leader & figures against gray background

Over time, my estimation of how important mindset is to success has increased.

To be able to work, consistently, at a decent rare, over time, is rare. It's not a skill that's universally, commonly distributed in the workforce.

If you are like that, that puts you at the top of your group.

This is where I notice a difference between the language we use to describe the workforce, and the reality of it.

In the language we hear about the workforce, everyone from the bottom to the top is giving one hundred and ten percent.

The reality is more like: people try, but there is a limit to how hard and how seriously.

I'm not talking about work outside standard hours here. I'm also not talking about workplaces I haven't seen.

But in the average white collar workplace, taking all the employees as a whole, there is a standard of work which a hard-working person can beat.

A lot of it comes down to mindset.

Mindset means a few different things, in this context.

One is being able to work relatively steadily, without undue interruptions or breaks.

Another is being able to recover if something goes wrong, or the plan needs you, for a time, to wing it.

Yet another is having the focus and initiative to analyze a situation, see how to improve it, and then improve it.

Behind that, there is mindset: the mentality, the approaches, even the thoughts, that makes it possible to react this way.

It helps to have a relatively even emotional keel. To be able to use your emotions to harmonize with your work, and then do it better.

Another is having a certain amount of resilience, being able to adjust as the situation does, however randomly.

Finally, there's staying positive and keeping at it, something like the opposite of despair. Eventually, if you work long enough, you'll encounter a situation where you need those skills. Having them will help you.

The one thing all of these things have in common, is the right mental stance: having the right frame of mind, the right motivation, the right mental tools, to apply yourself.

Over time, my estimation of the value of that has increased. It matters, more than you think.

The workplace isn't really just people working hard all the time. Being able to actually work like that will put you at the front - a good place to be.