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5 Mental Skills That The Most Successful Visionaries Master

5 Mental Skills That The Most Successful Visionaries Master

We all crave success. Our own definition of success drives us, causes us to fret, infuriates us at times, and inspires us! We all have people who we look up to as meeting our definition of success. Most people have a grandiose vision for their success definitions. However, translating the vision to action and attainment is where most people lack and fall behind. The grandiose vision remains a vision for a long time, until they feel frustrated and dejected and dissolve the vision or make it more “realistic.”

However, there are people who have much grander visions than most and are able to achieve them. They plough their way through obstacles of all kinds, climb mountains unimaginable to us, and cross seas that we wouldn’t dare consider. What gives these people the strength, courage, and conviction to fulfill their vision and achieve success? The answer is mental skills. These people have mastered the below mental skills that give them everything they need, when they need it.

Here are 7 mental skills that the most successful visionaries are able to master.

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1. Comfort with Ambiguity

Ambiguity and uncertainty causes people to shiver and stay put. As an example, why do you think most of corporate America is stuck in jobs they hate? They would rather stay where they are and suffer and complain than take a leap into an unknown, uncertain, and ambiguous next step.

Successful visionaries, on the other hand, are comfortable with ambiguity. Ambiguity doesn’t scare them. They may or may not seek ambiguity, but when faced with an ambiguous situation, they are able to calmly plough through it. This is an important skill to master in order to be successful. Success is on the edge of our comfort zone. Taking a risk, a leap, and moving into unknown territory often gives us a chance to find our inner strength, one that we are not even aware exists! As long as we stay in our comfort zone, we are never going to be able to tap into our inner strength and other skills we may possess.

How to master this skill? Seek new experiences and, whenever possible, step out of your comfort zone. Speak to new people, try different cuisines, try new activities, volunteer at new places in new roles, read new books. These are just a few ways to start getting comfortable with ambiguity.

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2. The 30,000-Ft View

Successful visionaries are truly able to see things from a vantage point that most are not able to see from — the 30,000-ft view. Be it their life, their career, their relationships, or anything for that matter, they are able to see how things fit into the grand scheme of things, what matters most, and it guides their vision. While most people are floundering around, saying “I don’t know what I want in my life or career or relationships,” these visionaries are able to have a clear view of their life. They have the clarity to see exactly where they are and where they want to be. This gives them a leg up to get to where they want.

How to master this skill? Write down your visions everyday. Assume you are at a 30,000-ft viewpoint and write it. You may feel lost doing so , but attempt it everyday for a couple months. Brian Tracy advocates writing and re-writing your top 10 goals every day. The clarity you will gain over time will help in shaping your vision and give you that vantage view that you are missing now.

3. Resilience

Just like a stretched rubber band that bounces back to its original shape, successful visionaries are resilient. They bounce back from failures and difficulties. They do not let tough situations pull them down. They are able to keep going towards their vision, irrespective of any obstacles. This is a crucial skill to master. Most people give up on their dreams after their first failure or difficulty —as they say, “When the going gets tough, the tough get going.”

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How to master this skill? Start observing what your attitude towards tough situations is. Do you tend to give up easily? Do you feel scared or frustrated and resort back to the comfortable? Once you identify where you stand on the resilience spectrum, then you can take steps to improve it. Consciously work on becoming more adaptable and flexible in all situations. Positivity and hope, when added to the mix, will boost your resilience factor. Lastly, using every situation as a learning experience and identifying what can be done better next time are key strategies to mastering this skill.

4. Don’t Reinvent The Wheel

Successful visionaries are adept at this. They know and understand all aspects of a problem and are thorough in identifying what has already been worked on. They do not let ego get in the way and are comfortable leveraging a solution, or part of a solution if one already exists.

How to master this skill? Learn to thoroughly understand and analyze all aspects of a problem. Start doing it in daily settings with smaller issues. Then, learn to research and see what solutions exist and if any of those solutions will work in your situation. Practice leads to competence. So, practice this at every opportunity you get.

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5. Master the 7C’s

Live the 7C’s — Confidence, Competence, Courage, Compassion, Creativity, Curiosity, and Commitment. Each C is a mental skill that successful visionaries rely on to be successful.

How to master the 7C’s? Practice each of the 7C’s and set constant reminders until each one becomes a part of you. If you are not naturally curious, force yourself to be curious and ask relevant questions. If you are not confident, fake your confidence and work on other strategies to increase your confidence. If you are not creative, start with simple exercises — doodle and sketch often, engage with children in role-playing games, try the 30 circle exercise (basically, to make an object of each of the circles in a given time).

Which of these skills are you going to master first? I’d love to hear!

