Mindset and behaviors for success

Submitted by chaky on Thu, 10/21/2021 - 20:37

I believe there are three primary mindset/behaviors that drive success:

1. Having a growth mindset

The behavioral scientist K. Anders Ericsson found that top performers never stop improving, because they always think that they are weak and they got to improve, and most importantly they believe they can improve.  Having growth mindset changes the way we see failures.  If you treat failures as one more step towards success, you are likely to improve and get better.  But for some people, they tend to judge negatively about themselves during failure, and sometimes become even depressed.

2. Discipline and self-control

The behavioral scientist Walter Michel conducted the famous Marshmallow test, which asked children to whether to eat a small marshmallow now or to wait for a while, then they can get two marshmallows.  Michel analyzed their lives after decades later and found that those who higher self-control can perform better in school, earn more money, and generally healthier and happier.    I myself am not really sure this is a good evidence but I can only speak for myself.   I would say I am not the most successful person in the world, but  myself constantly telling myself to work consistently (e.g., read papers, code) certainly matters.  Yes, I think it matters around 60-70%, the rest of 30% is really luck (e.g., meeting good people) and a sheer bit of genius. 

3. Perseverance

Perseverance or scientist called "grit" is anecdotally considered important for any careers.  Grit is first studied by Sir Francis Galton back in 1892 and popularized by "Grit" authored by Angela Duckworth.    Once again, I probably coached over 100 master and Ph.D. students; I would say that very successful students tend to be creative, independent, but most importantly, they do not easily give up on what they believe.