How To Master Your Thinking For Success

person stepping on blue stairs

Do you desire to become more successful? If so, read on because this article could change your life.

Notable people come from different backgrounds but there’s one thing they all have in common: their thinking.

In this article, I’ll help you change your thought patterns so you can reach your highest potential.

Continue scrolling if you wish to learn:

  • The outdated myths of success
  • 7 kinds of thinking you need to cultivate
  • Why collaboration is better than the competition
  • How giving to others help you become successful
  • Healthy habits and coping mechanisms for work stress

How do I change my thinking patterns for success?

In total, mastering your thinking for success involves cultivating both long-term and short-term goals, as well as engaging in realistic, collective, contributive, creative, and resilient thinking. It also includes avoiding intense emotional states, excessive multitasking, and popular thinking, 

7 Ways To Cultivate Your Thinking For Success

Today’s post was inspired by John Maxwell’s How Successful People Think and Emma Seppälä’s The Happiness Track. As a lifelong learner, I’ve found their books to be incredibly profound. 

I also added my personal insights regarding the matter.

#1 Map out your long-term goals

Map out your long-term goals

What’s your goal in life? Who do you want to become in the future?

Have you thought of the answers to these questions yet? If your only response is, “I want to be a successful person,” think deeper.

In order to become prosperous, you need a clear vision.

That’s because the journey to success is a long hard road.

There will be many times when you’ll think to yourself, “Should I have not done this?”

Think of your long-term goals as if they’re stars twinkling in the evening sky. You can look up to them after a hard day’s work.

The only difference between you and stargazing is that with every single toil you make, you’re one step closer to your envisioned future.

If you ever lose sight of what made you take on this road in the first place or you encountered a setback, think back to your long-term goal.

It will provide you with renewed strength.

On the flip side, you can also look back and acknowledge how far you’ve come and give yourself permission to celebrate your wins.

#2 Focus on short-term priorities

Focus on short-term priorities

After deciding on your long-term goals, you have to now discern the specific steps you need to take in order to get there.

This period is the make-or-break for most individuals.

Many seek glory but only a few are willing to go through the grueling process of achieving success.

At some point, you’ll even end up questioning your dreams thinking, “If my journey is so great, then why am I stuck with insignificant tasks?”


“If I can’t go through this small thing, how can I accomplish something bigger?”

Don’t lose hope.

The mundane chores, as well as the daily challenges, won’t bring you joy but they are equally as important as your vision.

Even if they bore, overwhelm, and even confuse you, don’t be disheartened.

This is part of your adventure.

Many people assume that success is something that you need to accomplish. Here’s the truth:

Success is made up of repeated tiny victories. It’s not just a one-time task.

You need to consistently deliver high-quality output no matter what industry you’re in.

So, I challenge you to find ways to enjoy the process of doing your short-term goals.

Furthermore, aim to get into the state of “flow.”

This happens when everything around you disappears because you are so absorbed with what you are doing.

Instead of complaining about how far you are from your aspirations, get into the habit of cultivating this.

This way, you will find enjoyment in the process and develop your skills on the way.

#3 Engage in realistic thinking

Engage in realistic thinking

I’m sure you’ve heard people tell you, “Be realistic.”

What the majority of them mean is for you to consider the possible negative outcomes of a certain action.

I disagree with this notion.

It completely ignores the other aspect of reality which is a possibility. Also, you are not a passive participant in your reality.

You can change your world.

That is why if you want to become successful, you can’t fall prey to pessimism.

And so, allow me to introduce two more ingredients to this recipe of realistic thinking. They are the following:

  • Positive thinking
  • Solution-oriented thinking

In addition to examining the potential hurdles that you’ll encounter, ponder on the possibilities that can happen should you overcome them.

Moreover, train your mind to think of solutions and strategies to problems.

This way, whenever you run into issues, you’ll see them as opportunities for growth.

You won’t be discouraged because you are aware that you can conquer them and you’ll become a better individual in doing so.

