Thursday 14th Feb 2019
Skills and tools alone are not enough to win in this game of life. What makes the difference is your growth mindset that enables you to make the most of them. The key to success and the key to failure is that you become what you think about.
Those of you who follow my work will know I talk passionately about the importance of a growth mindset and how, by unlocking your mindset, you unlock your potential, and believe me, we should not underestimate the power of our mind. So in this week’s blog, I want to demonstrate the direct correlation between what you think and ultimately what you do, and how your thoughts become your reality.
Your ability to communicate effectively is an essential skill for maximising your potential. Usually, however, this is about the external conversations and dialogue you have. The challenge we face is that our external dialogue is an extension and manifestation of what is happening internally, inside our own head, which usually follows a conversation you’ve had with yourself.
And I have no doubt, whatever that topic of conversation is, you can talk yourself in or out of it with your thoughts. My wife Jane often uses the expression ‘I’m actually doing my own head in!” after one of her internal conversations.
So let me introduce you to the WEALTHY process. And no it doesn’t relate to financial wealth but is everything to do with a wealthy growth mindset.
Before I breakdown the WEALTHY process I want to share with you a simple exercise, and as you read the words on the page I’d like you to use all your senses to bring it to life. You’ll understand in a moment why I am asking you to do this. Trust me … it’s going to be worth it!
I want you to imagine that I’ve placed under your chair a ripe, juicy lemon.
Pick it up, lift it to your nose and have a good sniff of it. Wow, it’s really fresh and juicy. Can you smell that?
Next, I want you to put the lemon on the table or what- ever surface is near to you, and hold it firmly with your non- dominant hand.
Then, with your dominant hand, pick up a sharp serrated knife and cut through the lemon, from top to bottom. Be careful not to mark the table. Don’t worry about all the juices that are running everywhere; we’ll clean those up later.
When you’ve done that, put the knife down and pick up half of the lemon. Now, lift it up to your nose for a second time and smell the fresh. It’s so fresh, and I bet from the smell alone you can tell this is going to be sharp-tasting, can’t you?
Well, let’s find out. I want you to take a big bite of the lemon and let the juice swirl around in your mouth. Really taste it. Wow, it’s really sharp, isn’t it?
Let the lemon juice move around in your mouth, mixing with your saliva, reducing the bitter, sharp taste of lemon.
Now, take another bite and do it again. How does that taste?
OK, put the lemon down and answer this one question: do you have extra saliva in your mouth right now?
Now if you went with me on the journey and completed the exercise let’s look at how that scenario plays out against the WEALTHY process.
We start with words, which can be one of three types:
The little voices inside your head with which you have some of your most important daily conversations. In his book, The Chimp Paradox, Dr Steve Peters talks about your inner voice being your chimp constantly talking away. It sometimes sets you up for success but on other occasions plants seeds of doubt in your mind, even sabotaging or derailing your potential. Yes, intalk is that important!
The conversations you have with others. Just imagine having a conversation with someone who is negative all the time. If that’s their outtalk, imagine what the conversations are like with themselves on a regular basis!
The things other people say. There’s a great saying: you become like the five people you spend most time with. Choose carefully.
In the lemon example we observed the power of ‘otherstalk’, because it was my dialogue leading the conversation and building a mental image of the lemon in your mind using words.
The words – whether intalk, outtalk, otherstalk or, usually, a combination of all three – start to encode your beliefs about the world around you and how you perceive your life. The belief you acquired through the example was that you had a juicy lemon in your hand and in your mouth and, boy, did it smell and taste sharp!
Your beliefs then shape your attitude, both internally about yourself, including your self-confidence and self-belief (your inlook), and also your outlook in terms of how you look and see the world. Do you see the opportunity in the difficulty, or the difficulty in the opportunity? In this case your attitude internalized the existence of the lemon and how it made you feel.
Leverage is about one of two things: avoidance of pain or the gaining of pleasure. In this case the lemon was so sharp that your brain received a hotwired message from your nerve sensors that action was required.
The ‘take action’ in this exercise was to neutralise the acidity, and your brain triggered a chemical reaction in your body, resulting in your salivary glands producing saliva, which of course is an alkali, neutralising the acidity of the lemon.
The result is more saliva, just as you experienced it. The increase in saliva was a real phenomenon, created by your brain, which reacted to the stimulus that was received only by reading the words on the page or hearing my voice on audio.
Isn’t that incredibly powerful?
The WEALTHY Process is a clear demonstration of the connectivity of words, intalk, outtalk and otherstalk, and your subsequent behaviour and actions.
If you can trigger a chemical reaction from your brain by simply internalising a message about a lemon, imagine how you can in influence and take control of other internal programmes you’re running.
And it all starts with your thoughts.
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