The Asset Mindset is officially available today at Amazon in paperback and ebook format, just in time for everyone to pick up a copy for Thanksgiving. Speaking of which, if this long weekend seems like it’s going to be even longer (for whatever reason), the Asset Mindset may be just what you need!
What is an Asset Mindset?
The U.S. Army trains its Special Forces to constantly evaluate the situations around them. But not because we have to know all things at all times–that’s impossible for anyone, let alone anyone in a high stakes, high pressure situation.
The point of an Asset Mindset is to be aware enough to choose and know enough to chart your course in any given situation. It is this–our ability to choose–that is the most undervalued and untapped asset that we all have.
The not-magic bullet
I can probably count on one hand the number of times in my life when everything has gone absolutely and perfectly according to plan. And, to be honest, the credit probably goes to luck and God rather than any real genius of my own.
But for the other 99.9995% of the time in life when something goes wrong or pops up unexpectedly, there’s the Asset Mindset.
The Asset Mindset is not a ‘trick’ or slick shortcut around difficulties. It’s a habit, a gym routine for our minds…and just like any workout, there will be days we do better and days we do worse. The point is that with commitment and hard work, and occasionally ’embracing the suck,’ we gain the ability to stay present and stay calm. Making active choices about how we handle adverse situations–and good situations, too!–becomes second nature.
You are your greatest asset!
Yeah, yeah, tell me another one, Dan. I hear you. But try a little experiment this holiday weekend. When the family Zoom Thanksgiving can’t get going because of technical difficulties, or that one cousin starts going off about politics, or every sneeze has you freaking out, or maybe you just can’t stand one more day of the same people and same faces…
Stop. Take a breath. Catalogue your feelings and reactions. Are you choosing to deal with the situation in a way that is the kindest/most patient/healthiest way for yourself and others? Will a different choice on your part resolve the issue or help you find the solution?
Congratulations, grasshopper! You just earned your white belt in the Asset Mindset. Now, go wax your car reward yourself after with a copy of The Asset Mindset!
Conventional wisdom says that progress is about moving forward. I’m here to tell you that sometimes, progress just means moving.
I know it can be overwhelming when we embrace the Asset Mindset and really start to look at the things we want to change in our lives. From leaps of faith to taking the plunge, to the dipping your toe ever so slightly into the water, moving progress can be thrilling…and scary.
Wait, scary? Aren’t you the Green Beret guy who jumps out of planes without blinking an eye?
Absolutely. Being a Green Beret and using the Asset Mindset doesn’t mean we never feel fear. Heck, you should worry about someone who never feels fear because that’s a whole other can of psychopathic worms. The point is that the Special Forces and the Asset Mindset both train us not only to accept that we will feel fear, but also ingrain in us the attitudes and behaviors that will get us past fear.
Analysis Paralysis is not Progress
Fear, anxiety, self-doubt…everyone experiences these emotions (unless you’re one of those can-of-worms-psychopaths, and then I got nothing). Too often, though, we get hung up in the why of these feelings instead of focusing on what will help us make progress.
This isn’t to say that introspection, analysis, professional counseling, and general mental health aren’t an important part of the process for many people, myself included. But anxiety-induced procrastination or just general self-loathing can push genuine self-examination over the line into outright navel-gazing.
Or, to put it another away, not doing anything is the worst possible action we can ever take. The solution is as I say in my book: just do something. Even if it feels we are taking a step back or regressing, that’s still progress. It’s movement. We back up to gain greater momentum for a jump. We back up to get a fuller view of our surroundings.
Just break the spell of stillness, of procrastination paralysis, of being frozen in anxiety. And, if you don’t believe me, there’s this Sir Isaac Newton guy (ever heard of him?) who came up with this snappy rule:
Objects in motion tend to stay in motion.
People are the same. When we move, when we do, we move more and do more. The smallest of actions in the direction we want to go in is an accomplishment when compared to not doing anything.
So, next time you feel stuck or like you’re not making any progress, just keep moving.