#4 Foster collective thinking

Foster collective thinking

Earlier in this article, I disclosed that this post was inspired by reading the works of Maxwell and Seppälä.

I am transparent in my writing because I am aware of the power of collective thinking.

No single individual is responsible for great ideas.

That is why it is important for people to read and gain as much input as they can.

I should warn you, however, that you should be careful about what you consume.

The quality of the knowledge you take in depends on the people that you follow. Make sure that you are selective in what you learn.

Let me give you an example.

If you surround yourself with people who have outdated beliefs, then you too shall soak up their ideologies.

Ask yourself this question:

“Am I exposing myself to people who have positive contributions to my thinking?”

Of course, there will be times when you realize that, even if you’re with people who are somewhat encouraging and have open minds, nobody in your inner circle shares the kind of knowledge you seek.

In this case, learning from books and other forms of media from experts should be your go-to.

Remember that what you listen to and/or read becomes a part of you and so you must choose wisely.

#5 Participate in contributive thinking

Participate in contributive thinking

Honestly, most of us believe that being successful means being alone at the top.

If this is you, I can’t blame you.

Our society and popular culture bombard us with this message. As an accomplished person myself, allow me to bust this myth.

You don’t have to be cutthroat to be successful.

In fact, you can help other people grow and prosper at the same time. This is where contributive thinking comes in.

It’s when you look beyond your selfish desires and think about how you can give back to others.

This is how contribution happens. It’s also a wonderful way to plant the seeds of leadership.

If you know how to give value by improving the quality of lives of other people, as well as helping them grow, you now have one of the key tenents of a leader.

What’s the connection of leadership to success?

Well, if you cannot lead, you are limiting your growth potential.

You already have experiences wherein people are appointed managers. People follow them only because of their positions not because of their influence.

In fact, if you really study a group setting, you’ll pick up on who the “true leader” is. 

This is the person who, when they talk, everybody listens.

That’s because these individuals represent the interest of not only themselves but of the people around them.

Learn how you can leverage the advantages of contributive thinking not only to increase your chances of success but to effectively connect with those around you.

#6 Make time for creative thinking

Make time for creative thinking

Many times during our childhood, we’ve been told to, “Grow up.”

Now, I’m telling you that you have to integrate with the younger version of yourself.

This will give you the freedom to use your imagination.

Creative thinkers aren’t bothered by the impossible. They know that many things aren’t created just yet.

They can think outside the box because, in their minds, the box doesn’t even exist in the first place.

If you want to harness this form of thinking, make sure you give yourself time for relaxation.

Different people prefer various ways to achieve this.

Some enjoy nature walks, gardening, yoga, tai chi, or sipping tea.

Know what works for you.

People will tell you that idle time is unproductive. That can’t be any farther from the truth.

When your mind isn’t under stress, it performs at its best. 

A well-rested mind is a breeding ground for great ideas.

Recall an instance where you’re just washing the dishes, doing household chores, listening to music, or even bathing when you suddenly came upon a great idea.

This isn’t a coincidence.

Creative thinking is stimulated by unwinding activities. Even sleep is a necessary factor in nurturing this.

#7 Develop resilient thinking

Develop resilient thinking

The last type of thinking that I’ll highlight today is one of the most important in this list.

This correlates to your emotional intelligence.

Sadly, our culture predominantly values academic intelligence among other types.

But, resilience is just as vital.

Many of us are told to toughen it up and ignore our mental health. They say that stress is an inevitable part of success.

Although this can be the case at the beginning, it isn’t sustainable in the long run.

If you believe that you have to give up your well-being for success, then you’ll experience what is called chronic stress.

This isn’t a light matter.

Here’s what it does to you:

  • Lessens your energy
  • Lowers your creativity
  • Hurts your immune system
  • Makes you prone to mental illness
  • Prevents you from connecting with your peers
  • Harms your ability to perform at your peak level
  • …and so much more!

If you’re not naturally a resilient person, I suggest that you practice the following:

  • Try out yoga
  • Take walks in nature
  • Get ample sleep and rest
  • Embrace a loved one or pet
  • Regular deep breathing exercises

Don’t worry. You’ll get better at this over time.

