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What is a Winning Mindset?

As I wrote  in my blog CHOOSING THE RIGHT MINDSET (12.27.17), the right mindset takes courage and diligence; it can help you step out of your comfort zone to deal with the curveballs life throws at you.

When I arrived in Beaver Creek Colorado for the Mountain Man Winter Triathlon years ago, I heard it from MANY naysayers, e.g. “no way a flatlander from south of the Mason-Dixon line (sea-level Dallas Texas) could even finish.”  It was a high-altitude race that included elevation changes of over 14,000 feet, all the while cross-country skiing, snow-shoe running and speed skating; “Winter Ironman.”  Even the course description was most intimidating, “it is one of the most brutal tests of winter mountaineering the human body is capable of performing in one day. Contestants should be prepared to spend the entire race in the unpredictable weather patterns that the winter mountain climate has to offer.”  Yikes!  Plus, I had never cross country skied or even worn snow shoes (I describe how I overcame the physical challenges of the race in my upcoming book).

For me personally, perseverance, overcoming fear and being intentional are the key components of a winning mindset. It’s really more than attitude. It goes deeper, to conviction of action and creating a habit of the mindset that wins. Mindset helps you through when circumstances are challenging. Mindset makes you a stronger person over time.

The mind can be strong as it can overcome almost anything. Perseverance is a tool of the mind to keep on going in spite of the circumstances and what seems reasonably possible. Perseverance is about keeping on with something even when you don’t see immediate results. It comes from having the faith and tenacity to know that the process will produce the results.

Specific goals set you on a path that you choose. Goals, when you stick to them, make you accountable to taking intentional actions. You can ask yourself if what you are doing is taking you closer to, or further away from your goal. Being intentional about everything from what you say to what you do helps you be in charge of your life, rather than it being in charge of you.

The first step for dealing with fear is to acknowledge it.  Ignoring it won’t make it go away.  The problem is most people cling to their fears. Learning to deal with fear is all about putting your negative thoughts in perspective.  Instead of thinking of something bad that can happen, think of a positive outcome.

Mindset is so impacted by a positive attitude.  The winning mindset doesn’t mean that we don’t look at something that needs to be changed and address it.

About the blogger @TomHulsey

After Tom beat cancer and achieved his post-surgery goals, he turned his focus to education and advocacy.  He is a Board Member at ZERO The End of Prostate Cancer,  volunteers at the Baylor Scott & White Cancer Health & Wellness Center, and a Reviewer for the DoD’s (Department of Defense) Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs.   He is the author of the soon-to-be  released book, THE WINNING MINDSET THAT SAVED MY LIFE. Net proceeds from book sales will be donated to cancer research.

Live Beyond Yourself

“I profoundly feel that the art of living is the art of giving.  You’re fulfilled in the moment of giving, of doing something beyond yourself.”  – Laurance Rockefeller

To become an IRONMAN, you must be somewhat self-absorbed and self-centered. Training requires great time-management skills. The typical personality of an IRONMAN is driven and goal-oriented in all aspects of life.

As IRONMAN Champion Chrissie Wellington said, “We do a selfish sport; sometimes we need to do something selfless.”

Self-less for me was racing for a bigger cause.  After going pubic with my cancer diagnosis, my  “purpose” suddenly mushroomed into something bigger than me.  I was competing for more than Tom’s self-satisfaction, I was racing for a Cause and had become a beacon of hope and inspiration for cancer patients around the world.

After surviving cancer and racing  for a Cause, my focus and motivation changed.

Since the IRONMAN World Championship in 2016, I have continued in my contribution to fighting prostate cancer. This feeling of making a contribution to society has taken me to a different level of life. It is so great to be able to give back to help others who are facing what I faced.

How can you live a life of significance beyond yourself?  A few that come to mind are Mother Theresa, Nelson Mandela and Martin Luther King. I’m sure many more come to mind for you.

RogerWilliams
               Advocating on The Hill for cancer research; with Congressman Roger Williams

 

I’ve made it my life’s mission to share my story about the disease and stress the importance of screening and early detection – for any cancer. I want to eliminate this disease, and help improve the quality of life of those who are currently living with cancer.

What keeps people healthy and happy into their 80s or 90s? A common theme is that they are living for a bigger purpose, living beyond themselves. They have a vision and mission for why they are on the planet.  The value you give to others gives great value to your own life as well. When you raise up other people, and all of life for that matter, you cannot help but raise yourself up too.  The unexpected and challenges in life’s journey are what make you stronger and often prepare you to carry out your mission on the planet.

The best life you can experience is a life that is dedicated to making a positive difference in the world.  Jackie Robinson succinctly said, “a life is not important except in the impact it has on other lives.”

About the blogger @TomHulsey

After Tom beat cancer and achieved his post-surgery goals, he turned his focus to education and advocacy.  He is a Board Member at ZERO The End of Prostate Cancer,  volunteers at the Baylor Scott & White Cancer Health & Wellness Center, and a Reviewer for the DoD’s (Department of Defense) Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs.   He is the author of the soon-to-be  released book, THE WINNING MINDSET THAT SAVED MY LIFE. Net proceeds from book sales will be donated to cancer research.

 

Know Your Options

Tony Robbins said, “Identify your problems, but give your power and energy to solutions.”

When I was trying to figure out how to fight cancer, I didn’t just follow the doctor’s orders.  I wanted to make sure I KNEW what my options were. I spent a significant amount of time exploring the options.  I believe an educated consumer is a smart consumer, especially when it comes to health care.  When life throws you a curve ball, knowing your options is the first step in working through it.

You may be facing any number of problems in your life.  Even if you don’t have something as life-threatening as cancer, you could have financial, relationship or work issues you are dealing with.  Do you feel stranded, or like a victim with no place to turn?

The first step when looking at options is knowing what you really want. When the doctor told me I had options for my treatment that I should know about for dealing with cancer, I didn’t want to hear it.  I was not in a place mentally to even consider the options. I was in a fog. I had not come to grips with the fact that I wanted to fight and live. Eventually, I knew that I needed and wanted to educate myself with the options. I knew I wanted the option that would have the least negative impact on my overall health.

Knowing your options is also about knowing your choices. One of the things I always wanted to teach the kids that I coached is that making the right choices was also knowing all the options. For the kids that I coached, I was a role model and strived to always set an example. One of the things I hope that I instilled in kids I coached is that no matter what challenge they faced or goal they wanted to achieve, to always look for the options.

Whatever you do in life, you always have options and choices. The more you take responsibility for knowing your options and making the right choices the richer your life will be. None of us are victims unless we choose to be. That does not mean that bad things that are out of our control will not happen.

What are your options for your life and major decisions? There are always various ways to deal with anything in your life. Always look at your options for dealing with any situation, you will be amazed at how empowering it is. Live your best live now.

About the blogger @TomHulsey

After Tom beat cancer and achieved his post-surgery goals, he turned his focus to education and advocacy.  He is a Board Member at ZERO The End of Prostate Cancer,  volunteers at the Baylor Scott & White Cancer Health & Wellness Center, and Reviewer for the DoD’s (Department of Defense) Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs.   He is the author of the soon-to-be  released book, THE WINNING MINDSET THAT SAVED MY LIFE. Net proceeds from book sales will be donated to cancer research.

 

 

 

Be Prepared

One of the keys to handling anything in life is to be prepared.  As Ben Franklin said, “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.”

For me, cancer surgery was a game-changer. Post-surgery; I felt like I had been run over by an 18-wheeler. I was severely challenged, but was mentally prepared.

The anticipation of surgery was highly stressful, similar to the pre-race jitters of a triathlon swim.  The preparation before the race is what allows you to keep pushing on, knowing that you have done what you need to do to prepare. When the surprises and challenges come along in a race, you are better prepared to deal with them.  With that said, it is hard to prepare for a robotic prostatectomy.  The present can produce many difficult obstacles!  By setting goals, though, they provided long-term vision in my life.  We  all need powerful, long-range goals to help us get past the short-term obstacles.

Speaking of the unexpected events and circumstances in our lives, it may very well be that it is not the curve ball itself that surprises us, but it is the disappointment from our expectations not being fulfilled.

Being prepared includes setting goals.  After my cancer diagnosis, I set short, intermediate and long term goals.  When you set small goals, you will achieve more.  Whatever goals you may set, know that some goals are doomed to fail and that’s okay.  Failures are part of the process.  Sometimes goals don’t lead to what we expected.  It’s all part of the journey and we can learn from the tough situations in our lives.

About the blogger @TomHulsey

After Tom beat cancer and achieved his post-surgery goals, he turned his focus to education and advocacy.  He is a Board Member at ZERO The End of Prostate Cancer,  volunteers at the Baylor Scott & White Cancer Health & Wellness Center, and a Reviewer for the DoD’s (Department of Defense) Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs.   He is the author of the soon-to-be  released book, THE WINNING MINDSET THAT SAVED MY LIFE. Net proceeds from book sales will be donated to cancer research.

