Two More Arrows…
So many of us want more out of life then we are currently enjoying. We live the “Walter Mitty” fantasy each time we see someone perform an awesome feat. But a deeper understanding of what it takes to actually excel at something in reality takes more than an understanding. It takes both mental and physical “conditioning” to transform oneself from being just another dreamer, to being amongst the rarefied group of doers.
Here are two more arrows for the quiver if changing your mindset is your goal.
NLP — Neuro-linguistic programming forces a person’s brain to change a negative mindset. Though it has been a controversial (and somewhat discredited) approach as positive results are hard to quantify, I believe the mindset Carol Dweck advocates can be further aided by understanding the effects of thinking one way versus another probably have on goal/progress. Here’s a simplified version of restructuring a mental approach using NLP techniques.
From structuring words that weaken resolve: “I can’t figure out why I am unable to lower my golf handicap.”
To restructuring words to break the challenge at hand into manageable components: “I am working on lowering my golf handicap. Though I seem to have reached a roadblock, I have three known workarounds. I’ll utilize each, and monitor which is best for me and then incorporate that into my practice going forward so I can pass the roadblock.”
By changing the negative “I can’t” into utilizing workarounds that are proven to succeed, the brain now frees the emotions from negative shackles. So breaking the challenge into manageable components and managing each emotionally, may help overcome the “I can’t” mental block. This brings us to the Dan Plan.
The Dan Plan — Dan McLaughlin left his full time job to learn golf. He had both aspirations and goals. He aspired to qualify for a sanctioned tournament but knew he would need to learn how to play. His goals were set to learn each aspect of the game, putting, driving, pitching, and etc. one step at a time. From research literature, he knew he had a chance of achieving his aspiration if he put in approximately 10,000 hours of supervised practice. He built a team and began the journey. This is from his website, www.thedanplan.com
Talent has little to do with success. According to research conducted by Dr. K. Anders Ericsson, Professor of Psychology at Florida State University, “Elite performers engage in ‘deliberate practice’–an effortful activity designed to improve target performance.” Dr. Ericsson’s studies, made popular through Malcolm Gladwell’s book Outliers and Geoff Colvin’s Talent is Overrated, have found that in order to excel in a field, roughly 10,000 hours of “stretching yourself beyond what you can currently do” is required.
Achieving the Growth Mindset requires more than desire and commitment, it requires understanding what steps are necessary, and how long it takes to master each step to achieve success.
One last thought.
I suggest changing the focus of aspirations from achieving a destination to focusing on the journey and the joy that journey provides. One may one day, sooner for some than others, achieve whatever aspiration they’ve set out for at the beginning of their dream. But by mastering component goals one step at a time, the quest will have a much better chance of realizing a successful outcome.