When a computerized chess player evaluates a board, it sees all possible moves.
When a chess grandmaster looks at the same board, he sees only the moves that achieve something.
Humans are much more efficient because of how we selectively devote our focus.
We are not computers. We are emotional, irrational, and frail. But we are also beautiful and brilliant. So when we seek success, cold logic is less effective than plans that not only take into account that which is human within us, but actually embrace it.
Developing the right outlook and understanding of the world can be the structure that makes all the proper behaviors within it effortless.
Here are five success-enhancing worldviews employed by winners in the chess game of life:
1. Offer Value Before Asking for Value
When someone is interacting with you—whether in business or in your personal life—they don’t care about your sob story, how much you need the money, etc. What they care about is themselves and what you are going to do for them. Therefore, the best motivation is to show a person how something benefits them.
If you bring people positive results, wealth, or fulfillment, you will never have a shortage of customers or connections, or a shortage of referrals.
2. Pick a Plan You Will Actually Follow
It’s better to spend your time fighting obstacles in the real world than fighting against yourself.
A basic routine in the gym that you will stick to, for example, is far better than a complex, perfect one that you won’t. Simple.
3. Begin with Your End in Mind
Don’t become a hostage of your own success. If you have visions of traveling the world, don’t “succeed” in a way that requires you to sit behind a computer all day. You are then only a prisoner with luxurious accommodations. Ask, How can I make a business that runs itself? How can I spend my time the way I want to? No matter how capable you are, you can’t get more done than ten people can.
No matter how much money you have, you can’t get back the years you spent hating your job. Structure your game plan, delegate appropriately, and create an exit strategy so you can enjoy what you’ve achieved.
4. Take One Right Action—Just One
Imagine a donkey sitting with a pail of water on one side and a pail of oats on the other. It can’t decide whether to eat or drink and eventually, it dies of both hunger and thirst. In an overwhelming situation, most people panic and give up.
Don’t worry about the perfect action—take one right action. Then another. And another. And another. Oddly enough, you’ll find that you can sometimes accomplish the impossible. And even if you don’t, you’ve gotten as close as you could have. And that’s all you can really ask of yourself.
5. Fail Faster
It’s difficult to get things perfect the first time.
Be willing to fail, learn the requisite lessons, and improve. Of course, you want to control your failures—it’s better to have small blunders than catastrophes. Someone once said, if you waited for all the lights to turn green, you’d never leave your driveway.
When a torpedo is launched, its path is accurate, but not precise. As it heads toward its target, it’s constantly adjusting to achieve a direct hit. Similarly, in life, it’s better to fire the best you can—and then adjust and improve along the way.