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Why Some Losers Become Winners, but Others Stay as Losers

Why Some Losers Become Winners, but Others Stay as Losers

We all know Milton Hershey as the founder of Hershey’s chocolate which is one of the best known candies in America. But Hershey actually built up 3 candy companies ending in complete failure before his ultimate success. As a young entrepreneur, Hershey set up his own candy shop with $150 in Philadelphia will little success. Over the next few years he started over again in New York and Chicago but failed both times. Not giving up and convinced he could succeed, he set up the Lancaster Caramel Company and within a few short years, he finally had a thriving business which led him to start the Hershey Chocolate Company which we know and love.

Despite his failures, Hershey used his resilience and belief to carry on and achieve his dreams. While many would have been tempted to give up, drowning in the negativity that failure can bring, Hershey shows how determination, learning and improving is the real recipe for success.

By default, we can’t wait to win

As humans, we are wired to get instant results and it’s all down to survival. In caveman times, survival meant hunting down food and making fires. If we didn’t get immediate results with these, our lives would be at risk.

    Nowadays as individuals, our need for survival and instant results starts from the moment we’re born. Crying is a way of getting the instant attention we need from our parents in order to make sure we’re fed and looked after. Therefore it’s ingrained in us from an early age to get instant results and this stays wired in our brains throughout our lives.

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      But we have to wait and we lose

      In modern times, society has shaped the way we get success. We may want money but we typically only receive our salary after completing a period of work or we only receive a reward after working hard at something. Therefore we’re often forced to work hard and wait in order to get the success we crave and the real threat to our lives that our ancestors faced, has pretty much disappeared.

        So while lack of instant results doesn’t mean a threat to our survival, in our brains, that need is still lurking and our instinct tends to tells us to quit if instant results aren’t apparent.

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          But the key is understanding that the waiting period serves as a crucial time to work harder and improve rather than give up.

          From losing to becoming a loser

          When people fail, they don’t become losers instantly. They become losers as soon as they start to victimize themselves. They tell themselves the ‘facts’ or excuses to justify something negative in their abilities.

          These limiting beliefs are formed from past experiences, mistakes or times they’ve been stuck. They often tell ourselves and others things such as “If I were younger, I would have got this”, or “If they had given me more opportunities, things would have been different.”

          But if they’re being honest, these are the things they tell themselves to justify their failures and no one really cares what they could have done or why they failed. Failure is failure.

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            This isn’t to sound harsh but rather to highlight the fact that we often box ourselves into this idea of failure or label ourselves harshly. In reality, the reason we failed was because we didn’t persevere, keep faith and belief, and used the failure as a way of learning and improving ourselves towards the success we wanted.

            This negative need to reason away our failures doesn’t get us anywhere as Ben Horowitz says in his book The Hard Thing About Hard Things,

            A great reason for failing won’t preserve one dollar for your investors, won’t save one employee’s job, or get you one new customer.

            Act like a winner and move on

            We have to fight against the need to make excuses and quit when failure comes knocking and it’s all down to mindset.

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              It’s natural to think back to past failures and use it as evidence that you’ll never succeed but this is only detrimental to your chances of achieving your dreams. Focus your mind on the goal and do all you can to get there. There will always be roadblocks but the key is to work through the problems, don’t blame, don’t buy into your limiting beliefs but use each bump in the road as a chance to learn something. In other words, think of it as life giving you a solution for you to realise – something only this situation would teach you in order to move further towards success.

              If you want to succeed after failures, start to think like a success person:

              • Widen Your Perspective: The big picture can be hard to see when we’re focused on what’s going on in the present moment. The idea is to realise that each journey to success will always have its ups and downs. When the downs occur it can blindside us into thinking success isn’t possible. Step back and keep your eye on the bigger picture because usually those downs are followed by wonderful ups.
              • Breakdown The Challenge: The big goal can seem daunting at times which is why breaking it down into manageable chunks is the secret to keeping the motivation going. Life is ever-changing and so are our ideas, beliefs and perspectives. With each smaller challenge you overcome you bring a bigger sense of achievement and possibility of the larger outcome and this is where the magic happens – you will slowly but surely see that what you want is possible.

