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You Don’t Need To Master Any Skill To Succeed (With This Mix And Match Approach)

You Don’t Need To Master Any Skill To Succeed (With This Mix And Match Approach)

With the digital entrepreneurship allowing everyone to achieve worldwide success, stories and myths on how to achieve it have been the most popular reads. The formula seems simple – you find your driving passion and you put enough hours of hard work into it, and success is inevitable. This sounds like a good plan, until you actually start implementing it. You can soon discover that you cannot always find that one passion, or skill, that makes you superior, and better than most people. You can easily get discouraged once you start your research and find that whatever it is you are good at, there are so many people that are at least ten times better than you. That’s where the plan tends to fall apart.

Why the “traditional” approach doesn’t work

The reason many people give up or never sum up enough courage to start working towards their idea of success, is because the “traditional” approach is flawed from the start. Firstly, so many people buy into the idea of one true purpose or passion they need to fulfill and therefore, they give it too much significance. So many times they are reluctant to even try, because their initial idea doesn’t seem great enough. This results in them not being aware of the many amazing opportunities that can eventually lead them there, since they are blindly chasing the one big dream. Additionally, the pressure of dedicating all of our time to developing and nurturing that one skill that separates us from the rest of the world, becomes too big of a burden for many of us, leading us to doubt whether we have any skill or passion at all.

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The Mix and Match Approach

Yet, the success game can be quite easily achieved only if we take a different perspective. As it was brilliantly presented in an article by a successful entrepreneur Oliver Emberton, there is a different, much more effective approach that guarantees success. Guarantees, yes, since it has been derived by analyzing the road to success of some of today’s most successful people. The approach suggests not being focused on having the one skill that can set you apart from everybody else, but the trick is to combine a couple of complementary skills that don’t need to be perfected, in order to achieve great things in any field that you choose.

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The author suggests taking an objective analysis of the work of some of the most successful people in any area, and you will be able to realize that for most of them, their extraordinary talent is not the sole reason of their mega success. Almost always there is a combination of a few key skills needed for success in the niche.

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If we take a look at the music industry, so rarely can we see the best singers to be the most successful ones. More often, the truly successful ones are those who have optimal singing potential, combined with great self-confidence, attractive personality, good looks, great sense for business, and so on.

How you can implement the approach

The same goes for any field you may want to try your luck in. For example, if you want to achieve great academic success, skills that you need to possess don’t need to include having a particularly high IQ, instead, you would want to test yourself for organizational skills, time management, hard work, motivation, and perseverance.

Therefore, no matter if you are just starting out as an entrepreneur, or a new face at a large corporation, or you have been looking for your great business breakthrough for quite some time, you might want to try the mix and match approach before you start your journey to success. Make sure to analyze the field of your choice and come up with the mix of skills needed to be developed in order to achieve great success. Once you are confident enough about your abilities, it is time to go for your dreams.

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More by this author

Ana Erkic

Social Media Consultant, Online Marketing Strategist, Copywriter, CEO and Co-Founder of Growato

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Last Updated on July 17, 2019

The Science of Setting Goals (And How It Affects Your Brain)

The Science of Setting Goals (And How It Affects Your Brain)

What happens in our heads when we set goals?

Apparently a lot more than you’d think.

Goal setting isn’t quite so simple as deciding on the things you’d like to accomplish and working towards them.

According to the research of psychologists, neurologists, and other scientists, setting a goal invests ourselves into the target as if we’d already accomplished it. That is, by setting something as a goal, however small or large, however near or far in the future, a part of our brain believes that desired outcome is an essential part of who we are – setting up the conditions that drive us to work towards the goals to fulfill the brain’s self-image.

Apparently, the brain cannot distinguish between things we want and things we have. Neurologically, then, our brains treat the failure to achieve our goal the same way as it treats the loss of a valued possession. And up until the moment, the goal is achieved, we have failed to achieve it, setting up a constant tension that the brain seeks to resolve.

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Ideally, this tension is resolved by driving us towards accomplishment. In many cases, though, the brain simply responds to the loss, causing us to feel fear, anxiety, even anguish, depending on the value of the as-yet-unattained goal.

