13 Habits of Highly Effective Mindsets

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Have you noticed that highly effective people think differently? It all comes down to the mindset they have; the way they think has direct correlation to their success and happiness in life. Want to learn how to get there? Then start by learning and applying these 13 characteristics of people with highly effective mindsets.

“And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.” – Anais Nin


1. They are grateful & appreciate life

The past is history and the future is impossible to predict accurately. Highly effective people are lovers of life and they know and accept this. That’s why they choose to focus their attention in present time. They’ve stopped worrying and thinking about what they haven’t done, haven’t got, or haven’t attended to….yet. They pause often and take a look around and realise the treasures of life’s gifts that surround. They are enthralled by how different each day and experience is.

It’s been thought that happiness makes you grateful. What we now know, is in fact that gratitude leads to happiness. Effective people know and appreciate this. Where they are now has been a journey of overcoming many obstacles and adversity through which they have grown and strengthened for future service. They give thanks for the opportunities that have lead to improvements and greater strength and wisdom in their life.


2. They take action

With a commitment and responsibility for their own happiness and unhappiness, effective people know that knowledge is useless without action. When they learn something new (whether through overcoming challenges or choice), they set out to apply that knowledge. They know that action is the bridge between where they are now and their dreams, and they go for it.


3. They flourish with ‘problems’

People with highly effective mindsets realise that in order to grow, learn, strengthen and ‘wisen up’ they must venture forward into situations that others may otherwise shy away from. They inch in towards problems and take action. They welcome opportunities to improve and support others to do the same.


4. They are disciplined

Highly effective people understand that anything worthwhile takes focus, effort and work – and because they believe in themselves and in what is possible, even if they don’t know the answers, they are prepared to do the work, ask the questions and get things done. They keep their focus and sights on the end goals at all times, yet allow their approach to adapt in order to learn what they need to learn in order to secure the outcomes.


5. They make great mentors

Because of their belief that we all have the ability to improve if we choose to and are willing to learn, they are not quick to judge. Rather, highly effective mindset people will embrace and offer themselves and others opportunities to stretch, learn and grow. They are shining mentors for others and lead by example.


6. They are optimistic

Things won’t always go to plan, so rather than getting bogged down in details, issues or drama, effective mindset people focus their attention on solutions and action orientation. They are optimistically positive and maintain an open mind, constantly curious about what is possible. Their attitude leads to greater levels of wellbeing and reduced stress.


7. They serve

Highly effective people know that they have so much to offer. Without arrogance or fanfare, they set about their work to achieve positive outcomes for the greater good. They know that it is in giving that they too receive, They seek to be of service to the companies and people they commit to. They are genuinely passionate about contributing and serving for a greater cause much bigger and greater than themselves.


8. They are resilient

Resilience is our capacity to bounce back from adversity. Highly effective people know that life can throw some pretty challenging circumstances upon their path. Rather than avoid, step over or around these challenges, they will open their minds, hearts and hands to embrace a greater learning that these challenges invite. They remain connected to those around them in the face of adversity, and their resilience encourages others to keep the faith when things look bleak.


9. They have a passion for learning

People with highly effective mindsets believe they can never stop learning. Every day is an opportunity to learn something new, to face a different challenge, to grow through adversity and harness their strengths to improve upon their weaknesses. They seek to grow and learn as much as they can to enable them to make a bigger difference. They are passionate about learning and about what they do.


10. They believe in themselves and others

Paulo Coelho said, “There are moments when troubles enter our lives and we can do nothing to avoid them. But they are there for a reason. Only when we have overcome them will we understand why they were there.

This is how they look at setbacks in their life. Things get tough and they too may fall, but people with effective mindsets will get back up again. They will not stay down for long. They won’t lose faith in themselves, others or life for long – the bounce back faster and grow on to do amazing things in this world. They believe in themselves and in possibilities.


11. They have possibility mindsets

In her book Mindset: The New Psychology of Success, Stanford University psychologist Carol Dweck says there are two types of mindsets: fixed and growth. If you have a fixed mindset you believe talent, intelligence and circumstances create success. This can lead you to self-handicap yourself.

When you have a growth mindset (I call it ‘possibility mindset’ and run workshops about developing this) you believe you have the power to change your circumstances by seeking opportunities to grow and improve.

The primary focus of a fixed mindset is to prove oneself as better than, smarter than, richer than etc… with a constant priority of comparing yourself to others. People with a fixed mindset derive their sense of self from how they ‘look’ to others in comparison.

Those with a possibility or growth mindset are more interested in improving themselves and the only person they compare themselves to, is themselves i.e. ‘am I doing/being better than I was last year?’


12.  They are mindful

People with effective mindsets know that in order to make wise decisions, they must discipline their minds to be effective thinkers. They will make the time to think and consider. They will treasure the wisdom and benefits of stillness and silence, for in this space, they know true wisdom emerges to inform their strategy.

They will collaborate to seek to understand more broadly what the implications of their decisions will be. They live and breathe and work in present time, and value the opportunity to simply be and not be rushed into premature adverse circumstances.


13. They take calculated risks

Whether you want to become your own boss or give up a bad habit, ask yourself this question: will you be better off by never starting or by taking a chance and risking failure?

It can be an easy answer. People with a highly effective mindset shift their focus from thinking that ‘failure’ to act means failure as a person. They know that success is a result of their own actions and are mindful of how they set about their work to enable all concerned to grow and profit. Taking calculated risks is key and the only way to truly grow and make a bigger difference.






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  • Kylie Fuller says:

    Hi Josie,
    Thank you for this, the messages are so true, your attitude is your best weapon, or your ticket to trouble. How you think, react and treat others influences everything you do. If we have stopped learning we are at the end of the journey, the learning is hard but the alternate is harder!