Prime Your Mind for Greatness


image“The new year stands before us, like a chapter in a book waiting to be written.” — by Melody Beattie

If you’ve got the blahs, or you’re feeling the blues, here’s a way to make this your best year.


You can prime your mind for growth and greatness.

You will find all the kindling you need right here to find your personal motivation, draw from inspiration, and blaze your trail forward.

Prime Your Mind for Great Results

You can prime your mind to bring great things to life.

You can use priming to bring ideas top of mind. We get more of what we focus on, and we are amazing at modeling (monkey see, monkey do.)

In psychology, priming is when you activate a concept in someone’s mind, and they act more like that particular concept or stereotype.

So prime yourself with yellow and see the word banana faster, or watch a Formula One Grand Prix on TV and drive a little faster, or prime yourself with “professor” and do a little better on a general knowledge test.

Priming Sets the Stage

In practice, you can just think of priming as to make ready or to prepare. You might hear people say “prime the pump” to mean encourage the growth or action of something.

Or you might see an athlete who is primed and ready for action.

Whether priming works because of mirroring and our innate tendency to imitate , or our reticular activating system (RAS), or our subconscious mind, or whatever, what’s important is that you can prime yourself for better results.

You can create new frames of reference to draw from.

You can fill your mind with hope, aspirations and bold ambitions to crowd out fear, failures, and regrets.

It’s YOUR Fresh Start

We’re turning the page of a new year.

It’s your fresh start.

You can prime your mind to make this your best year ever.

Ways to Prime Your Mind for YOUR Best Year Ever

Here are some ideas on how to prime your mind for great results – to live your best year ever – and make it your epic year …

