Trevor Moawad is a mental conditioning coach that has worked with some of the top athletes in the world including NFL Super Bowl Champion Quarterback Russell Wilson who wrote the forward for the book.
Moawad’s concept of neutral thinking is a very cool spin on how to stay in the moment and optimize the way we think and act. Here are my top 11 takeaways:
- Saying something negative out loud is 10 times more powerful than if we think it. So stop saying stupid shit! He gives the example of Bill Buckner letting one of the baseball world’s most famous ground balls through his legs in the 1986 World Series. What most people don’t know is Buckner was interviewed 12 days before the World Series and he said “the dream is to win the World Series and the nightmare would be to let the game winning run score on a ground ball through my legs.” And of course, that is automatically what happened. Saying it out loud didn’t make it happen, but it increased the likelihood substantially.
- Negativity is four to seven times more powerful than positivity. You can make more progress in your diet by taking out the bad food than by adding in good food. Negativity in any form is poison. Don’t choose stuff that will weaponize you against yourself. Stay away from cable news channels and from radio, podcast or social media media posts designed to inflame or anger.
- Average people do average things and successful people do successful things. We are creatures of habits. Getting rid of your bad habits is fundamental to your success. If there is a person who has a skill or attitude you admire, find the habits they developed to create it and build those habits into your life.
- Adjust your behaviour to act like the person you want to become. Moawad, gives the example of a struggling student who mistakenly received a 1480 on his SAT score, when in fact he got a 740. The man started acting like someone who gets a 1480 on his SAT and his whole life changed. The change in his life was directly correlated not to his intelligence but to his actions, which were a product of his new self image.
- What you do and not how you feel is going to determine your success. You may feel like crap on a given day, but your actions are what ultimately matter.
- Neutral thinking allows you to remain in control. Your past is real but it is not predictive; it is what you do next that matters. Moawad gives the example of throwing an interception. You can get your thoughts in a neutral space and start taking the next best steps to produce a successful outcome. Neutral thinking is going straight to the truth and laying out your best course of action going forward.
- Successful people do what unsuccessful people don’t like to do. Enough said!
- Listen to your inner voice and realize that you control your inner voice. You can only focus on one thing at a time so focus on the actions that will produce the best outcome. Create an ad campaign in your brain. We all talk to ourselves and what we say to ourselves matters and has a huge influence on our behaviour and how we feel. No one can influence “you” like “you.”
- Don’t rely on positive thinking. It’s hard to remain in a positive state when something really challenging happens, like a cancer diagnosis. But you can remain neutral and determine your next best step.
- You are not defined by your past unless you choose to live there. It is what you do now and not how you feel that gets things done.
- Discipline your mind. Focus on dealing with the situation at hand right now. Every problem creates an opportunity. Navy seals look at problems as challenges rather than threats.