Use these mindset nuggets from TFW Portland... and get those mental gains

The number one tool for your journey to healing your mindset and getting mentally strong is self-awareness. One of my favorite authors, Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi says, "Maturity is when you abandon the values that society has given you and you replace them with your own values." I would also say self-awareness means:

  • You know who you are
  • You know what you want
  • You know where you're going
  • You know how you're gonna get there/you have a compass

It's okay if you don't know the "how", but if you know the "where", you have your north star. You've got a solid compass built and then you're going to be just fine. It can take some time to figure out who you are. One of the tools that I like to use is modeling. Write down the traits in the terms of verbs, specifically ones that apply to the ideal self that you want to create. Who's that person? What do they do? Figure that out, and that will help you develop self-awareness.


Acceptance is the giving up the idea that the past can be any different than it is. That also ties in a little bit to the definition of forgiveness. Acceptance is actually what gets you out of the past and into the moment... and into the driver's seat to take action. If you can't accept the reality as it is, then you haven't got the power to change it yet. So, the first step in getting where you want to go is to practice radical acceptance and embrace the now. All that is, is you saying, "Hey listen, I may not like the circumstances and I may not want to be in this moment... and that's okay. But I have to accept where I'm at and who I am in this moment to be able to change." That is my definition of acceptance.


Faith is huge. It's one of the most important mindsets that you can have. When you have faith in yourself, in the universe, and in your gameplan (that gets you where you wanna go), you're not scared all the time. You will not navigate the world with a sense of dread and fear about what lies around the corner. Cultivating a strong sense of faith is key to help get your bearings and lets you accept the moment a little bit more. If you truly believe in yourself and what you're doing, if you truly have faith on where you're going and that you're gonna get there, then it's okay if this one moment isn't perfect. That's gonna give you a lot more patience once you practice the faith. The only way you develop faith is through experience, so that means taking one step at a time and get a little bit closer to where you wanna go. So take a moment, cultivate some faith, and see how it affects what you do on a daily basis.

Gratitude, my number one gun

Whatever I'm doing, I'm always trying to figure out how to elevate my gratitude. Some people call gratitude a silver lining, but I think of it as the emotion that I want to dominate all of my experiences. Emotions often have a zero-sum game. You're either angry, or sad, or happy. Sometimes you're ambivalent, sometimes you have two forces coming together. When you're in doubt, afraid of something, or if you don't like something that is happening, apply gratitude. Gratitude is a very inviting energy. It's a very motivating and inspiring energy to be around, and you can always find a way to cultivate gratitude for something in your life that's giving you a lot of grief right now. All you have to do is brainstorm a little bit and ask the question, "How could this benefit me in the future; this lesson, this loss, this pain, this thing?" There IS something in it for you. Cultivate some gratitude and see what it does to your life.

Humility is the number one thing that's going to help you get to where you want to go

Humility is the idea that you have something left to learn. You have something left to grow into in whatever area of life you are. It's a tough one because to be humble, you have to admit that there's something that you don't know or something that you don't have. When you have that humility within you, it's easy to learn, to be taught, and it's easy to grow through the situations you might find yourself in. When you know as little as I know, it's easy to be humble. For some of you out there who might be a little bit older or a little bit wiser, a state of humility may be harder to reach. Cultivating humility is simply just reminding yourself that you used to be a white-belt. Or in some ways, you're still a white-belt today. For me, I always think it doesn't matter whether or not you think I'm an idiot or whether or not you think I'm smart. I know I'll be a black belt someday.

Ego, almost the opposite of humility

Ego is tied in with your pride and the sense of self that you have, which can take up a lot of space. Ego's not a bad thing. Ego is actually kind of a good thing. You just can't let it dominate your life. Ego gives you the confidence to take on big challenges. Ego is anything that you know you know. You could be wrong about something, but if you have a big ego about it, you're going to have to admit that you're wrong, because you're so super confident. Here's the thing, ego is a tool, it's a weapon, it's a powerful driving force. So, you don't need to have NO ego, but you just need to be aware of what your ego is. In situations in which you feel like you're strong, where you feel like your ego is dominant because if you have that self-awareness, it's gonna put you in a great position to leverage it when the time comes. Also, you can then to ignore it, when it's most important to be humble. Ego, it's not just bad or good. Try it out.

Cultivating the long view is huge

In fact, most of your life is going to be in process or en route to the goal that you're trying to strive to achieve. Most of the time, you're gonna be on your way somewhere, you're gonna be in the process. Hopefully, there will be some anticipation. If you can get excited and motivated by anticipation, you're gonna have way more motivation than people that are only motivated by winning and success. There's a lot more of that drug (ANTICIPATION) to go around. You can always anticipate something positive in the future, you can always look forward to something that's coming up for you, and set a new achievement or benchmark. But looking forward and thinking in the long view mindset, and seeing that there's more, more, AND MORE of life out there and new opportunities for you, is what's going to give you the perspective to not get so tied down in the moment. Which will help you with patience, and in turn with faith... which will give you much better results.

Examine your fear of failure

Now, fear of failure is interesting. It's kind of the opposite of taking the long view. If you are afraid of failure and you're not taking action, or you think it's gonna break you and that you're kind of fragile, then you're not able to do all the things that you want. But if you look at failure as part of a process (again, long-term) thinking out there in the future, it's not gonna be a perfectly straight line to success. You can take the edge off the failing, by accepting that there will be a lot of failure points along your journey. It's all a part of your learning to do the things you want to do or becoming who you want to be. Those pain points will start to go away. All of a sudden, taking the next step and the next risk doesn't seem quite as dangerous. So, take that fear of failure and integrate it into part of the process, and life will get a lot easier.


