It's all in your mind – Success begins with the proper mindset

“Always remember that where you are is a result of who you were, but where you go depends entirely on who you choose to be, from this moment on.”  Hal Elrod 

Hal Elrod, mental coach and author of the orderer "Miracle Morning "1 sums it up with this quote: Every person can control what he makes of himself, how he feels and whether he achieves his aims. Where one currently finds oneself emotionally, professionally, socially and in all other areas, one has largely led oneself there by one's own efforts. No matter what the situation is at the moment, you can change it on your own from every day and every new moment. The change can be big or small, in fast or slow steps, because with every second the rest of your life begins.

"But the circumstances in which I find myself have caused others to come"
It may seem to you that others have it easier and even if that is the case, you always have two options; to accept your fate or to deal with it, which of the circumstances can be changed by your own efforts. Each of us has had bad experiences. What is important, however, is that we recognize a benefit in each of them. Assuming that you have been hurt and lied to, you can choose to be honest and loving to your fellow human beings so that they do not have to go through this experience. There are always two sides to a coin and as long as you look at the beautiful one, the glass is always half full instead of half empty.

The approach of salutogenesis - health instead of illness
Aaron Antonovsky developed the concept of salutogenesis in the 1970s2. This concept is based on human health. Salutogenesis is composed of salus (= unharmedness, salvation, happiness) and genesis (origin). In contrast to orthodox medicine, where the patient's suffering is assumed (pathogenesis: pathos = suffering), this model focuses on health.

Health pole

                 Levels of health and disease by health and disease pole

Disease pole        

Antonovsky assumed that a person is never completely healthy, but also never completely ill, but is in a health-illness continuum during life (see above picture). He came to this conclusion after examining the mental state of women in 1970 who were between 16 and 25 years old in 1939 and were in a Nazi concentration camp at the time. 51% of the women in the control group had no mental impairment.

In the experimental group of concentration camp survivors the figure was 29%. A difference had been expected, but Antonovsky was surprised that 29% of the women who had suffered so much were still physically and mentally healthy.

Stressors and individual resistance resources
Antonovsky concluded from this that individual health conditions (stressors and general resistance resources) differ widely. Thus, the same environmental conditions can cause different health states, depending on the resistance resources the individual brings with him. This is particularly evident in siblings who grow up under similar environmental conditions, but who develop different personal stability in terms of physical and mental health.

Furthermore, Antonovsky's theory assumes a sense of coherence (SOC = Sense of coherence), which can influence the state of health. With this starting point Antonovsky developed the coherence triangle, which consists of the three components comprehensibility, feasibility and sense of coherence.

coherence triangle

Comprehensibility is understood in this context as a subjective category of one's own world and general knowledge. Feasibility refers to a structure that one clings to and has difficulty getting away from when one receives suggestions for change. This problem is connected with the fact that one is torn out of one's comfort zone for the change.

Significance or meaningfulness is directly related to this factor; if it is recognised that the change will have positive effects, then one is more likely to make the change. The strengthening of the three components is directly related to the resistance resources. This means that when the components are in imbalance, the sense of coherence has a negative effect on the person's resistance resources. 

How can you optimize your sense of coherence in real situations?
Suppose you want to stop smoking, you understand that this would be beneficial to your health. In this context, feasibility is a major inhibition threshold, as it is difficult to get out of the comfort zone of dependency. The change involves a lot of effort. Now the sense of purpose plays a central role; if you realize that you will actually feel better, no longer stink of smoke and no longer have a cough, you can make the change.

The sense of purpose could also be reinforced by other negative or positive factors, such as a partner who refuses to smoke. All three factors must indeed be sufficiently strong for the changeover to succeed.

What is success?
This is a question everyone should ask themselves, as the answer can be contradictory for everyone individually. Pascal Voggenhuber, a mental coach from Switzerland, defines success in his work "Enjoy this life"3 among other things in this way: A successful person achieves what he sets out to do and pursues his vocation instead of working. He likes to help others without feeling exploited.

