Mind Over Matter
Soldiers in war can go days with no food and little water. In Seal Team Six, Howard E. Wasdin describes Navy Seals in combat who have been shot multiple times, missing limbs and still keep moving and fighting. The human mind and body are two of the most extraordinarily resilient things on earth. Yet the body will only endure what the mind can conceive is possible.
How do you condition your mind to conceive that anything is possible?
Step 1: Create an Unlimited Belief Environment
It is mind-boggling how naturally humans limit themselves! At what point do we start thinking “that’s not possible”? Social scientists say that between the ages of 12-15 children form their sense of “belonging”. I personally think that society conditions kids to stop believing that their wildest dreams are possible so that they can be “normal”. I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again… normal is boring. As I write this, my baby daughter Haven is 9 months old. One of my prayers for her is that she is abnormal. I want her to be special, think outside of the box, have humongous dreams and be passionately persistent in pursuing them. I want her to make a difference in the world. I want other people to look at her and say “something’s different about that one. She just thinks anything is possible.” One of the only rules I’m going to have for Haven is that she cannot spend time with other kids who make fun of her, tell her that her dreams are silly, or in any way are negative.
Negativity breeds negativity. Sadly, most people don’t want other people to succeed beyond what they have succeeded. People are innately programmed to be socially competitive. People want you to believe that being “normal” and mediocre is better than being “abnormal” and successful. If you want to break loose of this crazy conundrum of society… make a decision to stop spending time with people who are negative, make fun of you, hold you back and don’t want to see you succeed. You will be as successful as your five best friends. You must surround yourself with people who have unlimited belief, people who only lift you up and encourage you, and people who have your best interest in mind and want to see you succeed. You have to create an “Unlimited Belief Environment” in order for you to begin to shift the way that you think.
Step 2: Have Faith in a Confidence Anchor
Once you’ve created the proper environment for conditioning yourself to believe anything is possible, next you must find something bigger than yourself in which to anchor your confidence. Faith is the number one confidence anchor in the world. I’m personally a Christian and believe that through belief in Jesus Christ anything is possible. Steve Jobs was a Buddhist who believed he was on a mission to change the world, the Hindu leader Mahatma Gandhi believed he had to be the change he wanted to see in the world, and George Washington had faith in the ideal that America had to be a free Nation. Some people build their faith in a mission, an ideal, a leader, Buddha, the universe, a tree, etc. Whatever your beliefs are you need to have faith in something bigger than yourself, in order to accomplish things that are greater than you.
I personally believe that God has given us all certain gifts and talents that are special. And that our true calling in life is to use the gifts that God has given us to the fullest extent every day to make a difference in the world around us.
Step 3: Stop Thinking About Yourself
It’s hard to be nervous when your mind is on service. The reason people are so limited in what they think is possible is simply that they don’t want to look bad. People are so self consumed it’s crazy. We are all so concerned about how we look, what other people think about us, being perceived as smart/not looking dumb that we are willing to forgo any kind of success that we might have experienced due to our self consumed need to look cool.
I’ll never forget my first day in “sales school” at The Southwestern Company where everyone in my group gathered around in a circle and did an exercise where we “tore up our cool cards”. This might have been one of the most valuable life lessons that Southwestern taught me. College students are a magnified version of what the rest of society is truly thinking. The exercise was so powerful because it exposed how their need to look cool drives most of their decisions. Selling books door-to-door for the summer is by most college students’ definition “not cool”. However, the experience of pretending to literally tear up a “cool card” which symbolizes your freedom to be a dork, be excited about life, have big dreams, or in other words be yourself is one of the most liberating experiences ever!
Now it’s your turn. Take out your “cool card” and say out aloud “I will no longer make decisions based on what other people think. I do not care how I look, how I sound, or if people think I’m cool. All I care about doing is setting high goals that make a difference in the world, always doing the right thing and having fun while doing it.” And then tear up your cool card!
Once you have mastered these 3 steps: Creating the Unlimited Belief Environment, Have Faith in a Confidence Anchor, and Stop Thinking About Yourself, you will start seeing your paradigms shift. Your old limiting thoughts will start to melt away. Your new empowering beliefs will start to fill your head.
Then one day without realizing it someone will ask you, “how do you stay so positive and motivated all year long?” and you will have transcended the world of limiting belief to the brave new arena of operating with your mind over matter.