2 Mindset

Do you know what you want?

The very first thing I had to do when I began to turn my life around and it is also the one common trait that all successful people have in common is they all absolutely…


7810627_mNow that seems pretty simple to understand doesn’t it? But let me ask you is it easy to do? The answer for most people is a resounding no.

This is a very interesting phenomenon that I will often see in my one to one work with people. These days to work with me personally is a pretty big investment as I charge over £20,000 for one single session, so these people are seriously committed to getting the result. They come in sit down and I say “Ok so I know this is important to you and I really want to get a result for you today so tell me what is it that you want?

What percentage of people do you think come straight back and answer that question? That’s right you guessed it not a whole lot at all, in fact less than 5% of people can tell me with any sort of clarity they want and even those that do it is often up in the air without any real solidity to it at all.

But you want to know what’s even more interesting? What can they always tell me? That’s right you guessed it again…


So I got really curious about this and thought to myself, how come? How is it that if you ask someone to define exactly what it is that they want they have no conversation for you? But as soon as you ask them what they don’t want they have a list! They get really passionate about their list; the words are immediately available right on the tip of their tongue and they become animated and come to life.

The answer to this question lies in how you and I have become the people that we are today. Every one of us have become conditioned to be the people that we are based on our life experiences and the things we have learned to date.

We have all developed certain patterns of behaviour that are individual and unique to us and at the same time we also have patterns of behaviour that we all seem to have and consistently focussing on what we don’t want is one of them.

Let’s take a look at an example of how you might have begun to develop this mindset.

Imagine that you are four years old and you are walking home from school and you find yourself on a wall about a brick or so wide and there you are happily balancing and testing yourself as you liked to do when you were a kid.

Boy walking on brick wall

You get about halfway across and then for the very first time someone very significant (like mum or dad) sees you on the wall, now of course as soon as they see you they immediately use really encouraging empowering language to assist you with your task at hand!

If your mum was anything like my mum then firstly there was this look of terror on her face followed by the immortal words “Andy, make sure that you DON’T FALL!”

Now as soon as the information “DON’T FALL” comes into little Andy Harrington’s mind what picture do you think little Andy Harrington makes in his head?

That’s right a picture of me falling off the wall, what emotion do you think immediately follows the picture I just made in my head? Right again… FEAR! So now my most immediate available resource is fear. Am I more likely or less likely to walk successfully on the wall?

Less of course and to compound the problem I now have a map in my head of what I don’t want that is my most current dominant thought!

So did Mum and Dad do that because they didn’t love you and wanted you to fall off the wall? I certainly hope not, the truth is that did it because they did love you.

What is really going on here is that your parents had the mistaken belief that by continually pointing out over and over and over again those things that would be painful to you that somehow you would learn to avoid them. I’m here to tell you the complete opposite of that is true, that is not how your mind works.

You see we’ve all been told that your brain is this great computer and that if you put all the computers together in the world it wouldn’t outmatch your brain. Yet any computer is only as good as the software that runs it and my experience has shown me time and time again that many of us are running on software that was programmed for computers of the 60’s and 70’s!

penalty-kick-300x196Let’s see if this example resonates with you. I am 11 yrs old taking a penalty for the school district football team, I put the ball down take a few steps back look up saying to myself “Whatever you do Andy DON’T HIT IT OVER THE BAR” whilst looking at the area just over the bar where I don’t want the ball to go. So in this situation the only information I am currently giving my nervous system is….OVER THE BAR!

So where do you think the ball is likely to end up? That’s tight OVER THE BAR here’s why…


What does this mean? It simply means you get what you focus on whether it’s good or bad. The way your mind is set up is that you cannot delete a negative thought in consciousness, said a more simple way you can’t Not-Not something.

Lets do a fun exercise, whatever you do DON’T do what I’m about to say, just don’t do it. Are you ready? Here we go whatever you do DON’T think about Gordon Brown now! So how did you do? I’m going to take a wild stab in the dark here and predict that you made some kind of visual representation in your head of Tony Blair or remembered the sound of his voice. Some of you even had feelings about Tony Blair!

So do you see what I mean? When we take information in, we are always changing and creating an internal world that reflects it. This is important because despite how it might appear, you and I do not respond to the world outside of us, we actually respond to the world we create inside ourselves.

So what I’m saying is that no matter what situation we find ourselves in, it is vital that we know what it is that we want from it, what outcome we want to experience or create.