Mindset: Don’t Let a Better Life Pass You By…

Today’s blog from Mark Swain shows how managing your mindset can drive positive changes in your life.
Enthusiastically reading the excellent ‘Flip the Script’ blog by Sara McCord, I was struck by how great writers like Sara make some tricky stuff ultra-simple.  Sara’s basically saying that you control your mindset.  You choose the best reaction or outcome from a situation, rather than the worst one.  You see it as light not dark. Consciously or subconsciously, you connect, react or attach to it in a way you choose. This mindset dictates your self-image, your self-confidence and your ability to self-regulate (i.e. to control your emotional state, which we know is crucial to performance and success).
Despite the fact that Sara, quite rightly, says she’s not ‘suggesting you simply pretend a bad situation is a good one’, I’m going to give you an example of where I changed my mindset to come through tough times – when I experienced a failed surgery, which meant it had to be revised and repeated. The second time I told myself that my unconscious brain could control my conscious brain, meaning I could teach myself to heal myself. Well actually, a brilliant guy called Denis taught me the technique, but the rest was down to me and practice, practice, practice.
The result was a spookily successful surgery. A negative mindset would say it was all down to a brilliant surgeon. A positive mindset will tell you that it was all down to me – because I changed my approach.  As the quote goes ‘your mind is a powerful thing. When you fill it with positive thoughts, your life will start to change’. Given how family, friends, colleagues and bosses all prefer people with a positive mindset, they’ll all view you better.  For an employer, a negative mindset stands out a mile and a positive one shines like a beacon.  And strangely a positive mental attitude starts to make good things happen in life.  It doesn’t fix the proverbial broken leg or broken heart, but it can improve pretty much everything else.
But I know, from personal experience, that you have to work on your mindset.  Controlling, choosing and changing it takes time and effort, but the incentive is obvious.  Mindset trumps personality – meaning that, whatever your characteristics, foibles or quirks you can be successful and happy by taking control of this powerful driving force. What an amazing opportunity.stay positive
So when you find yourself being negative, in any situation, stop yourself – and look for the positive. Flip the emotion and reverse the language. It’ll involve a little self-talk, but that’s OK. Being able to talk yourself into thinking differently about something is a brilliant life skill. Once you can see things generally more positively, set your sights higher. Plan to achieve those new goals, expect more of yourself, and don’t be surprised when you get more. Overcome challenges and setbacks, and keep on going. That’s when you’ll know you’ve mastered your mindset. It will take determination, but it will happen.  
We talk about this positive outlook here at HelloGrads in Adopt a Positive Outlook, and Take Control. Have a good read and give this a try.  Don’t let a better life pass you by…

Read Mark’s final Happiness blog tomorrow:

PRIME: Expectations


See more from Mark Swain:

PRIME: Personality: The Way to Find the Work You Love
How to get to know your personality, what really makes you tick, and how to use that self-awareness to find work you’ll really enjoy


PRIME: Resilience: It’s More Than Just ‘Bouncing Back’ 
Resilience is multi-dimensional. Find out how to build resilience to help achieve your goals.


PRIME: Image: The Ultimate Test of Self Control
Image is vital to happiness and mostly in our control.  Learn how to improve your self-image and projected image.


For Those Shrinking Violets
Top tips for introverts, and for extroverts who want to better understand the introverts you know


Mark Swain

Mark Swain

Director of Partnerships at Henley Business School


About Mark Swain

Mark Swain will be one of our regular contributors at Hello Grads.
 As Director of Partnerships at the Henley Business School, he delivers high-end learning and leadership development to senior business executives – through training, events and networking.

Mark has enjoyed a career across sales, marketing and many aspects of HR, and he will be talking and writing about some pressing issues for graduates – choosing career direction, recognising what you have to offer, and making yourself stand out in a competitive jobs market.

Contact:  mark.swain@henley.ac.uk or www.meritology.me and @meritology


Director of Partnerships at the Henley Business School
FInstSMM – Fellow of the Institute of Sales & Marketing Management
Fellow at The Learning & Performance Institute
Lead consultant at The Chemistry Group

Education:  University of Portsmouth – Economics