Show #412: Success programming for your brain

Show #412: Success programming for your brain

Zig is helping us to actually achieve our goals, and it comes down to…us. What we do and don’t do. But don’t rely on sheer will. And definitely don’t rely on happenstance. What are you doing, and not doing, every day…that is leading you? We listen to Zig, then pull out three main points for better digestion. Thanks to Design Crowd, Braintree, and Nerdwallet for supporting this show.

Hi, everyone, this is Kevin, and this is Ziglar’s True Performance Show, episode 412. Today Zig continues talking on, “How do you make your goals happen?” We are going to listen to eleven and a half minutes of him, then take out three focal points and open them up for understanding and application.

Today we are getting straight to Zig…no chaser. Ready? Let’s get inspired for personal success.

OK, from that talk, I pulled out three points to open up for better digestion.

1.Zig tells the story of the couple who put a tape recorder under every light switch so they’d turn it on and listen to positive programming in every room, at all times.

Today, of course, we have a phone in our pocket where we can do this super easily.

When we interviewed Seth Godin, he talked about the power of the audio messages and how they are working even when we aren’t paying attention. Think about this as you go about the day hearing:

  • Radio
  • TV
  • Internet
  • Coworkers
  • Gossip
  • And so much more!

Or even when you are alone, and you hear your own thoughts…

Listen to what the Cleveland Clinic says in an article, “Don’t believe everything you think.”

Each person has an average of 60,000 thoughts a day! That’s one thought per second in every waking hour! Amazingly, 95 percent are the same thoughts repeated every day. On average, 80 percent of those habitual thoughts are negative. Unfortunately, our brains are hardwired to pay more attention to negative experiences than to positive ones. That’s right, our brains are designed to take in and register negative experiences more deeply than positive experiences. This served us well—in fact, it was critical for survival—when we were foraging for food centuries ago, paying close attention to anything that might place us in danger, like a saber-toothed tiger. We even have a name for this type of thinking—negativity bias—and it’s not a great prescription for happiness.

Through MRI imaging, researchers have proven that negative thoughts stimulate the areas of the brain that promote depression and anxiety. They’ve also proven that positive thoughts set off a cascade of positive hormones throughout the body that results in feelings of calm and peace.

The good news is, we can train our brains to think new and different thoughts. The topic of what makes people happy has become a favorite of researchers around the world. The results of some of this research show that happy people question their own thinking. When we question our thoughts, we change our relationship with our thinking, and we’re able to choose what we believe and what we respond to in our lives. In that way, we reclaim power from our habitual thinking and all of those daily negative thoughts. Through regular relaxation practice, you develop the ability to not believe everything you think. You learn to take in and focus on the happy moments in your day—the ones you might be missing while looking out for the saber-toothed tiger!

2. Zig is talking about big goals, and they are the result of smaller goals. Drill down further and, like always, we come to daily habits. But I like his story of the golfer who kept detailed records of every game so he was able to look back and measure his results, primarily looking at the problems that he could correct for better performance.

So with our lives. If someone monitored us every day, I think they would be able to report to us much we don’t realize at all.

In one of our shows we interviewed Tom Rath, renowned author of StrengthsFinder 2.0 and recent author of Fully Charged. In looking at what made one day better than another, he did the research and found out!

So, if our lives were monitored and tracked, we could measure what it is we do, and don’t do, that leads to a good day or a bad day. That leads to progress or stagnation. We are creatures of habit. If 100 people were monitored, we could simply track their daily habits and routines and actions and see why some are happy, why some succeed, and why others are unhappy and failing.

But when have you known anyone, including yourself, who has ever audited, tracked, and measured their lives?

I have a dear friend, Jonathan Pool, you can find him at He and his family visited my home a week ago. Incredible guy. He does “Life Plans” with people. Three intense days of mapping out their lives. It’s absolutely life-transforming. I did one with him about three years ago. I’ll never forget stepping back to look at three big 2x3’ easel pads to see a graph of my life’s ups and downs. It was mind-blowing. A near perfect graph of success, sabotage, failure, success, sabotage, failure. And you could see the actions and the why. It was not an immediate fix; just as when you find you have a chronic illness, it takes a while to correct. But I’m sitting here today at the highest level of success I’ve ever achieved in nearly every area of my life.

What do we do…daily? Why do we do what we do? What needs to be added or deleted to get different results?

OK, the third and final point…is a biggie.

3. How to reach goals?

Take care of your health. The energy you have, the way you feel, the appearance you make

If you look, feel, are and act healthy, it attracts people and affects every area of your life.

How do you take care of your health? Three things:

  1. Adequate sleep – not just time, but quality. But, has to be both. Many people get five hours and work at half-mast. Creativity is a primary place that suffers when you are sleep-deprived. No wonder it’s so hard to come up with solutions for your life!
  2. Eating and exercise program – avoid poisons.
  3. Insure your attitude – “Attitude is everything” …” Attitude is the beginning point.” You still have to have the skills to go along with it if the attitude is to be effective.

Attitude…being an optimist. This is not popular, and I’m not bright enough to know why. The majority of comedy is around negative issues. Sarcasm is one of the most common social patterns. When you find someone who is positive and optimistic and talking about good things, they often come off as…weird. They must be selling something, right?

I’ve had issues with the “optimistic” and “positive” parade before, too. But then I come back to one of my favorite quotes from Zig. “Positive thinking won’t let you do anything. But it will help you do everything better than negative thinking will.”

I recently had this discussion with one of my sons. We were playing a game and he said, “I stink at this.” Well, his mom is a brain expert. We stopped right there and didn’t shame or try to convince him, but just made the simple observation that when he said that, he made an immediate brain programming that would cause him to perform worse. I asked him if, win or lose, would he rather do better or worse at the game? He said, “Better.” So I said, “Then tell your brain something that will make your body perform better.” He just took that at face value and said, “I’m great at this game!” He did fine and enjoyed it more!

The first hour of the day has more impact on your day than the next 3-4 hours will have. My dad, Dan Miller, wrote The Rudder of the Day in regards to this truth. You can get it at

Uplifting, encouraging, funny, inspiring. I work out most mornings while listening to Psalms. I generally start with Psalm 22. On weekends I sleep in a bit and try to get on the back porch alone with my Bible and journal and a great cup of coffee.

Success is measured by what you do, compared to what you are capable of doing.