Overcome Your Fear

The dictionary defines fear as an unpleasant emotion caused by the belief that someone or something is dangerous, likely to cause pain, or a threat.  What fears do you have and how are they impacting your life?  Fear can be devastating to your mindset and lead you down a mental path so different than who you are.

When I was diagnosed with cancer, I had all but decided to let it runs its course; my fear took over.  I was going to be of those men that dies every 19 minutes from prostate cancer.

The key to overcoming fear is to acknowledge it, but not focus on it.  Ignoring it won’t make it go away, but you don’t want to be paralyzed by it.  Learning to deal with fear is all about putting your negative thoughts into perspective.  We tend to focus too much on the negative, so by looking at all the options, I realized that I could respond differently to my concerns.

Instead of thinking of something bad can happen, think of a positive outcome.  A positive outcome for me was beating cancer.

Fear is designed to protect us from danger, yet when it is unfounded it can lead to serious health consequences.

Whatever your fear is, look at it and see if it’s a fear that is protecting you or destroying you.

About the blogger @TomHulsey

After Tom beat cancer and achieved his post-surgery goals, he turned his focus to education and advocacy.  He is a Board Member at ZERO The End of Prostate Cancer,  volunteers at the Baylor Scott & White Cancer Health & Wellness Center, and a Reviewer for the DoD’s (Department of Defense) Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs.   He is the author of the soon-to-be  released book, THE WINNING MINDSET THAT SAVED MY LIFE. Net proceeds from book sales will be donated to cancer research.

Be Intentional

Maintaining a winning mindset is a conscious choice and a key component is being intentional.

Sometimes if something goes wrong, we don’t stop and look at how we might have impacted the outcome.   When we examine that and stay conscious with our actions and thoughts, we can end up with a much more intentional life.

Being intentional means pay attention!  My Mom taught me that pain is the body’s way of telling you there is something wrong; don’t ignore it – listen!  Being diligent in listening to your body is part of being intentional.

Setting goals was the best thing I did in anticipation of my post cancer surgery regime.  Goals gave structure to my game plan; it made me intentional.  This was key both physically and mentally.   Goals, when you stick to them, make you accountable to taking intentional actions.

Being intentional will keep you focused.   You have to be intentional about your everyday actions.  That intention with your actions will keep you focused.

Being intentional has been easier for me post-cancer, for two reasons.  One, I had very specific goals to get through my cancer fight and two, I was competing for something greater than myself, a Cause that was making a positive impact on society.

About the blogger @TomHulsey

After Tom beat cancer and achieved his post-surgery goals , he turned his focus to education and advocacy.  He is a Board Member at ZERO The End of Prostate Cancer,  volunteers at the Baylor Scott & White Cancer Health & Wellness Center, and a Reviewer for the DoD’s (Department of Defense) Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs.   He is the author of the soon-to-be  released book, THE WINNING MINDSET THAT SAVED MY LIFE. Net proceeds from book sales will be donated to cancer research.

 

 

 

Perseverance

Coach Vince Lombardi said, “It’s not whether  you get knocked down, but whether you get back up.” The definition of perseverance is the continued effort to do or achieve something despite difficulties, failure, or opposition.

Setting goals like I did to get through cancer is a first step.  When you do this, at those times when you are discouraged or feel like giving up you have something to move toward.  Perseverance is in your mind.  When your situation looks bleak remember that it is temporary.

You must consistently  proclaim and visualize what you are trying to achieve as though it were reality.  Then, when you feel like giving up, you can train your mind to go to what you are trying to achieve.   Perseverance becomes a habit.  It becomes a mental drive to look beyond what is right in front of you.

Perseverance is a life choice.  Sometimes the first step is saying to yourself, “I will persevere , in spite of what is happening.”

Perseverance is about keeping on with something even when you don’t see immediate results.  It comes from having the faith and tenacity to know that the process will produce the results.

Perseverance is often what separates people who accomplish great things form those who don’t.  Some people are willing are willing to do anything to accomplish their goals.  Others fade or give in to discouragement.

About the blogger @TomHulsey

After Tom beat cancer and achieved his post-surgery goals, he turned his focus to education and advocacy.  He is a Board Member at ZERO The End of Prostate Cancer,  volunteers at the Baylor Scott & White Cancer Health & Wellness Center, and a Reviewer for the DoD’s (Department of Defense) Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs.   He is the author of the soon-to-be  released book, THE WINNING MINDSET THAT SAVED MY LIFE. Net proceeds from book sales will be donated to cancer research.

 

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