The mind is at the core of everything we do. When we develop the mind, everything else will follow. As we develop critical mental skills we will become more adapt to develop other skills. So what are the most important mental skills? Below are descriptions of three critical mental skills with application suggestions to help you start developing them today.


Can-do mindset

The Law of Occupied Space states that an object can only occupy one place at a time. How does this apply to the mind? Our conscious mind is only capable of thinking or worrying at one time. It cannot do both at the same time—try it—no one can break this law. What about multi-tasking? Multi-tasking is when the conscious mind switches back and forth for only a moment. Moving from one thought to another. The Law of Occupied Space governs our thinking, so it would be wise to learn how to use it our advantage.

So, what is thinking? Thinking is the ability to direct the neural processors (conscience mind) in a constructive, problem-solving, and CAN DO way. Thinking is perhaps our most precious commodity. Think about this, if we ran out of water today those that direct their conscious mind in a CAN DO way, what would they do? They would probably start digging a well for water. The point is they would DO something to solve the problem. Hence this is why I have found the application of thinking is best defined as a CAN DO MINDSET.

What is worrying? Worrying is the loss of deliberate direction of the neural processors in a constructive way. Worrying leads to guilt, doubts, fears, and a can’t do mindset. If we ran out of water these people would likely crawl into the fetal position. Consistent worrying over time leads to a failure orientated mindset. It can also leads to a scarcity mentality—the mindset of playing not to lose.


Occupy your conscious mind with what your CAN DO rather then what you CAN’T DO. Every time you hear yourself talk to yourself in what you can’t do, stop that thought and change it to what you can do. For example, when the thought “do not hit the ball in the water,” occupies your mind stop that thought and replace it with “I am going to hit it on the fairway.” Stop yourself every time you hear yourself say “I don’t want this done this way.” And then change your communication with yourself or others to “I want it done like this”.


Control the controllable

Control = freedom. Lose of control = bondage.

Every psychological issue is rooted in control. The more we focus our mind on what we have control over the more mentally free we become. When we focus our mind on what we don’t have control over we out ourselves in mental bondage.

If we are to maximize our potential and become high performing it is necessary to learn to focus our mental energy towards all those variables that we have direct control over. These variables include physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual. As we learn to master success becomes inevitable.

What do we have direct control over and what don’t we have direct control over? Lets use a baseball player for example. A batter in the batters box doesn’t have direct control over: the pitch being thrown, the umpire, the fans, and the weather. But he does have control over his mindset, his energy level, his stance, his hands, his technique, his decision of when to swing or not, how he communicates with the umpire, the fans, his teammates, and his opponents.

A baseball player could master all these skills and make great contact with the ball but some times the ball goes right to the fielder, this is called luck and we don’t have direct cover luck. This is a major source of interference to the human race, when we do all the right things, we work hard to control everything we can but some times we just get unlucky. BUT if we have the mental discipline to stay focused on the controllable time after time eventually the ball will go through the fielders and they will get on base. This is what the elite performers do; they always stay focus on CONTROLLING THE CONTROLLABLE.


Focus all your energy on those aspects of your performance (spiritual, emotional, mental, and physical) that is within your direct control. Make a list of those skills/aspects of your performance that you have direct control over.


Live in the present

Anxiety is a symptom of fear and all fear comes from the future. Think about something you are afraid of and I guarantee that thought originates from the future. People really are not of flying it is the thought of crashing they are not to fond about.

When we don’t feel like we have control, anxiety increases. When we do feel like we have control, anxiety decreases. We cannot directly control the future, hence when we intentionally set goals too far into the future or we allow pressures from the future to pull our mind away from the present a psychological gap is created allowing anxiety to occupy our mindset.

Anxiety is not always bad; we do need to learn to control it. In order to lower our anxiety the mental skill of bringing our mind to the present alleviates the negative anxiety. There is no fear in the present only action.


Focus on what you are DOING right now. Every time you feel your anxiety increase direct your mind to the present. There are times that interfering variables are so strong pulling your mind away from the present. At these moments discipline your mind to focus on the present. Some times that requires focusing on one step at a time, one breath at a time.

When the pressure is not that intense try to keep your mind on one day at a time. Tomorrow will take care of itself.

When you feel your mind racing to the past or future take a couple deep breaths and focus on what you smell. Then be aware of your thoughts to not get caught in another destructive thought cycle.



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