C:\Users\KWADWO\Desktop\SCH\BLOGs\Mastery Goal orientation\the-thinker-1090226_1920.jpg

How to be successful?



How am I going to be successful; in school, marriage, and the pursuit of money?

Drugs, Hidden bank accounts, and Socks.

I’ll explain the first answer, school, and drugs. During a problematic semester at university, after much procrastination. I took non-prescribed prescription drugs, similar to Ritalin. I copped off some kid in the library, to write a 24-page paper in 24 hrs.

I got a B+, side effects lasted three weeks.

A major side effect was sleepwalking. I would wake up to my room rearranged every day, some days I could find my lamp on the balcony or clothes in the fridge. Once upon a time, I thought non-prescribed prescription drugs was how to be successful in school.

Moving on.

The most frustrating thing, day after day, is to be motivated to succeed, but not know how. You just watch your potential waste away. Stuck in a life you never wanted. Building on the previous series, Goal Setting: How To Kill Your Dreams, some of us have started pursuing our LTG, and some have not.

Why not?

I don’t know.

Why would you want to waste your life not pursuing your dream and being successful?

Unless you didn’t know how.

Let’s solve “How to be successful” with SeconChildHood Life Lesson 01: Goal Orientation, specifically Mastery Goal Orientation.

What is a Goal Orientation? What is a Mastery Goal Orientation?

A Goal Orientation is how we process our motivation into selecting our goal and strategies.

There are two goal orientations; Mastery Goal Orientation and Performance Goal Orientation. They exist on a spectrum, not a dichotomy. Meaning you are not one or the other, but a combination of the two with one being dominant.

M-GOD (Mastery Goal Orientation Dominant) individuals are more likely to successfully pursuing a goal at any ability level; Beginner, Intermediate, or Advanced. In comparison, P-GOD (Performance Goal Orientation Dominant) individuals below Advanced ability level are more likely to fail in pursuing a goal.


To understand why we will compare characteristics of M-GOD and P-GOD in Goal Selection and Goal Pursuit. Goal selection is referring to how we choose our goal. Goal pursuit is referring to how we pursue our goal, specifically strategy selection in addressing adversity, failure, and success.


C:\Users\KWADWO\Desktop\SCH\BLOGs\Mastery Goal orientation\possibilities.jpg

Goal Selection + Motivation:

How we select goals and the motivation behind it.


Mindset: In selecting a goal the following are considered:

  • It must be something we personally value. We pursue a goal to fulfill ourselves. Not for attention, recognition or, acceptance from others, family, friends, teachers, or strangers.
  • It takes us out of our comfort zone.
  • The sky is the limit; A goal is selected thinking “This is what I am going to become,” never concerned with who we are at present.


  • We are ok feeling embarrassed, awkward, or scared about choosing something we have never done before, we will pick it regardless.

Mental dialogue:

  • “I’ve never done____before, but it is something I’ve always wanted to do, so I am going to do it!”
  • “I don’t care if people laugh at me, or what they think about me, I’m going to start____.”
  • “Regardless of what happens, I will learn something from this”


  • The motivation associated with M-GOD is Intrinsic Motivation, the motivation to pursue a behavior because it interests us and supports personal growth.


Mindset: In selecting a goal the following are considered:

  • Looking good in the eyes of others; family, friends, teachers, or strangers.
  • Recognition must be received, in the form of a prize, award, or title.
  • Does not need to go out of their comfort zone.


  • Goal selection is limited to one’s present abilities, not where one might be in the future.

Mental dialogue:

  • “I strongly dislike what I am doing, screw it, I hate what I am doing, but it’s what makes my parents proud so I am going to keep doing it.”
  • “If I become Hokage everyone will recognize me…BELIEVE IT!”-Naruto Uzumaki


  • The motivation associated with P-GOD is Extrinsic Motivation, the motivation to pursue a behavior because it offers a reward.

C:\Users\KWADWO\Desktop\SCH\BLOGs\Mastery Goal orientation\cyclone-2102397_640.jpg


As we pursue a goal, we encounter trials and tribulations.

C:\Users\KWADWO\Desktop\SCH\BLOGs\Mastery Goal orientation\possible-379215_1920.jpg



  • “Fall down 7 times, get up 8”-Zen Proverb

The proverb conveys that a successful person will fall down many times on the path to success, but will never stay down. Always you will get up and progress. Regardless of what unknown challenges lay ahead.

  • When we experience adversity, it can make us feel like we are not good enough. This, in turn, leads to stress and anxiety. Transforming these negative feelings into motivation, energy, to progress and become whatever we need to be; stronger, faster, smarter, more creative, to overcome adversity. Is associated with M-GOD individuals.


  • To carry out these transformations, we cultivate honesty, humility, and courage.
  • This allows us to accept constructive criticism from others and constructively criticise ourselves:
      • What we did do
      • what we did not do
      • what we did not know we had to do.
  • We seek help, regardless of how embarrassed we may feel because we are humble.
  • We practice regardless how long it takes because we are honest.
  • We overcome our adversity because we are courageous!

