“Destiny is not a matter of chance, it is a matter of choice; it is not a thing to be waited for, it is a thing to be achieved.” -Winston Churchill

How do we choose success?

A tight correlation has been recently discovered between a person’s perception of their health and their actual health status. This study found that those who believe that weight is outside of their control have less healthy BMIs, make poorer food choices, and report lower levels of personal wellbeing than those who don’t.

Why? Because if it is outside of their control and if they “don’t even have a shot” of course they are going to engage in behaviors that are rewarding in the short term!

The ability to focus on solutions in the face of adversity, to see growth – that is the determination of success.

Dr. Jason Selk speaks on this in 10 Minute Mental Toughness – “We humans are better at seeing problems than we are at seeing solutions. This itself is a problem, because what we dwell on expands“.

Those that think they are stuck with what they have – whether that be athletic performance, career, body type, poor eating, personality ticks, behavioral habits – are less likely to make an effort to change and often become distressed.

When we begin to focus on problems, our brain releases neurotransmitters that cause us to feel ‘not so hot’, they significantly limit your intellectual abilities and creativity. This is all occurring biologically and comes down back to how we perceive ourself, our control, and that overall image. It makes sense that we generally give up on hopeless causes…they wouldn’t be advantageous and our biological tendency is to focus on problem centric thoughts.

However, the second you cross the barrier and search to focusing on solutions – you release a whole new set of neurotransmitters that cause you to feel better, increase your memory, mental capacity and creativity.

Being focused on solutions means keeping your thoughts centered on what you want from life and what it takes to achieve what you want, as opposed to allowing thoughts of self-doubt and concern to occupy the mind“, Selk’s research found most solution-focused people achieve this 40% of the time, but RELENTLESS solution-focused people replace 100% of undesirable thinking with thoughts emphasizing solutions.

You possess the ability to achieve success. The first step is believing it’s in your power to change. The second is to choose to be relentlessly focused on the solutions and seeing growth.

1. Have the choice 2. See the solutions

That’s what this is all about! Want to be pleased with your efforts and progress? It doesn’t matter if you are striving for an Olympic gold medal or cleaning the kitchen – if you have a growth oriented mentality and focus on solutions you will be satisfied!

You have two choices – believe you have the capacity AND fight to overcome the challenge or let problems intimidate you and slump to defeat.

What is on thing you can do differently to make this week better? What is in your control?

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Written by Amanda Presgraves. Amanda is a senior Kinesiology major, Division I student-athlete and entrepreneur at James Madison University. As an advocate of health and personal growth, she’s on a constant pursuit to optimize life and inspire others through her commitment to healthy living. If you can’t find Amanda bouncing between the classroom, pool, kitchen, or volunteering, you can find her online as she continues to lead and motivate others towards a happier and improved life at COR through her article contributions, newsletters and community motivation. @amandapgraves, amanda.presgraves@gmail.comlinkedin.