              If you really want to succeed then you must realize that no one really cares about your failures. If you want to move on from your down times, don’t make giving up an option. No matter how much you feel you’re struggling, these are the moments that present the necessary learning curve you need to achieve your big goals.

              Read this article to learn more about how to keep persevering on your journey to big things: The Only Time That Change Doesn’t Make You Better

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              Leon Ho

              Founder & CEO of Lifehack

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              Last Updated on June 24, 2019

              What Is Self Actualization? 13 Traits of a Self-Actualized Person

              What Is Self Actualization? 13 Traits of a Self-Actualized Person

              Have you ever heard of self-actualization? As someone who has been a personal development junkie for several years now, I was shocked to learn about self-actualization recently.

              When I came across the term, I couldn’t help but think, “What is this self-actualization thing, and how have I gone so many years without hearing about it?”

              Maybe you’re in the same boat. Perhaps you’ve read up on tons of other topics like self-limiting beliefs, how to gain more self-awareness, how to be more self-confident, but you’ve never heard of self-actualization.

              Don’t fret! I’m going to give you a crash course on what self-actualization is and which 13 traits are most commonly found in a self-actualized person.

              What is Self Actualization?

              When I explore a new topic, I can’t help but start with examining the definition. This one comes from Google Dictionary:

              “The realization or fulfillment of one’s talents and potentialities, especially considered as a drive or need present in everyone.”

              In my research, I found that the concept of self-actualization came from Abraham Maslow. Maslow was an American psychologist who is best known for his hierarchy of innate human needs. Like all hierarchy’s, Maslow’s hierarchy of needs is listed in order of priority and is often represented as a pyramid.

                At the bottom are physiological needs, such as food and water. Up from there is safety and then belongingness, which would include intimate relationships and friends. Above belongingness is esteem or things like prestige and the feeling of accomplishment.

                On the very top of Maslow’s hierarchy rests self-actualization. And as we’ve seen in the definition, this means that the highest of human needs is to achieve one’s full potential.

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                So, if becoming a self-actualized person means realizing our greatest talents and achieving our greatest potential, how do we go about doing that? How do we achieve self-actualization?

                13 Traits of a Self-Actualized Person

                Let’s start by examining the top 13 traits of a highly self-actualized person and work backward from there.

                1. They Practice Acceptance

                Self-actualized people accept themselves and other people as they are, and they have no expectations for how people should be otherwise. They understand that no one is perfect, and they accept their own quirks, desires, and flaws as well as those of others.

                While many people wish they were different in some way, self-actualized people do not. They love themselves for who they are, and they do not apologize or feel guilt or shame for who they are.

                2. Self-Actualized People Are Authentic and True

                A self-actualized individual has a strong sense of who they are. They have a deep understanding of their beliefs and values, and they live in congruence with those beliefs and values.

                Because they accept and understand themselves, they are authentic and true to themselves. They do not pretend to be anything they are not. Not only are self-actualized people authentic, but they seek authenticity as well, both in people and in the world. They are quick to spot dishonesty.

                3. They Possess a Strong Sense of Realism

                Another characteristic of a self-actualized person is their sense of realism.

                To the average person, self-actualized people seem to have sound judgment or excellent gut instincts, but it’s far more than that. Their ability to logically and rationally evaluate the world allows them to spot dishonesties, fakes, and inconsistencies.

                Self-actualized people seek truth in everything they encounter, which gives then a keen ability to see behind the scenes more often than most people.

                4. They Live in the Here and Now

                Because self-actualized people are accepting and are grounded in reality, they are exceptionally good at living in the here and now. Self-actualized people do have goals, but they don’t focus on the future at the expense of the present.

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                For the self-actualized, the journey towards a goal is just as important as achieving the goal, if not slightly more so.

                5. The Self-Actualized Are Autonomous and Independent

                Self-actualized people are highly independent and do not conform to the norms of society. They do not depend on people, the world, or any external factors for their happiness. Instead, they draw satisfaction from their own development and personal growth.

                They are comfortable being alone, and because they are so independent, self-actualized people are not bothered by the opinions that others may have about them. They accept themselves as they are, and the opinions of others cannot change that.

