Today I was watching the news and I saw one of the most powerful examples of Mindset I have ever seen. Ann Curry of the NBC Today Show was interviewing Ingrid Betancourt, the recently freed former Colombian presidential candidate who was captured in 2002 by the left-wing Farc (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia). In the interview, Ann Curry was making the point that the usual response, after 6 years of captivity and torture, would be hate, anger, vengeance. As she was speaking, Betancourt shook her head – no, no, no. Curry asked, “Why not vengeance?” Betancourt looked her interviewer in the eye and with calmness and compassion answered, “Because vengeance is a chain and I don’t want to be chained to that jungle anymore. I want to be free in the future and hate, anger and vengeance will only keep me prisoner.”
This response struck me so deeply. The power of the thoughts and stories we choose to keep in our mind either frees us or imprisons us. Is making these choices easy – no way! High performance and being a Sustainable High Performer are never easy! It requires constant attention, cultivation, choice and great habits. If Ingrid Betancourt can make the choice to not let negative and imprisoning thoughts control her mind what can we do with the thoughts that poison our minds everyday?
Today, when you are opening your 200 emails, standing in the security line at the airport, stuck in rush hour traffic, or in your 8th meeting of the day – ask yourself if your thoughts are helping you perform your best or holding you back?
By Scott Peltin
Founder & Chief Performance Officer