The Achievers Mindset
When I tell people that I had 5 startups (yes, see my projects), worked for 2, graduated 1.5 years ago as a Industrial Engineer in Computer Science and straight out of school got hired at one of the largest tech firm, then people are always coming up with the same sentences: “You have too much time”, “Geek”, “Get a Hobby”, “Get a Girlfriend”. Well what if I would tell you that this is something easy to achieve? Something that everyone is able to do in life? Would you be interested in learning my story?
All of this comes from just one simple thing, and that is a different way of thinking. By applying a different mindset, you are able to gain the confidence to go bold and chase your dreams, to start something and accomplish it, to learn from your mistakes and iterate upon them.
In the society of today, we are all controlled by our targets, the rules we live by and the people above us forcing these rules upon us. Because if we are successful, the people above us are this as well (the oh so called world of “hierarchy”). Every day we are sitting there, working in our well known cubicle - insert cliche here - where everytime if we want to stand up and try something bold, we are pushed back and are told to “focus on what matters and that gets us the results!”. Just how many times didn’t your manager tell you not to do something, or to chase bold ideas because they won’t allow you to achieve your targets this year?
But how do we break this circle? Should we stop doing what we are doing now and start living a new radical life? Certainly Not! The system as it exists today, is a system that is there because it works! It is a system that evolved over the years and is the core foundation we run on. Destroying this would just completely destroy all the work we did in the past, making us start all over again and discard our learnings. Rather than re-inventing the wheel, let’s first look at what I believe went wrong and how we can learn from it, because face it, growing is all about taking the mistakes from the past and learning from them.
Let’s start at the year $currentyear - age$, the day you were born, the day that our senses came to live! Back then, we were a simple human being, a brain fresh to the world ready to start receiving different signals into its cerebral cortex (more specifically the visual cortex, auditory cortex and somatosensory cortex) which processes these signals, stores them and creates abstractions of them to finally allow us to start experimenting and learn.
Take a deep look at the last part: start experimenting and learn. This part is what society made us forget over the years. Because just as well as we start to learn easily when we are young, we also learn what society demands of us, the things that we should forget. It is this that makes us forget the things that matter! As a baby and young child we utilize a tremendous feature called “Curiosity”, a feature that allows us to dare to do things without being shot back. Take walking as an example; when we as a baby processed enough impulses that made us grasp parts of the world, we want to achieve something new, we want to spike our curiosity and learn more. One of the first ideas we then receive through our parents is the goal of walking. So we then utilize our curiosity to see how we can learn to walk, how we can learn to replicate the behavior that they are demonstrating. Try after try, Step-by-step we try to use these 2 legs under us, move them in such a positions that we are able to balance them, and when our first failure happens, what do we do? We try again! It is just this that society teaches us to forget, the ability of trying and daring everything. Because it is through trying, failing and iteration that we succeed in life.
After reflecting on this a couple of years ago, I decided to put a motto for myself that I would follow in everything I do and every decision I make, to “Shoot for the stars to be able to land on the moon”. Meaning that we as a human being should always aim for impossible goals which we know will be hard, but that we want to try, to put us ahead of everyone else. Here just as well we will see that we will sometimes fail, sometimes will be shot down. But this is what should give us strength, the strength to try again.
So why would you do all of this? Why would you put work in chasing impossible goals? Well it’s all in the sense of learning faster than anyone else! Think about what will happen when you chase impossible problems? You will work on solving impossible challenges, challenges that nobody else encountered before. By doing this, you will thus also be able to gain more experience than anyone else. Enabling you to solve those problems when you encounter them again in just a fraction of the time. It is this that shows how important it is to Learn from your mistakes.