Stop whining. Learn to fail fast. Start putting in work.
Envision and keep a superior dream in sight.
Slaying Sacred Cows
I'm going to hurt some feelings, but stick with me on this, as I have your best interests in mind and I want to see you succeed.
Wage gaps. Gender and racial discrimination in the workplace. These are some of the many things we're inundated with in the media, politics, and seemingly everywhere. We can debate statistics until we're blue in the face. Most of us don't have the time to debunk every single potentially biased and potentially pseudo-scientific study. Real life just doesn't have to be that difficult. At the end of the day, there are still fundamental truths that get marginalized, resulting in nothing conducive to success actually happening. I'm going to tell you why NONE of that matters.
You see, you're a victim. You're victimized by various groups of people, based on their biases. You're a victim because of who you are. You're a victim because nearly every sociopolitical outlet is inundating you with statistics and supposed reasons as to your victimhood. Yes, you're a victim...until you realize that you aren't, and you decide to start WINNING.
Real life isn't fair, and it can be difficult. Everyone is different. Everyone faces their own individual battle. Welcome to the real world, where everyone has equal opportunity, but everyone is in fact different. That's the great thing about individualism, and one of the reasons that the USA is so phenomenally unique among ALL other countries past and present. Namely, we value the power of the INDIVIDUAL over ALL else. You see, when you're "grouped" together with others, often it is to the detriment of YOUR individuality. Your value and capability tends to come second to the group. From a standpoint of achieving a superior psychological state conducive to success, "group think" is a losing battle, and I'm going to tell you why.
When it comes to the subject of human performance and achievement, there is actually a significant degree of scientific study out there. Much of this study has been focused on the application of success in sports and other highly competitive fields, but most of the same fundamentals remain true for most applications. In a previous post on the science of human performance, I detailed some of those fundamentals and how you can use them to really start improving your success. I'd also like to reiterate that, if you haven't read it yet, The Talent Code by Daniel Coyle is an excellent book that goes into much greater detail on the subject.
When you believe you're a victim, you've already adopted a losing mindset. Approaching ANY endeavor with such a mindset is a recipe for failure, or at best, marginal and inconsistent results. Even when starting from the absolute depths of the human condition, we see examples of people dragging themselves out of it and moving on to success every day. You just have to strive to envision and focus on that superior goal, put in serious work, and struggle to maintain that winner's mindset.
This is NOT a hollow, feel-good message. Not everyone is going to succeed. It will take serious work. You will miss fun, extracurricular events with your friends. You will make many different types of sacrifices. I never said it was easy. Everyone faces their own challenges and adversity. The one thing you musn't do is sacrifice that superior mindset and superior goal.
Putting It Into Action
So back to that TL;DR version. How can we start making sense out of this sociopolitical onslaught and start achieving a more successful mentality?
- First, STOP WHINING
Seriously. Stop whining about how it isn't possible because of someone or something else. No one wants to hear it, and if it's YOU that's doing it, that's valuable time and effort that could have been spent fostering a mindset for success. Instead, when someone says you "can't", I want you to tell them that YOU'RE not a victim. Remember, success is the best revenge. When you hear "can't", put in that much more effort and smile, for your success is on the road.
- Learn to fail FAST
One of the most important traits a person can have or learn to attain is acknowledging their own failures immediately, learning from them quickly, and moving past them just as quickly. Dwelling on them is wasted time. This is never easy, as focusing your mind's eye on your failures long enough to learn from them is sometimes like staring into the sun. What really helps here is putting effort into learning to LIKE destroying your own ego, so that you can build it back up again.
- Start putting in work
You will have to make sacrifices. Work long hours. Work weekends. Get 4 hours of sleep. Push your mind and body farther than you ever thought possible. Learn to say NO, and learn self-deprivation. Instead of spending every weekend or off-day hanging out, consider consistently spending a few of them doing productive things. For example, constantly seek out education. Heck, there's tons of free or inexpensive courses available online now, with the rise of the MOOC (Massive Open Online Course) phenomenon. There's a few at the bottom of this post about determination.
- Envision and focus on a superior dream
If you can't see it, you will never achieve it. It's important to develop a mental image of what you want to accomplish, and where you want to be in life. It will set the stage for your future success, and will determine the degree in which you achieve it. Here's a serious golden nugget on this factor. Don't get too crazy with the "self-help" thing, as the extreme end of that spectrum is perpetually reading self-help books.....without actually helping one's self. Don't waste time getting caught up looking for "the perfect guide" to success. Pick a few things, learn from them, find a few examples for inspiration, then take it...and RUN with it. Remember, you have miles to go before you sleep.
1,000 words, and I commend those of you that made it this far. This message was for all of you, and hopefully even the "scanners" got the gist and are off and running with some newfound self-empowerment. From the Jobs2Careers crew to all of you, here's to you deciding to stuff all the negativity and chase after that dream!