Success in absolutely anything you do is determined by your mindset. Period. If you believe you can accomplish something, wrap your head around what it will look like to achieve it, imagine what it will feel like when you achieve it, and keep that objective with all of the research, feelings, and focus in tow, you will achieve it...wildly. Unfortunately, we live in an age where people simply don't want to do the work, devote the time, or expend the energy it takes to develop the mindset needed to achieve. Instead, we'd rather post the post and appear like we've already conquered the goal when, in reality, we question our ability to actually achieve it.
One of the biggest lessons I learned when writing my book was talking too damn much about it before it was actually done. I had read this pretty amazing book by Jeff Haden called "The Motivation Myth" and literally watched one of his big warnings in the book come to fruition while writing mine. Often when we talk and talk about a goal we're looking to achieve in our socials, ahead of actually achieving it, our minds will process it as mission accomplished and we'll completely lose the motivation needed to complete it. When people like and share and hop aboard your marketing train it tricks those achievement receptors in your brain into believing that you did it and there's no longer a need for the motivation to do more. This happened to me. While I wanted to get the word out about the book I was writing, behind the scenes, I was struggling to finish the book. All of the marketing I did prior was really aimed at motivating myself to complete it and get it out. Unfortunately, it took a full year longer to actually release the book than intended, because I was no longer motivated to complete it. My mind was like, "Sweet! I think we're done here," and became more interested in the next motorcycle I wanted to purchase with the proceeds from the book I hadn't even completed. WTF?!
We all struggle with motivation, especially when we're time-challenged or we allow life to happen to us vs. living it with intention. Until shit gets real. Then all of a sudden there is an urgency, focus, and impermeable need to achieve something and nothing and no one can stop us. Watching my mom deal with a cancer diagnosis and treatment, end-to-end, was one of the greatest lessons in mindset and motivation that I could ever have witnessed and to share.
I remember being at my Mom's house when she received the call that something didn't look quite right on the mammogram she had taken a couple of days before. I was passively eavesdropping a bit on the conversation (a superpower all top Executive Assistants develop) and could tell by both her carefully chosen language and slight energy shift from Carefree Mom to appear-like-everything's-alright Mom that something was definitely not cool. She didn't mention specifics, just that she needed to go back to see her doctor again for another test. And, sure enough, it turned out that she had early-onset breast cancer. I had returned to Denver and received that phone call and instantly remembered the call she'd received from her doctor's office when I was visiting.
The thing about my Mom is that she's the Empress of taking action. Anytime she's faced with an obstacle, it's almost like her alter ego takes over. She instantly goes from church-going, everybody loves Myra, to this rabid pitbull that starts devouring information, making phone calls, compiling lists and data, pulling her "success squad" together, and not allowing a single person to tell her "no" without explaining themselves in full. It's equal parts fascinating and scary AF to watch. I'm sure she's a German spy or some shit and has, like a triple black belt in karate, 6 guns with silencers, and speaks perfect Russian, Mandarin AND Cantonese, and that African language with all the tongue pops in it. In no time flat, she had assembled her care team, given me my marching orders to support her and my elderly father, and mapped out the next 3 months of all our lives including her radiation treatments after her breast surgery. It was a thing of beauty.
Instead of focusing on the "Fuck! I've got breast cancer!" she focused on the "Breast cancer...hmmm. Okay. I'll beat it. Watch!" Her attitude never wavered. She cracked me up. At church people would come up to her and ask, "How are you, Myra?" and without missing a beat she would say, "I have breast cancer!" like #what and with a smile. You can only imagine people's faces and reactions when being greeted with that news expecting the typical, powderpuff reply. But what I loved most about this was that she had already made up her mind to fight and beat this disease and by being so cavalier about sharing her diagnosis she stripped away any power, shame, or gravity from it and actually used it to empower her mindset. The added benefit of that was that people started to see a typically grave diagnosis as having absolutely no power in Myra's world. It was an inconvenient truth at best and would be treated as such until she achieved her ultimate goal of kicking cancer's whole ass. Which, according to her last battery of post-radiation tests, she has.
Life is moving faster than ever now. And we're spending less and less time working on ourselves and falling victim to the whims, rigors, and accountabilities of our jobs and businesses. What we conveniently fail to remember is that it all comes back to us and how we not only present ourselves to the world in our socials but, more importantly, how we show up.
"Mental health" is the buzzphrase du jour. That's all great and fine and is definitely something we all should focus on and seek professional help to manage in our lives. But we have a superpower innate within all of us that we simply aren't using nearly as much as we should. And that's our mindset. Getting into a state where our mindset and focus are lockstep and speaking words that support both is what will make us successful in everything we do. And, let's be clear, it's something that takes practice. Lots of it, in fact. But the more we train the muscle and as Arnold Schwartzenegger says, "...complete those last four or five reps that hurt the most but actually grow the muscle," the easier it is to be a Myra and switch from church lady to pitbull seamlessly and achieve absolutely anything we set our minds to, or die trying. And, clearly, ain't nobody dying up in here today!
My superpower and the key to all the success I've had over the past 30 years is my mindset. There's nothing anyone can say or do to me that will ever shake my belief in myself because I've mastered my mindset. I know what makes me happy, fulfilled, and what I specifically need to feel whole. Not in comparison to anyone else. What works for me. And I know that as long as I tune out the noise, listen to my own voice which should be much louder than others, do my due diligence, and spring into action, the only person who can stop me is ME.
Once I got my mindset (read: shit) together, first, the book flowed out of me. And though it's not perfect it's 100% me and 100% on message AS I SEE IT. I'm excited to be putting together a new workshop that is open to EVERYONE and focuses on creating the mindset to achieve absolutely anything you want. This is my focus for the next 2 years...yanking us from the jaws of others' expectations and needs and focusing on our own first and foremost so that we can be WHOLE again, then give of ourselves in more sustainable increments. And that all rounds back to mindset and seeing and treating ourselves as a priority in our own lives. And as crazy as it sounds, that's going to take a lot of practice, especially since many of us have lost real contact with WHO we are.
Donate all those self-help books and take a break from all the YouTubes and LinkedIn Top 5 lists. It's time to actively participate in your bounce back. And that starts with getting a little SELFish, as uncomfortable as that may feel. "Getting your mind right" and developing the focus, routines, and accountabilities associated with an impermeable mindset is what will allow you take the reins back in your life and start living with intention and on the terms you set, not was has been dictated to you by others or as a result of the past decisions you've made.
You get ONE life. Stop wasting it in the passenger seat. Set a new standard in your own life and live your truth. Believe me, it helps others do the same.
*The most significant workshop of my life, bouncebackU, drops soon. Stay tuned for dates. (Don't worry...it's ready to go. No subterfuge.)
Phoenix is coaching and supporting American billionaires, CEOs and executive teams in tech, retail and banking for over 25 years. He also founded and created MEGA Assistant University, a revolutionary skills and mindset “boot camp” for top Executive and Personal Assistants who want to level up quickly and begin forging a mutually successful business partnership with their executives and teams. Phoenix holds a Bachelors of Arts in European Studies/Civilisation from Trinity College Dublin.