The Secret to Life according to Dr Jason Selk
I recently had the opportunity to hear Dr Jason Selk, the Director of Mental Toughness for the St Louis Cardinals, speak at an Entrepreneur’s Organization event. It was a really great presentation filled with real things and real actions that can be taken on a daily basis in order to improve the quality of each of our lives.
What’s the secret? Simple really. When presented with a negative thought, problem, or challenge, can you within 60 seconds replace all negative or problem-focused thought with solution-focused thinking. There are two ways to approach life…with PCT (Problem-Centric Thought) or RSF (Relentless Solution Focus). RSF is about continually pushing yourself to start looking for a solution within 60 seconds of a negative thought or problem popping into your head. This is most easily be accomplished by asking yourself one question, “What is one thing I can do differently that could make this better?”
It really comes back to the ol’ “whatever you think about, you’ll get more of” or as Dr Selk defined it, Expectancy Theory: “That which you focus on expands.” If all you think about are problems and what is wrong with the world, then all you will see around you are more problems and more things wrong…same phenomenon that happens when you start car shopping; all of a sudden you see that car you are looking at everywhere.
Dr Selk talked about how mentally tough people are optimistic and focus on the solution rather than the problem. Optimistic is a word that typically gets a bad wrap, but let’s not confuse blind optimism which depends on a strategy centered around hope and wishes, with what I see as optimism, which is an overwhelming belief that “this too shall pass” and there is a lesson in every challenge if the right perspective is maintained…no matter high high the hill or long the shot. Mentally tough people, as Dr Selk explained, believe every problem, no matter how big or small, has a solution…you just have to be willing to break it down and put one foot in front of the other in order to make progress toward a solution.
Back to the original claim of what the Secret to Life is? Studies have shown that people who practice a RSF way of thinking and maintain an optimistic outlook on life have shown in studies to live longer, be happier, healthier, and more successful…which to me, pretty much hits on all the important things in life.
Now, I know simple and easy live miles apart, but are you willing to put this simple advice to work? The next time your mind gets invaded by a negative thought and you start spiraling down, all you have to do is continually ask yourself one question…
“What is one thing I can do differently that could make this better.”
…and see how your life will change.