What's something that almost all successful people have in common? Take a guess.
It's not luck, fortune, fame, drive, or good genes (of course, these are all a plus).
The thing that most successful people have in common is a high internal locus of control. People with a high internal locus of control tend to live longer, have better marriages, and have happier lives than people who don't. So, what does an internal locus of control look like?
If you have a high internal locus of control, you feel that you are in complete control of your life. You attribute your successes and failures entirely to yourself. Setbacks and failures are due to inadequate preparation, not due to bad luck, or any other external factors. Likewise, you know that the successes in your life are due to deliberate action and hard work, and not due to good luck, genes, or natural smarts.
On the contrary, if you have an external locus of control, you feel that your life and the decisions you make are controlled by chance, fate, or environmental factors that you cannot influence. You attribute your successes and failures to external factors, such as luck and genes. If you have a high external locus of control, you believe that any bad relationship you have is due to your partner, and not to yourself. You also believe that your success in life is due to your genes, fortune, luck, and natural smarts, and not due to your hard work and dedication.
The Locus of Control Test
Where do you fit on the spectrum of locus of control? Do you have an internal, or external locus of control? Here are a few questions to ask yourself:
- Was I born with a natural level of intelligence, or can I train myself to become smarter and more intelligent?
- Am I naturally bad at sports, or can I get into great shape if I work hard?
- Were the setbacks and failures I've experienced in life due to bad luck, or did they occur because I wasn't adequately prepared?
- Do people get good jobs just because they happen to be in the right place at the right time, or do they get good jobs because they put in the time, work, and effort?
- Do I have control over my life, or am I destined for a certain path, regardless of what I think, say, and do?
It's fairly easy to determine, with just a few questions, whether or not you have an internal, or external locus of control.
People with a high internal locus of control tend to live longer, have better marriages, become more successful, and have a happier life than those with an external locus of control. If you can decide that you are in control of your own life, you can reap all of the benefits of having a high internal locus of control. Change your mind, and you can change your life.
Are you in control of your own life?