Episode 4: "Overachieve" With a "Trusting Mindset"!

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"To be sure, great performers are well trained, experienced, smart, and in some cases, divinely talented. But the way their brains work during a performance is a lot more like a squirrel's than like Einstein's. Like squirrels, the best in every business do what they have learned to do without questioning their abilities—they flat out trust their skills, which is why we call this high-performance state of mind the "Trusting Mindset." Routine access to the Trusting Mindset is what separates great performers from the rest of the pack." ~ Dr. John Eliot from Overachievement

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"Overachieve" With a "Trusting Mindset"!

"To be sure, great performers are well trained, experienced, smart, and in some cases, divinely talented. But the way their brains work during a performance is a lot more like a squirrel's than like Einstein's. Like squirrels, the best in every business do what they have learned to do without questioning their abilities—they flat out trust their skills, which is why we call this high-performance state of mind the "Trusting Mindset." Routine access to the Trusting Mindset is what separates great performers from the rest of the pack." ~ Dr. John Eliot from Overachievement

Squirrels and tossing keys. And "Training" vs. "Trusting" Mindsets. That's where you'll find the keys to performing like a true rock star overachiever.

Huh?

Seriously. In his great book, Overachievement, Dr. John Eliot tells some great stories to bring his point home that, if you want to be an overachiever, you've got to learn to turn off that overactive cerebral cortex of yours and just think like a squirrel. :)

Imagine this: Have you ever seen a squirrel scurry across a telephone wire? What do you think it was thinking?

Quick hint: It wasn't. Squirrels don't think. They just scurry. :)

Well, it's a little more complex than that (and Eliot goes into the cool science behind it) but the point is simple: they're not up there on the high wire thinking, "Oh, my! This one's high. It's a little windy today. If I take a wrong step that's gonna hurt. OMG! It'll kill me actually. OK. Left front foot, now back right foot. Oh, Geez! This is harder than I thought it would be." :)

Thoughts like that require a cerebral cortex. And, if you want to get into what Eliot calls the "Trusting Mindset"—the mindset of overachievers—you need to learn to turn it off and give your skills free reign, not focusing "on anything but the target of that particular moment."

How about this?

You ever toss your keys to a friend or spouse? If you're anything like the students in Eliot's classes with whom he's done this little test, you can hit your friend chest high every time. No worries. You just tossed the keys, right? No worries, no stress, just see the target and toss. Welcome to the trusting mindset.

Now, imagine if all the sudden you're in the middle of your favorite basketball team's arena competing for a $1m prize at half-time. You've got 5 other people out there and we're going to see who can most consistently hit someone in the chest with their key toss.

Eek! With something on the line, would you still have that calm and cool approach—you know, just stepping up and casually tossing the keys like you did before, totally independent of worries about the result (the TRUSTING Mindset)? Or, would you start thinking about stuff—from what you could win or lose (!) to the fact you might look like a total idiot if you hit the guy in the knee or accidentally tossed the keys over their head? Enter what Eliot calls the TRAINING Mindset.

Guess what?

The top performers in ANY field perform in the TRUSTING Mindset. Whether it's a brain surgeon or a basketball player, a deal maker or a golfer. They ALL "trust their swing" and focus on nothing but "the target of that particular moment."

Of course, there's a time for training in every field. And then there's the time for trusting. As Eliot says brilliantly, "Selling is very different from trying to be a salesman... That A you got at Business School in "Sales & Marketing" isn't what's going to close the deal. In fact, if all you're doing is thinking about what you should do, you're going to look like a self-conscious goof and do anything but close. When you're in the middle of a deal, you've got to turn that part of your brain off and trust yourself."

The book is all about helping us get in and live in that trusting mindset in the pressure-packed moments of our lives when our destinies are determined. Fun!

---> One more example (among MANY) to bring the point home between the "Trusting" and the "Training" Mindset--the difference between the cerebral cortex-free squirrel scurrying across the wire and the hesitant, over-thinking individual getting stuck: Eliot does another experiment where he lays a 2 by 4 on the ground and asks his students to walk over it. Everyone does it perfectly. They take one step then another in perfect position on the board. No issue. (Trusting Mindset). Then, he raises the 2 by 4 off the ground. Then what? Enter "Training Mindset." All the sudden we're thinking about it and we take tentative, calculating steps and faltering steps.

...

And even more mojo from Eliot's Overachievement:

"Thinking is a habit, and like any other habit, it can be changed; it just takes effort and repetition." 

"I will show you how you, too, can consistently achieve the kind of intense focus that marks all the best performers in the world. I will show you how to reshape your thinking so you will be able to trust your skills and experiences and let ‘em rip--to perform so freely and intensely that you will become not just good at what you do, but something of an artist at it."

To blissful Overachievement, my friend,

-bri

This is one of the 1,000+ Big Ideas we share in our 6-page PDF and 20-minute MP3 PhilosophersNotes on 100 of the greatest self-development books. Get 100 Notes for only 47 bucks!