Tuesday, January 04, 2011

A Taste of Success

What if you need to feel success, before you can succeed? But how can I feel success before I succeed? What if the feeling of success can be “artificially” created: a synthetic success?

I try to learn swimming for many years, but fail miserably because I can’t float properly. I know how to paddle and kick, and move my hand, but I just fail to move my head up and get air (probably due to fear) while maintaining flotation balance. I try to get professional help eventually, which helps to increase my “movement” skill, but still fail to solve the breathing problem. One day we tried a float (we didn’t use these before because these are for kids, haha), where I could breathe and float better because there is a floatation device in front of me (though it might not float every well given the pressure I put on it). With the float, I finally felt the “feeling” of catching a breath while swimming. When the float was removed, suddenly I can swim and breathe, MIRACLE! I think the rewired my mind and body when I actually succeed in swimming & breathing with the help of the float, thus giving me the “feeling” of successfully performing the action. The float is the tool to create synthetic success in swimming.

Remember when I was young, I couldn’t balance well on bicycle and was very afraid. I always need the 2 mini support wheels on the side, or my dad to hold my bike. One day, I was cycling while my dad was pushing and holding from behind, then he push and let go. I was cycling by myself perfectly for a few seconds due to the momentum. I felt the “success” of being able to balance myself properly on the bike, and I learned how to cycle.

I think success is not a constant path where we collect millage slowly every day. There is a big canyon or a very steep hill in front of us, and we only gain the feeling of “success” once we cross that; we need breakthrough, and repetitively doing the same thing for 10 years doesn’t create “success”.

How do we create breakthrough? One of the methods is through synthetic success. What if I can show you a glimpse of you future, where you had become a millionaire; and you felt it’s so real and believed that future. Will your chances to be millionaire be good? Is it hard to be a millionaire? Will a millionaire felt that it’s hard to be a millionaire? If a self-made millionaire had gone bankrupt, it is easy for him to become a millionaire again? I believe once we felt success, we already rewired our mind and body to be successful.

I had been a freelance programmer for years, and I felt it’s easy and natural. For most employed programmers, there felt it’s difficult as they don’t know where to get clients. Neither do I, but somehow it just work out through word of mouth and reference by friend and family; and I am not a guy that is good with sales either. We probably have almost the same skill level, and we aren’t good with sales and PR either? So why I can make it, while he can’t? I already felt “success” (though it might not be a synthetic one), and he haven’t. It’s natural for business to create business, and it’s natural for employees for continue work for others, because both of them had felt success in what they are doing: they learned how to do it.
If I can synthesize the feeling of success in many scenarios, then it’s possible to accelerate the success almost instantly. If you know (or truly believe) that you are going to succeed, you probably will. The question is how do you truly believe, or how to trick your mind to truly believe.

Talking about tricking the mind, I remember about the movie “The Beautiful Mind”. The guy had a problem with illusion, where he truly believed that his illusion is real. The doctors solved his illusion with medication, where his illusion stops as well as his mind, as he can’t function normally as his mind and body are always drugged. Once he stops his medication, his illusion came back (to him his illusion is a reality). Until one day he realize something, which the little girl which he had known for the past 10 years didn’t actually grow up, and he successfully rewired his mind to believe that it is indeed an illusion. Though he still had his illusion and sees the little girl, he just ignores them because he knows they are not real. It proves that the mind can be tricked, and not all problems need to be eliminated (we can find a way to live with that problem).

The human mind is very powerful, and it can achieve whatever it believes. The mind can learn, can be rewired or can be tricked to believe. A lot of time we know and understand about certain theory or concepts through logical thinking, but we just didn’t truly believe or felt the reality of that believe. How can we truly believe? How can we trick our mind to truly believe?

For every problem, there is a solution, no matter how impossible it may seem. Just like the chicken and egg problem, someone could figure out the answer. When you truly believe there is a solution, will you find it? What happens when you give up?

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