Monday, 29 October 2012

Chasing Success: L. L. S. F (1)

Thanks for dropping by. 

As I mentioned in my last post, I will be sharing five lessons I have learnt so far - from people who have impacted me positively. (L.L.S.F = Lessons Learnt So Far)

The first lesson relates to a concept called 'Locus of Control' - which I will refer to as LOC in this post

What is Locus of Control?
In Psychology, Locus of Control is considered to be an important aspect of personality and refers to how an individual perceives things that happen in his/her life. It can be summarised as how a person answers this basic question:
Do you believe that your destiny is controlled by yourself or by external forces (such as fate, god, or powerful others)?
Individuals who answer 'yourself' are classed as having INTERNAL LOC ....Those who answer 'external forces' are classed as having EXTERNAL LOC: 

External Locus of Control

Individual believes that his/her behaviour is guided by fate, luck, or other external circumstances

Internal Locus of Control

Individual believes that his/her behaviour is guided by his/her personal decisions and efforts.
With regards to the short quiz in my last post - If you chose mostly a answers - you are likely to have an EXTERNAL LOC. If you chose mostly b answers, you are likely to be INTERNAL.

However,  like everything in life - people might change their answer from time to time.............but, in my experience, high achievers usually tend to possess an INTERNAL LOC most of the time - They feel that they are in charge of their destiny and their efforts can have a positive impact on their ability to achieve their goals, their dreams and their vision.

This feeling of 'being in control of one's destiny' might take a bashing from time to time and numerous influences can shape one's LOC:
- Gender: I do feel men generally tend to feel more in control of their own destiny
- Age: The older people I meet generally do feel success in life is down to the effort you put in
- Upbringing: Children who have grown in competitive household - where excellence was rewarded - might grow to appreciate the relationship between effort and reward
- Environment: Without generalising, a lot of Nigerians I know feel our Nigerian society is very much one of 'who you know' - so effort is not often rewarded
- Religion / Beliefs: From experience, a lot of deeply religious people I encounter forget that prayer without deeds is futile. If one keeps on attributing every event to luck or fate, the person is likely to feel powerless in his/her own life

I must also warn that we should not take a simplistic view - that being having an EXTERNAL LOC is bad .................OR...........having INTERNAL is good. This is because INTERNALS can be great worriers as they try to control everything..........Also, EXTERNALS can be very easy going as they attribute events and experiences to 'luck' or 'fate'

However, one lesson I have learnt from people I admire is that - if we want to achieve success in life - we must recognise instances where we hand over control over our lives to others........ That is why I think we should all be aware of our LOC as it can highlight attitudes we need to change/ modify.

Q: How has this knowledge helped me?............A: To make better choices :
- If I spot an opportunity, it is up to me to pursue it. I am responsible for my own progress
- If something bad happens around me, I have the option of learning from it or letting the event defeat me. I have a choice
- If something good happens to me, I have the option of putting it down to luck or identifying what I did to facilitate that event. If I was instrumental to this event/ experience....I can repeat it
- If something I have been doing is not working. ............Why am I carrying on? I have a choice to stop it
- If something I am doing is successful........... Why cant I extend that success to other parts of my life. I have the choice.
- If I am confused and unsure of a path to follow (personally or professionally), I do as much research as possible i.e. speak to more experienced people; Pray and make a decison. I have the faith and confidence to explore any option that might see me excel in life.

If you are interested in taking the full LOC test - so you can understand where you stand -  please go here

In the meantime, do let me know if I make sense.  Your comments are always welcome.

I'll be back on the 8th of November. God bless.


  1. This reminds me of AS Psychology. We did the test and all. Nice post, waiting to see your next one on the 8th. :)

  2. Got a middle score. Next post pls.

    1. LOL @'next post please'
      I am guessing you are a little Miss Bossy LOL
      Hope all is well?

  3. Very deep post. I identify more witht he internal loc, but I have come to realise that some things in life are out of one's control. Life in my opinion is a mix of both 'locs'.

