Photo by Vicky Sim on Unsplash
If you’re into self-improvement and pushing yourself to become the very best version of yourself, the Progressive Mindset will help you stay to on course and to keep progressing continuously - even if the road gets really, really rough!
The Progressive Mindset is my personal set of mental tools, which I have discovered over years of challenging myself in multiple disciplines, like extreme sports, education, business development and various creative endeavours.
It is a constant reminder of the important lessons that I have learned so far. And a reflection of my personal life and work ethics.
The Ideal Self — Your Destination
In order to go anywhere in life, you need a destination.
Take your time to think about who you want to be:
Physically | Mentally | Intellectually | Spiritually | Socially
By defining your ideal self, you will always have a target to aim at.
Think for yourself
You decide who you want to be!
Identify where and how others (parents, friends, media, institutions) try to shape/manipulate you!
Identify what they want to make of you.
Ask yourself if you want to be that way or not.
Then find your own way!
Visualize your Ideal Self — DAILY
Visualization is the most powerful tool your mind has to offer.
So use it and imagine who you want to be.
Dream big and visualize your ideal self on a daily basis.
Become the best version of yourself
The main focus for continuos progression is trying to become the best version of yourself in whatever aspect that you’re interested in.
By comparing your current self to your ideal self, you will always have room for improvement.
Identify what you need to work on
Once you have identified the delta (gap) between your ideal self and your current self, you can start thinking about how to get better.
Loose that EGO
Before we’re getting into the “focus on yourself” aspects of the Progressive Mindset:
Life is a team event and your ego has no place in it.
Be humble, be open and help your peers!
You will need the help of others at some point in life.
Focus on your own progression
Put your primary focus on your own progression and ignore what others are doing.
From experience, I can tell you that comparing yourself to others will only get you so far.
When you focus on and observe how you progress compared to yesterday, last week or last year, there is always something to celebrate.
As long as you’re doing the work, of course.
The challenge is yourself — no one else
By recognizing that the challenge is only yourself, you can focus all of your energy on pushing yourself forward.
As a result, you are not wasting any energy by thinking about what others are doing.
Don’t push people down — Pull them up with you
While pushing other people down will make you feel like the big guy/girl that you are, it is far too easy.
Take the challenge and pull people up with you!
Aim high and even higher
When you take a look at professional athletes, who have worked their whole life to achieve one specific goal, like winning the tour the france, for example, than you may observe the following issue.
Once they have achieved their most important goal in life, they fall into a giant black hole.
A lot of people don’t think beyond achieving their biggest dream, so they don’t know what to do after it.
Don’t be that person ;) And aim even higher!
The challenge will never end
Realize that you’re in it for the long term. Namely to the end of your life.
Life is not a sprint, but a marathon.
Manage your energy accordingly.
Don’t give up — Take a step back, rest, reset and try again
When you’re hitting a challenge that you can’t conquer (yet), don’t just give up.
Realize that you have found a personal limit.
Take a step back, rest, reset yourself and re-energize.
There will come the time when you feel ready to try again.
Trust in yourself
Be aware that you managed to be born, to grow up and to get this far.
You’ve got this.
(Learn to) Be passionate
When you’re passionate about something, learning and progressing in it, is a lot easier.
It is possible to become passionate about every topic/activity there is, no matter how dull it may seem at the beginning.
Once you dedicate yourself to something, passion will follow.
Learn from your failures
Most people take it hard when they fail at anything.
By becoming aware that you’re still progressing even when you’re failing, you are still moving forward.
Additionally, you can figure out why you have failed and adjust accordingly.
Celebrate your progress and be happy
Recognize when you have made progress, no matter how little.
By reassuring yourself that your current work is paying off, you can keep your moral up.
Learn how to suffer (voluntarily)
Learn how to come to terms with the hardest phases in life.
You will learn this when being dedicated to a heavy work out schedule or any other long term challenge.
Your ability to suffer is what will distinguish you from the rest.
Learn when to stop suffering
Knowing when to stop, is as important as knowing when you can push through.
This requires knowing about your mental and physical limits.
Learn about your mental and physical limits
Wether you’re studying, training or working hard.
Your mental and physical capacities will greatly influence your performance.
Knowing when to go flat out and when to hold back, is key to not ruining yourself.
I had to learn this the hard way.
Learn how to push through
When in a phase of great struggle, you will learn the most about yourself.
Don’t give up. Focus on your strength and what you have accomplished so far.
Dig deep and don’t back down until you have made it!
It is all about the challenge
Make your life about the personal challenge to become better — every day.
Don’t just work hard — work smart
Make smart decisions about when to go flat out and when to hold back.
Life is an endurance event. Remember that!
Take your time off
I have experienced myself what going flat out for years will cost you.
It will cost you your health, your hapiness and will take away your drive.
Take your time to relax after you have accomplished a big goal.
Learn how to play
Don’t be so f***ing serious about your progress.
You’re progressing the most, when you have fun.
So turn your challenges into something that you enjoy.
Stress is the enemy
Although stressing your body and mind is what makes yourself progress, being exposed to too much stress for an extended amount of time will be counterproductive.
In terms of sports, this is called overreaching.
So stay within your limits!
Don’t always go 100% — make it ~80%
This is something that I have learned from riding enduro and downhill mountainbike.
Imagine running a marathon or racing your bike down a downhill track.
If you’re already on your limit from the get go, you won’t have any margin left when the road gets rougher or something unexpected happens.
Try to stay at 80% of your capabilities, you might need those remaining 20% to absorb the unexpected.
There are no fast wins
When you’re winning at something, it is not because you started out being great yesterday.
You have already invested years of dedication and training in order to achieve your goals and win.
Learn about yourself
Become conscious of your body and mind and learn about yourself and your own personal limits.
Consider every challenge a lesson
Every challenge is an opportunity to learn.
Gain the ability to endure
Practicing endurance training, like running or riding your bike, will teach you how much you can endure.
Start small and stay within your limits. The progress will be there.
Don’t focus on money — Focus on value
When you’re trying to be successful in whatever business, don’t think and talk about money all the time.
Money has no real value. It is made up.
Focus on delivering value to the company you work at, your customers or both.
Winning is overrated
When you want to win, just for the sake of it, your doing it wrong.
Winning is a result of hard work and dedication
If winning is still important to you: work hard and dedicate yourself to it.