Friday, June 26, 2015

Mind over Matter

If it were only that easy.

For years I have taken the stance that certain things happen in life because we allow them too. Many, however, believe that it is fate that is behind the things that occur in our lives. And it is fate that determines when these events happen and how they happen. Fate for many is what keeps the balance of what we had intended to occur and what actually does. There is a sense of calm when we believe that things "happen for a reason". Regardless of your belief, let's dive into the topic.

Without pause, we could all agree that each of us has made certain decisions in our lives that have created a path of our successes and our failures. Therefore, these decisions will determine our overall satisfaction in what we do and what we are doing. By making these decisions, we could say that our fate is never sealed. Whether controlled or not, things do happen without explanation and regardless of that deep-rooted belief of fate. It is agreed by many that there is always an opportunity to improve our situation. That conversation would go down the path of "mindset". More on that topic another day.

With that in mind (no pun intended), and speaking more directly to our career paths, I further believe that such paths are determined by our behaviors and our actions. Simply put, it is our responses to the events (that we often times can not control) that determines the direction in which we go. Timothy Kight, an expert in the field of building leadership skills, shares this formula:

Event + Response = Outcome. (E+R = O)  

If we "are what we eat" and we "reap what we sew" then isn't it just as fair to say that if we want to achieve certain levels of achievement that we should be able to do so by applying a concept as simple as "mind over matter"?

Mr. Kight emphasizes that our focus needs to be on our "responses". It is those responses that can assist in controlling much of our career paths. The "events" that happen around us (and to us) well, they are going to happen without gaining our input first. And, if we already know what our desired "outcome" should be or what we want it to be, then stay focused on the part of the equation that we can control. Again, our response.

To take it a step further, many go on to say that success is often based on two factors: intelligence and luck. Take the position you have and the position you want (if there is such a thing). To get where you are, and more importantly, where you want to be, (the outcome) which one of the two will be more likely to get you to that spot? Would it be luck? Would it be intelligence? If I am being asked, I would argue it is a little bit of both. Agree?

So, in the end and after all is said and done, I come back to two beliefs that outweigh all the others. The first, fate. We need to hold on to this. It is what helps us in the worst of times and in the best of times. It can not be overlooked nor dismissed. Secondly, and just as significantly, I believe that what we accomplish in life is in large part to "mind over matter", the response. We chose our paths based on our actions. In the face of adversity, how we handle such a beast is what makes us achieve.

With that, put your mind to it. Believe in it. Hope for a little but of luck, rely on your intelligence and do not dismiss something as deep as fate. Your resolve, and your response, will be there in the end.


  1. Craig,
    Best advice is the last paragraph! Responses can be tricky since they have so much emotion tied to them (at least for me). Your advice in this post rings true for me. #compelledtribe

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