I had no idea of the format for the evening, and considering the theme of a couple of my recent posts (here and here), I was quite amused when he said he was going to talk about the Psychology of Success, or 'How you get where you want to go'.
He's an articulate and amusing presenter, and kept his message clear and straightforward.
- Plan: Know where you want to go or what you want to do. This world of ours is full of information and distractions that can quickly lead us away from what we really want to do.
- Work: He subscribes to the view that we can over-rate talent, and sometimes use it as a cop-out for not trying, i.e. I'm no good at maths, and I'm never going to be any good. If we want to gain new skills or improve at something, then we need to practice, and have the mindset that we can improve. He mentioned some of the research that I've read, that talent isn't fixed and our mindset and attitude is vital in determining our success or otherwise.
- Think: Because we're so busy just trying to keep up with life, we probably don't spend enough time thinking about what is really important to us. This probably links back to planning. If we need to spend time really practising those skills we want to improve, we don't have the time to be excellent at everything, therefore we need to select those things that are most important to us.
Talent isn't fixed
The Right Mindset for Success - Harvard Business Review blog
The Effort Effect - Stanford Magazine
Success means different things to each of us. Nigel summed up the meaning of success for him - in the widest sense - as living a meaningful life, and in everyday interactions trying to make life a little better/nicer/happier for anyone he comes in contact with.
This idea isn't new, but it's good to be reminded that success shouldn't always be thought of in fame or financial terms.
As a side note to this, the event was held in one of the local schools. Parking was in various parts of the school grounds and the surrounding roads. I'd been directed to the tennis courts for parking. Several hundred people attended the event, and exiting the school grounds afterwards was obviously very slow. I sat patiently in my parking space for about ten minutes waiting to join the exit queue. The school hall had been cold, and to be honest, I was just happy to thaw out with the heater going full blast! From my parking space, I was looking at a driver in the queue. He was behind a driver who was very kindly letting everyone else out. The driver I could see looked as though he wanted to lean on his horn, but he must have remembered Nigel's comments, and refrained!