Yet and still, as many people, including myself, have found out, information alone isn't enough. The most important ingredient for success is forging an unstoppable mindset.
Looking for tips on crafting an unstoppable mindset, I spoke with former three-time Navy SEAL platoon commander Alden Mills. Mills is also a speaker, CXO adviser, author, and a longtime entrepreneur, including being the founder of Perfect Fitness (an Inc. 500 company).
Since he's someone who has led Navy SEAL teams along with startups, I was curious to gather some mindset principles that I could adopt for my particular journey.
While a lot of insights were shared, the most interesting concept that I took away boiled down to four simple words Mills shared with me:
"Create your own X-Division."
When Mills was going through BUD/S (Basic Underwater Demolition SEAL training), there was a holding area called X-Division, designated for those who have quit their training.
As Mills explained to me, "SEAL instructors didn't want those who are still committed to slugging it out to be distracted by those who willingly have opted out of the arena. The point of X-Division is to remove those who no longer wish to be there."
The human psyche can be fragile and molded in a multitude of ways depending on the influences brought on it each day.
Therefore, it's essential to create your own X-Division, which can begin by committing to these two habits.
1. Do something every day that is uncomfortable.
When I'm running or doing circuit training in the gym, there's a little voice that often pops up and tells me, "You can take it easy--you've already done enough for today, no one will know you stopped early."
This is the "whiner" and "whisperer" appearing. While an external X-Division is important, you can't forget the internal aspect.
As Mills explained, "We each have the 'whiner' and 'whisperer' as voices in our head. We have a choice if we want to listen to them, or have the courage to go after what we really want."
One way to gain control of your mind is to do something every day that you don't want to do, or which you perceive as uncomfortable.
In fitness, perhaps it's pushing yourself through running or jump-roping. In business, it could be reaching out to 15 prospects daily to let your presence be known.
Either/or, do something uncomfortable every day to build up your mental calluses, which toughens up your mind.
2. Create an outcomes account.
When Mills thought of quitting, he would time travel to the future.
As he describes, "I played out what it would feel like ringing the bell three times. But also, what it would feel like going back to the people in my hometown and telling them that I quit. 'I told you it wasn't possible' is what the people would say. Lastly, I thought about having to tell my kids I was a quitter."
To create an outcomes account, draw a line down a piece of paper with a plus on one side and a minus on the other. Answer these questions along the way:
- What's the desired outcome?
- Who does it impact? (It's not just you)
- How does that make you feel?
Answering both categories will conjure up a bevy of emotional associations. And if you're wired anything like me, the negatives will be a powerful driving force.
Building an unstoppable mindset isn't magic. But it does require focus and intentionality.
As Mills reinforced, "You're surrounded by people who are in X-Division. You have to make your own X-Division. You have to decide who you want to listen to and what voice you want to focus on."