around the media and academia, the fact remains that competition is real. You know this is true if you have ever tried to achieve something or if you have ever succeeded- some people will get jealous of you and you might even lose a couple of friends because of it. They can’t stand that you have something special and that you are excelling at accomplishing your goals and they are not. They may even attempt to try to thwart your goals or bring you down, and sometimes this occurs in clever subtle ways, for example giving you bad advice or trying to convince you that your goals aren’t important.
One thing you need to remember is that the norms are not always the moral high ground and do not always operate on integrity. Questioning cultural and societal norms has always triggered the biggest breakthroughs throughout history. If Rosa Parks gave up her seat on the bus like the norms of society expected and demanded her to do, then the civil rights movement may never have became as successful as it had. In addition, the way that this relates to your goals if you are someone who desires to live a successful and fulfilled life is similar in a sense that if you are abiding by trying to adapt to a mediocre environment, then you are wasting your talent and potential. If the people in your gym, health club, or fitness center are in average shape or out of shape, and you decide that is good enough, then you will never reach your potential, and that is the worst thing that can happen.
There is nothing wrong with striving for excellence in all that you do. In fact, it should be required. Unfortunately, it may make some people in your environment uncomfortable, insecure, or jealous, but that’s no reason to settle for less and allow them to bring you down to their level of mediocrity and underachievement. In fact, disassociating from such people is demanded.
It’s the same old adage and cliché, but how often we forget. The power gained by the person who makes no excuses versus the ones who do gives them the upper advantage and hand in any situation. Production is pertinent to success, and there can be no productivity in a mindset that makes excuses.
Excuses are a way of saying “I don’t want to do the work”. You can make a hundred of them, but in the end you will usually find that none of them are true. You can say, “I’m tired”, “I don’t feel like it”, “I’m not good enough”, “It’s too hard”, “It takes too long”, “It’s too late” or add a whole other variety of ways of thinking that prevent you from “taking action” to reach your goals.
If you want to achieve your goals and succeed, then one of the top things you are going to need to do is cut out excuses. Yes, it may be difficult and yes, you may have to go through some pain and inconveniences of many sorts, but ultimately, there is really no excuse to not reaching your potential and realizing your goals.
However, those who fail to succeed in accomplishing their goals may never admit this or realize the difference. They lack the mindset needed to succeed. The mindset you need to succeed in anything and all that you do will come down to not making excuses.
One area where winners and achievers really excel compared to others who don’t is in their ability to regulate any feelings of jealousy in accordance with people around them. For example, everyone has witnessed the reaction of jealousy in their social surroundings, but the insightful truth regarding such feelings is that they ultimately get you nowhere. Furthermore, jealousy goes against the whole entire premise and philosophy of self actualization and personal potential, which is what true success needs to be built on. The way in which it does this is it influences you to become more like others, but the whole philosophy of personal potential and self actualization is to “not be like others”; it’s to be yourself, and be the very best that YOU can be.
If you are the very best that YOU can be, then you will no longer compare yourself to others or possess feelings of jealousy or envy of anyone else. Yes, you have to first understand and accept yourself in order to get to this level, but it’s worth it because once you do you will be free to pursue and accomplish your own goals and potential without worrying about what everyone else is doing. This is power. You give yourself the power to be the best version of YOU, not a second hand version of someone else.
The way you do this is simple. Always congratulate others and encourage them in their success, as long as they are doing it in a positive purposeful manner. If they are not, don’t bother and understand they lack the substance and depth that your goals demand. However, any time you see someone or talk to someone who is succeeding, wish them well, and understand that their life has a different purpose and meaning than yours. Of course it does. Everyone is unique. Once you do this, you can then take ownership of your own goals and take pride in what you do and what you want to accomplish.
The bottom line is that if you discover your purpose in life, you realize the goals that will make you fulfilled and happy, and you begin pursuing them by not making excuses and being productive, then jealousy will no longer be in your emotional vocabulary. The difference between those who achieve and succeed and those you underachieve is also found in the mindset of having the ability to remove jealousy from the emotional registry. Why would you be jealous of someone if you have awesome and exciting goals you are accomplishing and you are already living your life to the fullest?
External Locus of Control
The external locus of control refers to a person’s preference to allow outside and uncontrollable factors to be the decider of outcomes in their lives. The inside locus of control is a person’s preference to take responsibility of the outcome in themselves rather than rely and count on outside factors outside of their control. For example, a person who buys lottery tickets hoping to get lucky is relying on an outside locus of control, whereas someone who decided that hard work is the key to success is relying on the inside locus of control. There are all kinds of different examples and levels of both, but essentially the kind of person who possesses the mindset of the “internal” locus of control is much more likely to succeed in accomplishing their goals.
The reason why the external locus of control is ineffective and unproductive is because it gets people to leave the responsibility of success up to outside uncontrollable factors and other people. You can’t leave your success up to anyone else, and achievers know that success is their responsibility- they must “make it happen”. People who underachieve tend to make excuses as mentioned earlier, and this is largely related to their external locus of control mindset. They may conclude things like, “I don’t have the connections” or “My boss didn’t give me the promotion” whereas the people who possess a strong and powerful internal locus of control will think the opposite with thoughts like, “I’ll make the connections, I’ll create the connections, it’s up to me” and “It’s up to me to convince my boss that I am worthy enough for the promotion- what can I do and what steps can I take to do the work to make this come to fruition?”.
