The Mindset Of Success

One of my daughters experienced major depression in her teens, which prevented her from completing her HSC. As all of her friends went off to University she struggled to get through each day. When she sought full time work a few years later, with very little experience, she started on a salary of $50,000 a year, more than some of her friends who had graduated from University were receiving. Within three years she moved up to managing and marketing a large medical practice and her salary doubled. When she moved overseas a two-week temp assignment turned into full time work, and she stayed in that job until her visa ran out. She was earning five times more per hour than her fellow travellers who took on waitressing jobs.

Laura is a hard worker and is very intelligent, but so are many other people, the reason Laura has been able to succeed at anything she does is her mindset – she believes she can have anything she sets her mind to, and a positive mindset supports you to recognise opportunities.

Dr Richard Wiseman, author of The Luck Factor, carried out an interesting experiment with two groups of people. One group consisted of people who considered themselves ‘lucky’. The second group was made up of people who considered themselves to be ‘unlucky’. Both groups were asked to count the number of photographs that appeared in a newspaper. The people who considered themselves unlucky took several minutes to complete this exercise as they flipped through each page and counted the photographs. On average the group who considered themselves to be lucky only took several seconds to complete the task. The reason for this was that most of them had stopped on the second page of the newspaper after seeing the message: “Stop counting: there are 43 photographs in this newspaper”.

The people conducting the experiment concluded that people who believe they are lucky are always on the lookout for unexpected good fortune, whilst those who believe they are unlucky have closed minds, and therefore miss opportunities.


Your perception of life influences every choice you make. Perception determines how happy you will be, how hard or easy life will be and how successful you are. Just because you have taken on beliefs that may limit you doesn’t mean that the rest of your life has to be restricted by those beliefs. Our brains are continually changing as a result of our daily experiences.

You can change your life by changing your decisions but anyone who has made the decision to quit smoking or lose weight knows it isn’t always that simple. However, support that decision with your daily choices and a success mindset can occur quite easily.

Choices are made when you have two or more options. For instance, if you experience a setback you can choose to look for the opportunity in that experience or you can use this setback as an excuse to stop trying. The first choice supports you, the second choice doesn’t. When you establish the habit of always acting on the choice that supports you, you begin to establish habits which allow you to be successful at everything you undertake.

The Mindset Of Success

Whenever you learn something new, such as learning to tie your shoes, ride a bike or drive a car your brain sets up a neural pathway associated with that action. At first that neural pathway is weak and you may have to really focus on what you are doing to be able to do it. The more you repeat that action the stronger the neural pathway becomes and before long you can carry out that action without conscious thought. Most people believe that what happens to them determines how they feel but that is not the case, your neural pathways produce neurochemicals so your actions and reactions determine how you feel.

Around 30 minutes a day is all it takes to establish a new neural pathway. So you need to act as if you believe you can have what you want until such time that acting in this way becomes an automatic response.

How To Achieve Your Goals When You Don’t Have The Money

When you know you can have your goals and heart’s desires you are excited, you feel happy, you get ready for what you want to come into your life. You look forward to it. When you don’t believe you can have what you want you may say you want something, then worry, complain, blame and focus on all the reasons why you can’t have what it. You may talk about what you want with people who can’t help you.

When you believe you can have your desires you prepare for it. You do your research, training, or whatever it takes so that you will be ready when opportunity comes. We would all like to know how we are going to achieve our goals but very few people do at first. Not knowing is what prevents most people from ever getting started. Put your need to know aside, then take one step after another that will help you achieve your goal.

Some of the things we say are so familiar that we don’t even notice them, and although I am very conscious of what I say most of the time, every now and then something slips out that shows me that I have a belief I need to change. At one time I was making a large amount of money and paying out a large amount of money on home renovations when I said to my daughter, ‘I’m not looking forward to the money being gone’.

I wasn’t even aware of what I had said until my daughter looked horrified and said, ‘Mum, did you hear what you said?’

How To Achieve Your Goals When You Don’t Have The Money

A habit I established years ago, which has served me well, is that I always prepare for what I want. If I need more money, I put money aside for that goal on a regular basis, no matter how small. To me saving even small amounts is a sign of faith that I will get what I want. When I do this the money always comes.

