Most of us live our lives based around a formula: Work hard, become successful, find happiness.

From the time we enter kindergarten to the time we retire from our careers, our lives revolve around the next “when I” statement. When I graduate from college, I’ll be able to do this. When I land this job, I’ll be able to do that. When I make six figures, then I will be happy.

If that is the kind of thinking that you’ve allowed into your life, I’m here to tell you that this “when I” thinking will get you nowhere. Happiness is not the consequence of success, it is the cause of success.

At FPG, we believe in tackling each day with a positive mindset because we know that it will propel you towards your goals. If you live each day to win, rather than just to get by, your career will be launched to a new level.

Billionaire Ray Dalio built his company into the largest hedge fund in the world by using what he calls ‘radical transparency’ to create growth. He encourages total honesty with his team. In his TED Talk, he shared an email he got from an employee who gave him a D-minus for his performance in a meeting.

This didn’t demoralize him – it energized him. Because everyone operates with an open agenda, he knew where he needed to get better and knew exactly where he stood with his team. This removed the fear of being wrong and the need to look smart all the time. It also used mistakes as chances to get better every single day.

A recent study by the Journal of Career Assessment supports that happiness leads to career success. They wanted to answer this question: Are happy people more likely to perform well and succeed in the workplace? This statement based on evidence, appears to be true.  Relative to their less happy peers, people who experience frequent positive emotions are more satisfied with their jobs, receive more favorable evaluations from supervisors, and perform better on work-related tasks.

Happy people are more likely to go above and beyond for their jobs. In order to extinguish the next “when I” thought, you need to establish a growth mindset. Our award-winning Leadership Sales Coaching programdives into this idea of establishing a growth mindset for yourself, as well as your team.

Sure, you’ll have those days where you don’t feel happy to be working. You’ll have a tough quarter, your work may seem tedious or redundant, or your personal life is putting you in a rut. What I do when I find myself in a slump is I acknowledge it, I form a plan to fix it, and I force myself to be better.

Here are 3 steps to build stronger beliefs around a growth mindset.

  1. Come up with your biggest challenge right now.

  2. Write out your current response to that challenge, and then write out what the strongest response to that challenge would be. When those two ends meet, that’s when you create the most long term growth in yourself.

  3. Be intentional about leading yourself with the same growth mindset that you lead your team with.

The best thing about a growth mindset is that it strengthens your leadership of yourself.  When you feel you’ve had a setback, you can lead yourself to embrace a growth mindset instead of a fixed mindset.

You need to believe that you are the cause of your success. You need to believe that you can control your path towards success and happiness from right where you are. You don’t need to have this “when I” thinking.

You need to believe that you have the power today to be better than you were yesterday.

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