How to 10x Your Growth Mindset

Trevor Huffman
Jul 27, 2018 · 6 min read

Every little boy that plays hoops thinks they are going to play in the NBA. Every kid at basketball camp that gets asked, “Who here wants to play in the NBA?” raises their hand in a supremely confident fashion.

Shit yeah, I was that boy raising his hand.

Like dude, did you really think you’d be .00001% of the world’s population that gets paid to play in the NBA?

Umm, I did. Sorry, I’m not sorry.

In 2004, when I got my first NBA paycheck from the Phoenix Suns, it didn’t register that my childhood was one of the reasons I beat the odds. See, I was raised to think differently and act differently about the amount of consistent effort I put into my NBA dream.

At ten years of age, my dad had me drawing Da Vinci mind maps (yes, I still do this, and this will exponentially grow your life) and dribbling two balls in my basement before school started. I started challenging high school players to 1v1 in sixth grade. I was a sponge, an insatiable learner of basketball, and I was naturally living in the growth mindset zone.

This is just beginning of how to 10x your growth in something.

photo credit: paul foreman

A big reason I learned how to approach my dreams with a growth mindset was my dad. Big Daddy Ray, the stoic farmer turned lawyer, turned startup millionaire, and botanical gardener taught me how to achieve my life’s purpose through effort.

Big Daddy Ray said with conviction:

Stop being a dreamer and start being a dream catcher.

At some point in life, you will feel the itch of your soul’s purpose, but the real question is whether you listen to it or not.

Each moment, stage, and transition of life presents us with a choice to grow.

You want to 10x your growth?

Then start thinking about each struggle, each moment, each failure, each challenge, each barrier, and each obstacle as a chance to practice your growth mindset. Every time you feel shitty, non-motivated, lethargic, soft, old, scared, washed up, confused, dumb, then flip the script and grow.

Ask the question during the meeting.

Invite the beautiful stranger to dinner.

Go for the run (even if it’s a straight Roger Bannister sprint for 5 minutes because you have no time).

Put the phone down and distractions away and work as hard as you can for one hour. Work so damn hard, you feel strained (either mentally or physically).

This is the true salt of a growth mindset life.

As an aspiring athlete, self-improvement was a daily decision for me to listen to that small tug and get outside my comfort zone. Dealing with that daily small itch is learning how to practice the growth mindset in anything you do.

The best part about living the growth mindset is if you love what you are doing, this 10x journey is a goddamn adventure!

Love.

Intelligence.

Social awareness.

Emotional I.Q.

Startup life.

Entrepreneurialism.

Travel.

Business.

Marriage.

Dog rearing.

Software engineering.

Small business life.

Teaching.

Coaching.

Shit, you get it.

Each day presents moments of difficulty and it is your job to rise up and lift your mind and body above the daily challenges, setbacks, and failures with a positive, resilient, gritty, growth mindset.

And realize that every pro athlete, every CEO, and every successful business has struggled long before they succeeded in their respective fields. Before you write me off as the optimistic, idealistic Burning Man brother that has never had to fight for something, where I grew up in Northern Michigan, a place called Petoskey, there were no professional or Division One collegiate scholarship athletes coming out of my school when I played (ever).

But for some crazy reason, I thought I could get a full ride Division One scholarship.

I really thought I could go pro.

Like kid, what Cool-Aid are you drinking?

To be honest, I knew the odds weren’t in my favor and I used that as motivation to drive my daily routine.

Now, I come back to Northern Michigan in the summers to run basketball camps and hundreds of kids and parents ask me how to have success on the court; how to become a college basketball player; how to improve their craft; how to reach their goals.

The parents drop their kids off and hope for me to impart my influence and infinite basketball wisdom, that I will teach them the secret to success.

Do you want to know the secret to 10x your growth?

4–8% of every day is the secret.

If you can focus and do zone in and improve your craft for one hour a day, twice a day, do you think you could possibly improve 1% a day at your passions (or hell, .05%)? Just think if you allowed your personal growth and mindset to compound at these staggering rates over 10 years!

Even Warren Buffet can’t do that shit. :)

Exponential growth is the byproduct of focused, deliberate action and deep work every day.

Simple right?

If you are still looking for a secret or magic pill or shortcut about how to be successful at something you love, you are the problem.

If you are the parents wanting more for their kids, but don’t teach them how to put consistent effort and focus into their practice, you are part of the problem.

If you are the startup entrepreneur wanting more feedback from his customers, but don’t live the startup life every day and get feedback from them, you are part of the problem.

If you are the writer wanting to publish, but don’t focus your mind on practicing your craft, reading books, and searching out mentoring, you are part of the problem.

The real secret of compounding growth is embracing your responsibility to your soul’s passion (or purpose) through daily cultivation of skills, optimization of learning, and living inside the growth mindset every day.

Wait.

What?

Is that the first secret you learned as a kid?

Actually no, it isn’t.

The first secret is actually a rule that isn’t easy for most people to do:

JUST SHOW UP EVERY DAY.

First, just write every day.

Just train every day.

Just ball every day.

Just get to work every day.

Just post every day.

Just build every day.

Just create every day.

Just paint, or draw, or explore, until you know, every day.

Once you get to showing up for 30 days, keep going to 60. Celebrate that 60 days.

Hell, celebrate that 30!

This is the growth mindset adventure happening right before your eyes!

This is where you start understanding the growth game is a succession of daily short sprints. Your mental toughness and grit will be a better indicator of your life’s success, more than I.Q. or creativity, athleticism, intelligence, or how cool they are.

This is so simple, but so hard to do.

The secret is in playing the work and doing the play.

It is hard for sustainability without passion or purpose.

Start playfully chopping the wood and doing what you enjoy.

Remember 4% is just one hour a day of growth. If you are a real baller, aim for 8% of your daily allowance of exponential growth.

Eat it up.

This isn’t a ton of time every day, but over 5-10 years, this sort of consistent work will add up to the sort of growth you’ll be proud of, homie.

Want more travel, growth mindset, and sports life lessons? Follow me on Medium.com!

Trevor Huffman

Written by

A pro athlete sharing what I’ve learned from my love of the game. I uncover the stoic mindsets, habits, routines, and hacks of top pro athletes in the world.

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