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Featured photo credit: Pixabay via pixabay.com

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Last Updated on July 21, 2021

The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder Work)

The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder Work)

No matter how well you set up your todo list and calendar, you aren’t going to get things done unless you have a reliable way of reminding yourself to actually do them.

Anyone who’s spent an hour writing up the perfect grocery list only to realize at the store that they forgot to bring the list understands the importance of reminders.

Reminders of some sort or another are what turn a collection of paper goods or web services into what David Allen calls a “trusted system.”[1]

A lot of people resist getting better organized. No matter what kind of chaotic mess, their lives are on a day-to-day basis because they know themselves well enough to know that there’s after all that work they’ll probably forget to take their lists with them when it matters most.

Fortunately, there are ways to make sure we remember to check our lists — and to remember to do the things we need to do, whether they’re on a list or not.

In most cases, we need a lot of pushing at first, for example by making a reminder, but eventually we build up enough momentum that doing what needs doing becomes a habit — not an exception.

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From Creating Reminders to Building Habits

A habit is any act we engage in automatically without thinking about it.

For example, when you brush your teeth, you don’t have to think about every single step from start to finish; once you stagger up to the sink, habit takes over (and, really, habit got you to the sink in the first place) and you find yourself putting toothpaste on your toothbrush, putting the toothbrush in your mouth (and never your ear!), spitting, rinsing, and so on without any conscious effort at all.

This is a good thing because if you’re anything like me, you’re not even capable of conscious thought when you’re brushing your teeth.

The good news is you already have a whole set of productivity habits you’ve built up over the course of your life. The bad news is, a lot of them aren’t very good habits.

That quick game Frogger to “loosen you up” before you get working, that always ends up being 6 hours of Frogger –– that’s a habit. And as you know, habits like that can be hard to break — which is one of the reasons why habits are so important in the first place.

Once you’ve replaced an unproductive habit with a more productive one, the new habit will be just as hard to break as the old one was. Getting there, though, can be a chore!

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The old saw about anything you do for 21 days becoming a habit has been pretty much discredited, but there is a kernel of truth there — anything you do long enough becomes an ingrained behavior, a habit. Some people pick up habits quickly, others over a longer time span, but eventually, the behaviors become automatic.

Building productive habits, then, is a matter of repeating a desired behavior over a long enough period of time that you start doing it without thinking.

But how do you remember to do that? And what about the things that don’t need to be habits — the one-off events, like taking your paycheck stubs to your mortgage banker or making a particular phone call?

The trick to reminding yourself often enough for something to become a habit, or just that one time that you need to do something, is to interrupt yourself in some way in a way that triggers the desired behavior.

The Wonderful Thing About Triggers — Reminders

A trigger is anything that you put “in your way” to remind you to do something. The best triggers are related in some way to the behavior you want to produce.

For instance, if you want to remember to take something to work that you wouldn’t normally take, you might place it in front of the door so you have to pick it up to get out of your house.

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But anything that catches your attention and reminds you to do something can be a trigger. An alarm clock or kitchen timer is a perfect example — when the bell rings, you know to wake up or take the quiche out of the oven. (Hopefully you remember which trigger goes with which behavior!)

If you want to instill a habit, the thing to do is to place a trigger in your path to remind you to do whatever it is you’re trying to make into a habit — and keep it there until you realize that you’ve already done the thing it’s supposed to remind you of.

For instance, a post-it saying “count your calories” placed on the refrigerator door (or maybe on your favorite sugary snack itself)  can help you remember that you’re supposed to be cutting back — until one day you realize that you don’t need to be reminded anymore.

These triggers all require a lot of forethought, though — you have to remember that you need to remember something in the first place.

For a lot of tasks, the best reminder is one that’s completely automated — you set it up and then forget about it, trusting the trigger to pop up when you need it.

How to Make a Reminder Works for You

Computers and ubiquity of mobile Internet-connected devices make it possible to set up automatic triggers for just about anything.

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Desktop software like Outlook will pop up reminders on your desktop screen, and most online services go an extra step and send reminders via email or SMS text message — just the thing to keep you on track. Sandy, for example, just does automatic reminders.

Automated reminders can help you build habits — but it can also help you remember things that are too important to be trusted even to habit. Diabetics who need to take their insulin, HIV patients whose medication must be taken at an exact time in a precise order, phone calls that have to be made exactly on time, and other crucial events require triggers even when the habit is already in place.

My advice is to set reminders for just about everything — have them sent to your mobile phone in some way (either through a built-in calendar or an online service that sends updates) so you never have to think about it — and never have to worry about forgetting.

Your weekly review is a good time to enter new reminders for the coming weeks or months. I simply don’t want to think about what I’m supposed to be doing; I want to be reminded so I can think just about actually doing it.

I tend to use my calendar for reminders, mostly, though I do like Sandy quite a bit.

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Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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Reference

[1] Getting Things Done: Trusted System

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