  1. Ask yourself 3 questions to prime your mind. 1) What do you want? 2) Why do you want it? And 3) What do you need to learn or what quality do you need to build to achieve it? Yes, it sounds simple, but we get resourceful when we ask the right questions. Ask these three questions to start priming your mind to figure out what do you want for this year. If you know WHY you want it, and your WHY is strong, this will keep you going through the tough stuff. When it comes to the HOW, you first need to identify what you need to learn so that you can find the right strategies. If you turn reaching your goals into a learning journey, you win along the way, and avoid putting your success “out there” or far off in the distance.
  2. Read stories of personal transformation. This is where it all starts. If you have changes you’d like to see in your life, look for some stories of personal transformation that inspire you. Nothing beats a story where you walk away feeling, “I can do that, too.” Here is my story of personal transformation, but many people have shared their stories in books, blogs, movies, and more.
  3. Write YOUR personal success story. Start with story. You can write a simple narrative that describes your ideal life. Make it real. Who do you want to be and what experiences do you want to create? You are the artist and the architect of your ideal life. Be generous with the paint, but thoughtful in our design, as you craft a story that you want to live. This is your chance to be the author of your life, and the more authentic it is, the more you will free yourself from the shackles of other people’s ideals and ambitions for you. You will own your vision, and your story will be your North Star.
  4. Build a vision board. A great way to prime your mind is to imagine your desired future state. Use pictures. Find the images that represent the kind of life you want to live. The key here is to find the images that make you come alive in an authentic way. This is not about making a Vision Board that shows all the “traditional success” images of the American dream. It’s figuring out your own success story. What do you want to spend more time doing? Who do you want to spend more time with? What new things do you want to learn? Who character traits do you want to develop? What is your vision for your mind, your body, your emotions, your health, your career, your relationships, your finance, and your well-being? Use these prompts to create a collage of your ideal life. Dream big.
  5. Find your calling. There are jobs, careers, and callings. Your calling is really just your life’s work in disguise. Your life’s work is simply where you apply your purpose, passion, and strengths to make a difference. Your difference. Nobody can stop you from doing this. But some people can help wake you up so you can answer your calling that is already there. Explore the life’s work of others so you can re-imagine how you might use your amazing talents, experiences, time, energy, and attention to change the world, your world, your way. Edward de Bono dedicated his life to helping ordinary people think extraordinary, Walt Disney dedicated his life to making people smile, John Maxwell dedicated his life to helping people become better leaders, Dr. Joel Furhman dedicated his life to helping people achieve better health through nutritional excellence.
  6. Prime your mind with amazing people. You can inspire yourself with inspiring people. I draw from a lot of amazing people. I’m a fan of living the mantra “stand on the shoulders of giants.” I live and learn vicariously through some of the planets biggest heroes and their life’s work. For me, I like to draw from people like John Wooden, Zig Ziglar, John Maxwell, Richard Branson, Tony Robbins, Bruce Lee, Oprah Winfrey, Chalene Johnson, Marie Forleo, Cha~zay, and more. I have a large collection of lessons learned on my Great People Page.
  7. Prime your mind with great quotes. Quotes are a great way to swap our or squeeze out negative thoughts with better, more empowering mental mantras. You can change your entire mental landscape by cultivating a garden of great thoughts from the wisdom of the ages and modern sages. I have a Great Quotes Page, along with quotes for life, motivation, inspiration, happiness, and more.
  8. Prime your mind with great books. Books are a powerful way to fill your mind with possibility, as well as to turn insights into actions, and how to turn dreams into strategies and realities. I have a Great Books Page along with books on personal development, leadership, creativity, and more.
  9. Prime your mind with amazing feats. Fill your mind with amazing stories of the art of the possible. At age 70, Jack LaLanne, a physical phenomenon, swam for a mile, while shackled and hand-cuffed, against strong winds and currents, towing 70 rowboats, one with several guests in it. Wim “The Iceman” Hoff climbed Everest and Kilimanjaro in only shorts and shoes, and holds 20 Guinness World Records for withstanding extreme temperatures. Watch Stan Lee’s Superhumans to really stretch your imagination while rooted in reality. Read success stories of medical miracles with ordinary people that got extraordinary results on Dr. Furhman’s site.
  10. Watch some inspiring TED Talks. TED talks are a contagious and continuous source of inspiration. Learn how to create more “shining eyes” with Benjamin Zander on The Transformative Power of Classical Music, or learn how to learn anything in 20 hours, with Josh Kauffman on The First 20 Hours: How To Learn Anything, or learn how to be happy no matter what with Dan Gilbert on The Surprising Science of Happiness, or learn how to feel self-worth with Brene Brown on The Power of Vulnerability, or learn how to do work you love with Scott Dinsmore on How To Find Work You Love.
  11. Visit some amazing and inspiring sites. Learn how to operate at a higher level at High Learn how to be smarter and more capable with science on our side at Barking Up the Wrong Tree.  Learn new ways to experience the world with Experience Life, the no-gimmicks, no-hype, health & fitness magazine.
  12. Learn something new. If you could learn anything, what would you learn? Maybe this is the year you learn how to play the fiddle. Maybe this is the year you learn a new language. Maybe this is the year you learn how to teach the world what you love. Check out free online courses at Khan Academy. Explore learning new skills with Udemy. Check out MIT Open Courseware.  Try Master Class to learn acting from Kevin Spacey, tennis from Serena Williams,  or writing from James Patterson.  Or just ask a friend to show you how they do that amazing thing they do.
  13. Ask yourself better questions. If you want better results, get better answers. If you want better answers, ask better questions. Asking the right questions helps you tap your own resourcefulness and it sets you on a simple path of self-course correction. Here are 101 Questions that Empower You to get you started.
  14. Practice some Power Poses. Watch Amy Cuddy’s TED Talk on how your body language shapes who you are. To bottom line it, stand strong like Wonder Woman, hands on your hips, and your legs firmly planted, shoulder-wide.
  15. Build yourself a better board of directors. As Jim Rohn said, we are the average of the five people we spend the most time with. But it’s not just the people you spend the most time with. It’s the people that influence you. It’s the people that you look to for insight and guidance as you learn your way forward. Who are your trusted advisors? If they aren’t helping you direct your life more effectively, then find the people who can. Teachers, mentors, and coaches are everywhere. But mostly you want to find the people that really get you. You want the friend that knows you better than you do, or the wise person in your life that always seems to help you gain a new level of clarity or knows just the right thing to say to help you get unstuck.
  16. Build your own personal effectiveness toolbox. We invented the wheel a long time ago. It’s time to upgrade to some modern tools for the modern mind. Here’s how to build your own personal effectiveness toolbox so you can realize your potential.
  17. Feel inspiring words by Jim Carrey. here are some amazing words from Jim Carrey — Jim Carrey’s Secret of Life – Inspiring Message to the world — enjoy.
  18. Learn how Tony Robbins primes his day. Maybe you are just having a hard time getting going, because you just don’t feel like it. Tony Robbins can relate, and he has several tricks for how to prime your day. In a nutshell, see it, feel it. If you can visualize what you want to achieve in your mind’s eye, don’t stop there. Step into that future picture so you can feel it with your body, and bake it in your bones. The more you feel it, the more congruent your will be with your mind, body, and emotions, which will help you make better decisions, and take better actions.
  19. Take a note from a philosopher or two.  Learn how to live an optimal life from some of the greatest philosophers.   Check out Brian Johnson’s Philosopher’s Notes.
  20. Eliminate some limiting beliefs. Nobody will ever hold you back more than you. You can break your inner limits to reach your outer limits. Maybe you have a limiting belief that this can’t be your best year, or you don’t deserve a great year.  Get over it.  Learn from Morty Lefkoe how you can Eliminate a Limiting Belief.
  21. Fill your head with images and stories of success. Check out Success Magazine, Addicted 2 Success, or Healthy Living on Huffington Post.
  22. Dive into a personal transformation program.  Maybe this is the year that you become what you’re capable of, or this is the year that you find your breakthroughs.  Check out The Personal Mastery Program (Audio CDs), by Srikumar S. Rao or Personal Power II (Audio CDs), by Tony Robbins or Jim Rohn’s Classic Collection (Audio CDs).
  23. Challenge the status quo. Explore ideas at Change This and learn how to be remarkable at Seth Godin’s blog.

Are you primed to make this your best year ever?

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  1. Thank you so much for compiling this amazing post, which is a really more like a mini-course! I love the links, very useful indeed.

    Wishing you a great New Year, JD!

    • Hey Cha~zay, thank you!

      I’m hoping it can really help people get excited about writing their story forward for 2016.

      Happy New Year!

  2. What a winning amalgam! I’ve already created a “glide path for success” (to liberate one of my favorite metaphors from you) for 2016. Now I have even more insights to add. I’m returning home right now & will choose at least two of these on which to focus at least through January when I’ll re-visit your list. Happy New Year—& yes, let’s make it our best ever! #FireMonkey

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