Love, Loss, Dopamine, and Our Dreams

The brains functions are carried out by a stew of chemicals called neurotransmitters. You’ve probably heard of serotonin, which plays a key role in our emotional life – most of the effective anti-depressant medications on the market are serotonin reuptake inhibitors, meaning they regulate serotonin levels in the brain leading to more stable moods.

Somewhat less well-known is another neurotransmitter, dopamine. Among other things, dopamine acts as a motivator, creating a sensation of pleasure when the brain is stimulated by achievement. Dopamine is also involved in maintaining attention – some forms of ADHD are linked to irregular responses to dopamine.[1]

So dopamine plays a key role in keeping us focused on our goals and motivating us to attain them, rewarding our attention and achievement by elevating our mood. That is, we feel good when we work towards our goals.

Dopamine is related to wanting – to desire. The attainment of the object of our desire releases dopamine into our brains and we feel good. Conversely, the frustration of our desires starves us of dopamine, causing anxiety and fear.

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One of the greatest desires is romantic love – the long-lasting, “till death do us part” kind. It’s no surprise, then, that romantic love is sustained, at least in part, through the constant flow of dopamine released in the presence – real or imagined – of our true love. Loss of romantic love cuts off that supply of dopamine, which is why it feels like you’re dying – your brain responds by triggering all sorts of anxiety-related responses.

Herein lies obsession, as we go to ever-increasing lengths in search of that dopamine reward. Stalking specialists warn against any kind of contact with a stalker, positive or negative, because any response at all triggers that reward mechanism. If you let the phone ring 50 times and finally pick up on the 51st ring to tell your stalker off, your stalker gets his or her reward, and learns that all s/he has to do is wait for the phone to ring 51 times.

Romantic love isn’t the only kind of desire that can create this kind of dopamine addiction, though – as Captain Ahab (from Moby Dick) knew well, any suitably important goal can become an obsession once the mind has established ownership.

The Neurology of Ownership

Ownership turns out to be about a lot more than just legal rights. When we own something, we invest a part of ourselves into it – it becomes an extension of ourselves.

In a famous experiment at Cornell University, researchers gave students school logo coffee mugs, and then offered to trade them chocolate bars for the mugs. Very few were willing to make the trade, no matter how much they professed to like chocolate. Big deal, right? Maybe they just really liked those mugs![2]

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But when they reversed the experiment, handing out chocolate and then offering to trade mugs for the candy, they found that now, few students were all that interested in the mugs. Apparently the key thing about the mugs or the chocolate wasn’t whether students valued whatever they had in their possession, but simply that they had it in their possession.

This phenomenon is called the “endowment effect”. In a nutshell, the endowment effect occurs when we take ownership of an object (or idea, or person); in becoming “ours” it becomes integrated with our sense of identity, making us reluctant to part with it (losing it is seen as a loss, which triggers that dopamine shut-off I discussed above).

Interestingly, researchers have found that the endowment effect doesn’t require actual ownership or even possession to come into play. In fact, it’s enough to have a reasonable expectation of future possession for us to start thinking of something as a part of us – as jilted lovers, gambling losers, and 7-year olds denied a toy at the store have all experienced.

The Upshot for Goal-Setters

So what does all this mean for would-be achievers?

On one hand, it’s a warning against setting unreasonable goals. The bigger the potential for positive growth a goal has, the more anxiety and stress your brain is going to create around it’s non-achievement.

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It also suggests that the common wisdom to limit your goals to a small number of reasonable, attainable objectives is good advice. The more goals you have, the more ends your brain thinks it “owns” and therefore the more grief and fear the absence of those ends is going to cause you.

On a more positive note, the fact that the brain rewards our attentiveness by releasing dopamine means that our brain is working with us to direct us to achievement. Paying attention to your goals feels good, encouraging us to spend more time doing it. This may be why outcome visualization — a favorite technique of self-help gurus involving imagining yourself having completed your objectives — has such a poor track record in clinical studies. It effectively tricks our brain into rewarding us for achieving our goals even though we haven’t done it yet!

But ultimately, our brain wants us to achieve our goals, so that it’s a sense of who we are that can be fulfilled. And that’s pretty good news!

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Featured photo credit: Alexa Williams via unsplash.com

Reference

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