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What Are You Looking for Today? I Bet You’ll Find It!

Mindset Made Simple Tip #65 - To watch or listen, click HERE!

After I write this tip, I will begin thinking about next week's. As I go through the week, I will go through two or three different ideas.

As I throw around ideas, it seems something always hits me and puts one idea at the forefront – and it usually happens during my workout as I listen to various podcasts, sermons and other fun stuff!

This week I was thinking about a story my cousin told in a recent sermon that I have been sharing with athletes and teams as we talk about the importance of our mindset. Then, in my weekly sermon listening experience, Mark made another great point that tied directly to the story I have been sharing to the delight of athletes all around the country (at least this is how I see it 😊).

The point that Mark made this week was that there are three things that keep us from sticking to commitments – problems, pressure and people.

Isn’t interesting that so many things that affect our performance begin with “P”? Remember the 4Ps of peak performance? If not, you can revisit Tip #28 – PPPP HERE.

Over the next few weeks, we will touch on all three of these commitment obstacles as they relate to peak performance, but today I am going to focus on PEOPLE and our own perspective since it ties back to my new favorite story.

The story goes like this.

Back in the day, cities were bound by big walls to protect the people from their enemies (think Jericho). A man was traveling to a new city to relocate and as he approached a walled city, he came upon an old man sitting at the gate. The traveler said to the old man “Sir, I am looking for a new place to live but before I check out your city, I’d like to know what kind of people I will find here.” The old man asked the traveler, “what kind of people live in the place from which you came.” The traveler replied, “oh, they are a horrible group. They are selfish, not helpful and nasty.” In response to this description, the old man declared, “ well, sir, you’ll find those people in this city.” The despondent traveler moved on.

Later that week another traveler approached and saw the old man in the same position at the city’s gate. The new traveler shared the same story that he was looking for a new place to settle and asked the man, “what type of people live in this city?” The old man again replied, “what type of people live in the city you are leaving?” The new traveler answered, “oh, sir, the people in my city were amazing people. They are gracious and helpful. They were always eager to lend a hand.” The old man declared to the traveler, “son, you will find those people in this city as well.”

What is the moral of the story?


A few weeks ago, we talked about how what we see matters as it relates to our skills, specifically the skills of doctors.

What we see matters in so many ways and as this story demonstrates, we can almost always find what we are looking for!

We are equipped with a system called the Reticular Activating System, or RAS, that serves as a filter of the billions of stimuli that surround us each day. Our RAS allows only that which we deem as important into our attention field.

Think about when you consider buying a new car…suddenly they are everywhere. Prior to this, that specific car did not mean as much to your daily existence, so you did not notice it with such frequency. The number of cars did not change, the attention you gave to that specific make and model changed.

Why is this important as we think about the commitment obstacles that Mark mentioned, specifically PEOPLE?

We are the sum of the 5 people closest to us. It's been said that the five people closest to us have a huge effect on our success, our interests and much more!

If the people closest to us have that much influence, what they see and how they approach life directly affects what we see and how we approach life!

This is why it is so important for us as coaches and leaders to have the right people on the bus as Jim Collins talks about in his book Good to Great (excellent read if you haven’t already!).

It only takes one influential person in the ranks to make negative or non-productive issues “important” enough for everyone else to program those things into their RAS…and low and behold, they find them everywhere.

Are you yelling or correcting?

Are you helping someone get better or picking on them?

Both questions are answered by what others around you are looking for in your behavior! The same is true for what you find in others!

If my colleagues are sitting and waiting for the boss to make a mistake to be critical or judgmental, I may fall into the same trap. And no matter who your leader is, you will find this behavior if you are searching it out!

If I think everyone is out to get me or critical of me, I will hear all statements made about me in that light and will miss any intended compliments or helpful statements!

This is human nature, but we rarely consider how it can affect our performance.

Looking for the critic or the negative behavior in ourselves and others does not increase the level of our performance.

But how do we help others (and ourselves) change perspective and shift what is captured by the RAS?

Self-awareness is key – actually, it’s our superpower!

Once we understand how we see the world, we can decide whether our approach is working for us or not.

One simple way to do this is to intentionally look for the bright spots. What can we find that is good, no matter how small?

As former Ohio State coach Jim Tressel often says, it is impossible to be grateful and critical at the same time.

I mentioned another tactic a few weeks ago suggested by Jim McKeown, author of Effortless. Every time he complains he immediately follows his complaint with a statement of gratitude. This does two things. It makes him realize how often he complains AND it forces him to focus on the bright spots.

We will never get all the negative nellies out of our lives (or our own heads), but we can start with working on what we are looking for and paying close attention to what those around us do as well.

If we find that we are allowing ourselves to be influenced…or someone is asserting non-productive influence on those we lead…maybe it’s time to make an adjustment – you decide what that means 😊!

What we see matters. What those around us see matters. And what we are conditioned to see matters, too!

What people are you looking for in your new city or team? I bet you’ll find them!

Have a great week!


P.S. I would love to help your team increase its performance. Give me a call or text at 234–206–0946 or send me an email at to set up a team session!

Julie Jones

Certified Mental Performance & Mindset Coach

SSB Performance • 234-206-0946




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