Mental Dialogue:

  • “A dropout will beat a genius through hard work.”-Rock Lee
  • “You must be shapeless, formless, like water. When you pour water in a cup, it becomes the cup. When you pour water in a bottle, it becomes the bottle. When you pour water in a teapot, it becomes the teapot. Water can drip, and it can crash. Become like water my friend.”-Bruce Lee

C:\Users\KWADWO\Desktop\SCH\BLOGs\Mastery Goal orientation\homer.jpg



  • Avoid adversity whenever possible.
  • Pursue a goal only when odds are stacked in one’s favor.
  • If not, one will be subject to feelings of stress and anxiety when encountering adversity.
  • It will be a signal of inadequacy, not being good enough, that one’s ability level could not rise to the challenge.
  • Adversity will not be a signal to grow.


  • Will quit before trying if they don’t feel confident in their goal
  • Will suffer in silence instead of seeking assistance
  • Will make an excuse for not taking on a challenge
  • Will look for a shortcut as opposed to doing hard work

Mental Dialogue:

  • “Yeah, I’m a great quitter. It’s one of the few things I do well. I come from a long line of quitters. My father was a quitter, my grandfather was a quitter… I was raised to give up.”-George Costanza

C:\Users\KWADWO\Desktop\SCH\BLOGs\Mastery Goal orientation\game.png


Imagine being an athlete, training 5+ years. Overcoming injuries and world competitions, earning the right to compete in the Paralympics or the Olympics.

A sporting competition over a 1000 years old.

One moment, to go for immortality, to go for Gold!

And then this happens,

Derek Redmond

or this happens,

Mckayla Maroney

The ones who got gold are now legends, and the rest get to tell their friends they were almost on the cereal box. They get to tell people how close they almost came to glory.




  • The M-GOD definition of failure means you still have room to grow, you did not work your hardest in the pursuit of your goal.
  • Failure is placed on the strategy, you are not a failure, but your plan is.
  • We do not shift blame to others, because we cannot control other people.


  • we fall 7 times and get up 8, we deconstruct our strategy which failed and deconstruct the goal we are aiming for.
  • From the pieces, we piece together a new plan. We never ruminate on failure, we honestly reflect, let go, and move forward.

Mental Dialogue:

  • “I have not failed. I just found 10,000 ways that won’t work”- Thomas A. Edison
  • “Maybe I am not who I think I am, perhaps there are still new plateaus, far greater heights to which I must ascend, I will ascend!”- Vegeta



  • The P-GOD definition of failure is that you failed because you suck
  • Failure is viewed as belonging to the individual entirely.
  • The belief is even if it was a bad strategy, a talented individual would have made it work.
  • This amount of self-blame causes people to blame others to preserve self-esteem.


  • Best case scenario you will try again after failing, but aim lower to reduce anxiety and protect your pride.
  • Worst case scenario you will walk away fearing to try again and have people witness.

Mental Dialogue:

  • “We played a bunch of cowards. The best team did not win today. I strongly, firmly believe that.”-Hope Solo, USA Olympic Soccer Team Keeper, after losing to Sweden.

C:\Users\KWADWO\Desktop\SCH\BLOGs\Mastery Goal orientation\smiley-1635449_640.png


Is attainment of your goal.



  • We stepped out of our comfort zone.
  • Adversity and threat of failure were present.
  • Adversity and failure, or merely the threat of failure, were overcome.
  • By personal development of a new skill or application of an existing skill, but in a new way.


  • We are humble in success and continue moving forward with our eyes on our next goal. Always looking to push ourselves out of our comfort zone.
  • There is a desire to share all the secrets you have learned with others as it relates to your goal. It can only improve you to teach.

Mental Dialogue:

  • “There are no secrets to success. It is the result of preparation, hard work, and learning from failure.”- Colin Powell, Retired Four Star General, 65th secretary of state of the USA



  • Success comes with recognition in the form of a medal, award, prize, title, etc
  • The easier the goal is, the better, it shows ones superior ability relative to others.
  • Succeed at all cost is the bottom line.


  • Goals pursued in the future will be related to the successful domain, as choosing another domain would mean a greater threat of failure.
  • The desire to succeed, to win at all cost, means individual’s with this goal orientation are more likely to lie and cheat to succeed.

Mental Dialogue:

  • “My ruthless desire to win at all costs served me well on the bike but the level it went to, for whatever reason, is a flaw. That desire, that attitude, that arrogance.”-Lance Armstong (Lost all awards from 1998-2011, including 8 Tour de France wins for drug doping his entire career. When asked if he would do it all again he said “he would probably do it again”)


I’ll some up this section by stating with M-GOD you rise to the challenge. With P-GOD you fall back onto your training. Now, which do you think is better?

In the next post ,pt 2, in this series we will look at:

WHERE does your goal orientation come from?

WHO are some examples of these goal orientations in the world?

WHY should you strive to cultivate M-GOD as a trait?

Thanks for reading and remember to Raise Yourself!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *