Elite Minds - Notes

Fear of loss and failure is what keeps us from reaching potential – sadly also the same poison we discourage others with even if subconsciously.

Not a winner or a loser – its not binary we’re all both but can do more of one than the other.

Knowledge rests not upon truth alone, but upon error also. Carl Jung

If you plan on being anything less than you are capable of being you will probably be unhappy all the days of your life. Abraham Maslow

Beecham believes the degree of success you achieve and how you perform is 100% mental. The mind is in charge of the body. Brain = software body = hardware. We are mistaken if we focus on talent and experience, which are not enough.

Is your mind an asset or an obstruction to your performance? Truth is few of us much understanding of what we really believe about ourselves and the world around us. ‘What you believe about yourself and your world is the primary determinant to what you do and ultimately how well you do it’.

Not new idea, Freud is famous because of his work bringing the unconscious mind to the forefront of psychology. Freud began his professional career as a neurologist studying neuromuscular diseases such as cerebral palsy. He frequently found there was no physical cause for a patients disability. His insight was to realize the causes were mental not physical. This mind body connection was initially scorned by the medical establishment (as usual) but is now widely accepted. If we don’t recognize this fundamental relationship we will never get close to our performance potential.

Tubby Smith former coach at University of Georgia basketball. His players injury rate was a lot less than other teams. His explanation for this was that he had simply told the team they would not get injured because he believed that the injury rate was correlated to a belief system. He believed they would not get injured and the team believed him when he said it. The unconscious mind and what you truly believe determines what the body can and does do.

Unconscious learning leads to unconscious behavioural change in turn leading to our unconscious habits.

The primary difference between elite competitors and others is that they make it their business to manage and understand and manage their unconscious minds by mastering their conscious thoughts and behaviour’. They think behave and believe in an optimum way.

‘We do what we think we can. We don’t attempt what we think we are incapable of’.

‘Whatever you believe is true, is.’

‘Mind vs body, mind always wins!’

Nocebo effect – the power of negative beliefs a term coined in 1961 by Walter Kennedy – in Latin I will harm. Just as powerful as the placebo effect.

Confidence is another way of describing our belief systems.

Is confidence a thought or a feeling? Most feel it as an emotion but when you become conscious of confidence it is really a thought. To improve confidence you need to work at the conscious level with confidence as a thought. When you realise you have negative and false beliefs about yourself you can start replacing these with a more positive view.

Relationship between emotions, cognitions and behaviour. When people seek out a psychologist or psychiatrist its usually because they want to feel different. But need to address the underlying thoughts.

Beliefs control biology which controls behaviour and behaviour determines success’.

To progress your potential need to recognize your wrong about yourself.

Example of Japanese Buddhist monks on Mount Hiei who run 1,000 marathons over 7 years. Primary lesson from the monks is about commitment. No excuses or negotiations do it as if your life depended upon it.

What is to give light must endure burning’ Viktor Frankl

Importance of intentions. Why before what and how. Goals are about what and how, but intentions address the why?

Problem with most goal setting is we play it too safe.

Write the goal your 100% sure you can hit. Re-write it at 90, 80, 70 – how good do you want to be? Are you nervous is there adrenaline, does this thing have your full attention re-write at 60% – ‘That’s your goal’. If it does not scare you, it’s not worth being a goal. Also need to kill plan B, if your planning plan B, your planning to fail. ‘Kill plan B or it will kill you’ Once you have a plan full commitment is essential.

‘first do what is necessary…Then do the possible..And then you will find yourself doing the impossible. Francis of Assisi

The myth of 110%. There is a correlation between effort and performance but not always a positive one. Need to balance mental and physical effort. In a flow state, (quiet mind) physical effort can feel effortless

Effort often thought about in terms of resistance but often at our best its more about acceptance of what is rather than resistance. Go with the grain.

Each day ask have I given my best and taken a step towards my goal

‘Setting expectations. ‘Everyone wants a medal, but only those who truly believe they will get a medal have a chance. Wanting a medal is a conscious desire, expecting to medal is an unconscious

Expectation dictates performance. Everyone wants to win, but only a few expect to win’.

‘Fear is your opponent. No one is better or faster than you – only less afraid.’

‘Courage is being scared to death..and saddling up anyway.’ John Wayne

Idea of focus needs to be specific, ie focus on what?

Having fun is critical to performance

‘The main ingredient of stardom is the rest of the team. John Wooden

No such thing as individual performance

Building teams:

Recruit and select the right people

Develop strong friendships (trust & relationships)

Create a shared value system

Fight without hurting each other

Cultivate strong leaders

Clearly define team goals


3 Primary components in addressing performance, belief, thought and behaviour. When these are strongly aligned performance is high

Beliefs are critical – where do they come from

Thought is conscious usually a by-product of beliefs. Easier to change your thoughts than your beliefs. Most effort should be put here and ultimately you can change your unconscious beliefs through your conscious thoughts

Behaviour – what we do

When changing any one of these you will feel discomforted.

What we have learned or believe to be true are amongst our greatest hurdles. Some of what we believe is true but rest isn’t – we don’t know the difference.’ We all practice a degree of self-deception.

‘Telling the truth is the most dangerous thing one can do in most businesses and social settings’. Great leadership makes an environment that is safe for telling the truth. Link to Simon Sinek Leaders Eat Last.

In a performance environment experience is more valuable than information. Practice allows for failure which is critical to learning – academics know all the theory but have never experienced the learning of failure.

Value of time. Deliberate practice of activities that matter most.

‘Demanding the best from people, holding them accountable, not accepting their excuses, and telling them to do something again are not acts of brutality – they are acts of love.’

Best leaders challenge

‘Success is what you do after you fail’. ‘How you respond to failure defines your success..fall down 100 times get up 101.

What do you want? What do want to have, to do to be? To answer that question first you need to know who am I now? To navigate from A to B you need to know both who you are (present tense) and who you want to be – future tense.

Competition is about trying to discover the best of ourselves, to perform at our best – root of the word in Latin is to testify or make a promise with. The promise you make is to do your best. Winning matters because it pushes you to your limits.

Absence not presence is often the sensation of great performance – the ability to get out of our own way.

Dr George Sheehan talking about competition in his book the Running Life suggests we seek our ‘absolute best with the help of each other’

‘Winning is not everything, but wanting to win is’ Vince Lombardi

‘You always have an expectation of how you are going to perform. If you are not aware of that expectation then it is probably negative.’

Its not luck but your expectation that determines success

SF – every member of the team is both leader and follower.

Lots of ways to become successful but only 1 way to become a failure – quit.

To laugh often and much;

To win the respect of intelligent people and

The affection of children; to earn the

Appreciation of honest critics and endure

The betrayal of false friends; to appreciate

Beauty; to find the best in others;

To leave the world a bit better, whether by a

Healthy child, a garden patch or a redeemed social condition;

To know even one life has breathed easier

Because you have lived.

This is to have succeeded.

Ralph Waldo Emerson