An effective mindset is one that makes the best use of available resources – your time, energy and efforts – and uses them to create positive change. It’s not about trying to do everything and be everything; it’s making the very best of what you have while enjoying the process of living.
Here are seven effective traits and behaviors of such a mindset:
1. Enjoys and appreciates the present moment.
Happiness is a mindset that can only be designed into the present. It’s not a point in the future or a moment from the past; but sadly, this misconception hurts the masses. So many young people seem to think that happiness awaits them in the years ahead, while so many older people believe that their best moments are behind them.
The truth is, the greater part of your happiness or misery depends solely upon your attitude towards any given moment, regardless of the events contained within. You need much less than you think you need to be happy, and you usually have a lot more than you think you have. There’s always something worth smiling about. It’s just a matter of thinking differently. Read 1,000 Little Things.
2. Connects inner purpose with outer effort.
The most important thing you can know is what’s most important to you. Your purpose in life is to find your purpose and give yourself to it. As Friedrich Nietzsche so profoundly said, “He who has a why to live for can bear almost any how.” Your purpose is your ‘why.’
You can accomplish almost anything when what you’re trying to accomplish is what you care about. Wear yourself out with focused, disciplined work on a purpose that connects with who you truly are. You have a unique voice and a unique drive that are longing to be expressed. Start living sincerely though this expression and you’ll find the joy and success you’ve been hoping for.
3. Accepts and embraces great challenges.
The most prolific days of your life won’t likely be easy. It’s not in the serenity of your comfort zone or the inactivity of a lazy day that drives greatness. Great demands drive the growth of great virtues. Contending with great challenges forms the foundation of greatness.
Think about a day from your past that ended with a sense of satisfaction. It’s not a day when you lounged around with nothing to do; it’s a day you had more to do than seemed possible, and you did it. When your mind is challenged by duties that engage your purpose, then those great virtues, which would otherwise lay dormant, come to life and help you grow into your greatest self. Read Awaken the Giant Within.
Without discipline, success is impossible, period. Discipline is choosing to do what you know must be done, as often and as long as required. It’s doing the thing you have to do whether you like it or not.
Discipline allows you to control the course of your life. If you do not discipline yourself, someone else – a parent, teacher, boss, society, etc. – will try to do so for you. They will choose what they believe is the best method to instill more self-control in you. But it’s far more advantageous to take control of your own discipline and your own destiny.
Discipline opens up a plethora of options and opportunities which otherwise would not be available to you. With it you can make best possible use of the time and resources available to you, and employ them to create great value for yourself and your world. Whatever you set your sights upon, discipline is the vehicle that will get you there.
5. Remains positive and focused through failure.
Forget about failure. Trying alone is a huge success. Regardless of what you’re trying to do – pay off debt, get in shape, start a business, make a difference in the world, etc. – you have already achieved something wonderful simply by putting forth a worthy effort. If things don’t work out as you had planned, hold your head up high and be proud of the progress you made. Then make the necessary adjustments and try again.
In the end, it’s focused resilience that eventually leads you to your desired result. Once you make a conscious decision to remain positive and persist through your failures, the universe gradually conspires to make your efforts rewarding.
6. Filters and channels anger effectively.
Being angry is easy, and by itself anger gets nothing accomplished. But to funnel your anger into a productive action plan, at the right time, in the right way, and for the right purpose, that’s how you can put your anger to good use.
In other words, you must direct your anger towards specific problems that can be solved, not people or generalized situations. Look for answers and resolutions, not excuses and complaints. Read The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.
7. Willingness and drive to help others.
The best antidote to gloom is constructive work. The most curing work is found in the challenge of helping someone who has less than you do. It’s one of life’s great paradoxes; when you serve others you end up benefiting as much if not more than those you serve.
If you feel stuck in your life because you have lost your direction, shift your focus from your circumstances to the circumstances of those around. As Gandhi once said, “The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.” Instead of asking, “What’s wrong with me?” ask, “How can I help you?” Find someone who could use an extra hand and make an offer they can’t refuse.
When your focus shifts from your own confusion and difficulties, to the confusion and difficulties of others, and you see yourself making a positive difference, it fills you with a sense of meaning and illuminates a clear path to a brighter future.