The overlooked key to success

Your mindset affects your ability to achieve success. Here are some ways a thankful frame of mind can turn your life around.

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The overlooked key to success

Do you ever tire of people implying that success is just about effort and hard work? Having been in poverty, I know that effort isn’t the most important factor in success.

Just around 10 years ago, our family was in poverty after a series of layoffs and pay cuts. We were about to lose our house in foreclosure. Everything felt hopeless.

From the pit of despair to success

The WORST part about feeling hopeless is how everything feels more hopeless with each passing day.

Hopelessness is a monster that just keeps growing if you don’t slay it, which is easier said than done.

I often hear people talking about how if poor people only tried harder, worked harder, managed their scant funds better, they would get out of poverty. Some people make perpetually dumb life choices. No argument there.

But a bigger factor is your mindset.

Poverty does terrible things in your brain. Living life in survival mode, in a constant state of stress, is bad for your physical and mental health. I know when I was in poverty, I couldn’t think clearly. I needed a clear head to claw my way out of the pit we were in.

Intentional gratitude and success

The overlooked key to success

One habit I used to turn this ship around was intentional gratitude.

I am NOT saying, “If only those poor people were more thankful.” Nope. Not at all.

I am referring to the exciting ways gratitude helped my brain see the good. With intentional gratitude, I noticed the opportunities and relieved the stress in my life.

Now at first, it was lame stuff. Thankful for crumbs, really. And hey, no shame in humble beginnings.

Gratitude in small things leads to bigger changes. I regained my creativity and see solutions. Solutions and opportunities slowly came into my field of vision again.

I’m not referring to gratitude as a sort of mantra or magic word you say.

Noticing new opportunities

Think of it this way. I bought a used Jeep Cherokee a few years ago. After I bought that vehicle, I was suddenly noticing Jeep Cherokee’s everywhere. Now, I know people didn’t suddenly run out and buy the same 20-year-old Jeep Cherokee I did. But now I noticed that vehicle because it entered my line of sight.

In the same way, when you notice good things, you will see more good. Focus on the positive stuff and opportunities, you find more of those.

This outlook energizes you. You’ll feel positive after a while, too.

Seeing a way out

I have a family member who crabs about how life has done him wrong.

He’s experienced some terrible circumstances in life. By focusing on how various political leaders and the decisions of others are ruining his life and eliminating opportunity, he only sees dead ends. He doesn’t realize he’s a solution to these problems. He believes others have thwarted any opportunity.

His mindset has made him blind to opportunities he might otherwise notice.

Now, he has experienced the negative impact of the decisions of others. Solutions are harder to find when you focus on negative circumstances. Focusing on the negative will never improve your life.

If you focus on the good things, your outlook will improve. Train your mind through reflection and journaling to notice the good. This way, you see the positive instead of the negative.

Your mindset really is the overlooked key to success, and changing it starts with gratitude.

Take action
with these recommended next steps:
  1. In a notebook, planner, or maybe scrap paper, write 3 things you are thankful for every day. The more you do this, the easier it will be to recognize the good things.
  2. The next time you want to complain, ask yourself what it accomplishes. Sometimes it’s good to blow off steam, but if you dwell too long, you’ll be dragging a storm cloud of negativity around with you.
  3. Find something to thank those in your life for every day. We often fall into the habit of only speaking up when unhappy. Turn that around. Tell them what you’re thankful for.
  4. Use a planner or app to record your gratitude thoughts, and make thankfulness a habit. I created the Let’s Live with Gratitude journal to help with that.
If you found this helpful, you may also like these:
Easy to Use Gratitude Guided Journal
This gratitude guided journal and planner helps you focus on gratitude and thankfulness while you plan your life with built in reflections on each page.
How to start each day with gratitude
How to start each day with gratitude
Do you struggle with gratitude and thankfulness in your everyday life? I’ve found starting each day with gratitude helps my brain see the good in each day. Here are some tricks that help
How to be intentionally thankful
Society can be a negative place. To counteract the negativity bringing you down, be intentionally thankful. Here are a few ways to be intentionally thankful.

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