Today we are going to talk about mind muscle. It’s the single most important thing that will make the difference between failure and success in any endeavor, whether it’s sports or any achievement, mastering, and art, becoming successful in business, becoming a better person, or a better parent.
In a book called “The Power of your Subconscious mind” by Dr. Joseph Murphy, it was researched in the 1940s that the way you think and the number of ideas you can assimilate in your brain, and the amount that you can implement will determine how much of your success is. As we go forward from The Agrarian Age to the Industrial Age, to the information age, and now the age is called the Golden Age of knowledge, of individualism. What’s going to happen is everything that used to take three generations to achieve earlier, it’s going to be achieved in one generation.
Let me tell you a story first. In the history of the Olympics since 600 BC, what happened was nobody had ever run a mile distance in four minutes. It was considered unachievable by human muscle. They said that humans could not run because only the four-leg animals can run it, and human muscle is incapable of doing that. And if you try doing that, you’ll probably die. There was this person known as Roger Bannister. He was a British man, and he decided that he would try to do it and got a coach. He practiced a lot, and back in 1966 or something, he broke the four-minute mind. He’s the first person in the history of time to have run a 1-mile distance in a race in four minutes. It’s called the four-minute mile.
Now that’s not the real story. What happened was in a period of just one year, 13 people broke his record. Something that was assumed to be incapable by the human muscle for God knows how many years was eventually achievable. And not only that, within a period of just one year, 13 people broke that record. Why did that happen? The Mind muscle by doing that feat once, not only did Roger Bannister bring him to a level where he was operating, he also brought a lot of other people to that level.
Their mind-muscle was also built to accommodate this idea just by virtue of him breaking that record. And then they said, if he can do it, they can do it, and they did better.
So if you see in today’s time, Mark Zuckerberg became a billionaire at the age of 26. It took him less than five years to become a billionaire than Bill Gates, which was considered unheard of in those times. And even in the age of Sam Walton, the founder of Walmart. He was once the richest man in the world. It had taken like 40 Years of hard work to become what Walmart was, and Bill Gates was able to do that in 10 years less, and Mark Zuckerberg was able to do it in less than that time.
So, how does your mind-muscle work? If you can train the single most important thing that will help you become financially successful is if you can accommodate more ideas you want to have the desire. But if you’re able to accommodate what it is, that’s going to get you through. If you’re able to accommodate, believe and act on those ideas, this can get you there more than anything.
So mind muscle is built by three things. You can supercharge that mind-muscle by three things.
- The first thing is to focus
- The second thing is the novelty
- The third thing is the risk of failure
The best way to build mind muscle is to do things with focus. The second thing is to do new things. The third thing is to do things in fear of failing or risk of failing.
So what is the focus? Daily, your brain is basically working in every different direction. Your brain is working all the time, even when you’re sleeping. But the people who are successful like Bill Gates, his brain is working only in one direction.
They asked Mark Zuckerberg that you always seem to wear the same t-shirt. He’s like, no, it’s not the same t-shirt. I’ve got the same like six, seven of these t-shirts. I got six of them in blue and six of them in Black. I pick one up every morning. And for many days I may be wearing a blue because I don’t remember which color I wore yesterday’s work.
The reason is that I don’t even want to spend half a second of my life thinking about what I’m going to wear today. There is only one thought in my mind: how to make the social experience, which is Facebook, better for everybody commercially and socially. That is the only thing I want to accommodate in my mind.
Bill Gates said I am grateful to become a billionaire by the age of 30 because, after that, I want to be a family man as well. I want to spend time with my family. The only thought in my brain from the age of 20 to 30 was to put a computer on every single desk in this country, inside a home, and inside an office. That was the only single thought in my mind. It was quite difficult in those times to dream like this because it was just crazy. People would say you really need psychiatric help because computers were huge at that time. They were the size of an entire apartment. They are costs tons and tons in weight, and then they could cost around a million dollars. And basically, what you had to do in order to get a computer was to own a multimillion-dollar company or the government; only the government and universities had computers.
And then what you had to do was to come, you could not speak to a computer. There was no screen. There was nothing. There were no buttons. You had to have programmers and scientists speak to the computer. So computers were used to store large amounts of data. They did not have any home usage. So, to get a computer on every desk, you had to not only make them smaller, the processing power has to dramatically increase gazillions percent every year so that there’s still a need to have the same processing power. Then you have to build applications where a normal person could actually speak to the computer without having a Ph.D. in a scientific subject. Then they are to be made lighter so people can buy them and they can be shipped to your home, and they have to be made cheaper instead of a million dollars. You could just afford one for like $300-$400.
Today, these things don’t seem so crazy because people have done crazy things already, so mind muscle has been built as a species.
In order to achieve that (making a lightweight computer with high power), he had to think only about that one thing and all the other surrounding facts like the cost, the equipment, the processor.
Around the same time, a gentleman called Andy Grove took over a company called Intel, which was a money-losing company. He cut out all the company’s product lines, which used to make transistors and radios, and focused on processors. He told his company to cut out all the stuff. There is only one mission statement of this company for the next 50 years. And that mission statement is to double the amount of information on a 2×4 chip every single year. You have to make sure that the amount of information on a chip doubles every single year. The capacity of the chip needs to double every year.
So, Andy Grove, Bill Gates, and Steve Jobs formed a huge friendship because all the businesses were allied, although Bill Gates and Steve Jobs were competitors. But they were working in the same direction. They wanted to bring the power of the computer to every human being on the planet inside their home. That is the power of focus.
Now the learning we get from here is how to maximize your focus. Somebody said that your time is your most important asset. But a famous online marketer said that it’s not your time that is the more important asset but your focus. He means that focus is your number one asset because time is limited and everybody has 24 hours. Everybody has so many years on this planet. What you can change is your focus. If you do that, you can achieve great things. How can you do that?
- You need to stop wasting your time on social media. It’s not helping anyone.
- Spending 1-2 hours every day on your phone talking to your loved ones has no value. So save that time and do something constructive.
- Stop wasting time on deciding what to eat. Just eat what is cooked. Don’t argue. Save that time and do something valuable. Food planning will save a lot of time in your life.
- Stop hanging around with colleagues for no reason whatsoever. Don’t let other people waste your time.
- Quit smoking and drinking. Beer is like poison to your brain. Stop doing these things, and it will save a lot of time on your days off. You can think about your dreams on those days rather than wasting time on smoking and drinking. So don’t slow your brain down at a time when you should be looking at peak capacity.
All of these things have no meaning in life. The only meaning of life is how to get to the next level. Spend time with your family at a fixed time.
The second thing is novelty. This is more important than the focus. You will need to do things new to you, and you will need to learn them. When you are learning them, it will be painful. You’ll have to do them consistently in the face of disappointment, in the face of frustration. You’ll have to learn and do new things, and even things you’re doing, you have to push the barriers.
All the top athletes in the world, whether it is Messy Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant, or MS Dhoni, all these guys are 2 seconds ahead of everyone else. They exercise their mind muscle and take it to the next level after every match because if they don’t do it, they’re going to lose the next one. So they have to take their mind muscle to the next level.
Risk of failure
Invariably the things that have the highest possible return are done in the face of failure. Risk of failure, which means when you go out and do something, there will be a risk of failure.
Most of us like familiarity because there is no risk in familiarity. Suppose someone says to do this job. Oh, this job is over, do the other jobs. You quit one job, and you go to another job. That is familiarity.
People say that they have 15 years of experience working in Dubai, Saudi Arabia, and Thailand. They’ve been tomarketing, they’ve built big companies, what do you think will be the right thing for them?
Well, the right thing for them, first of all, is to forget all that. Forget about those 15 years. If you do something that is familiar to you, chances are that quantumly will not happen. You can bring those learnings and do something in an area where the action is going to happen. That area may not be the same area you have experience in; it must be done in the right game. For example, if you have all the nice learning in the world and get into the pager market. What good is it going to do? That market is dead.
Bring all your learning to the new market where the action is going to take place. You should deploy your learning to the area that is going to make money. You’ll have to develop a new mind muscle. All that old stuff is gone. Always when you do something new going to come with the risk of failure and ridicule.
So you have to do things with focus, novelty, and with risk of failure. If any of these things are not present, chances are, you will gain 10% or 20%, but you won’t get very much. 20% gain in the market is not game-changing, but 2000% gain in the market is. You need to have the mindset of a 20000% return on everything.
This mind-muscle building is done within a period of 90 days if you do it in an intense passion if you spend enough time on it along with your job. But if you spend an extra 20-30 hours a week building this mind-muscle and a skillset, in 90 days, you will be ready to gain from the opportunity in the market. So save your time and do something constructive that can make money for you.