“When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.” — Max Planck, German quantum theorist and Nobel Prize winner. There are two primary mental shifts that occur in the lives of all highly successful people. Many make the first, but very few make the second, argues Benjamin P. Hardy, writing here for Quartz Media.

Both of these shifts require a great deal of mental stretching from conventional and societal ways of thinking. In many ways, these shifts require you to unlearn the negative and sabotaging programming from your youth, public education, and even adulthood.

The foundation of the first shift is the sublime power of choice and individual responsibility. Once a you make this shift, you are empowered to pull yourself from poverty of time, finances, and relationships. In other words, the first shift allows you to create a happy and prosperous life, where, for the most part, you control how and on what you invest your time.

Unfortunately, the results of the first shift can be overly-satisfying on one hand or paralyzing on the other. Thus, few people ascend to the second shift. Hence, Greg McKeown, bestselling author of Essentialism explains,“Success can become a catalyst for failure.”

For example, when a musician starts out, they write lots of music for the love of it. Their dreams are often huge. If they end up becoming successful, in almost every case, they’ll begin producing less and less music overtime. This happens for one of two reasons:

  1. Their focus shifts from why they’re writing music to what their music has brought them. Consequently, they are either satisfied with their results and no longer have the drive to write more. Or, they desire to make more music but the fire (their “why”) is gone, and thus, they can’t create the same depth and quality they once did.
  2. They become perfectionist and paralyzed. They fear their best work is behind them. Elizabeth Gilbert describes her paralysis in her beautiful TED talk. After the mega-success of Eat, Pray, Love, Gilbert couldn’t get herself to write. She knew she wouldn’t be able to replicate the results of Eat, Pray, Love. This paralysis is where many, many people get stuck.

However, Gilbert is different from most, because, as she explains in her TED talk, she continued forward in spite of her success. In order to do so, she forced herself to fail a few times — just to “get it out of her system.” Once she did this, her emotional blocks were gone and she was able to continue her creative career.

The foundation of the second shift is transcending your own independence, wherein your thinking stretches far beyond yourself. Thus, the second shift begins with 10x thinking and subsequently requires you build a team/network that brings your ideas into physical form.

In this article, I explain the process of experiencing the first and second shift.

Let’s begin:

Shift 1: The power of choice

The following are the core components of your mental model after you’ve experienced the first shift:

You are responsible

“If it is to be, it is up to me.” — William H. Johnsen, famed African-American painter

This is a long article BUT well worth the read, the balance is available at the link below:

The two mental shifts highly successful people make — Quartz