Many of us wonder what is the secret behind the winners. Success is not a matter of luck or chance: behind a successful person there is a great effort achieved over the years and cultivating habits that make them be in the place they deserve. And this applies to all areas of life, both professional and personal, as well as financial.
Confucius said that “the will to win, the desire to succeed, the desire to reach your full potential… These are the keys that will open the door to personal excellence. We must all seek personal excellence, follow a process of continuous improvement in all facets of life, and because it is a process, it never ends. We can always improve, grow… and I would say that we must always do so, that we are in the obligation to do so.
To be excellent is to do things the best you can, to dedicate all the effort and energy to each task and to each relationship, according to the possibilities and aptitudes that each person possesses. To be excellent is to improve continuously to banish negative habits and to acquire other positive ones. And it is not only necessary to develop good habits, but also skills, defining these not as abilities, but as excellent performance. Being competent can be worked on by seeking excellence in each of the facets that we want to develop. In this way, if we manage to be competent from an economic point of view, we can say that we have achieved financial excellence. And this not only depends on earning a lot of money, but also on saving, choosing our expenses, enjoying, sharing and evolving.
The Real Academia Española defines competence as “expertise, aptitude or suitability to do something or intervene in a given matter”. In the framework in which we are, this definition falls short, as we intend to provide the competition with a higher level of perfection and skill. For Goleman, the ability to understand and work with feelings depends on different emotional competencies, and he spoke of the fact that if someone had a high emotional intelligence it was because he was considered excellent in the totality of those emotional competencies. For him, emotional competence was an “acquired ability, based on emotional intelligence, that results in outstanding performance.
That is why in emotional intelligence we do not focus on a single ability, but on several, which feed back and influence each other. That is why having a brain preference is not enough, but rather we have to work all four brains and internalize the strengths of each one of them.
Knowing our preferred brain is key to improving our financial situation, as it will not only help us to develop our strengths, but especially to be aware of our weaknesses and work on them. Polishing the areas of risk and developing the good in the rest of our brains is what will build in us the character necessary to achieve solid and lasting prosperity.
It is not enough to possess the skills of our preferred brain if we do not develop the character necessary to control it. If we grow as people, we will grow in all areas of our lives, including of course financially. Self-criticism is a healthy practice if you are aware of your own failures or defects, assume them and propose to correct or mitigate them as much as possible. It is a self-evaluation thanks to which you learn and adjust your behavior and improve what can be improved.
It will be of no use to us to have a gift for people if we spend to please others. Nor will it help us to have a great capacity for leadership or to earn a lot of money if the decisions we make lead us to financial bankruptcy. Nor is it any good to have a great capacity for analysis if everything remains in plan.
If we use the action of the reptilian brain, together with the joy and gift of the limbic, the analysis of the neocortex and the commitment and search for utility of the prefrontal brain, we will have everything necessary to achieve success. Discipline, empathy, reflection and utility are the basic elements to reach our goals.
Self-knowledge dignifies us and unites us with what we are, with our essence. When we understand what our strengths are, we can help our will to generate habits of excellence from which to face adversities as if they were opportunities. We will lead our lives when we manage the gifts that our genetics have given us and, through them, commit ourselves to achieve our purpose.
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Rocío Ledesma del Fresno
Manager of Dextra Corporate Advisors and director of Navis Capital Desarrollo, SGEIC