I recently read a book called The Winner’s Brain: 8 Strategies Great Minds Use to Achieve Success. In thebook, the authors Jeff Brown and Mark Fenske reveal 8 key traits that great minds possess. I can never underestimate the power of books. I tend to read at least 8-10 books a month to fill my mind with successful thoughts and principles. In addition to God’s Word, business and success books are engrained into who I am. I decided to read the Winner’s Brain to see if my mind was programmed for success and see how many of these traits I possessed.
As I deal with a combination of the financially successful and those not so successful, I found it very interesting not only for self-examination but also to analyze various people I know. From multi-millionaire entrepreneurs to those down on their luck, I can see why some people are successful and others are not, simply by their analyzing their attitude and how they think.
Do you have these tools in your brain?
- Risk gauge: Do you take enough risk? If you take too little risk you will pay the price financially, spiritually, and often fall into a life of disappointment. Likewise, too much risk and you ride the wild roller coaster of crash and burn. Finding the optimal mix of risks and being able to discern which risks you can afford to take and which ones you can’t is essential.
- Opportunity radar: Do you know how to evaluate opportunity? Do you take a proactive approach to life and work hard to find opportunities? Or are you passive and try to let the right opportunities come to you? Being in the right place at the right time is key but if you aren’t taking steps, how can God bless those steps?
- Goal laser: Do you know what you’re trying to accomplish in this life? Do your checkbook and calendar reflect your priorities? Do you have purpose-filled dreams? If you do not program your mind with goals, it’s easy to get sidetracked and allow distractions to keep you from achieving success.
- Talent meter: Do you know what you’re good at and where you need help? Far too many people try to save money by doing things themselves. In the process, they often do a terrible or mediocre job which ends up costing more in the long run. Concentrate on what you are best at and hire others to fill the gaps!
- Effort accelerator: Do you procrastinate or have difficulty getting motivated? Persistency and hard work often trump skill and intelligence. You can be the smartest or best skilled person in the world but if you give up easy or are not prepared for the long journey ahead, you can easily fail. Concentrate on not only improving your game but staying “in the game”. The longer you’re at it, the more opportunities will come your way!
So what are the 8 strategies of a “Winner’s Brain?”
These eight qualities are what the authors describe as the key ingredients for success. How many do you possess? Which have you mastered and which need improvement?
Win Factor #1: Self awareness
By having a well developed sense of self-awareness you are able to improve your relationships, quality of work, your relationship with God, and how you effectively use the money God entrusts to you. Those who are self-aware not only realize how they relate with the rest of the world but also how the rest of the world relates with them. If you are confident, authentic, and aware of your strengths and weaknesses, you will be more long-term focused and effective in all areas of your life. Ask yourself: What does money meaning to me and why do I want more?
Win Factor #2: Motivation
Have you watched Daniel Pink’s viral video on the surprising science behind what truly motivates us? In his book Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us, Daniel looks at how money and material “things” rarely motivate us. It is a greater sense of purpose and greater passions that catapult us to success. Do you let obstacles and challenges get in your way or are you fully committed and dedicated to your cause? Weak motivation is often a key crimpling factor that stands between you and success. Ask yourself: Do my financial goals have deep meaning to me or are they generic, impersonal goals?
Win Factor #3: Focus
Let’s face it: in a world of emails, phone calls, Twitter, Facebook, IMs, texting, and so on, many items are competing for our attention. It’s easy to develop A-D-D! You may say, “I Don’t Have A.D.D., I just… Hey look! A squirrel!” You could be in denial that you have Attention Deficit Disorder or maybe it’s not that severe, but still you let “life” get in the way. Do you focus on what’s most important and the key activities you need to accomplish in order to be successful? Ask yourself: Will I focus only on those things that will make me financially successful or will I allow each crisis to consume me?
Win Factor #4: Emotional Balance
Successful people adjust their emotions to remain balanced during the highs and lows that come along. They tune out negative thoughts and focus on what they can control. Focus on what you CAN do, instead of what you CAN’T do! Ask yourself: Will I allow emotions like greed and fear to influence my decisions or will I instead focus on making sound financial decisions?
Win Factor #5: Memory
Our past can either be helpful or harmful. Failure and past mistakes can either consume us or build character and become “teaching moments.” Those who are financially successful learn from past mistakes and don’t let previous failures hold them back. Ask yourself: Will I make progress financially, view the past as useful history and now look to the future?
Win Factor #6: Resilience
How we react during the bad times is more important than what we do during the good. It’s easy to stay on track when things are going according to plan. Yet, the bumpy roads of life often create quitters. Those who succeed get knocked down but they get back up again and again -more times than most people. They embrace failure because it means they are one step closer to success. When Thomas Edison was asked about how he viewed all his failed attempts to invent the light bulb. He responded, “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” Ask yourself: At what point will I give up or will I press on no matter what the cost?
Win Factor #7: Adaptability
Those who succeed are willing to adapt and are not so set in their ways that they resist change. Apple Computer revolutionized how we listen to music with one device – the iPod. Netflix changed how we watch movies. Many have used the changing tides to seize opportunity! Ask yourself: What small, incremental, and big changes can I make today that will positively affect my future?
Win Factor #8: Brain Care
We all know proper sleep, regularly exercising, and eating right, are the keys to proper health. Yet, we look for “magic diet pills,” “radical diets,” and a host of weird solutions that will instantly erase years of overeating and under-exercising. The fact remains if you want to improve something, it takes time, hard work, commitment and new habits! Ask yourself: Will I spend time educating myself, learning more about proper financial solutions, and regularly spend time reviewing my financial plans?
So are you a winner?
Some of the most successful people in the world consciously or unconsciously possess these eight “win factors.” They cultivate success by staying positive and sharpening their greatest tool – their brain! In the words of Vince Lombardi, “Winning is not everything, but wanting to win is.” I want to win, how about you?
What are your thoughts? What other factors did the authors miss?
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