Sometimes preparation takes other forms, I might set up my environment, do a course, or research a holiday it doesn’t really matter what the preparation is as long as it supports the goal that you want to achieve.

Another habit that has served me well is to not talk about my finances. Years ago, when I was poor, I continually talked about the lack of money in my life with my girlfriends. When I became aware that this habit was keeping me stuck I stopped doing it. I made the decision that I would not tell anyone, except those closest to me who need to know, about my financial situation. If you think of money as your best friend, and it can certainly add to the quality of your life, you would not be talking about your best friend to everyone.

There have been many times when the only person who has believed in my goals and dreams is me, and that is okay. The key to success is to act as if you believe you can have what you want. You may not always feel confident, that is perfectly natural, but repeated, consistent action will produce the results you desire.

Ready – Fire – Aim

Motivational speaker and author, Jack Canfield recommends a strategy which would probably horrify a lot of perfectionists, but it’s one that I love.   It’s called ‘Ready, Fire, Aim.’ Jack says that too many people spend their whole life aiming and never firing. They are always getting ready, getting it perfect. The quickest way to hit a target is to fire, see where the bullet lands, then adjust your aim accordingly. If the hit was two inches above the target, lower your aim a little and fire again. Keep firing and keep readjusting. Soon you are will hit the bull’s-eye. The same is true for anything’[1].

I have used this strategy for all of my adult life and I don’t believe I would have the business I do today if I did not. The job that changed the direction of my life was as a financial planner and manager of a women’s advisory service called The Financial Woman.This role started in 1984 when it wasn’t easy for women to get home loans and business loans usually required a male guarantor. Many older women didn’t even know how to write a cheque and ATMs were relatively new and scared a lot of women.

The Financial Woman was launched in a blaze of publicity promoting me as the expert on women’s financial matters. At that stage, I hadn’t even seen a client. It’s not that I wasn’t qualified for the job I was, it was just a very new industry. I was one of the first women authorised to give financial advice. I had a background in working with investments. I had been in business for myself. I had an accounting background, although I didn’t have the official qualifications I had completed the Securities Industry course and specialised training.

Ready – Fire – Aim

I was ready for the opportunity when it came and to expand my knowledge I attended individual training sessions with my new employer while working out my notice period at my old job. Even though I attended trainings several nights a week, I still went to bed each night with investment prospectuses. It was a scary time as I was way outside my comfort zone, I made mistakes and I corrected them as I went along.

Life is a journey, if we wait to be perfect we never move forward and not much changes. ‘Ready, Fire, Aim’ it is a strategy that really works.

[1] Jack Canfield, The Success Principles, 2004.

What You Always Want Is a Feeling

Whenever you set any goal what you are seeking is a feeling.

When you understand these feelings it’s easier to make choices that make you happy over the longer term. For instance, most people get married because they want to feel loved and possibly secure. Yet one third of marriages end in divorce. This is a clear indicator that marriage, for those people, didn’t fulfil their needs. Sometimes it’s impossible to achieve a goal in exactly the way you want but you can always achieve the feeling. The feeling is the real goal. When you place your attention on the feelings you want to create rather than a specific goal, you usually find that you have more choices.

By asking yourself what makes you happy, then aligning your answers with a value you will gain a clearer understanding of what you really want.

For instance: If spending time with friends makes you happy, your value could be love or companionship. If always having money available makes you happy, you could value security or possibly freedom. If you love writing, music, or art you could value beauty, self-expression or creativity depending upon whether you are part of the creative process or a person who enjoys the end result.

I’ve found that when it comes to work goals the vast majority of people go to work for the social interaction with others. People who value relationships at work have a vast array of career choices available to them. However, there are jobs which provide casual interaction with others and there are relationships you can form with a client or co-worker which are more meaningful. People who value casual interactions could be happy in a job, such as a bank teller or a shop assistant, or any role where they would get to chat with people, even co-workers regularly.

