Mindset Shifters: How to Get What You Really Want in Life

By Jim Cathcart

Think of your mind as a transmission with multiple gears. Each gear is designed for a specific range of performance. First gear is for starting out; fifth gear is for highway cruising at higher speeds. This can be a fascinating thought exercise when you apply it toward a goal.

What is something you want? Write it down right now. Anything: a state of health, an amount of money, an item you’d like to own, an experience you’d like to have, an honor or award you’d like to receive. Just write it down right now or say it aloud.

Wants are the activators of the mind. Emerson said, “Desire is possibility seeking expression.” In other words, things that are possible for you appear in your mind as wishes, desires, or wants. So, the mere fact that you want something is an indication that it is probably possible for you. Not without help or resources or growth, but possible nonetheless.

Once a want is identified, the mind starts presenting you with the obstacles or challenges you’ll encounter. This is done to assist you, not to stop you. But most people treat these as worries and they shut down the achievement process. Remember, your mind is your friend. It’s on your side, trying to help keep you safe while getting what you want. When you start to see obstacles…welcome them! Those are your “to-dos” on the path to success.

To shift your mind into the appropriate “gear” for the task ahead I have listed several concepts you can use to see things from a different perspective (aka mindset). Try these out on the thing you want. You did write something down, yes? Do it now please.

As an example, I’m going to assume you want to become a multimillionaire and you’re not one yet. So the challenge is:

“How do I become a multimillionaire within the next 10 years?”

Once you have your “want” isolated, apply these to it:

  • Combine
  • Separate
  • Reverse
  • Multiply
  • Reduce
  • Magnify
  • Minify
  • Color, Texture, Shape
  • Substitute

Here’s how this might go. How can I COMBINE something with what I’m already doing in order to achieve more? Can I add someone else to the team? Form a Mastermind with a group of fellow achievers? Form an alliance with another company? Gain a license or affiliate agreement to add something to my offers? Can I group other goals with this one and achieve all them at once?

SEPARATE. What if I make my financial goal a separate activity from my career? Could I invest in real estate on the side or start a multi-level marketing side business? Could I take just one of my job skills or talents and use that to make my millions? Should I stop associating with people who discourage me from succeeding?

REVERSE. I’m seeking money but how can I make money seek me? Can I start with the assumption that I’m already a multimillionaire and work backwards? Can I offer a great service or product that would attract more money to me?

MULTIPLY. What if I did five or 10 times more than I’m doing now? Who else could add to or double my impact? What about getting more people on the team? Going after multiple markets at once? Having many parallel operations?

REDUCE. How about just “picking a lane” and doing only one thing? Which parts of my efforts are not paying off much – and could I discontinue them? Can I focus just one intense part of each day on this task? Could I reduce my goal into sub-goals that are more easily achieved?

MAGNIFY. Can I do things on a bigger scale? Go for the gusto of a massive enterprise or global endeavor? Instead of focusing on my job, how about focusing on my industry or profession itself? Not my community but my state or nation?

MINIFY. What if we do a micro strategy and make this a bunch of little successes, then weave them into a bigger success? How can I offer a Volkswagen “Bug” when others are building Pontiac “land yachts” that get 10 miles per gallon? How about focusing on personal computers (like Apple) while IBM is going after corporate installations (mainframes)?  

COLOR, TEXTURE, SHAPE. Is there a different look, feel, size, or function that could be better? Ford initially only offered one color, black, on its Model T and sold millions. USA Today started printing their newspaper in full color and quickly became successful.

SUBSTITUTE. What could be done instead? What if we replaced the traditional wooden back of the guitar with carbon fiber? What if we used private owners/drivers instead of buying fleets of taxis (Uber)? What if we improved the train connections instead of trying to redirect automobile traffic? What if we offered TV news all day long instead of comedies and dramas too (CNN, Fox News)? What if we had characters from our cartoons as the hosts and guides in our theme parks instead of other personnel? (Disney)

Each of these examples involved achievements in the millions of dollars but the successes weren’t rooted in brilliant scientific breakthroughs. Instead, they were achieved through a different mindset – a new approach to the challenge. You can do this every day. Do as R. Buckminster Fuller, the da Vinci of the 20th Century, did: he posed the questions, “How can I look for God’s fingerprint in what I’m examining?” “How can we make the world work better for all the people with only the existing resources and do so through spontaneous cooperation?” That produced breakthroughs of global proportions. Einstein used this technique when seeking the Theory of Relativity, E=MC2. He said he envisioned himself riding on a beam of light at “light speed” and asked, “What would I see?”

Wow. Well, you needn’t change the universe – but it’s OK if you do. Just apply these new gears to shift your mind into more powerful ways of achieving your goals.

Jim Cathcart, CSP, CPAE is the original author of Relationship Selling and one of the world’s leading professional speakers. Jim is a regular contributor to Selling Power and a certified Mindset Trainer. Contact Jim at Cathcart.com.

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