Misleading Mind-Sets and Powerful Heart-Sets by Jack M. Zufelt

Mind-sets can be accurate from a rational point of view but still be wrong.

For example, a management professor at Yale University once responded to a student’s proposal of a reliable overnight service that it was a “concept that is interesting and well informed, but in order to earn better than a C the idea must be feasible.” Fred Smith went on to found the Federal Express Corporation. In the end, the professor’s mind-set was wrong because his idea of what was feasible was limited.

What is feasible, functional, possible, or proper to one person may be utter nonsense to a person who is working from the heart.

Your mind-set may be that you must be an extrovert to be successful. Although extroverts can be successful, so can people who do not like the limelight. Some of the most quiet, most laid-back people I have known are extremely successful.

Your mind-set may tell you that good sex is what it takes to have a good and happy marriage. Although sex certainly plays an important role, this is a very limiting mind-set. How you share your hearts is far more important than how you share your bodies.

As you learn to live more from your heart, you will discover the Conquering Force. As you work more from your heart, you will unleash the Conquering Force on your behalf.

Let your heart-set, rather than your mind-set, be your constant guide. Let your heart rule your head.

John had very low self-esteem, and he tried to compensate for this by putting others down to build himself up. This behavior was motivated by a Core Desire to feel good about himself at any cost.

John married a wonderful woman, Carol, who grew up with an alcoholic father. Early in their marriage, Carol exhibited some of the characteristics common to adult children of alcoholics. In particular, Carol couldn’t tolerate any criticism. Even the slightest hint of criticism was devastating to her. For twelve years John, who built himself up by putting others down, and Carol, who was so very sensitive, were at constant odds.

Although John often said he would put an end to his criticism of Carol, the pattern persisted. John made it a goal to stop criticizing his wife and children. He even did daily visualizations and affirmations. Each morning, as John was showering, he would repeat over and over, “I will not criticize my wife, I am a noncritical person, I love my wife and my children, and I will not criticize them.” But each morning he would step out of the shower and find something to criticize in no time at all.

John then redoubled his efforts, making even more positive affirmations, putting notes all over the place to remind himself, to no avail.

John’s Core Desire to feel better about himself was greater than his commitment not to criticize.

In their thirteenth year of marriage, John and Carol stumbled upon some luck. Carol was asked to go to the hospital to help her father through rehabilitation. The time had come for his family to tell him of the pain and sorrow that had resulted from his drinking; it was time for him to accept responsibility.

During all this, John learned to understand how hurt his wife had been by not getting approval from her father. She remembered her father telling her, “I can’t believe you’re so dumb.” Even after she got her bachelor’s degree-in his specialty-and excelled in the business world, she felt she had never pleased him.

All she ever wanted was his approval, but she never got it.

When John came to understand how hurt Carol had been as a child by the criticism of her father, he was devastated. He felt so much compassion for her he wept. With his new understanding of how criticism made her feel, he made a heartfelt decision never to be the cause of that kind of pain or anguish for her. From that day forward, he was a changed man. Nothing else he had tried before had worked. The only thing that ended the years of criticism was when it became a heart-set.

As much as he wanted to be positive, his mind-set just didn’t have the force to make it happen.

A mentor of mine once told me, “If you think that you aren’t getting the things you want in life, you are wrong. You are getting exactly what you want.”

I took him to task because I could think of many things in my life that I never wanted to happen. At the time I was working at a job that was severely limiting and causing me great stress. The job was just one bad thing.

“How can you say that I am getting exactly what I want in life?” I challenged. I knew I didn’t want the job, and yet I stayed there. Once I understood what my mentor was saying, I left the job. I have been working for myself ever since.

Understanding your Core Desires-and how they are the source of true motivation-will help you realize that you may be getting some greater benefit than what you say, or think, you want. For example, you may remain at a job you dislike because you need to pay your bills.

Charles Garfield, who spent twenty years studying peak performers in every walk of life, wrote:

Inherent talent-an inborn predisposition-is the wiring in one’s system that is unique to each individual. One can either identify and develop the specific talents and capacities he or she has, or leave them buried. Peak performers find compelling reasons to cultivate relevant inherent talents. Matching a mission to such gifts greatly enhances the possibilities of peak performance. What often happens is that a vast reservoir of hidden resources becomes available for use.

A baby in action-curious, energetic, reaching out to explore-embodies the inborn urge to grow, achieve, and excel.

This motivation need not be taught but can be untaught or squelched. Peak performers prove that human beings are meaning-seeking organisms. We are not only born in a state of arousal, excitation, and motivation, but we also seek to grow in a particular direction. What determines our direction? Passion and preference-an intense desire to do what we do. High achievers differ in what they call it-passion, preference, deep feeling, or intense desire-but they agree that it determines their direction. They can trace their performance more clearly to a preference than to an aptitude, more to how they feel about what they are doing than what they know.

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