I begin with a simple question: What are the keys that unlock the door to personal excellence? There might be many. But the most important is the ‘will to win’, i.e. the desire to succeed and the urge to reach your full potential. In short, a ‘winning attitude’. A deep-rooted desire to win makes you win. Desire in itself is not enough. You have to have a strong winning attitude if you want to win. Those who succeed are those who think they can. A winning attitude allows you to work on the things you can control. With a winning attitude, winning takes precedence over all other things.
This one of the essential traits of successful people was recently reinforced in my mind when I was reading about the person who is the newest sensation in the tech world. He is an American entrepreneur, investor and programmer, Mr. Samuel Harris Altman, popularly known as Sam Altman, the creator of ChatGPT and CEO of OpenAI, an Artificial Intelligence (AI) research laboratory in the USA. The life of this man behind the AI revolution, who recently visited India, is an ideal example of how a winning attitude plays a crucial role in one’s journey to success.
Mr. Altman, 38, received his first computer at eight. After completing his schooling, he joined Stanford University in 2005 for a degree in Computer Science but dropped out a year later. In between, he founded a location-based social networking platform Loopt in 2009 at 19, which he later sold for $43.4 million. Before completing 30, he engaged with several other ventures and partnerships, and emerged as an investor in his own right. So much so that Forbes magazine named him as one of the top investors under 30 in 2015; his name also figures in Time magazine’s ‘Most Influential People 2023’ list.
Why do winning and an attitude of winning matter? Because as Mr. Altman says, “A winning team feels good and keeps winning. A team that hasn’t won in a while gets demotivated and keeps losing.” What he says about teams equally applies to individuals. A winning attitude is defined as an optimistic outlook on life. It is an inside-out process that involves long-term goals and taking positive actions day-to-day. It builds confidence, increases the ability to take the initiative and be resourceful, and creates healthy self-esteem while improving results.
Here are seven steps to create a winning attitude. First, choose the right mindset. You have to have a growth mindset rather than a fixed one. You can either believe that your talents are fixed or be open and willing to learn anything to grow. Second, create a positive self-image. Engage in positive self-talk and encourage yourself when things get tough. Third, don’t dwell on your failures. Instead, learn how to use the losses or failures to fuel your fire. Fourth,
increase your commitment. By committing yourself to getting better every single day, you will build a vast amount of self-integrity. When you look at all the high-performers, it’s easy to see that their daily rituals are the ones that produce massive success.
Fifth, if you want to improve your attitude instantly, think of something you are grateful for. Studies have found it is impossible to simultaneously be mad or sad and thankful. Sixth, surround yourself with winners. One of Mr. Altman’s success mantras goes like this: “No matter what you choose, build stuff and be around smart people.” And he for sure stayed around smart and intelligent people as he started OpenAI along with Tesla and Twitter owner Mr. Elon Musk, LinkedIn Co-founder Mr. Reid Hoffman, and PayPal co-founder Mr. Peter Thiel. He reiterates, “You become an average of the people you spend the most time with.” Seventh, never give up. The harsh truth is that when you give up on something you want to achieve, you programme your brain to get into the habit of giving up. Therefore, instead of quitting, remind yourself why you started and use those reasons for motivation.
Let me conclude with Mr. Altman’s one of the most motivational quotes: “Young people willing to push super hard to make something happen are among the most powerful forces in the world.”
Wishing you success and happiness in all your endeavours.