HomeVolume 1Issue 10Our mind shapes our destiny

Our mind shapes our destiny

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Our mind shapes our destiny

CLARA SMITH shares with students who are in their final year at school how to achieve their goals.

Have you ever marvelled at the factors of human success and failure? Why is it that some who are born into poverty resign themselves to the situations of their birth, while others use this experience to redefine their future? Why do some students elect to evade their schoolwork, yet others prioritise their academic progress? Does it simply come down to luck, acquired talent or human connections?

Imagine being born into poverty and having no electricity, insufficient money and scarce portions of food and water. Imagine being told that your dream of having an education and acquiring knowledge is a fantasy. Imagine being cajoled into a destiny you do not desire, but you don’t let these notions confine you. Instead, your humble beginnings empower you and encourage you to change your fate. With this mindset you develop perseverance and the will to succeed.

This is exactly what Maha Sinnathamby did. Without letting the circumstances of his birth entrap him, Sinnathamby attained an education at The University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia. This man of humble beginnings then used his newfound knowledge to convert a tract of futile bushland into the thriving metropolis that we now know as Springfield. He wisely devoted his success to one simple motto: “If the mind is intensely eager, everything can be accomplished – mountains can be crumbled into atoms.”

So what allowed Sinnathamby to achieve greatness? It was his perseverance and passion for long-term goals. This aspect of his mindset I will call ‘grit’.

Psychologist Angela Lee Duckworth deduced that grit is as essential as talent to achieve high accomplishments1. Her findings show that innate intelligence doesn’t always translate into achievement. In fact, the most accomplished people were, on average, only five points higher in IQ than the least accomplished.

The IQ test is a method used to differentiate intellectual ability. Considering this scale goes from 1 to 200, five points is inconsequential2. This suggests that there is another determining factor that contributes to success. Duckworth concluded that this factor is ‘grit’, an element associated with passion and perseverance, which are states of emotions set by the mind. Clearly, our mindset is a crucial aspect linked with success.


By laying down a foundation of grit
and fine-tuning this instrument of the mind,
success will inevitably come your way.

Our collective doctrine, however, is that our circumstances define our chance to achieve our goals. Many see their destiny as something which is dependent upon the variables of their formative years.

So let’s take a moment to review how you are feeling today. Are you happy with your accomplishments? Are you on track to achieving your long-term goals? Are you in the right mindset to approach them? If you said ‘no’ to any one of these questions, do not worry, nothing is lost.

Scientists have come to the conclusion that most people have up to 50,000 thoughts each day and up to 80% of them are either passive or negative.3

Motivational speaker and psychologist, Tim Shurr, proposes two stratagems, incorporating mindful thinking and visualization4. Instead of focusing on what you don’t have, focus on what you can have and how to get it. The greatest secret ever told is that the quality of our life is determined by our thinking. Once your mind develops a lust, it will conjure a method of acquisition. Once your positivity is up to par, the next objective is imagery. Visualization is the art of mentally picturing yourself successful, as if you have already achieved your goal. The association of the pleasure felt with achieving this goal will serve as your figurative mentor to lead you down that path.


So starting today, gradually maneuvre your thoughts
into a direction that will lead you to success.
Direct your thoughts towards the realization of the ideal
you have placed in front of yourself.

So starting today, gradually maneuvre your thoughts into a direction that will lead you to success. Direct your thoughts towards the realization of the ideal you have placed in front of yourself. By laying down a foundation of grit and fine-tuning this instrument of the mind, success will inevitably come your way. As Sinnathamby sagely said, “The mind has to be made malleable like clay. Just as clay sticks wherever you throw it, the mind must be made to dwell upon whatever object you concentrate it.”


1 Duckworth, A. L.,2007. Personality Processes and Individual Differences. Retrieved from Grit: Perseverance and Passion for Long-term Goals: https://www.sas.upenn.edu/~duckwort/images/ Grit%20JPSP.pdf
2 Raven, 2015. IQ test for free. Retrieved from IQ test: https://www.iqtestforfree.net/iq-scale.html
3 Control your mind. (n.d.). Retrieved from Control Your Future: http://1106design.com/wp-content/ uploads/Pages-from-Lifes-Cheat-Sheet.pdf
4 Shurr, T. (n.d.). Conditioning Your Mind for Success. Retrieved from Shurr Success Inc.: http://1106design.com/wp-content/ uploads/Pages-from-Lifes-Cheat-Sheet. pdf



Article by CLARA SMITH


Clara Smith

Clara Smith is currently studying at the University of Queensland and working as a civil engineer in Brisbane, Australia. Race walking is her passion and she continues her career as an elite athlete at the international level. She grew up in a spiritual environment and started Heartfulness Meditation at the age of 15, using the practices... Read more

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