As you know, I have a big dream that requires extensive self-development to achieve. For those of you who joined me from the beginning, I took a collective approach in framing our development. (Sounds better than just “my” development. Besides, we can encourage each other!) I am so grateful for those of you who are supporting this effort and applying these principles in your own life. Keep the comments coming.
I categorized our self-development into 3 categories: mind, body, and spirit. Before we start talking about the body, I want to wrap up the mental portion of our self-development series by listing some discoveries we made in no particular order. I encourage you guys to print this out, hang it in your office, fold it under your visor, and keep it available. We will be referring to it continuously.
10 keys to unlocking mental potential
1. Dream big
God honors big dreams and is insulted by small ones that require little to no divine intervention. Dream boldly and allow yourself no escape clause. This does not mean we should be careless or expect overnight success. Achieving dreams takes a tremendous amount of faith, tenacity, and resilience. We should use these same characteristics to dream big.
Test me in this,” says the LORD Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not have room enough for it. -Malachi 3:10
2. Grow collectively
In order to pursue our dreams, we need to prepare ourselves mentally, physically, and spiritually—all while building our relationships and being careful not to neglect them.
“You will get all you want in life if you help enough other people get what they want.”—Zig Ziglar
3. Grow strategically
Growing strategically means we are leveraging all events, lessons, and opportunities to help us progress directionally—always gaining on our goal. With a carefully drawn out strategy that incorporates development of the mind, body, and spirit, we can achieve directional growth. However, we each have to draw up our own strategic plan. As I have, you need to dedicate some quiet time to sit down and write out your dreams, then work backwards to where you are at, today.
I encourage people to treat their life purpose as just seriously as a business should treat their purpose. Write out your Vision, Mission Statement, and key objectives. Do not stop there! What is your value proposition to your family, friends, church, community, work, and other associations? What is are your key differentiators? Capturing this will be a powerful strategic step toward your dreams!
Strategic growth doesn’t happen accidentally. Start drawing your plan, today!
4. Think positively
Undoubtedly, we will face discouragement, obstacles, and problems. But, instead of focusing on what we are losing, we should focus on what we are learning, and embrace every problem as a potential opportunity. Norman Vincent Peal, author of best-selling book The Power of Positive Thinking said,
Positive thinking is how you think about a problem. Enthusiasm is how you feel about a problem. The two together determine what you do about a problem.
Our thoughts determine our attitude, and our attitude has a profound impact on our personal growth. John Maxwell, author of The Difference Maker, put it this way,
Attitude is the library of our past, the speaker of our present, and the prophet of our future.
Since attitude is a result of our thoughts, we can change our attitude by changing our thoughts. After all, we are the sum of our thoughts. William James, an American philosopher and psychologist, cleverly elaborated,
You are not what you think you are, but what you think, you are.
5. Pursue a growth mindset
There are two mindsets—growth and fixed. Over time, our collection of attitudes influence our mindset. As depicted in the diagram, kinetic growth comes from turning constructive thoughts into positive attitudes which result in a growth mindset.
Consistency in this practice is the key to momentum.
6. Watch out for the blind spot!
The nature of a fixed mindset is one that prevents us from seeing ourselves as having a fixed mindset. In other words, we think we have a growth mindset when really we have a blind spot preventing us from seeing our fixed mindset. Ignoring our blind spot will lead to mediocre thinking. Dave Anderson, president of Learn to Lead and author of the book Unstoppable said,
Mediocre thinking evokes mediocre behaviors and effort, which in turn create mediocre results, lulling you down the path to a mediocre life. Mediocre lives are sad. People die at 40 but are not buried until they are 80.
This is where accountability can be incredibly powerful. Identify someone in your life who challenges themselves, want the best for you, and will call out your blind spots.
7. Keep building momentum
Our mindset will revert to a fixed mindset unless we continually act upon it! Contrary to popular belief, we cannot wait for motivation to kick-start a growth mindset. Remember, Newton’s Law of motion,
An object at rest stays at rest and an object in motion stays in motion with the same speed and in the same direction unless acted upon by an unbalanced force
It means we need to act on our mindset by pushing positive thoughts. As negative thoughts creep into our minds, they decrease our growth momentum, which requires work to regain. This is why our environment, associations, and influences are so important! Why dream boldly around cowards?
8. Find positive motivation and exercise your faith
Identify what you want out of life that is worth running after. Then, run after it! Remember, positive motivation is energizing. Here are two things that will not only help you, but will change your life!
a. Initiate a 30-day challenge where you expect the best out of everything and everyone around you: best customer service, best food, best parking spot, best attitudes, and best relationships. If you are diligent about it, at the end of the 30 days, you will be amazed at the amazing life you get to live!
b. Download Audiobooks.com or Audible on your phone. During your 30-day challenge, download and listen to these audio books in any order: Zig Ziglar’s Master Successful Personal Habits, John Maxwell’s The Difference Maker, Dave Anderson’s Unstoppable, and Travis Macy’s The Ultra Mindset
9. Sacrifice seductive mindsets
Victimhood – replace it with a resilient mindset
Dependence – replace it with an initiative mindset
Simple mindedness – replace it with a critical thinking mindset
These replacement mindsets are all growth mindsets that will drive you to challenge yourself (initiative), cause you to reflect on your progress (critical thinking), and motivate you to keep pressing forward (resilience).
10. Act now!
Yes, act now, and also plan to act again tomorrow! Motivation comes as a result of ACTION, not the other way around. If you wait to act until you are motivated, you will wait the rest of your life.
Congrats! We have completed the mental portion of self-development. These lessons and applications require daily application, so reading it once will not cut it. Print these out and remind yourself daily, weekly, and monthly.
Up next, we are going to dive into the physical conditioning of our self-development program. We will discuss the importance of living a healthful lifestyle and the impact that it can have. You will not want to miss it!
If this is relevant in your life, it will probably be relevant in someone else’s life. So, don’t prevent others from benefiting from this blog. LIKE it and SHARE it with your co-workers, family, and friends. Post it on your Facebook or LinkedIn. Help someone today!