Persistence is the ability to stick with something that you're not good or successful at yet. Depending on what you're doing, that might be a long time. If you have ever learned the martial arts, you'll know that you start at a white belt for a while... and you suck at everything you do. Hell, you didn't even know what all the moves are called. It takes months, sometimes years to learn the vocabulary, learn a language, or learn how to play some instrument. It takes a lot of time. Persistence is just being aware that when you're a white belt or when things are not fun, that there IS a future where you actually do have the skills and the comfort level that will make it more fun. The sweet spot is being able to have fun while you're learning how to be in that process. Persistence. Give yourself a chance to get good at something.

Inoculation to discomfort

Wherever you're at in life, whatever you're doing... you're going to be uncomfortable. If you're an athlete, you're gonna get injured, you're gonna mess up, you're gonna regress. If you work in sales, you're gonna get rejected and it's not gonna work out all the time. I've never met anybody who has only wins on their record. But! If you can get comfortable with being uncomfortable, like learning the new product, learning the new software, learning the new techniques, and sometimes failing, then you're going to progress so fast. You're going to grow so much further than the people who are trying to stay comfortable all the time and just stick to what they're good at. They're not gonna learn or grow in that place. Get comfortable being uncomfortable, and see what happens for you..

Follow your passion

This is a really interesting topic. I actually never worried too much about this because I didn't choose my passion, my passion chose me. However, one of the things that happens when someone follows their passion is that the road is anything but clear. You may like a certain part of the world to live in. You may like a certain industry or a certain topic. If you're being honest, your passion probably comes out of self-interest. It's probably something that lights you up. It does something for you that it doesn't do for other people. Other people may not understand why it's important to you or why it matters. But I think that thinking about the thing that you feel a bit selfish about, the thing you have a little bit of ego about, or the activity you're a little bit attached to, those might be an insight into finding something you're really passionate about. So, go down the rabbit hole and see what you can discover.

Follow your passion, part 2

There's an old adage that goes something like, "What would you do if you knew you wouldn't fail?" Would you become a professional athlete, or would you become a musician or a pop star? Would you write your book?" Something like that. What would YOU do? I think that's an interesting approach to finding your passion. I want to flip that idea on its head a little bit and say, "What would you do if you knew you were going to fail no matter what, but it would be worth doing anyway?" Because that would take the guesswork out of the outcome. If you weren't gonna get rich or famous if you weren't going to develop the accolades or get all the kudos, what would you do simply for the sake of doing it? What would you do just because it was too cool NOT to try? That approach might be a window into finding the passion that inspires you enough to do it for the sake of doing it, which will help you enjoy the process. Give it a shot.

Hustle, or my definition of it

Hustle is a little bit overplayed. I guess it means working hard. Maybe it means working harder than you were before or harder than other people. For me, it's related to discipline. Hustle is doing what you need to do, whether or not you feel like doing it. If you're doing that day in and day out, you're gonna be successful. I don't think there's anything fancy or glamorous that comes with that, but I think that people that hustle and have discipline are the people that get the things that they want. If you're not able to:

  • get yourself up in the morning
  • work out
  • get the right foods in the hole under your nose
  • if you're not able to get to bed on time
  • if you're not able to say "no" to the wrong people and "yes" to the right opportunities

Then you probably don't have discipline and you're just not gonna get a lot of the things that you want. Call it "hustle," call it "work ethic," call it whatever you want... but to some degree, it's simply doing the thing you need to do. If you're thinking about doing something, do it.

Delayed gratification

So, delayed gratification is being able to put off your payday. Are you able to say "no" to something good so you can say "yes" to something great? Another phrase I like to use is, "Giving up what you want now, in order to get the thing that you want most." If you have that mentality, then you probably are already able to take the long view on things. If you can take the long view on things and engage in long-term planning and make incremental decisions over time on that plan, you're gonna be successful at whatever the hell it is you're trying to do. You're going to be in better shape, you're going to be better at having a relationship, your finances will reflect that too because you're not worried about now, you're not worrying about getting yours today. If you could build it into the future and in the long haul, then you're gonna win. Keep your perspective, delay that gratification.

When do you use short-term goals versus long-term planning?

I talk a lot about having a long view. What are you gonna do in 30 years? How long are you gonna be in industry X? Always, always, always thinking about getting better. That said, it's also good to have short-term goals. These are your process goals and these things lead to our long-term outcomes. Get after those short-term goals like, 
how many times can I get to the gym this week? How many times can I get to the gym this month? How many servings of vegetables can I eat? How many hours of sleep can I get? How much water can I drink? 

Working on those short-term objectives allows me to measure my progress consistently, which helps me get to where I need to be. The sooner I do that, the more disciplined I am around hitting those short-term goals, and the easier it's gonna be for me to hit my long-term goals. It takes time to write out those short-term process goals, set them, execute on them, but try it and see what happens.

Stoking desire

A lot of people think that they don't have passion. Or they don't have ideas or motivation. But they do. Oftentimes, when people are looking at taking an action, or looking at an opportunity or project, or thinking about the things that they wanna do, they actually can't see the opportunity ahead of them, because they're looking at the obligation. So, take a second, write down the obstacles and the opportunities that are in front of you, and figure out which one deserves your focus. Figure out what would have to be true in order to remove these obstacles, or render them useless or unimportant. Do that drill, and it'll be a lot easier to find your motivation.

Got any questions or comments? Use the comment section below or shoot me a message!

Coach Josh here, helping you bring out the warrior within.