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Overachievement: Winning and Training Mindsets

The winning mindset is depicted as one which is trusting, unlike the training mindset, which seems active as well as reluctant to change. In Inside the Minds of Overachievers, Elliot (2015) opens chapter one by describing an Austrian Alpine skier who showcased a wonderful performance beating the defending Olympic champion. Elliot (2015) proceeds, explaining how a squirrel has varied mindset compared to a human being.

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He uses the analogy of a squirrel running across a telephone cable, which he contrasts to a human being who would not dare try to run across it due to fear. By this, Eliot compares the training mindset with the trusting frame of mind where thinking contrasts are depicted to produce different performance. Elliot emphasizes that those athletes who possess a trusting mindset have no knowledge of what happened. Their minds are empty, artistic, accepting, quiet, patient, reacting, playful in letting ideas freely flow. They are less concerned with events, hence, that makes them comfortable in making decisions. Elliot also acknowledges that prominent business people have a trusting mind, which brings them to success.

The training as well as trusting mentalities present distinct ideologies when it comes to winning. The training mind is an active one which is aware of what. Therefore, it might fail to attempt a given chance. For instance, a human being knows that walking over a telephone wire may not be possible. However, the trusting mindset is presented as empty, with no pre-knowledge. The analogy of a squirrel walking on a telephone wire depicts a person who has no awareness. They bring a new idea, which flourishes well. From the two contrasting mindsets, it can be concluded that most people fail due to the training mindset, while those who win have a trusting mind.

I have come across myriad experiences which can be described as requiring a trusting mind. The 2014 FIFA World Cup game, where Brazil played with Germany, is used as one of the most excellent examples of the trusting mindset (Burnton, 2018). Brazil had all the talented players who showcased games in the European leagues. Hence, nobody expected that Germany could beat the Samba Boys. However, to the surprise of many, even though German had no prominent players, it had the trusting mindset, which gave them a win of seven goals to one against Brazil.


Burnton, S. (2018). World Cup stunning moments: Germany humiliates Brazil 7-1. The Guardian. Web.

Eliot, J. (2015). Overachievement: The science of working less to accomplish more. Diversion Books.

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