In the previous post, you learned how your self perception is in the way of achieving your full potential. In this post you learn the one thing you need to do to allow your own mind to help yourself in reaching your full potential.
Believe in change!
Believing in change requires accepting the following three truths:
1: No, people do NOT stay fundamentally the same
Change is part of life. Nothing is static, everything is dynamic and everchanging. You are fundamentally a different person than you were 10 years ago, 5 years ago, 1 year ago, even one minute ago.
Everything you read here or elsewhere, see on tv, youtube, facebook or real life, adjusts those neural connections in your brain: those are tiny little changes happening every second.
Your body’s cells are constantly renewing, with old ones dying off and new ones being created.
Every tiny change over time, whether biologically on a cell level in your body, or neurologically on a neural level in your brain, amounts to big changes over time.
Because you are with yourself every second of every day, these tiny incremental changes are hard to perceive for yourself, but that does not mean they are not there. You are continuously changing. If you are aware of this, you can work towards the change you want, if only you acknowledge change is possible.
2: Your past does NOT limit your future
All that matters is the efforts you make in the present
Lots of people have struggled getting recognition, have struggled with excessive shyness, or even had problems with their mental health, or with the law early at some point, yet this did not hinder them from changing for the better afterwards. It aided in their growth away from those past failures, and lead them to success.
– Nobel Prize winner Albert Einstein, did not speak till age 4, consistently had poor grades in school, and couldn’t read until he was 7, and his own parents were convinced he wasn’t too bright.
– Despite formerly being limited by social anxiety, actor Johnny Depp excels in a career where social anxiety is at odds with the job requirements. He overcame the major limitations of his anxiety thanks to therapy and relaxation techniques.
– Jordan Belfort, after living a life of excessive luxury, was convicted for fraud at age 37, lost his freedom, his marriage and his money all on the same day, feeling extremely emotionally crippled by the accumulation of so many negative life events on one single day. He then served 22 months jail time. Despite this, he published two memoirs, and had two films based on his life (Boiler Room, and The Wolf of Wall Street) and now earns a decent living as a motivational speaker.
– Impostor Frank Abagnale Junior, committed his first con at age age 15, got arrested at age 21, and released at age 26. He then aided the government in catching frauds and con artists, and now runs a financial fraud consultancy company, and is consultant and lecturer for the FBI, is married, and father of three sons, and the movie “Catch Me If You Can” is based on his early life.
– Actress Charlize Theron saw her own father murdered by her mother at age 15, moved halfway across the world from South Africa to New York to pursue a career in ballet, but then had knee problems that stopped her before she got anywhere. While being broke and living in LA at age 19, she freaked out in public, screaming and flailing because a bank refused her a loan. Moreover she suffers from obsessive compulsive disorder. It was not only despite all this that she became a successful actress, but because of it: her temper tantrum in the bank got her noticed by a talent scout who was among the lunch time crowd waiting to use the ATM that day.
– Retired basketball player Michael Jordan
- initially got refused to play on his high school basket ball team
- missed more than 9000 shots in his career
- lost nearly 300 games
- 26 times he missed when he was trusted to make the game winning shot.
Despite this, he turned into the first billionaire athlete because he used failure as motivation to train harder.
– Chris Gardner, the man who wrote his autobiography In the Pursuit of Happiness and had the movie of the same name based on his life, had troubled relationships, being married to one woman for nine years, while moving in with his mistress three years into his marriage because his mistress got pregnant. That second relationship ended badly, police apprehended him, and he remained in jail for 10 days for an unrelated matter. Without experience, without a college education and without connections, he got an unpaid job working very long hours, lived a homeless life with his son by his side, had another child with is former mistress without them being in a relationship anymore, and didn’t see his children very often anymore. Only in 2006, at age 52 did he become a multimillionaire and CEO of Christopher Gardner International Holdings.
– former president of the United States, Abraham Lincoln suffered defeat in every aspect of life.
- When he was 9, his mother died.
- Some of his family members thought he was lazy.
- He failed in business twice, with the second time leading him to pay off debt for the 17 years.
- He got demoted in army from the rank of captain to the lowest rank after returning from a war with native indians.
- In politics he lost eight different elections.
- His first girlfriend died when he was 26 and she was 22.
- He then had a 6 month bedridden nervous breakdown.
- He got rejected by his second romantic interest, and almost didn’t marry his wife.
- He had two of his four sons die before they were mature, one at 4 years old, and the other at 12 years old.
Yet, because he persisted despite adversity, because he never gave up, because he persisted towards his goal, and because he always was prepared to keep learning from his mistakes as well as be a true autodidact, he eventually became one of the greatest presidents in US history at age 51.
In short: your attempts my fail, but you as a person do not as long as you never fail to keep making new attempts. Choose not to accept the false boundaries and limitations created by the past!
3: You are NOT too old to get started on whatever you hope to achieve
You can get started with any goal, with any specific change, at any age
Many people first achieved their breakthrough after their 30s, 40s, 50s or later:
– Comic book writer Stan Lee only got his first breakthrough at age 39, and came up with many of now well known Marvel comics heroes such as Spiderman, Thor and others in the ten years following.
– Paulo Coelho, author of international bestseller The Alchemist had his first big success as a writer the year he became 41. Yet, before age 20 he was admitted to and had escaped three times from a mental institution which did not negatively affect his later life.
– Actor Steve Carrell only got established as a leading man at age 43 with the movie The 40 year old virgin. When he was younger he was a mail carrier, got fired for his inefficiency, and he applied for law school but was refused admission. Despite these initial set-backs he now has a successful career.
– CEO of cowboy wear “Rockmount Ranch Wear”, Jack Weil founded his brand at age 45. He remained CEO until he died at age 107.
– Actor Samuel Jackson broke out as a star at age 46 in Pulp Fiction. Growing up as child of a single mom, having only ever having seen his father twice in his entire life, suffering from alcohol and drug addiction that got him replaced early in his career, and having been convicted of a second degree felony (holding others hostage) did not stop him from establishing himself a successful career later in life.
– Biologist Charles Darwin published his influential book the Origin of Species and in it, his theory of evolution at age 50.
– Actress Kathryn Joosten, the old lady in the series Desperate Housewives, didn’t start acting until she was 55 and won her first academy awards at age 65!
– The first thesaurus was composed by Peter Roget when he was age 73. He suffered from obsessive compulsive disorder all his life. He eventually turned his compulsion to make lists into something that is now so valued that it has never been out of print since it’s first appearance in 1852 and has inspired many other publishers to this day to publish thesauruses.
– From a boring life in academia, Taikichiro Mori became a real estate investor at age 51 starting up Mori Building Company, managing office building leases, and was listed by Forbes as the richest man on the planet by the time he was 87 with at the time a networth double that of Bill Gates.
Motivating TedX talk on Youtube:
– Standford psychologists talks about a “Growth” vs a “fixed” mindset
“A fixed mindset believes that all our ‘traits’ (‘personality’, ‘talents’ and abilities) are something we’re pre-programmed, or born, with. People with fixed mindsets, then, believe that certain people are just “lucky” when it comes to their personality, skills and abilities. So they avoid anything that could possibly help them get better because “it won’t matter in the end.”
A growth mindset, however, believes that most things are malleable. Almost anything can be changed and improved through learning and work. Your physical appearance. Your social skills. The quality of your work. All can be better if you have a growth mindset. A growth mindset is the key to improving in all areas of your life!”)
– Carol Dweck’s TED talk and notes
– 11 famous people who turned their failures into success
– Thomas Edison quotes
– life after 35
– never too old