    I agree with your points on how this knowledge has helped you, we always have a choice to learn from situations and whwre possible create a change for it.

    Nice post. Looking forward to the others.

    1. I agree with you that some things are beyond our control
      The dilemma is knowing which things are
      Thanks dearie

  4. How dare you trick me into this profiling lol jk

    As per the test, I used to firmly fit into the Internal LOC along time ago but I learned my lesson the hard way. Constant worries about grades, top 5% in the first two years of college, not settling for less than stellar, not giving others chance to explain why they fall short of expectations...etc.

    I live life like a ninja now. I'm mostly External LOC but when I spot an opportunity I switch skins and turn to Internal LOC! As a leader, it is important to change leadership styles to match your followers'/employees' level of confidence. It is also soothing to let go of the "I gotta be the best" burdens!

    Good job, NIL :)

  5. You're making sense. The test was a little too black and white for me though. I found instances where i actually agreed with both options.

  6. Hmmm, I'm totally feelin' this post... Nice one..
    Formerly- (2cute4u)

  7. of course you make lots of sense!!! thanks for sharing... waiting for the rest of this series. seriously taking notes. God bless you too.

  8. Am definitely learning here. Most people forget that "prayer without deeds is futile".

  9. Great post as always NIL. There are so many things as humans that we control, and yet so many other things we aren't in control of. It's ugly to see when people who are always used to being in control suddenly feel like they're robbed of it, and in this life,it's a given that there will be times that we will experience moments of loss of control. You mentioned the high achievers who ultimately believe they are in control of their lives, but I've seen this same people break down the moment they are hit with a disease, say cancer for example. A healthy sense of self, I think, would ultimitely be an equal combination of both.

    1. I agree. It's not always as straight foward as it seems. Depending on the situation, very strong people can feel a loss of control too.

  10. I did the Pysch test. At a score 2, I am Internal LOC baba. No wonder i am such a worrier!!
    To an extent, i know how that came about....when people keep telling you how you need connections etc, it can be easy to just say 'let me wait for luck' like the 'blonde' who was asking God to help her win the lottery when she never bought a ticket!
    so I'll rather make my luck happen so help me God.

    Thanks as always for sharing

  11. scored 2
    you are making lots of sense..............i particularly agree with the environment factor

  12. You make serious sense o. I have learnt something new today. However, I don't need a sage to tell me that I am strongly LOC. It can even be bad at times, cos I like to keep things under my own control.

    Thanks for shedding light on this

  13. You explained a lot you know? I'm kind of in between, but I try to keep an eye on when I can assume control, and also when I need to let it go.

  14. In some instances where one agrees with both points, which is the best one to pick?

  15. Man...I feel I should receive a certificate of participation after reading this!

    This is material for a life seminar!

  16. hey great advice and tips i like them. im a new blogger trying to expend to the London area would you like to follow each other.

  17. Interesting theory and observations. Definitely food for thought.

  18. Waow! thanks for the in-depth analysis. You've educated me. May your coasty be enlarged with more wisdom

  19. You make sense wella. I have learnt some things here. I share both types of LOCs; I am just in between.

  20. I agree with Afronuts. This is some life seminar material. Thanks for sharing.

  21. I was a five, so i am in between, i learnt a lot from this thanks..

  22. Scored 2. Cripes. Oh well, I have a few thousand more words to write. We need that publishing deal. Best get back to it since Fate sucks. Great post!

  23. interesting.. thanks for sharing.. hmmmm.. never thought of it like that but makes sense. it is easy to blame something or someone when it is external but if we know our strengths lies within us and are always looking for how we can make ourselves better, less blame should fall or people things or ourselves and more time trying to make ourselves better to achieve the goal.

  24. This is a lot of material. I got everything down in my notebook. Thanks for sharing

  25. I did the full test and had '3'. 3 reperesenting a strong internal LOC based on a scale of 0-13. *covers face* Thinking of the down-side of this, when things don't go as planned. lol!

    Thanks for sharing

  26. thanks for sharing see also


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