The difference between those who perform at an elite level and the rest is what and how they think. By that I mean how they think of themselves, their capability and their potential for future success.
Many people assume the primary differentiators are those we typically observe i.e. our skills, knowledge and experience. However, the more we examine performance the more we will come to realize the real difference between those at the top and those trailing behind is their State of Mind.
Having specialised in this area for the best part of 20 years, I am as surprised today at the world’s ‘apathetic’ commitment to improve our understanding of this subject as I was when I started. Why is it we continue to focus our attention on matters that are unlikely to create a fundamental change in our performance when most of us know the results we are ultimately after require a fundamental change in mind-set?
Every human being fortunate enough to experience consciousness has the potential to improve their state of mind and therefore the results they achieve. However, it is only by improving our state of mind that we can initiate a true step change in performance.
Irrespective of where we look there is overwhelming evidence to support the notion that mind-set governs performance. Whether that be on the sports field, in our training institutions, our production lines, our sales departments or our board rooms. Our results, irrespective of the outcomes we achieve, are indicative of mind-set.
Consciousness is a fascinating subject. As human beings we experience it every day and yet the ‘experiences’ we have, the lives we lead and the results we get suggest most of us fail to even notice it.
Being conscious enables us to ‘act’ voluntarily on the world we see and yet sadly most people, from the moment they wake up to the moment they go to sleep, do little more than ‘react’ to what is going on around them. Being conscious is more than just being ‘upright’ or ‘awake’. It is about utilizing our extraordinary ability to ‘think’ independently of what is taking place in order to create something better.
If an individual is aware they are conscious, they will live an entirely different life from an individual who doesn’t yet know it. One will be in a position to create a life worth living, the other remains a victim of circumstance. One will find meaning and purpose while the other will just try and get through. One will be in a position to contribute, the other will see no alternative than to take. One will celebrate and support advancement, the other will remain resentful and jealous.
The difference between the two is astounding. It is the difference between light and dark. Those who remain ‘in’ the dark will be forever dismayed as to why their life is the way it is because no matter how hard they try, change or improvements will continue to elude them.
Many people over the years have asked me ‘what do I need to do to advance?’ The most important thing in my opinion is that we must first understand we ‘are’ conscious - and therefore, as a consequence of this remarkable fact, we are able to improve. If we were to recognise the results we are getting are entirely consistent with our mind-set, we may be more inclined to take responsibility for improving our state in order to improve our results. However, if we were to remain ‘unaware’ of this premise, what can we do? We could hope and pray that something may change rather than creating change i.e. continue to insult our own intelligence rather than use it, or we could place our faith in a third party, which is little more than an attempt to alleviate the guilt we would otherwise experience as a result of abdicating responsibility. Either way, neither work.
The only way we can consciously and/or deliberately improve our lives or the performance of our organisations is to improve the way we think. And while I accept this is indeed the greatest challenge most human beings will ever face, it is the only rightful and intelligent solution.
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