Being a successful thinker means keeping your mind fit for whatever comes your way. It can be more of a daily challenge than keeping your body in shape. But for businesspeople — in every industry — the way we think can fundamentally affect the success of our company. Keeping our thought patterns positive and effective is essential in our day-to-day lives if we are to become successful thinkers.
That’s certainly not an easy task. You can’t just adopt a successful mindset overnight. Here are some simple tips that I’ve found helpful over the years.
1. Reinforce your morning routine.
The way you think when you wake up influences the rest of your day — so it’s important to wake up right. Stay positive by thinking about what you’re looking forward to in the coming day. Even the little things — grabbing your favorite cup of seasonal coffee at Starbucks or seeing a friend at work — can help lighten and focus your mindset. Positive thinking isn’t the only thing you can kickstart right when you wake up. Think about your goals — and ask yourself what you’re going to do, today, to achieve those goals.
2. Don’t take failure too seriously.
“Successful people,” says business writer Lolly Daskal, in an article for Inc, “don’t take failure too seriously. They see failure as an opportunity to begin again, but this time more intelligently. They know it’s not a defining event, and they don’t treat it as a problem unless it begins to become a habit.” Fixating on your failures trains your mind to think negatively instead of positively. Instead, focus on your wins. Every day — think of all the little things that you won, not the things you lost. Learn from your failures, but don’t let them rule you.
3. Make space for gratitude.
One of the healthiest habits to pick up is to always be thankful — to yourself, to other people, and to the universe. The benefits are proven — according to Psychology Today:
“Gratitude opens the door to more relationships. Not only does saying “thank you” constitute good manners, but showing appreciation can help you win new friends, according to a 2014 study published in Emotion. The study found that thanking a new acquaintance makes them more likely to seek an ongoing relationship.”
In fact, gratitude reduces toxic emotions like envy, opens doors for more interpersonal relationships, enhances empathy, and even helps you sleep better. All of these things can be great for your health — and your company’s growth. Gratitude isn’t just an internal mindset. Spread the positivity around, and even incorporate it into your business practices. A simple thank-you email — or better yet, a handwritten note — is a quick and easy way to make space for gratitude in your life.
4. Don’t get stuck trying to fit in boxes.
To a degree, knowing which box you fit in is important. If you’re a textbook company, you know that you have to make textbooks — that’s your area. But you also have to see that the future of textbooks lies in a digital medium. You have to see past your box. According to Ken Aber and Ian Chamandy, founders of Blueprint Business Architecture, “Having a clear, concise, and compelling definition of who you are at your core does two interrelated things: it creates more focus for the organization, which, in turn, enables you to see the full range of opportunities for the company.”
5. Never stop learning.
There’s always more to learn, from people and from the world around us. Change is the only constant, which means adaptation is always necessary. In business, lifelong learning is a must — we learn from our mistakes, learn from our peers, and learn from our competitors. If we keep our minds open to learning, we keep them open to growth. As part of your daily routine, try listening to audiobooks in the car, keeping up with a niche journal online, or keeping your mind spry with the daily crossword or sudoku.
6. Don’t leave things to chance.
Decisiveness is an essential quality of a successful entrepreneur. You can make choices about almost everything in your life — according to Entrepreneur, “Selectivity creates success.” And it’s not just choosing coffee over tea, staples over paperclips. “You must think deeply and intelligently about the bigger picture and what it is you need for each step along the way.” Passively waiting for things to happen, or things to change can be deadly in the competitive business world. Work on being sharp and sure on the little things — coffee, tea, staples, paperclips — and it will help you be decisive on the big things, like new hires and mergers.
7. Internalize your goals.
“When your goals are selected by you,” Entrepreneur states, “you’re more motivated to achieve them.” Your goals should be a part of yourself — the desired achievement like a hidden characteristic that you are trying to unlock. “Each self-selected goal adds a depth and an internal expansion to you as a person.” Every day, you should think about what you’re actively doing to achieve your goals. How does your mindset benefit the achievement? How do your decisions?
8. Always look for a better way.
Productivity and innovation are two cornerstones of business success. We’re always looking for new ways to do things — and do them better. After all, time is money, and finding better avenues for our business helps both ourselves and our customers. You can turn this business necessity into an everyday habit. If you’re always keeping an eye out for a better way — a shortcut on the way home, a cheaper option at the grocery store, a space-saving way to store your shoes — you’ll see these options more quickly when it matters.
The bottom line for Successful Thinking:
Mindsets have valuable sway in your long-term success. Daily habits are great tools for adjusting the way you think to facilitate business growth, creativity, and achievement.
- Do you ever find yourself getting hung up on failures — big and small?
- Do you express gratitude in some way — every day?
- Do you ever avoid making a decision, and figure the problem will work itself out?