In our last segment we spoke of the great book by Jim Afremow entitled, The Mind of a Champion.
Interestingly, one of his foundation points emphasizes the importance of working well with people in order to excel. Once that is established, then you can move on and use some of the other points that will be discussed today.
The author speaks of a world class game plan. This has everything to do with working intentionally and wanting to improve every day. I have witnessed some incredible change and improvement by my coaching clients as they take to heart these intentional principles. One of my favorite points is that the basics are the foundation. You cannot compromise on these – EVER. Champions just don’t do that. Check yourself on the commitment you have to the following by rating yourself a 1-10 on the following areas of achievement:
Goal Setting – Do you frequently focus on areas of growth and learning and set goals in those areas? No ridiculous, “climb Mount Everest” goals, but consistent, small steps that will result in your becoming accomplished at what you do. There is another great book, The Compound Effect, by Darren Hardy, which speaks to the phenomenal power of small, cumulative actions.
Mental Imagery – This might sound a bit far-fetched for some of you. What is there to visualize about taking care of two ICU patients or two laboring mothers in Labor and Delivery? This, however, is where some great learning can take place. Run scenarios in your head. If this or that happened, what would you do? What new learning have you recently had that has not been locked into place yet? What steps in a protocol would you need to adhere to? Do you have difficulty with any of those steps? How does this new machine work? I always am puzzled, and saddened, when I hear someone say, “kind of a boring shift”. If you are in imagery mode, there is never boredom.
Self-talk – We discussed this at length in our review of the book “Attainment“, yet it remains a significant hurdle for most, since it is so engrained in the mental hard-drive. The author has a great phrase to evaluate how you are doing: I keep my thoughts positive, simple, powerful, and goal oriented. Sound a bit sappy? It does to most people. All except those that have done a 30 day test run of the principle. Doesn’t sound sappy after that.
Confidence – At the time of crisis, you have two choices. “I can do this” or “this is going to do me in”. Unless it is truly a life-threatening emergency, the latter is always an exaggeration. What is your track record of making choices in this regard?
Focus – You exist in a high distraction environment. I recently heard some figures about distraction. If you are working on a non-technical project and someone interrupts you, it will take you about another seven minutes to get back to the level of concentration you were at before the distraction. If you are working on a difficult, technical project, the time of refocus becomes 20 minutes after interruption. Just look at the amount of lost time this costs you on a daily basis.
Mental Toughness – One of the best works on this is the book Resilience, by Southwick and Charney. An incredible read, it takes the reader through what is necessary to dominate difficult times. Two key questions can be asked:
How will I handle my current situation like a champion?
What will I do now to get to where I want to be in the future?
Before going on to your tasks of the day, review the rating you have given yourself. Where are the gaps? Where do you need to improve? How are you going to do that? How will you evaluate your progress? And, perhaps most importantly, who will you be accountable to for your progress?