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If you go to the dictionary, you will find a long list of definitions for mindset, mind, and set. Interestingly they all come before success!

Mind-set (noun) beliefs that affect somebody’s attitude – a set of beliefs or a way of thinking that determine somebody’s behavior and outlook.

Mind (noun) seat of thought and memory – the center of consciousness that generates thoughts, feelings, ideas, and perceptions and stores knowledge and memories.

Set (verb) focus on something – transitive verb to focus on a goal or task – had set his mind on it.

This is not a grammar lesson, and maybe it doesn’t matter how you spell mindset. What does matter is you need to better understand what it is if you wish to be successful. There I spelled it with one word. I’ll continue to spell it with one word; you can use two if you wish.

The spelling is less important than the understanding of just how critical your mindset is to you, especially if you are in a highly competitive environment like sales, sports, or business.

Go back and read the definition of mindset again. "A way of thinking that determines somebody’s behavior and outlook." Every day we have choices to make. Life is all about choices. We choose between right and wrong, good and evil. Being positive or negative.

Think about the impact of mindset. Say you awake and tell yourself, "Am I ever tired this morning, this is going to be one very long day." Where do you think your energy level is going to be? Let’s say you awake and say to yourself, "This is going to be a great day. I can’t wait to get at it." How we think subconsciously impacts our conscious behaviors. Psychologists call the study of this phenomenon cognitive behavioral science. It truly is fascinating.

It has been proven repeatedly that our internal self-talk determines our attitude, disposition, and actions. Think about the person who has said for years, "I’m great with faces but terrible with names." Repeating this over and over do you wonder if the mind has taken it as fact and only concentrated on facial recognition, totally ignoring the name, as you have convinced the mind the name isn’t important?

The good news is we can change how we think. We can re-train the mind. Like so much in life, it won’t happen overnight; however, it is much easier than you might think. The key is to consciously catch your negative thoughts. In our example with names, if the person caught himself or herself saying he or she was not good with names and began having his or her inner voice say, "I’m getting better at remembering names, I just have to concentrate." Then use whatever trick works for you, such as name association or using the person’s name in conversation right away to focus on it.

How often have you heard world-class athletes comment how they visualize winning their race or event? Their "mental coach" has become as important as their "performance coach" in their training and conditioning.

If you work in the sales arena, you probably know some top sales professionals who appear to always be "up." They are optimistic, have an organized mind, and success just seems to come to them. They have learned, usually from experience or a mentor, that a person who is an effective thinker is more successful. By effective thinker, I mean someone who controls and leverages his or her inner voice. These individual understands the power of visualizing success, of believing in themselves, and believing in their clients. Their positive self-talk enables them, it doesn’t distract them.

I would encourage you, regardless of occupation, to learn more about the power of effective thinking.
Become an effective thinker, manage your mindset!

Thanks to my friend and colleague Eric Merz of Eric A. Merz Consulting for his thoughts on this important topic.