NOTHING BOOSTS YOUR COURAGE LIKE WORKING CLOSELY WITH A MENTOR (OR MENTORS) WHO HAS ALREADY ACHIEVED SUCCESS IN THE THING YOU ARE TRYING TO ACCOMPLISH. THIS IS THE PATH OF CHANGE THAT TRULY BRINGS SUCCESS.
(Such mentors already have firsthand experience with courage, listening to the seed of courage within, and helping you understand what to do, avoid, stop, start, and emphasize. If you try to figure this all out on your own by trial and error, you’re usually setting yourself up for way too many mistakes. One of the most effective ways to succeed is simple: find and learn from successful mentors.)
MENTORS CAN MAKE THE DIFFERENCE
The truth is that the people we associate with have great influence on our thinking, our courage or lack of it, and whether or not we succeed. For example, in the classic baseball movie For the Love of the Game, the lead character, played by Kevin Costner, faces an uphill battle as he tries to rehabilitate himself after an injury. All the odds are against him ever returning to play baseball again. During this process, one of the people close to him expresses doubts about his ability to reach his goals.
He immediately tells the person, a physical trainer, to either get his head right or stop being around him. He knows that the people we spend time with make all the difference. The trainer changes his attitude, and the main character succeeds in coming back to the game—in fact, he is even better than before the injury. But he couldn’t have done this without keeping his thinking focused on the voice of courage, and he knew that the voices of the people he associates with deeply matter. Such voices often make the difference between success and something less.
Indeed, throughout the movie, whenever Costner’s character is on the pitching mound and wants to focus on the right voices in his mind and achieve real success, he repeats to himself the words: “Clear the Mechanism.” This is a mental trigger he has taught himself to use to replace all negative voices with the right voice. I know a number of successful people who do the same thing. For example, one of my mentors uses the term “Fired Up” to keep focused on the voice of courage in his life, and a friend of mine uses the phrase “Switch Up” to remind himself to look to Heaven and the voice of courage instead of trusting the lower voices of the world. Another possible trigger to focus your mind on the voice of courage could be “Swing!”
The trigger I use is “You Win.” I know everything has a solution if I stay focused. It’s as if I record a game on Sunday and plan to watch it on Monday. Let’s say I avoid everyone who saw the game, knowing I don’t want to hear the outcome before watching it. However, someone slips up and tells me that my team won 8-5. I watch the game anyway, and in the third inning my team is down 5-0!
Knowing the outcome of the game, however, I’m not depressed, or even worried. In fact, I’m fired up! I can’t wait to see how this ends. It must be awesome. I am so excited to watch the come back! This is similar to focusing on the voice of courage.
During times of struggle as we built our business, I would tell myself, “Dan, you already know how this ends. You win.” This trigger would stop me from focusing on the struggle and help me look toward my future.
Every time I used it, my attitude immediately improved and I pivoted directly to the voice of courage. I use this phrase still, a lot. Again: If you want to achieve your goals, replace all fear-based voices with the voice of courage, and also remove any associations with people that drag you down and replace them with people who listen to and encourage the voice of courage. In our case, we simply could not have achieved the success we have experienced without the help of great mentors. They have made a huge difference in our work.
Excerpt From: Dan Hawkins. “Swing.”