“Contrary to popular belief, winning in life has little to do with IQ, your circumstances, your financial resources, or even luck. But, it has everything to do with creating a failure-resistant brain. Every time you think a thought, feel an emotion, or execute a behavior, your neuro-circuitry changes, and the good news is you can take charge of this process,” writes Dr. Jeff Browne and Dr. Marke Fenske in their book, The Winner’s Brain.
After looking at the latest scientific research and interviewing many individuals, they determined eight key attributes or “Win Factors” which can be developed by anyone to help unlock their brain’s hidden potential to achieve success. The Win Factors are:
Self Awareness - A winner’s brain has a healthy sense of self awareness which allows them to be more efficient in every part of their life from the job to relationships. When a person knows themselves well, they’re able to relate to the rest of the world better and vice versa. A winner’s brain has a stable and consistent sense of self, regardless of circumstances, which can be developed through mindfulness practices. (See blog: The Meaning of Mindfulness)
Motivation - A winners’ brain can overcome obstacles, push through challenges, and see rewards even when they are very far off in the distance and not guaranteed. The key is to search for rewards along the way as productivity has actually been found to be inversely related to external reward after a certain threshold. (See blog: Carrot On A Stick) “Staying consistently motivated keeps you on steady path toward success” the book says.
Focus - Winners develop the ability to concentrate on the tasks and activities in the moment even when the moment contains people, emails, phone calls, and texts competing for their attention. Nurturing and developing the powers of concentration and attention can actually change the physical composition of the brain which can translate into improved focus. Meditation and visualization have been shown to help increase focus and the ability to tune out distractions.
Emotional Balance - Winners learn how to pay attention to emotional responses, both in themselves and others, to gather important information and learn to work with their emotions to channel them in productive ways, instead of being blindly driven by them. At the heart of emotional balance is self-control which can be developed by thought reframing and other mindful practices. (See blogs: Poison Ivy Of The Mind and Turn It Around)
Memory - Winners learn how to use old information and memories to anticipate and better understand circumstances and apply past experience and knowledge to improve future performance. Strategically utilizing memory this way allows one to imagine, simulate and predict to be proactive about the future. Winners are also good at recognizing what they don’t know and have strategies for getting supplemental information which they, then, integrate for better results.
Resilience - Winners understand and embrace failure and realize that it is not a predictor of the future. The ability to get up, come back, and try again determines the future. “Winners reframe failures so that they work to their advantage and recognize that when things don’t go according to plan the journey isn’t necessarily over – and, in fact, failure is often a new opportunity in disguise.” (see blog: Bounce Back Or Look Back?)
Adaptability - “The Winner’s ability to adapt to changing circumstances is a defining feature of the brain itself…..The brain is surprisingly plastic and pliable. Winners embrace this fact. They take advantage of the fact that the brain keeps on changing no matter what and is molded by how they use it….This is the foundation of every single Winner’s Brain strategy and tip we offer” Brown and Fenske advise in the book. Every thought, every behavior and every emotion you have makes a corresponding change in the neurocircuitry of your brain. This real, physical, lasting change is called neuroplasticity. Neuroflexibility and self-directed neuroplasticity are powerful tools which we all have at our disposal for success. (See blogs: The Playdough In Your Head and The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly)
Brain Care - Winners exercise and take care of their brains by feeding it healthy foods, getting plenty of sleep and managing stress and anxiety. Providing the optimum care and feeding of your brain enhances all of the other “Win Factors” and gives your brain the edge it needs for success. (See: The Fountain of Youth For Brain And Body and Brain Food and Feed Your Brain)