Ready for this?
It’s being open-minded.
Yes, I know, it can’t be that straight-forward as there are several other factors come into play. But all thing being equal, the one aspect that can make or break you career/life is your ability to stay open-minded. And being one means you’re willing to change, consider alternatives, and take the unconventional approach more often than others.
One of the most uncomfortable fact of our lives is that it doesn’t follow a linear path. It’s like a ship in the sea — you can set your destination but can’t really dictate how to navigate through the journey. That’s why it’s important to not be fixated on a single path, because there isn’t just one path on offer. There are many, if you’re willing to explore them.
And exploration doesn’t come easy to most people as it carries a certain amount of risk. There’s no guarantee if it’s going to work or you will have to start-over midway after investing a crapton of time and energy. To that, I say, it’s totally okay to have experimented else you wouldn’t have ever known what you truly suck at.
Unfortunately, most people lack the courage, discipline, and humility to face their failures, weaknesses, or even make hard choices. They’re too occupied with wishing things were better instead of embracing the suck and planning for the future; looking good to people whom they don’t even like versus achieving goals; and blaming the economy, circumstances, or their destiny when they should be owing their mistakes and keep hustling.
How does focusing on the things that either don’t matter or out of our influence ever going to help? And that’s where a person with an open mind clearly differentiates from everyone else — they would confront their weaknesses, make hard choices, and pivot when things aren’t working. And they’ll keep at it until they reach their destination.
You can’t do all of that — despite all the luck and opportunities have you — without an open-mind. And it’s worth noting that people with an open-mind seek counsel when they’re struggling but have a board of advisors when they’re succeeding.
Food for thought, perhaps?