“It does not matter whether we win or lose.”
The above is a mantra many of us consider old fashioned in today’s world. The world we face each and every day is becoming more fixated with success, and with the desire, the drive, and even the obsession, to win. Perhaps it’s the thought of being the best, the thought of being the most powerful, or the most intelligent, or perhaps the most influential, that is captivating and motivating our drive for success. What do you believe is your strongest asset in your own pursuit of victory?
The phrases “victory”, “winning”, and “success”, can be defined in very different, and very unique ways. These definitions depend largely on the mindset of each and every one of us. Some package these concepts with outcome-based definitions such as money, status and material possessions. While others prefer to conceptualise “winning” with more of an intrinsic definition such as personal growth, self-awareness, and enjoyment.
Our standpoint on the definition will be unpacked in a future article, but for now, despite your stance on the concept of “winning”, we truly believe that your biggest asset is your MIND. Your biggest asset is in the way you think, the way you see yourself and the world around you, the attitude you adopt every day, your personal depth of the commonly spoken term “mental toughness”.
As we progress forward with this blogging series we will delve deeper into the specific concepts surrounding our ideas. But for now – this is where I believe you need to start.
First, you need to begin acknowledging and buying-into the fact that your mind is your biggest asset. The power of the mind and its unquestionable impact on your life has been proven and defended in many credible scientific efforts. Find sources that resonate with you and begin educating yourself on the science behind your mind. Read, question, explore, read some more, question some more. Get yourself into a space where you feel more in touch, and in tune, with how your mind can work for you. Improve your understanding of how your mind is in fact a controllable asset that if managed correctly, can become your very own game-changer.
Think about your thinking
Once you feel that you’ve fully bought in, the second job is to start becoming aware of the way you think. Yes, that’s correct, to start thinking about the way you think! You will notice as we explore each article every month that at the core of most of our messages is an improved awareness and an increased mindfulness in your life. Start scrutinising the way you think. Are your thoughts largely positive or negative, constructive or destructive, encouraging or degrading, outcome based or process based?
How do you talk to yourself?
Weird, I know. Isn’t talking to yourself the first sign of madness? (Don’t worry, we’re all a little mad around here.)
We need to become more aware of the way we treat ourselves and the choice of language and communication we use in our internal dialogue. The words we choose can have far reaching impacts on the quality of our lives.
Spring Clean Your Mind
Thirdly, we need to start reflecting on the mental processes or components that already exist in our lives. While there are a number of these mental factors, there are a select few to begin reflecting on.
- Where do you focus or direct your attention each day? Is your attention wide or narrow? What is it that you fixate yourself on each day?
- Where does your motivation and inspiration come from? Is it someone or something? Do you honestly feel that you have a drive that consistently sparks a positively productive lifestyle?
- What are your goals? More importantly what does the nature of your goals look like? Are they more intrinsically and process oriented, or are they more extrinsically and outcome oriented? Are they short term or long term? Do you have a suitable action-planning map to help you achieve those goals? Are your goals pegged to your personal values? Are they constantly changing? Have you shared these goals with someone? Do you involve daily reflection?
- What do your daily structures and routines look like? Have you created positive habits for each day of your life? Is there a structure or a routine in place that helps you achieve all of the above, i.e. focus your attention on what is important to you, stay motivated and inspired throughout life’s peaks and valleys, reach your goals consistently with a healthy competitive drive, and exude your personal values in your daily life?
- Who do you surround yourself with? As cliché as it may sound, a strong story can be told by the company that you keep. Who do you invest in? Who invests in you? Take a good look at those people around you and question the level of value they add to your life as well as the value you add to theirs.
Plan of Action
In closing, a useful exercise to help create some sense of your headspace is one that we termed the “Triple-A”, comprising of 3 processes. Namely:
- Awareness – Start by writing down everything that is occupying your headspace. Try not to leave any thoughts out, regardless of how trivial you believe those thoughts to be.
- Analysis – Once you feel like you have successfully splashed out all your thoughts, start working through each one conducting an analysis on it. Ask yourself “why” or “how” or “where” with regard to each thought. The idea behind the analysis segment is to help you make sense of each of those thoughts, to contextualise them, perhaps find a source of those thoughts, and to help you better place those thoughts in your life.
- Action – you want to conduct an action component on what you’ve unpacked so far. With each thought that you’ve scrutinised, write down an actionable. The action can also be to take no action. Not every thought needs direct attention, sometimes awareness is enough. The action component helps you stay proactive in a positive way with your headspace.
As we move forward we will continue adding the building blocks to your own model for becoming more mentally tough, and to help you use your mind as an asset for achieving your very own “victories” in life.