                6. They Have Excellent Moral Intuition

                Self-actualized people do not allow themselves to be molded by culture or by society. They have an excellent moral compass, and they are deliberate about their decisions. They reject what they see as bad or evil, and they adopt what they see as good.

                Because they are driven by their own moral intuition, they have a strong code of ethics that cannot be swayed by society.

                The self-actualized do not accept everything as black and white, right or wrong, They evaluate all sides of an issue and make their own decisions based on what they believe to be right and just.

                7. Self-Actualize People Seek Growth and Development

                Self-actualized people not only draw happiness from personal growth, but they are also intrinsically motivated to develop their potential.

                They have moved beyond Maslow’s first four hierarchies are no longer motivated by basic human needs. They know that they are capable of more in life and they’re driven to see how much they can grow.

                They also view their growth as a tool to help more people, not just themselves.

                8. They are Problem-Solving, Humanitarians

                Self-actualized people have a genuine desire to help the human race. They are quick to spot problems in the world and, because they are problem solvers, they don’t hesitate to look for solutions.

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                This genuine desire to help is not rooted in personal gain, glory, recognition, or any other self-serving motive. Self-actualized people have a strong sense of purpose and want to leave the world better than they found it.

                9. They Have a Strong Sense of Purpose

                Because self-actualized people are humanitarians and they seek never-ending personal growth. They often times adopt a mission or purpose that is far beyond themselves or their own needs.

                This mission is typically meant to solve a problem for the good of all mankind and gives them a powerful sense of purpose. This purpose demands much of their energy, and they are more than happy to spend their time making a significant impact on the world.

                10. The Self-Actualized Person Seeks Peak Experiences

                Self-actualized people seek frequent peak experiences. These are not everyday experiences of joy—they are experiences that involve a heightened sense of wonder, awe, or ecstasy—a feeling of transcendence.[1]

                Peak performances tend to be highly significant to one’s life. They are fulfilling, thrilling, intrinsically rewarding, and in many cases, feel very spiritual.

                While rare, peak experiences can happen for anyone at any time, those who are self-actualized deliberately seek out these experiences routinely.

                11. They Embrace the Unknown

                While most people fear the unknown, self-actualized people embrace it. Self-actualized people understand that to grow as a person, you have to step beyond your comfort zone and into the unknown.

                Self-actualized people seek to reach their full potential, which means they have to explore the unknown. They cannot reach their full potential by staying where they are. They cannot cling to the familiar.

                They do not fear the unknown. Instead, the self-actualized welcome and embrace the unknown—they accept it and learn from it. They are not afraid of the many curve balls that life tends to throw their way.

                12. They Are Unconventional and Spontaneous

                Because they are not afraid of the unknown, self-actualized people tend to be very spontaneous and unconventional. While they are able to follow most social and cultural expectations, they have no problem doing their own thing when they decide it’s appropriate.

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                They do not feel confined by the norms of society and are willing to explore the unknown world beyond those expectations, even if the new experience is not a social norm.

                13. They Have a Thoughtful Sense of Humor

                Self-actualized people have a deep and thoughtful sense of humor. They are very good at finding the humor in most situations, and they enjoy laughing at themselves.

                On the other hand, they never use humor to embarrass or ridicule other people, and they never make jokes at the expense of others.

                The Path to Self-Actualization

                So there you have it: 13 traits that self-actualized people share. To get on the path to self-actualization, you can study these traits and seek to live a life that mirrors them.

                There’s no step-by-step plan to follow to become self-actualized. However, these 13 traits offer you a guide to becoming more self-actualized over time. Remember, becoming self-actualized is not a destination; it’s a journey.

                You can learn to be more present in your life, to accept yourself and those around you, and to be more spontaneous and unconventional. You can work towards finding your purpose in life, to becoming more humanitarian, and embracing the unknown.

                As you live your life, focus on improving these 13 areas of your life, and you’ll be well on your way to becoming self-actualized.

                Good luck!

                Featured photo credit: Denys Nevozhai via unsplash.com

                Reference

                [1] Very Well Mind: Peak Experiences in Psychology

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