5 Keys to Becoming a ‘Solutionary’ from Author Ken Lindner

Lots of people look for success. But what’s the key to achieving it?

As the founder of Positive Life Choice Psychology, Ken Lindner feels there’s a direct line between knowing what we want in life and the quality of the choices that point us in the right direction. 

“You have to figure out what the end game is. What do you want to attain? What do you want to do?” Lindner says. 

For Lindner, there’s a logical set of steps that people can take in order to achieve their dreams—and it starts with making better decisions. The veteran cable TV talent agent, who’s made a career out of helping others develop their own, is taking his message to the masses. His new book, Aspire Higher: How to Find the Love, Positivity, and Purpose to Elevate Your Life and the World!, is designed to help people do just that.

In his view, there’s an element of scale to good decision-making, too—if more people make good, positive decisions for themselves, they can also reverberate in society at large. 

That’s why Lindner calls us to be “solutionaries,” or people focused on “finding solutions that will benefit our environment, our society and others.” 

Here are five keys to becoming a solutionary that Lindner identifies in his Achievers Exclusive interview with SUCCESS

1. Know what you want. 

When it comes to deciding upon an ultimate purpose, it’s important not to put the “what” in front of the “why.” 

Understanding what you want to do with your one life is crucial for connecting the dots between passions and projects, between goals and careers. 

According to Lindner, it can also majorly improve the quality of our decision-making. 

“If you really know what you want, it’s much easier for you to make big-picture life choices and be disciplined in those choices, and not settle for less-gratifying-down-the-road substitutes.”

His advice is also cautionary: It’s important to understand our nature and what we want out of life not only because it helps us reach our potential, but because it also helps us avoid the bad fits in life and our career in the first place. 

2. Your goals can change. Reflect often.

Lindner points out that our desires can change over time. Whether as a response to different stimuli or life experiences, we can realize one day that we simply don’t want the same things we did last week or last year. 

“Sometimes things change along the path, and you need to recognize that because what was great for you five years ago may not be as appropriate for you now,” Lindner says.

The solution? Carving out the time and space to meaningfully and independently reflect. 

“I believe that continuing to monitor where your highest values are, what your goals are, is so important, because we all change,” Lindner says. 

“So like a heart monitor, that monitors the condition of your heart, you have to monitor where your values are and continue to make your best, smartest, big-picture decisions that are consistent with those values—decisions that will help you attain your highest goals.” 

3. Find a career and position that you love. 

Society places a high value on doing hard work. Although it’s undeniable that working hard is a key part of success, it’s not everything. In Lindner’s view, for example, working in a field or position you love is the only way you ever truly do great work. 

“It’s so important to be in a position that you love, that makes you feel like you have life meaning, and takes advantage of all of your special gifts,” Linder says. “Not only will you be successful, but you’ll be happy if you’re really good at what you do and you love what you do.”

Drawing on his experience in broadcasting, Lindner gives the example of Oprah Winfrey, who transitioned from news anchor in Baltimore to a hosting role in Chicago that allowed her to take advantage of her natural talent. The rest is history. 

“And the key really is, you want to be in a position, whatever profession you’re in, that showcases your gifts, that makes the most of who you are and the things you love to do. Because if you do that, you’re going to be successful, and I believe you’re going to be fulfilled.” 

4. Develop confidence through repetition. 

Much like the metaphor of the flywheel that increasingly gathers momentum as you apply pressure on it, Lindner says achieving a healthy professional and personal confidence is simply a matter of replicating applied force. 

“You get confidence by small victories, larger victories. And it’s a really important life concept, as well, because if you can make small choices and then bigger choices, you also through repetition and success are positively reinforced to make more positive choices in your life. So, like anything else, if you can do it and do it well, and feel great about the result, you develop the confidence that you can do it, and you can replicate that in the future.” 

5. Master your emotions and negate negativity bias. 

Lindner cautions against the dangers of strong emotions that can cloud our best judgment. 

For Lindner, learning to master your emotions is also strongly tied to the psychological phenomenon known as negativity bias, which holds that we focus on negative things over their positive counterparts. 

The author advises learning to recognize when your emotions are about to hijack your judgment, and taking a moment to walk away. 

“If we are to make our best decision, we have to think about the consequences of what we’re about to do. And if we make a knee-jerk decision, if we react in anger or sadness, or because we’re hurt, those consequences are going to be potentially very severe.” 

Photo by Jacob Lund / Shutterstock

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