People who value more meaningful relationships at work, or who want to make a difference, would gain more from being a counsellor, teacher, life coach, financial planner, nurse, or any role where they work one-on-one with people, usually in a supportive role. Or, they could flourish in an environment where they work in a team.

What I wasn’t aware of when I started my small businesses was that I was trying to find work that provided me with freedom and matched my personal values.  That is why working in the corporate world was never a good fit for me because I often didn’t agree with the ethics of the organisations I worked for. At one time I worked in the customer service department of an investment company and a sweet old lady asked, “Dear, do you think this is the best place to put my money?”

Quite frankly I didn’t think it was, but if I said that I would have lost my job. Doing work where I make a difference is something I really value, so I needed to find work where I could be true to my personal values while at the same time help others. Creating a business that meets my needs has transformed work from being a job that I do for money, into work that I am so passionate about, I never intend to retire.

My hairdresser’s son, who is 13-years-old, wants to be an actor. He is so passionate about performing he clearly values work content. People who value work content often know specifically what they want to do from a young age. Was there something you wanted to do as a child? One of my clients told me that as a child she used to go from door-to-door offering to sing for money. As an adult she became a very successful singer.

For some people where they work is most important, they value the environment they work in, for example this could mean working outdoors, or in a variety of different environments. I have a lovely young man who assists me with my garden. After finishing school, he went to university and obtained a business degree. When he finished his degree he couldn’t face the prospect of working in an office so he now works as a landscaper and gardener. He has two passions, surfing and travel. His work allows him to work intensively, and then take off overseas every few months. He never experiences winter as he always follows the sun. He said, “It’s a wonderful way to live”.

If you don’t know what you want, then think about what you don’t want and write it down. Then when your list is complete write down the opposite of what you don’t want.

For instance, if you don’t want to be around negative people you know you want to work and socialise with positive people. If you don’t want to worry about money you know that financial security and possibly freedom needs to be a top priority. A lot of the time most people know what they want, they just don’t have a label for it.

Focus on the Outcome

In his book Spiritual Liberation, Michael Beckwith tells the story of one of the students in Agape’s University of Transformational Studies and Leadership classes.

Donna was suffering from kidney disease and was on the waiting list for a transplant. She asked the class to pray that she would be moved up the list. Michael suggested that they pray to heal the kidneys she already had and Donna told him that her kidney disease was so rare that it couldn’t be healed. She asked again that they pray that she be moved up the transplant list. Michael suggested that while they were waiting for her to be moved up the transplant list that they do an experiment in prayer to see what they could do about healing her existing kidneys. She agreed.

Michael asked the group to give thanks every time they went to the bathroom for their healthy functioning kidneys and to give thanks for Donna’s healthy functioning kidneys. A few months later Donna tearfully told the group that her kidneys had spontaneously begun functioning normally and they have continued to do so.

When we become fixated on how to achieve our goals we often don’t see opportunities that are right in front of us.  Or, we unwittingly focus on how to solve a problem, or change a situation, and our focus is on exactly what we don’t want. This is where most people misunderstand the law of attraction.

To be able to attract what you want into your life you need to ensure that your thoughts, words and actions all align with what you want to create.

Take the example of a man who really wants a new job because he hates his current job.  If he wakes up each morning with a sinking feeling at the thought of going to work, he is pushing his ideal work away from him.  If, as the day proceeds he thinks about the things he dislikes in his current job or his life in general, he won’t recognise opportunities that are right in front of him. If he comes home at the end of the day and complains about his job, he is not going to be someone most people would want to go out of their way to offer a promotion to, because he has a poor attitude.

Many people act like this man thinking that a change in job will fix anything, but the change needs to begin within first.

If this same man woke up each day and gave thanks that he will soon be doing work that he loves, he will start drawing that work to him.  Then while he is at work as well as carrying on his regular duties, he gets ready to leave by making sure everything is up to date and preparing written instructions for the person following him.  At the end of each day he leaves feeling as though he has done the best he can.  This man is focusing on what he wants therefore drawing it to him by being congruent.

When you are open to something better coming along you will find that life gets so much easier.