Using the power of our minds to achieve
After surgery on both knees, walking is out for the time being. I spent the last week at rehab learning how to take care of myself from a wheelchair until my legs heal.
Things like putting on pants and socks require some training when you are in a wheelchair and can’t bend your knees. I had to learn how to transfer from a wheelchair to a bed and back. I had to learn how to transfer to from a wheelchair to a toilet and from a wheelchair to other furniture. Even a small grade is a challenge when pushing yourself up it in a wheelchair.
We did strength exercises to strengthen our upper body and for the leg muscles we could. None of this was easy, but it was necessary if I wanted to get home.
After surgery I needed to fight through pain in order to do some of the required exercises. Initially I couldn’t raise my legs without help from someone else or a resistance band that I held.
The physical therapist had to convince me that it was possible. Once I fought through my own mental resistance, I learned I had no trouble raising my legs. Talking to the therapists, I learned their biggest challenge is convincing their patients they are capable of doing the action the therapist wants them to do. The biggest barrier to a person’s recovery is mental not physical.
The country music entertainer Tim McGraw has a song “How Bad Do You Want It.” It asks the question, “How bad do you want it? How bad do you need it?”
“There is always a price you pay no matter what you do. If you’re going to climb that mountain to the top it always comes down to: How bad do you want it? How bad do you need it?”
I see this in sports and business routinely. If we want a particular result, do we want it badly enough to do the work required to get it?
Our high school soccer team went back to the West Virginia State Soccer Tournament again this year. This is the 12th consecutive year that has happened. The boys all know they are capable of going to state tournament, since it has happened so many times. The decision they need to make is: How bad do they want it? Are they willing to do the work it takes to get there?
Sometimes as coaches we need to help them to believe they have the ability to also go to the state tournament.
I saw this firsthand in rehab last week. The therapists always had to convince the patient they were capable of performing the task for them be successful. I was one of those patients.
Transferring from a wheelchair to a commode can be tricky. Putting on socks and pants without knees that work is a challenge. They were able to convince me that I was capable of doing it.
Their biggest tools are praise and encouragement. When I did something right, I knew it. When I was learning a new task, they encouraged me and praised me for small successes. The therapists were working on my mind so they could help me with my body.
Most of the patients were in far worse shape than I was. My roommate had a concussion from a fall along with a broken arm and leg. He didn’t even want to leave the room for therapy.
As we got to know each other I began to work on his mind. When he was out in the hall and I saw him, I would give him a high-five, a thumbs-up, or say something encouraging. Maybe I was able to help him a little. He left the hospital the day before I did.
What does this mean for us as businesspeople?
Our minds and those of our people are powerful. They can take us to new heights or stop us cold. It starts with believing we are capable of success and achieving our dream or goal.
It is also determined by how badly we want our success or goal.
I wanted to go home so bad I was willing to do whatever the therapists asked of me. I showed up early for my sessions. I did the exercises they gave me between sessions. I wanted to go home bad.
What would your business look like if you and your people really wanted success badly enough that they would do whatever it took to succeed?
The therapists had to find ways to motivate some of their patients.
What would your business look like if you used praise and encouragement to motivate your people?
Do we work to understand what really motivates our people? Do we really understand that people rarely succeed unless their mind first believes it is possible? We need to win peoples’ minds before we can win their hearts and bodies.
I believe one of the strengths of Shale Crescent USA is its leadership had a powerful vision from the start of what they wanted to achieve. They believe and they expect to achieve it.
I came home from rehab on Wednesday. I’m in a wheelchair and still have a lot of work to do to get to a walker by Christmas.
It’s good to be home. It was worth the work.
Thoughts to ponder.
Kozera, firstname.lastname@example.org, is the director of marketing and sales for Shale Crescent USA. He is a professional engineer with a master’s in environmental engineering who has over 40 years’ experience in the energy industry. He is the author of four books and numerous published articles.