This is a fine distinguishable difference between the mindsets of those who achieve their goals and those who don’t. This is the difference ultimately between those who move ahead in life in any area and those who settle for less and get left behind. You must possess the internal locus of control if you are to create the opportunities, dynamics, and circumstances that lead to the fulfillment and realization of your potential. You can’t leave it up to your environment or blame other people if you don’t succeed. Success is up to you. You have to find a way to make it happen and they work for it, no excuses. Nobody is going to hand it to you.
Thinking negative is one of the easiest things to do in the world. Anyone can comfortably say and conclude things like “it can’t be done”, “it’s impossible”, “you can’t do it”, “you’ll never succeed”, “it’s not going to work” because it makes life easier. It keeps you in your comfort zone.
To contrarily think that things can be done, you can succeed, you can do it, and it is possible requires the confession that you are going to have to get up and get to work. You are going to have to get uncomfortable and take action. You are going to have to face the reality that change can occur, but unlike negative change, you will be a catalyst for positive change as now you open the door to accomplish your goals and achieve your objectives with positive thinking.
The worst thing you can do on the path to your achievements is to underestimate yourself, which will result in you quitting and giving up. It is all too easy to do this. Instead, you must catch yourself by being aware of your thoughts at any given time a negative pattern comes into your mind. Most of the time, negative thoughts are irrational and can occur by fear, insecurities, or even thought patterns you are not aware of that may have been influenced by your environment and those you are surrounded by.
The best part about the tool and resource strategy of positive thinking is that you can use it any time, immediately, at the drop of a dime to propel you to take actions that can help you to make progress in the path to your goals and potential. For example, find any excuse at this moment that is stopping you from doing work or getting done any work you know you need to do to move you toward achievement. Now, implant a positive thought in replacement of it. You can do this at any time when you find yourself falling into a negative, unproductive mentality. The most common and effective one is the simplest to utilize. That is- “You can do it”. Tell yourself you can do it, and suddenly you will find yourself continuously taking action and getting work done, which will eventually lead you to enabling yourself to….do it and succeed.
Integrity is a word that encompasses a broad array of ideas, but mostly it should be interpreted as “keeping your word” or “doing what you say you are going to do”. Becoming undone and giving up is not associated with integrity. One who possesses integrity will withstand all obstacles that come their way because they will “stay true” to themselves and what they set out to do.
This is incredibly important if you are to achieve your goals and not become one of the many underachievers who settle for less and mediocrity. Of course, you must first identify and clarify what it is you want and what to do, but once you do you must then move onto the commitment to seeing these goals through. When you possess integrity, you can be rest assured you will never give up because you are a “person of your word”. You trust yourself and that you will somehow find a way to accomplish what it is you set out to do, no matter what. You will not “sell out” for something else you don’t want. You are a person of your word.
Followers vs. Leaders
Achieving your goals will most likely require you to become a leader. The most successful people who are constantly thriving and achieving new things are usually those who refuse to follow the crowd. As explained earlier in the article, the norms of “the crowd” are usually saturated in mediocrity. Successful people know this and they understand this. They know that if they follow the crowd, then they can never get any farther than the crowd. The only way in which they can excel and advance to their goals is by becoming the leader that they are.
Deep down, everyone possesses leadership abilities and qualities. But it’s just a matter of if they will get them out or not. It is all too easy to just follow the crowd and do what everyone else is doing. Your leadership will develop to its’ max when you finally decide what goals you are absolutely committed to achieving. If you don’t define exactly what it is you want to do, or your objectives, then you will just end up doing what everyone else is doing. It’s that simple.
Think of a current in the ocean. All lifeless embodiments automatically “go with the flow”. If you are drifting at sea, then you will definitely enable the current to take you to wherever it desires. But if you set a clear, strong direction in which you want to go, then you can get out of the current and move toward what it is you want to do. If you don’t decide exactly what you want, then you will never have it and you will just end up doing what everyone else does. Once again, it is imperative to see and understand your individual uniqueness and difference for this strategy and philosophy to work. The essence of success and personal achievement is to identify what it is you want to do, not to fit in and follow the crowd and do what everyone else is doing.
The best way to unlocking your leadership potential is to get clear one hundred percent about exactly what it is you want to accomplish. Then, once you do this, you will begin to do the work necessary in order to see it through. While focused and honed in on exactly what it is you want to fulfill, you will no longer be influenced by the underachieving behaviors by those around you.
Write down your top 3 goals you want to achieve this year:
Now that you’ve clarified exactly what it is you wish to accomplish, immediately begin to work on them. Write down 5 things you can do this week that will help and enable you to better accomplish them. They can be little things like research and reading or big things like hiring a personal trainer.
Once you have identified these things, now you have your “direction” established. You are no longer drifting in the wind, allowing your environment to dictate your direction and what you can be and do. You are now moving toward YOUR goals, and now your leadership is back operating at its’ potential.
Now, get to work!