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The Psychology of Success

The Psychology of Success

30 April 2021|Latest Posts, Psychology

The Psychology of Success by Morteza Maleki
The Psychology of Success by Morteza Maleki

By Morteza Maleki.  I think when it come to success there are two overarching elements that play a significant role in creating the optimal mindset both for a team and for an individual: 

a.) How do we [personally] qualify success? 

Despite the fact that we are constantly fed a rather a detailed idea of what “success” looks like, we cannot deny the fact that actually, success is mostly subjective to the individual. What I perceive as a success may be viewed as standard expectation to another, depending very much on my objectives and experiences. If we begin by making comparisons as to other’s ideas of success, this can from the onset affect our mindset. 

b.) What do we [personally] believe we need to achieve success? 

Research has shown that the behaviours of people hugely differ towards achieving success, depending on whether they believe success is a) directly linked to talent or b) directly linked to attitude and effort. I’m of the opinion that of course both are influencing factors, but one will always have a greater effect on achieving success. I believe an individual’s attitude and effort has the greatest influence; and so placing emphasis on mindset. 

Someone once told me “You’ve got to believe it to see it” and I think that one sentence alone, encapsulates my mindset and the mindset I am embedding within the team at House Of Influence. This leads me to my first rule of ‘creating a mindset for success’:

1. What do you believe in? 

I find a lot of the time we think we know what we believe in and why, but actually somewhere along the line, we just subscribed to someone else’s belief systems. Your beliefs, values and principles are pivotal in setting your ‘organic’ mindset for success. As you establish your ownbelief system; aligning this with your goals becomes far easier. These values and principles that you have now established as your own begin to fit and create a clearer picture of what your success looks like. Visualising your success (built from your values) is my first ‘tick-box’ in achieving a mindset for success.

Note: “My vision of success is being a CEO of an advertising agency”… That is not a tailored vision. These forms of generic desires create little value in the form of success visualisation. The more your vision of success is tailored to you; the more it will be an advantageous tool in bringing it to life.

2. How will you inspire?

In my experience, success in business is intrinsically related to how well you (as a leader) are able to inspire your stakeholders. Whether an employee, an investor or a prospective customer; they are all [in someway] looking to be disconnected from the mundane and to be a part of something that inspires. 

If you have ever worked for a business, or a line manager that does nothing to inspire you; and you spent your days thinking “I could do a better job”, you’ll have a very good idea of how difficult it would be to attempt to achieve ‘success’ with an employee set in that mindset. So the question is, how do you create an ‘inspired’ mindset…? I have always done this by creating ‘purpose’ 

To create purpose, is to give something meaning; a compelling and intuitive reason why something or someone should ‘exist’. Research has show there is a positive correlation between a clear and established purpose in an individual’s work, and their motivation levels. 

At House Of Influence our purpose is to “Positively transform the world of social media, by finding, creating and sharing good influence” Both for myself and for the team, it has always been a priority to have this purpose clearly established and brought to life. 

In my experience, for a purpose to truly create a positive impact on mindset, it must tick the Three Engagement Levels; Head, Heart and Hand. It must first engagement the ‘Head’ through rationale. It must then engage the ‘Heart’ through emotional relevance. And finally it must be clearly actionable (the Hand). 

3. How do you attribute your success and failures? 

When it comes to creating an optimal mindset for success, I often draw on sports psychology, and ‘Attribution Theory’; this (in a nutshell) puts people into two groups: Dispositional Attributors Vs. Situational Attributors. Individuals that fall in the Dispositional group, assigns their success or failures to their own internal characteristic or behaviour, rather than to external influence. Where as the Situational group look to assign their success or failures to external influences outside of their control, rather than to their internal characteristic or behaviours. This has always fascinated me; how this simple innate act of assigning causality to an outcome, can completely change a persons mindset in future situations.

I’m sure we’ve all experienced winning a sporting challenge against another competitor and either thinking “I won because I trained harder and put in more hours” … or “I won because my opponent was not at their best and I got lucky”. In that moment of attributing the outcome, we are creating and reinforcing a mindset, which will affect our next ‘game’. 

I’ve notices that to achieve the optimal mindset, we actually need to not fall in either category, or rather drift from one to another. The reality is that both can be true; both external and internal factors can affect the outcome. But being able to be removed of ‘opinion’ and hold an objective perspective, really adds to tangible growth, and so a positive mindset, fine-tuned for success. 

I think there is a lot to be said for ‘personal experience’ and in my personal experience, the combination of the above “rules” that I’ve created for the team and myself, have proven to help build a strong psychological state for achieving success.  

About the Author

Morteza Maleki spent 18 years in Marketing for M&C Saatchi working on major international campaigns for leading brands. Having seen the shifts in the market with social media advertising and influencer driven campaigns he saw a gap in the market for an influencer and social media led magazine, and thus was born House of Influence Magazine. Having started with a team of 3 in December 2019 the business has grown to a team of 20 during lockdown and the site launched in October 2020. With many offers of funding on the table and phase 2 of the business launching in July brands and influencers globally are jumping on board with HOI and the ‘Good Influence Project’. Morteza can cover anything social media, influencer and marketing driven.