On Career Development: The Formula for Success



“Confidence can take an individual with nonexistent skill sets and make them respectable; ordinary skill sets and make them good; and incredible skill sets and make them great.”

“All things being equal, the mentally tough win every time.”

“High Performance  (Success) = Potential + Training – Interference”

~ all quotes by Dr. Craig Manning, Sports Psychologist and Author

A few years ago I attended a seminar taught by Dr. Manning regarding his book, The Fearless Mind, and learned principles related to achieving consistent high performance in athletics and business.  For all leaders, especially top executives, consistent high performance is expected and a key attribute that contributes to career success.

Dr. Manning teaches that the secret to high performance is the application of psychological principles or, in other words, to become mentally tough. Dr. Manning states, “human potential is extra-ordinary when trained the right way and when the interference that can occupy the mind is eliminated.”  Examples of interfering variables include: an ego orientated mindset, fear of failure / success, poor attention control, self-doubt, and irrational decision making (otherwise known as choking under pressure).

Eliminating interference requires mental toughness.  Mental toughness is just another way of stating that you are free from anxiety; you are in control.  Some keys to remaining in control is to recognize the life motivators that can occupy the mind and focusing on what keeps you in the present and away from the past or future concerns.

Here are the three life motivators identified by Dr. Manning and a brief explanation of each:

  1. Fear – All fear originates in the future.  It is not real.  It exists only in our minds.
  2. Guilt – Guilt originates from the past.
  3. Love – The present should be filled with what we love, which leads to true happiness and puts us in a position to maximize our strengths and achieve the highest possible performance.

Simply put, the key to high performance is to identify and do what you love.   Identify some of your unique gifts and talents (POTENTIAL).  Play to your strengths and develop those talents (TRAINING).  Eliminate the variables that hold you back mentally (INTERFERENCE) by forgiving yourself of past mistakes and having faith in the future.

High Performance = Potential + Training – Interference

Choose high performance.  Choose to be mentally tough.


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