09 May 2019

How Usopp in One Piece can teach us about SUCCESS

No matter if you are a fan of Japanese manga or not, you might’ve at least heard of One Piece before. It’s a best-selling comic written by Eiichiro Oda , which has generated more than 20 billion USD worldwide.

This time, we are focusing on one of the main characters in One Piece——Usopp, the sniper in the Straw Hat Pirate Crew, and see how his personal traits can inspire us in our career as successful financial advisers and business leaders.

#1 Surround yourself with a positive team

Unlike all his talented Straw Hat pirate crew members, Usopp is probably the most ordinary among all. He’s not as powerful as Luffy nor is he as smart as Nami, as fearless as Zoro or as knowledgeable as Robin.

In fact, he is passive and timid. Just like most of us.

But most of the time, he spends time with his talented crew members, threatening enemies, and top tier coaches. Along the way, he forced himself to grow in order to keep up with his talented and brave peers. And eventually, Usopp crossed paths with success.

Similarly, it can be hard to improve alone, but it could be relatively easy when you surround yourself with successful business coaches and goal-driven peers who share a similar career objective as you.

Put down your ego, learn from others and continuously improve yourself every-single-day.

#2 Fake it until you make it

Another feature of Usopp is being a liar. Therefore, it’s no coincidence that the author gave him an iconic long nose that symbolizes a liar. Also, his name was named after “lie (うそ) ” in Japanese.

However, somehow all of his lies become true eventually. For instance, Kuro’s army attacked Usopp’s village for real when he lied that there were pirates coming.  

So, you might wonder now, what does this have anything to do with your career?

Amy Cuddy, a social psychologist had first introduced a concept in her TED talk speech in 2016. In her speech, she suggested that by imitating confidence, competence, and an optimistic mindset, a person can realize those qualities in their real life.

This concept is also known as “Fake it till you make it”.

In other words, if you want to become successful, you have to pretend you already are. The people around you will assume that you are successful and gravitate towards you because of this success.

The analogy of this is, during your appointment with your client, if you act as if you will close the case, the slight mindset change will lead you to a higher chance of closing the case.

Similarly, as a manager, if you act as a supervisor with great leadership, the confidence you exuberate will eventually make yourself a great leader in the eyes of your team.

#3 Make cowardice your weapon

There’s a quote from Game of Thrones which goes like this:

“Can a man still be brave if he’s afraid?”

“That is the only time a man can be brave.”

Usopp disappointed a lot of readers when he ran away from Trebol and Sugar initially and left the dwarfs and Robin behind.

However, Usopp eventually turned around and fought Trebol and Sugar. It wasn’t for his crew but it was for complete strangers that were calling for his help.

What was he thinking when he changed his mind? What made a coward like Usopp turned back?

It was to face his fear.

He understood that he’s not a legendary hero, nor is he the captain of the Straw Hat Pirates, and he’s probably shaking in the knees while fighting against rivals like Trebol and Sugar.

But at the same time, he used his actions to prove that we don’t have to be fearless to become a hero.

Fear has always been portrayed as a shameful feeling. However in most cases, to just run into it head-on without fear is just pure recklessness. In contrast, understanding your fear but still facing it is the epitome of bravery.

Similarly, when you are afraid, it means that you’re doing something that requires bravery. Are you afraid of talking in front of a huge group of people? Are you afraid of selling an idea or a product to a stranger or your boss? Admit your fear and face it.

Don’t be shameful of the fear in your mind because knowing them is the first step to your own improvement.

#4 Dare to set big goals and break them downs into small goals.

Usopp is definitely a great sniper now. But unlike other the Straw Hats Pirate crew members, Usopp’s character development and improvement is slow and steady. He had done a lot of small improvements and unnoticed efforts before he became a brave warrior of the sea.

What was the driving force that pushed him all the way to this point?

It’s certain that your objectives are the driving force behind improving yourself, and keep you away from distractions and unnecessary detours from reaching the goal post.

However, our minds tend to lead us into choosing the option which will give us “instant gratification”. For example, when we choose between exercising and watching the new One Piece episode, we tend to choose the latter.

Why? Because the satisfaction of entertainment is instant, but the satisfaction of fitness from regularly exercising is a slow, arduous process.

We get it. It’s painful. And slow. No one here likes it slow. BUT – If we could realign how we can reach our goals by making a small shift in our decision making process and break it down into doable steps, we’ll be one step closer to where we can be. Go to the gym at 6:30, do that much needed lifting, and THEN reward yourself with that new One Piece episode. We don’t mind you lying on your couch now with your remote in hand. But yeah, skip that bag of chips.

So, what’s the difference between the first and the second goal setting? The second one provides a concrete and detailed goal, followed by an instant reward.

Therefore, if your “big goal” this year is to become a MDRT, you should break this long-term goal into several monthly, weekly, and daily short-term goals, and give yourself rewards.

By reaching the goals step by step, you will be surprised by how much you’ve actually progressed along the way.

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