For me personally, this idea of success is also true, but I have added to it: finding solutions and recognizing ways to find opportunities instead of dwelling on problems. Always developing oneself further, because a successful person does not stop when he succeeds or fails in something.

Satisfaction
If you are satisfied with yourself, you can give more to others. You can recognize a frustrated person by the fact that he is constantly looking for faults in others. If a partner in a relationship constantly criticises the other, reproaches him or her and is jealous, this is ultimately due to his or her own dissatisfaction. No self-sufficient person carries such negative emotions. One could also put it like this: "What Mara says about Ina says more about Mara than about Ina!

How do you become more satisfied? First of all you should appreciate the things you have. This point is dealt with even more in the next but one section under the title gratitude.
Dissatisfaction also often arises when you feel that you have not done everything you wanted to do. It helps to keep a to-do list on which you set priorities.

Questions like "what has to be finished today and what can wait one or more days? If at the end of the day, of ten things you have perhaps only done six, but these had a high priority, you can postpone the remaining four things to the next day with a clear conscience. The important thing is always to ask yourself whether you have used your full potential or whether you have given your best. As long as you can answer this question with yes, it is also easier to be satisfied with yourself. Basically, you should always have the demand on yourself to give your best!

Making mistakes is not equal to failure

 "Every failure is a hidden blessing, provided it teaches a much needed lesson that we would not have received without it. Most of the so-called failures are merely temporary setbacks". – Napoleon Hill6

Napoleon Hill, who wrote the famous classic "Think and get rich" in 1937, found out even then in the 20 years it took him to write the work that mistakes are useful. That's exactly how you should look at them: as necessary parts of a learning process. In science, many inventions have already been made by chance and mistakes.

The antibiotic penicillin, for example, was discovered in 1874 by the surgeon Theodor Billroth only because he forgot a Petri dish with dangerous germs before his vacation. When he returned after three weeks, he found a mass overgrown by fungi (penicillin) - the dangerous bacteria were no longer visible8. Of course not every mistake can be linked to a scientific breakthrough, but there is always something to learn from it.

The simple question "what can I do better next time so as not to repeat the mistake? So you shouldn't spend too much time on what went wrong, because that's all in the past anyway and can't be changed. It is better to concentrate on the future and to strive for the best possible.

Napoleon Hill also wrote at that time that someone only becomes a failure when he admits defeat. If you have short-term failures, you are by no means a failure.

Gratefulness
In order to get the things you strive for, you must first of all be grateful for what you already have. No matter how much may not be what you want, you will always find something to be appreciated. You can start with things that we often take for granted; a roof over our heads, enough to eat, a job, friends, family, health, clothing, mobility, freedom, self-determination, leisure, learning new things...

The list could go on for a long time and the more often you become aware of this, the less you complain about what you currently (still) do not have. Some mental coaches even assume that it is not possible to get more until you are grateful for what you already have5,6,7.

Love and emotions
Apart from food and sleep, there is hardly anything more important to us humans than love. Without interpersonal relationships and social contacts we could not survive. Feeling unconditional love enriches us not only in a partnership.

When we learn to love ourselves and others, we can feel that energy, joy of life, fantasy and creativity arise from this emotion.
Biologically and evolutionarily speaking, this love is felt most strongly by family members. Studies show that you would always offer help to close relatives without expecting anything in return. We should take this basic attitude to heart.

After all, doing something for someone else usually gives us at least as much as the person you have helped. The important aspect is that you do it consciously and without expecting to get something material in return. However, it should be ensured that productive actions will always benefit you - even if not necessarily in physical form.

Only those who can give love can also receive love; it doesn't work the other way round. So he who constantly asks himself why he is not loved should first start by loving himself and then develop love for others out of this self-love. At the end of the day the result is that the others also give love back to the person. But loving oneself should not be confused with arrogance or arrogance.

