Optimizing Your Mind-State For A High-Performance Lifestyle

#LeadandLift | Episode 85 | Craig Davis

Have you ever wondered if asking for help makes you seem weak?  You have to let people take care of you so that you can take care of them. 

Our special guest in this episode, Craig Davis has been in leadership for 20 years. He’d discovered early on in his career that his joy is found in helping others achieve more. Greg is a recent conqueror of cancer, a family man, a buddy, and in his own words, a good human. This episode, he shared with us some tips that got him through tough transitions and challenges in his life and how to optimize one’s mind state.

Lessons From Conquering Cancer

Craig says that it’s horrible when you’re in there, experiencing adversity. The cancer treatment, he says, really sucked and losing his job was devastating. He worked on his mindset and mind state, but that doesn’t mean that everything just magically becomes easy whenever something difficult or horrible happens in his life.

One of the people that provided guidance and comfort to Craig when he was first diagnosed with cancer was his boss who checked up on him. Fortunately, Craig’s boss has a lot of information about cancer since he had it in his family’s history. Craig remarks that one of the things that his boss never said to him was that he’ll be fine. It’s better to say “I’m there with you”, “I’m thinking of you”, or “I’m praying with you”, rather than saying “you’ll be fine”.

The best way to comfort people is to be with them and let them feel that you are with them. The way that Craig’s boss comforted him snapped him out of being stuck in that dark cloud. Since then, his thoughts had been all about enduring cancer through mindset and treatment. In his words, “it was medicine that killed the tumor, I just had to show up every day, plug in and take my medicine. That was actually the easy part. It was the mindset that got me over the medicine.”

“Even though this is an endurance race, it was still hard to see the finish line when you're in it.” - Craig Davis

Listen, I know that you are a person who carries a lot of burdens and responsibilities. You are used to being the rock, always being strong, always taking care of people. One of the things that Craig shared with us was that one way we could get through overwhelming adversity is by being vulnerable and leaning on people.

Asking for help doesn’t make you weak. You have to let people take care of you so that you can take care of them. That is how humanity could flourish.

Becoming A Student Of Mindset

Mindset is awareness. Information comes in and our mindset takes that information and decides what to do with it. Once we process that information, the output is attitude. Meanwhile, mindstate is our triggered reaction to a situation or personal interaction. If we’re not careful, a trigger could put us into an away-state, or threat-state, or stress-state.

Examine your daily life, do you find yourself getting thrown into chronic stress? Have you noticed if you are in a constant state of pressure and threat every day?

Ideally, when problems arise, we want to be triggered into having a mind state that’s solutions-oriented but that takes some work. Our brains are biologically wired to react with stress and fear but once we bring this into awareness, we then have the choice to take ourselves out of that threat-state.

Reframe the situation. Look at the positives you can pull out of it. If nothing is good about the situation, then think about all the things that you’re going to learn through this. Think about the strength, endurance, and wisdom you’ll gain by going through this adversity.

Shift your mind state from being toward a threat-state into a state of toward-reward. That simple shift can have your body produce dopamine instead of cortisol, which leads to lesser stress and more happiness and motivation. It’s a good practice in order for you to wire yourself into a growth mindset.

“If you can isolate, then you can simplify, and you can mitigate. Then, we can de-escalate it and continue moving towards a solution.” - Craig Davis

The Five Zones Of Optimization

Friction can be generated from your internal noise in conflict with the external noise. Too much of that rub can create fiction and that can lead to distraction, frustration, and stress. Without discipline, that friction can get us stuck.

“Right now that ‘saber-toothed Tiger’ is distractions in our life. We have it so readily available on our phones - how many of us check our phones, hundreds of times for the day... Those little things compound and give you that stress state that sometimes you don't even know that that's the state you're in until you go on vacation.” - Chabidaye Jaglal Ramnath

There are five optimization zones that Craig advises us to focus on daily and weekly.

  1. Your mind, body, and soul zone. What are you doing to create fulfillment? How do you optimize when you're in that zone?

  2. Grow-action zone or the proactive zone. This is your hunting zone, your productivity zone, or your money zone. Focus on what you need to do in that proactive/proaction zone.

  1. Reaction zone. This is where you can check your email, do your social media, get back on text messages, or work on your pipeline. ‘

  2. Clarity zone. We need some time to just think. To get into a clarity zone, go into a state of mind that’s just a bit higher than neutral, slightly positive.

  3. Balance zone. In here is your after-work time, your family time. Work-life balance is a real thing, but that doesn’t mean that it’s 50-50. We have to relax our mind and spend time with our family and with ourselves.

These zones are all equally important, but Craig says that separating them creates a little bit of space in our brains. We separate each zone because we can't truly multitask, we can only do one thing at a time, or else we’ll do everything suboptimally. It takes time for us to switch our brains back and forth.

It Begins With Clarity

There’s a lot of noise in our world. The best zone to begin optimizing is the clarity zone. Our society right now is built up out of so much noise that the importance of having clarity is becoming more and more emphasized. Clarity has all the more impact on our lives right now.

“Clarity is a high-performance habit. It’s a foundational habit. If you have that clarity, you're able to optimize everything else in your life.” - Chabidaye Jaglal Ramnath

Gift For YOU!

Do you feel you’re being as productive, influential and successful as you want to? 

Are you struggling to stay focused, to get ahead, or to better influence your team or customers? 

Have you reached a plateau in your progress and struggle to breakthrough to the next level of joy, power and achievement? I can help!

Sign up now for a gift of 60 minutes of High Performance Coaching where we cover the six principles of high performance you can use to better master your body, mind and ability to be more productive and persuasive.

Yes!  I want the High Performance Coaching

Links mentioned in this episode:

 Links mentioned in this episode:

Stay connected with the latest episodes via email

Expert interviews, actionable takeaways and behind-the-scenes Leadership, Communication and Confidence secrets from experts and so much more, delivered to your inbox weekly.
Don't worry, your information will not be shared.


50% Complete

Two Step

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua.