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Actions, Reactions, and Mindset

There are only three things in life that you can control: Your actions, your reactions, and your mindset. This fact can help us process the craziness and unfairness that life can often lay at our feet. It’s also a first step in laying the groundwork for a lifetime of success, unhindered by the fear of failure.

This approach to life offers both power and peace. It is determined by how you spend your time – your most valuable asset. Your next steps and planning provide you with clarity. 

I also teach this in one-on-one coaching sessions and many of the classes I facilitate. It’s fascinating to see how this translates to different people.

One of my favorite ways to introduce the power of this philosophy, as well as the power of the human mind, is through a simple analogy about a rollercoaster.

Your Outlook Is A Choice You Make

Imagine that there are two people in the front car of a roller coaster. The roller coaster is blazing down the track and about to enter into a particularly precarious part of the course.

We’ve all seen this picture or video. One person – let’s say the person on the left – is filled with terror. They’re holding the bar with a death grip, and the fear on their face is so tangible that they appear to be face-to-face with impending doom.

Meanwhile, the person on the right is elated. Their hands are in the air while their face is glowing with thrill and the rush of adrenaline – clearly enjoying themselves.

How Is This Difference in Outlook Possible? 

How can two humans in the exact same scenario have such vastly different reactions? To answer this, let’s start by looking at the four things they have in common.

First, they both chose to get on the roller coaster. Nobody forced them, and ultimately, it was their own choice.

Second, they both have the same chance of success (survival). Plus, they have statistics on their side. In fact, while they were waiting to get on the ride, they probably saw hundreds of successful runs.

Third, they both have the same chance of failure. Not surviving or injury. It’s probably safe to say that if any of the previous riders exited on a stretcher, they wouldn’t have gotten on.

Lastly, neither of them is steering. For a brief period of time, they are not in control.

These conditions are a lot like the ones we face in everyday life.

Choosing Acceptance Over Fear

Despite these similarities, the reactions between the two riders couldn’t be more different. And, what is that difference? Their mindset. The way that they’re deciding to interpret their situation, and subsequently, the way that they’re reacting.

The person on the left is choosing to embrace their disruptive emotions and let those emotions take over so intensely that they feel hopeless and terrified. The person on the right has embraced the situation, and with eyes wide open, they’re accepting, enjoying, and benefiting from the experience.

Overcoming Fear Is The First Step On The Journey To Success

Some people are simply afraid of roller coasters. I get it. But, history is full of people – regular people – who have overcome debilitating fears. They have conquered the things that have crippled them, and that journey always starts with their mindset – a decision to do something about it. Then, their actions and reactions follow suit.

So, my question to you is this: Would you rather limit your chances of success or happiness due to fear, or make the most of life’s many challenges and great adventures?


The exercises in the FREE Improvised Intelligence™️ Book of Play by Sales Gravy’s Master Trainer, Gina Trimarco, provide the tools needed to improve emotional intelligence, productivity, morale, and sales.

About the author

Jason Eatmon

Jason Eatmon

Jason is a Nebraska native which is where his work ethic and sense of…

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