The mastermind principle
This principle is based on cooperation or, more precisely, even symbiosis. This idea also originates from Napoleon Hill6. Inspired by successful people like Henry Ford or Thomas Alva Edison, Hill was convinced that an idea or project can be implemented much more successfully if you put together a mastermind group in which everyone contributes something.

Each of the members has its role and fulfils an important task. They all depend on each other and only by sharing their experiences, ideas and developments can something great be created. Hill used a metaphor to illustrate how important it is to share information7: if two people each have a dollar and exchange it, then both still have exactly the same amount as before. However, if two people exchange their knowledge and experience, then both have twice as much knowledge afterwards as before.

Enthusiasm and voluntarily doing more than is required
To become successful, satisfied and happy, you should also find out what inspires and fulfills you. In today's world, it is fortunately possible to change industries even in later years, if you no longer like the job you once chose. It's important to find out what inspires you and how you relate this enthusiasm to a life's work or, at the beginning, perhaps to smaller aims.

If you think every time, at the beginning of a week: "I hate montage, please let it be weekend again", then you are definitely in the wrong job. The job should fulfill you and cause so much enthusiasm in you that you like to achieve more than what is demanded of you. This is the only way to be successful in the long term. It may well be possible to earn thirty years of good money with a job you can't stand, but you won't be satisfied and happy with it.

What are your aims in life?
A large part of the population cannot answer this question with certainty. But everyone should ask it and think about it. It is best to write down where you would like to go in the short and long term for each area of life. It doesn't matter whether certain points remain empty or whether these goals change again and again. It is important that you always know why and for what you are doing the things that take up your everyday life. One could classify the areas with their questions as follows:

  • Job/career: what do I want to achieve? In 6 months, one year, five years or ten years?
  • Partnership: do I want a permanent relationship? How do I imagine a good relationship? Do I want to have children, marry? Do I prefer to be independent and free?
  • Social networking: who do I want to spend my time with? Which people are good for me and support me? What do I do to maintain these relationships? 
  • Health & Wellbeing: what is health for me? What do I do to feel good and healthy? Do I have sporting, physical and health goals? Which ones? How do I achieve these goals and do I need expert help?
  • Fun and joy: what is good for me? What relaxes me? What can I switch off with and how often do I need these moments? When do I install them?

In practice: Daily routines as a foundation Routine is what determines our everyday life. Both bad and good habits, they determine our lives if we do not actively control them. So it is important to plan your everyday life consciously and to introduce routines that can make a lot of things easier in the long run (click here to read why habits simplify our old day).

A successful day should not begin by pressing the snooze button five times. If that is necessary, one must either optimize one's biorhythm or sleep, go to bed earlier, change jobs or look for other causes that trigger this listlessness. Get up immediately and look forward to what awaits you that day; this is the right start!

A Mental training diary
Keeping a gratitude diary has many advantages: Writing always has a greater effect than thinking, you can look back after a while and see which developmental steps you have taken and also bring structure into your life. The following points could happen every day - which does not mean that you cannot add to or change them:

  • I'm grateful that/for...
    For example, my apartment, my friends, good food, deep sleep, sunshine...

  • Today's goals/ What do I do to make my day and that of my fellow human beings good?
    E.g. do something for someone else without expecting anything in return / be especially friendly to a person I am often annoyed by (you are surprised what this can do on both sides) / only say good things about other people (it is not that easy, you catch yourself from time to time) / complete three priorities on my To Do list...
  • What am I good at? What are my strengths?
    For example, explaining things, I'm a specialist in job XY...

 

After these few minutes of writing, it would still be a good idea to move around a little: Yoga, stretching or a short walk with the dog around the block are good for that. Afterwards you could take some time to meditate or do a breathing exercise. All those who find this too much to start with should perhaps start by writing a few minutes in their diary. This alone makes a big difference and offers a focused and stress-free start to the day if you consciously get up five to ten minutes earlier.

