Many people think that intelligence is the most important factor for success. Yet, in real life, intelligence counts for so little. It is not rare to see people who scored high in class years ago are doing the same as everyone else doing instead of standing out in the crowd after they graduated.
Why? Because the real important thing is AQ.
AQ means Adversity Quotient. Or, you can call it the “inability to consider failure”, according to Jim Cantrell, who’s the co-founder of SpaceX.
As Jim Cantrell recalled, when everybody thought Space X wouldn’t work, including himself, Elon Musk didn’t think about failure. He just thought about how to make it work. So at the end Jim Cantrell quit, and Elon Musk succeeded.
It is true that Elon Musk’s grand visions and extraordinary intelligence are crucial for his success, but what makes him so outstanding is in fact his high AQ.
But we are human. It is hard not to doubt yourself when things become so difficult.
Even Elon Musk doubted himself in 2008 when his two companies nearly went bankrupt. At that time he was going through a divorce as well. So he felt like he was a total failure and he wondered if he shouldn’t have done all these things. Fortunately these thoughts didn’t stay long.
To avoid yourself from dwelling on these thoughts and then giving up, you can write a list in advance.
This list can help boost your AQ a lot.
Before starting a project or working on a goal, list all the negative thoughts and excuses you would have when challenges arise. Then, write down a counter argument for each thought in order to persuade yourself to go on for the goal.
For example, before you are going to invest in a new project, you may write down the negative thought “I may not have enough money to support the project if there are any incidents”. Then for the counter argument, it can be “I can try to get a loan from family and bank, or even get a mortgage loan”. The solution for your own excuse is what makes you persist in face of challenges.
When you do this every time, very soon you’ll find that you don’t think of the negative side as much as before. And you’ll have more energies to focus on what to do to make things work, hence to make more breakthroughs and become more successful.