Experience, Leadership, Life, Life Science, Management, Self Management, success

Victim or Victor?

In discussing the difference between victor and victim mentality, psychologists talk about the locus of control. lf you have an internal locus of control, you blame yourself when something goes wrong. You believe that you are in control of your fate and that you have control of the outcome, and if you fail, it’s because of your own actions and no one else’s. But if you have an external locus of control and some thing goes wrong, you blame everyone but yourself. 

As a young man, I was deeply influenced by my Grand father, Pt. Deo Ram Sharma, who had a strong internal locus of control. When the Great Depression hit, he started a successful new event. When he disagreed with what was going on in family, he not only left his family but gifted all his parental property to his younger brothers and left his town to settle elsewhere to start from zero. This taught me that I, not the world, was in control of my life and that I, not the world, would determine what my life would look like. 

Having an internal locus of control is not always easy: When you win, it was you who won it, but when you lose, it was you who lost it. There is no scapegoat, no one other than yourself to blame, which can be crushing. My Grand father’s failed investments or efforts never discouraged him, because he never blamed anyone else for his failure. He learned from them, but he makes a special point not to dwell on his failures for too long. By not dwelling on them, you can avoid the crippling effects that failure can bring to someone with an internal locus of control. 

The great lesson here is this: People with an internal locus of control take responsibility for their failures and in the process learn from their mistakes. They are in control of themselves; they are in control of their world. They see problems as challenges to be conquered. (Think Bill Gates.) People with an external locus of control don’t believe that they have the power to solve their problems; they believe that they are the victims of circumstances that are beyond their control. (Think Wall Street.) Which View do you think leads to riches and greatness? 

Which type of person would have the strength to lead a family or a company or a nation through hard times? 

Are we victor or victim? Victors make great managers and leaders, because they can take responsibility and solve problems. Victims, on the other hand, are too busy inventing excuses and blaming the world to take up challenges and solve problems.