How Thoughts and Emotions Affect Our Performance

There is clearly a relationship between how we feel, how we think, and how we perform…

Ask Mikail.

In December of last year, he was shooting for his highest sales month ever. December is typically a slow month in his industry or so he was told. People are typically distracted with the winter approaching and Christmas knocking on the door. The other sales folks in the office told him he was nuts if he thought December would be a big month.

It promptly spurred a wager that wreaked of the typical aroma of testosterone. For some reason, Mikail was not worried although his buddy, Dan, was freaking out. He had not made his quota yet this year. He told Mikail that he was crazy to think December would be a big month for either one of them.

Everyone else in the office subscribed themselves to the month’s dismal numbers expectation and they sat and waited for the month to end. They didn’t push the way you might think they would but instead waited for the storm to pass.

And what they got? Was exactly what they expected: Nada!

But Mikail? Got results that surpassed his previous highest month.

He got up earlier, worked later and went to work each day believing he could do it. He refused to settle.

His Mindset Made the Difference

Not only in his results, but in his willingness to do more than was expected. It made a huge difference to his mindset, his mood and his work ethic.

He wasn’t always like that as he used to be a card carrying member of the pessimistic club.

Once upon a time, Mikail would have given up and joined his colleagues in their pity party.

Then it happened…

He experienced a mindset makeover when his Boss at the time shared with him a key piece of advice that helped him dig his way out of his hole. He told him that the difference between those who succeed and those who don’t is not typically talent but rather a willingness to keep pushing when others decide to give up. It was what he called “grit”…. They are able to keep pushing because they adopted a “no excuse” mindset.

It wasn’t just about thinking but also about FEELING it deep down in ones soul. Mikail was now waking up every morning, grateful for what he had and knowing that he had to do more in order to get more of what he wanted. He began to write down 3 things he was grateful for every afternoon until it became a part of his daily routine. He soon realized how fortunate he really was and everything changed.

It All Changed

He was able to let go of the negativity that had become his default setting. He let go of animosity toward people who were achieving things that he was not.

He was no longer waking up agitated but rather grateful for the people and the experiences in his life. He began to feed those feelings and emotions.

That’s when his game changed as gratitude became a habit.

He realized that the only person that could stop him was HIM. It was not any easier but it was now possible…

Steps to A Growth Mindset

  1. Know where you are is where you’re supposed to be right now. We have a tendency to get lost in the “woes me” attitude because we’re not yet as successful as we think we should be. But where we are is a lesson. It’s a test of our patience and our ability to keep going. We have to function with the knowledge of what’s coming. Managing the uncertainty is a huge part of being successful.
  2. Be grateful FOR EVERYTHING. When you’re grateful for everything, you soon realize that it’s all a gift.
  3. Know what you want and with whom. You have to be laser focused on what you want. You have to figure out what, specifically, it is that you want so that the steps you take are moving you toward that goal. Progress not Perfection!
  4. Ask for it. Ask for help. Keep asking and never stop.
  5. Stay focused on the finish line but enjoy the race. It may mean saying no to people who don’t have your deepest desires at heart.

Being at the right place at the right time with the right people means very little if you do not have the right mindset.



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Devin C. Hughes

Keynote Speaker | Mindfulness Maven | Happiness Muse | Author | Diversity & Inclusion Advocate |