Finally, a quote from Napoleon Hill that we should keep in mind, because it is never too late:

"Love the life you have while creating the life of your dreams!"

Recommended audio books/books for personal development:
- Hal Elrod: Miracle Morning
- Carol Dweck: Mindset
- Napoleon Hill: Denke nach und werde reich
- Napoleon Hill: Glaube an dich und werde reich
- Pierre Franckhe: Erfolgreich wünschen
- Alexander Janzer: Manifestieren mit dem Gesetz der Anziehung
- Byrne, Rhonda: The Secret
- Charles F. Haanel: The master key system
- Ullrich Strunz: Strategien der Selbstheilung 
- Pascal Voggenhuber: Enjoy this life
- Tony Robbins: Power Prinzip
- Dr. Dome Vlog: https://www.dr-dome.de/category/mindset/

 

References
Elrod, Hal (2016): Miracle Morning – die Stunde, die alles verändert. Bayern: Irisiana Verlag. 
Methfessel, Barbara (2007): Salutogenese – ein Modell fordert zum Umdenken heraus. Teil 1. Heidelberg: Pädagogische Hochschule Heidelberg. In: Ernährungsumschau (12/07).
Voggenhuber, Pascal (2017): Enjoy this life – Wie du dein ganzes Potential entfaltest. Bayern: Allegria Verlag. 
Dwek, Carol S.(2010): Boosting achievement with messages that motivate. In: Education Canada (S. 6-10).
Byrne, Rhonda (2007): The Secret – das Geheimnis. München: Arkana Verlag.  
Hill, Napoleon (1937): Denke nach und werde reich. München: Finanz Buch Verlag FBV. 
Hill, Napoleon (2011): Glaube an dich und werde reich.Unterrohrbach: Deltus Media Verlag. 
8  Kern, Ernst (1991): Echter und vermeintlicher Fortschritt in der Chirurgie. In: Würzburger medizinhistorische Mitteilungen. Band 9 1991, S. 417–429; hier: S. 418

 

Häufig gestellte Fragen

What exactly is a mindset?
It is kind of an inner attitude. With a positive mindset, you see problems as challenges and opportunities to learn new things. If you have a negative mindset, you often see problems as unsolvable and situations or conditions as unchangeable. In order to be successful, it makes sense to work towards a positive mindset.
What does the term agile mindset mean?
The original term \"Growth Mindset\" comes from the book Mindset by Carol Dweck. With an agile mindset, you are convinced that everything can be changed and that you have things in your own hands. You are not satisfied with having little talent for something, but work hard for your goal. That's why you're convinced that you can achieve it despite the possibly less than optimal circumstances.
What are people talking about when they talk about a Growth Mindset?
The original term \"Growth Mindset\" comes from the book Mindset by Carol Dweck. With an agile mindset, you are convinced that everything can be changed and that you have things in your own hands. You are not satisfied with having little talent for something, but work hard for your goal. That's why you're convinced that you can achieve it despite the possibly less than optimal circumstances.
What is the best way to change your own mindset?
A mental training diary can be a helpful tool: If you write down some things every morning for which you are grateful, you will become more and more aware that there are many positive things that you take for granted. Not everyone has enough to eat, lives in freedom, can choose his or her job or marry whoever he or she wants. In addition, you should set yourself small goals through which you can optimize your success. In doing so, you should formulate exactly what you can do yourself to achieve your goals. This will change your attitude about a process.
How long does it take to change a mindset?
This is very individual and varies from person to person, as well as depending on their particular situation. There is no general answer to this.
What is the mastermind principle?
This principle is based on cooperation or, more precisely, even symbiosis. This idea also originates from Napoleon Hill. Inspired by successful people such as Henry Ford or Thomas Alva Edison, Hill was convinced that an idea or project can be implemented much more successfully if you put together a mastermind group in which everyone contributes something. Each member has his or her own role and fulfils an important task. They all depend on each other and only by sharing their experiences, ideas and developments can something great be created.

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