We have a tendency to believe that the best predictor of future success is a high IQ. After all, some of the world’s most successful people are indeed very smart.
However, for as many smart successful people as there are, there’s an equal number of smart people who have underachieved. This begs the question – with people of equal intelligence, how is it that some are successful and the others are not?
The answer is this – although intelligence is important, it alone is simply not enough to guarantee success.
That’s because success requires something else.
Something that can’t be measured by a standardized test.
Something that can’t be predicted by how quickly someone solves a puzzle.
Something that can’t be achieved by simply being good at math.
So, what then does determine success?
I’ll tell you in a moment, but first a quick story.
A group of young brilliant scientists together with an older guide were walking through a forest in search of a place to setup camp, when they came across the remains of very large and unusual animal that had just died. The young scientists were very excited about their find, and decided that they would try to bring the creature back to life.
As time passed, the old guide looked on with amazement at the team of brilliant scientists and what they were accomplishing. Indeed, it looked as if they were about to revive the magnificent creature!
About this time, the old guide suddenly shouted for them to stop while he quickly climbed up the highest tree he could find. The brilliant scientists just laughed at him and continued working… until suddenly they brought the creature back to life!
Only the old guide lived to tell this story…
You see, the best indicator of success is not a high IQ, it’s determination and hard work and one other factor – opposite thinking.
They say successful people think differently than unsuccessful people. That’s not entirely true. They don’t think differently, they think the opposite of unsuccessful people. Here are some examples:
Successful people think long term. Unsuccessful people want instant gratification and fail to plan for their future.
Successful people welcome change. Unsuccessful people are afraid of change and stay stuck in mediocre lives.
Successful people focus on their net worth. Unsuccessful people focus on their paycheck.
Successful people continually learn and grow. Unsuccessful people think that learning ended with school.
Successful people think a job is risky and investments are safe. Unsuccessful people think a job is safe and investments are risky.
Successful people talk about ideas. Unsuccessful people talk about people and things.
Successful people pay themselves first. Unsuccessful people spend everything they make.
If a person want to be successful, the first thing they need to change is their thinking. It’s their greatest resource.
What’s the best way to ensure that you are thinking the opposite of unsuccessful people? Ask yourself this simple question – has my current thinking lead to success? Be honest with yourself. If the answer is no, then take a mental sword to the ideas, habits and actions that aren’t working for you. Cut them out of your life. Then simply look to adopt the opposite ideas, habits and actions that lead to success. After all, doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result is the definition of insanity.
If a person has the thinking of an unsuccessful person, then no amount of reading, coaching or training is going to make them successful. However, once they change their thinking to the opposite of unsuccessful people, things will change for them.
Remember, it is not about education or talent. These are important, but if you took these away from a successful person she would still be successful. Give an unsuccessful person more education or talent and chances are he’ll still be unsuccessful. The difference is in their thinking.