Wednesday, September 06, 2017 / Perth Australia / By Niekie Jooste
In this edition of "The WelderDestiny Compass":
When we grow up in a democratic society, we start to believe in the wisdom of the masses. We believe that the importance of any idea is a matter of how many people agree with that idea. If there is one take-away from history, it is that regardless of how many people believe in a wrong idea, eventually it will be exposed as wrong. The weight of opinion will not make it right.
No matter how many people believed that the earth was the centre of the universe, and that everything turned around the earth, it did not make this idea right. No matter how many people believed the earth was flat, it did not make that idea correct either.
There are many ideas out there that are currently mainstream thinking, that will be exposed as wrong. You do not need to think the same as everybody else.
Because humans have a social structure and social drive, we naturally want to stick to the herd. It keeps out thinking conformal and "in the box". If all you are concerned with is living an "average" life, then I guess that is OK. If on the other hand you want to outperform, then understand that you must think differently from the majority.
When it comes to outperformance, the majority opinion is always wrong!
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Now let's get stuck into this week’s topics...
Being a winner in life (you decide what being a winner means for your life) means that you need to outperform. To do this, you need a winning mindset. Having the mindset of a victim will trip you up every time, and keep you in that box. So, how to move outside the box?
Probably the most important and difficult part of having a winning mindset, is to know ourselves, and accept ourselves. This does not mean that we believe we are OK the way we are. It means that once we understand ourselves, we can start to understand others with their failings and strengths, and we can work on improving ourselves. Unfortunately this is a life long undertaking. My experience is that whenever I think that I have it all sorted out is when I actually need to learn some more lessons, which life seems very keen to teach me. It leads to pain and subsequent learning. It is the cycle of self discovery.
I think that the second part of developing a winning mindset is owning our own beliefs. We need to know why we believe the things we do, rather than just believing them because that is expected of us. Once you understand why you believe in certain ideas, then you have the power to withstand pressures to change those ideas, or conversely, to change those beliefs when it becomes clear that they are not correct.
In short, own your beliefs, do not let your beliefs own you.
My final part of having a winning mindset is to be OK with temporary failures. It shows you are trying. Without trying you will never succeed. Pick yourself up and set a new course!
We are all on a collision course with the future. The severity of the collision just increases with every passing year. When you collide with the future (job redundancy, changing technology, changing society, changing economy) will the collision be a destructive event, or an opportunity?
We need to place ourselves in the path of opportunity as often as possible. Sooner or later opportunity will collide with you. The way to place yourself in the path of opportunity is to develop your skills in the direction you want to find opportunities, and to build contacts in those areas.
Don't run from opportunities because it is uncomfortable or hard work. Your life needs to be consistent between expectations and actions. If you want a big win, you need to at least be in the race. Most people put in years of effort to achieve overnight success.
As technical people, we tend to focus on technical issues when we think of developing ourselves. This is not necessarily wrong. To have an technical edge, we obviously need to understand the fundamentals of how our technical field works. But to win big in the new machine age, we need more diverse skills. We need to expand our horizons.
One of the main skills, and one that we technical types struggle with, is gaining an understanding of the psychology of people. This again comes down to understanding ourselves, so that we can also understand others.
Another skill we need to develop is understanding economics and business. In the machine age most of us will be business owners.
One of the big challenges is to understand how future society will work, and what the driving forces within that society will be.
The idea is not to obtain degrees in all these diverse directions. The idea is to search out learning experiences in these different directions. To show interest, and to search out people that are independent thinkers in these areas to help us gain understanding.
For some people like myself, this means reading widely and searching for "voices in the wilderness" that teaches me new insights on a regular basis, and challenges my entrenched ideas. For other people this might mean volunteering at organisations where we can offer support while gaining valuable experience. For still others, it may mean starting a particular hobby or part time business that can teach them the skills they need to learn.
Your skillset will eventually set you apart from the majority, and place you on a collision course with opportunity.
Yours in welding
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