Should you need more help, don’t hesitate to contact a professional.

Success also means that you don’t overextend yourself. You should be able to reap the rewards of your hard work while not being miserable.

You can be happy and successful at the same time.

3 Common Pitfalls Of Thinking For Success

#1 Constantly hyping up your emotions

Constantly hyping up your emotions

Did you know that even positive emotions, like excitement, put your body under stress?

And so, if you like to hype up your emotions early in the day, this can backfire.

It’s also worth mentioning that if you do this with exercise, this would be alright because there’s an outlet to release highly-charged feelings.

On their own, intense emotions should be experienced less.

What you should aim for is a constant state of calm.

When you’re in this state, you handle difficulties in a more rational manner.

You aren’t reactive to people and situations as well.

And so, learn to develop calmness within yourself.

This is the supreme emotional state your need for success.

#2 Engaging in excessive multitasking

Engaging in excessive multitasking

Our modern-day technology has enabled us to multitask with ease.

Additionally, there are many areas of our life that require our attention. Our relationships, personal goals, jobs, spiritual practices, etc. all demand our time.

And so, what most of us end up doing is trying to stay on top of everything until we exhaust ourselves.

Be wary of this.

It lessens your ability to focus. It also wreaks havoc on your capacity to be mindful and live in the moment.

Moreover, it hurts your happiness and potential to be the best version of yourself.

You can’t give your 100% if you’re constantly pouring your energy into different buckets.

With this in mind, you have to prioritize how you manage your energy.

You have to learn to say “no” to people to avoid burning out. 

You also have to ensure that you take care of your needs and recharge every single day before you set out to conduct your daily tasks.

Remember to fill your cup first and to spend your energy wisely.

#3 Accepting popular thinking

Accepting popular thinking

Sometimes popular thinking is correct, especially in terms when you need to use common sense.

But you have to realize that every situation is different. Furthermore, the world is everchanging and each generation varies.

The root of popular thinking comes from tradition and things that already worked out in the past.

You don’t live in that timeline.

You are one of the makers of the future.

That is why if you want to succeed in life, you have to take risks and journey on the path less traveled.

A lot of people will question your actions. Even you will do so, especially when you’re only starting.

But in time and experience, you’ll become stronger. There are also things you’ll learn along the way that will help you.

If you want to become mediocre and become just like everyone else, popular thinking can be your excuse.

Many people are afraid of failure and so they never try at all.

Worse, they prevent others from doing so. They believe that if someone accomplishes the unthinkable, people will realize that they were just fearful to have not tried in the first place.

Search inside of yourself and find your inner strength.


So that you can master your thinking for success, you need to map out your long-term plans, consistently give your all to your short-term tasks, develop the three aspects of realistic thinking (strategic, possibility, and potential negative outcomes), nurture collective thinking, foster contributive thinking, allow relaxation for creative thinking, and prioritize building your resilience.

You also have to avoid high-intensity emotions, refuse to overextend yourself through disproportionate multitasking, and have the bravery to reject popular thinking.

So, which of these tips resonated with you the best? Which ones are you already practicing in your life and those that need to be developed?

I’d like to know your thoughts. Drop them in the comment section below.

About The Author

Picture of David Cameron Gikandi

David Cameron Gikandi

A creative consultant on The Secret (2006) documentary, David Cameron Gikandi is an entrepreneur and manifesting coach and consultant for conscious entrepreneurs, leaders, life coaches who are looking to create more impact in their lives. He also helps them decode their essence so they can bring that into their lives, businesses, tribes and societies. He is also the author of A Happy Pocket Full of Money and other publications. David is also a futurist interested in blockchain technology which he believes will have wide-ranging applications including decentralized finance (DeFi). He holds a BSc. in International Business, an MSc. in Information Technology, a Dip. in Film Production, is a Microsoft Certified Solution Developer, and a Blockchain Revolution in Financial Services Specialization from INSEAD.

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