The Mindset Maven

Building your mindset for lifelong success

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    PJ McClure

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Looks like someone pushed a button…

Posted by pjmcclure on January 13, 2010

I can’t promise you’ll like what I’ve written at The Mindset Maven blog, but I can promise it will make you think.

Take a deep breath and let me know your thoughts, please.

Positivity under attack

Be your best,



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Mark McGwire and forgiveness

Posted by pjmcclure on January 11, 2010

For all of you that were kind enough to follow me on this blog, please hop over to my new blog and follow from there. It is not prettied up yet, but I’m pulling this one very soon and don’t want to lose any of you.

Thanks so much and please let me know you’ve moved over by commenting on today’s post.

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Something new at The Mindset Maven

Posted by pjmcclure on January 8, 2010

We’re getting closer to launch!

Check out the new post regarding our mindset toward job change.

The Mindset Maven

Be your best,

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Gimme 7 steps… to resolution success

Posted by pjmcclure on December 31, 2009

It’s New Year’s Eve! A traditional time of celebration, reflection, and hope… unless the past year hasn’t been what you wanted. If that’s the case, New Year’s Eve may be a time of denial, regret, and anxiety.Cork Pop

The good news is, it doesn’t matter! Regardless of the events of the past year, or the past hour for that matter, we can begin to intentionally move toward what we want, right now.

I emphasize the word, “MOVE,” because that is the greatest danger that accompanies the enthusiasm of the new year. People tend to spend their time and energy talking about what they are going to do and not actually doing it.

If you have a goal for the new year (and I hope you have at least one) I’d like to make a suggestion. Instead of telling everyone you see about your grand plans to…(fill in the blank), keep quiet about it.

I know that traditional wisdom says to tell people so that you are held accountable by those people. If others know about your plans, that creates the proper pressure to keep you going. If that is your stance on the subject, let me ask you… how’s that working out for ya?

The truth is, when we start talking about what we are going to do,
all possible momentum dies.

I know, I know… how can that be? When I talk about losing 20 pounds, or starting that business I’ve put off for 10 years, I get excited about it and want to go take on the world, right? That’s the problem.

When we talk about a goal, before we’ve actually done anything about it, we convince ourselves that the talking is the same as doing. The emotions are the same, the immediate feeling is the same, and we even get the same sense of accomplishment and pride when someone tells us how great our idea is.

The difference is in the results. We expend all of our energy blabbing and get nothing done.

For this year, try something a little different with your goals/resolutions/life changing ideas…

  1. Drill down into the ‘why’. What is so important about this that it deserves to be accomplished?
  2. Decide if you really believe it can happen for you. The idea of making $1,000,000 isn’t  much good if you only believe your worth $20,000. Set a goal at the edge of what you think is possible for you.
  3. Be clear about what it looks like. When this goal is realized, what will it look like? How is life at that moment?
  4. Get into gratitude. You’re unlikely to move boldly toward more, if you don’t appreciate what you have. What do you love about your life right now? Apply that emotion to #3 and really feel the accomplishment of your goal.
  5. Get rid of the grudge. Forgive yourself for the failed goals of the past. Most resolutions fail because people accept their past as their present. “I didn’t make it happen last year so I probably won’t again this year.” Get over it. Forgive yourself and enjoy the liberation.
  6. Shut up and do something! This was the biggest difference maker for me. One of my mentor’s asked me if I had laid out my goals. Just before I could launch into a dazzling description, he said, “Don’t tell me. Show me. I don’t want to even know what you’re doing until its at least 75% done.” The energy build up I experienced from being brief about my goals was amazing. Try it and see how much more attention you give to the tasks at hand.
  7. Enjoy every moment of it. We don’t sing songs to finish them. We don’t live life to die. It is always the experiences along the way, the moments, that make something worth while. Don’t get so caught up in the accomplishment that you miss the moments.

Give it a whirl! Each step is in order and each builds on the one before. If it doesn’t pass every test, you won’t accomplish it. Guaranteed. I don’t say that to depress you, but to encourage you.

Find a goal that runs the gauntlet and you’ve got a winner! I guarantee that too!

I’d love to hear your thoughts. Here’s to a life lived to its fullest. Happy new year.


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Times…they are a changin

Posted by pjmcclure on December 28, 2009

Hi everybody,
My apologies for being so absent in the last few months. I’ve had my head buried in learning what I needed to know to get my new business direction off the ground.

I’d like to invite you to a seek peek at my new blog (not finished just yet, but you can still check it out). I’m going to begin using it as my primary blog in 2010 as my launch gains momentum.

I’ll keep posting here to keep you up on what is going on.

There are some very exciting things, very near. I hope you’ll stay tuned in to see this vision come alive!

Be your best,

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It’s never too late, or too early

Posted by pjmcclure on August 3, 2009

Desire, intention, and belief are the gears that determine time

Desire, intention, and belief are the gears that determine time

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“It’s never too late to be what you’ve always wanted to be.”

I can’t honestly remember that first time that I heard or read that quote, but most recently it hit me in the middle of an emotional battle with myself over where my life is headed. The past few months have provided huge growth moments and chances to see where my strength is and how I’d like to spend everyday. With that said, I’ve begun to drop my resistance to the calling of my passion.

The thing on my heart right now is, why on earth would l, or anyone else, resist a clear and obvious call? Is it a fear of failure? Maybe the idea of what those around us might say when we take a leap of faith is difficult to hold. Or, perhaps, we are waiting for the time to be just right. What I am finding in myself is that its all of them and they are all subdued with one simple thing…ACTION!

With the support of my wife, I’ve taken a few steps toward living my passion daily, turning it into a business, and with each step it has gotten easier. My fear of failure melts every time I expose my ideas to others. They have done no less than tell me it is a “can’t miss”.

As I’ve allowed my energy to work toward my goal, the people around me have elected to rally or retreat. Either is a blessing because it helps me see that none of the anxiety is worth it. People will always react strongly to someone driven by passion with a clear intent. If your passion and desire are big enough to cause reactions, without your trying to cause them, you are probably on to something.

Every time I take just “one more step”, the timing becomes more perfect. How is that possible? Because timing is always perfect and we are the only things standing in the way. Desire, clear intentions, and belief are the gears of the watch. When all three of those are in place, the time is right, regardless of other circumstances.

We are all capable of so much more than we allow ourselves to be. I don’t care what stage of the game you are in, you are more than your current circumstance shows. Are you ready to show it? Jeremy Heigh, at Sift Everything, wrote a post recently about what we allow ourselves to do, in spite of what we are capable. The concept is that we are, Built for Battleships but Loaded for Seagulls . Jeremy, as he has with other posts, inspired me to keep believing that I am built for greater things than I have pursued so far. So are you.

Be your best,

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Pomp and circumstance

Posted by pjmcclure on June 13, 2009

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graduation_caps   I’m headed out the door to the commencement ceremony for my bachelor degree. If you had asked me about this moment in March 2006, the answer would have been a big, “No way!” At that point I had no interest in a formal education and carried a pretty healthy disdain for the institution. When my boss at the time told me that I needed a degree to travel in the corporate circles I aspired to, I reluctantly enrolled at the tender age of 33.

   Three years in time and a lifetime of maturity later, I finally get it… maybe. The degree process is about a lot of things that I’m likely to spend more time on later. For now, the primary thought is, gratitude.

   My life, and therefore my family’s life, changed dramatically during this leg of the journey and I couldn’t be happier about where it is. Today I get to wear a little token called, a stole of gratitude, for each person that has made a dramatic contribution to this accomplishment. There are lots of people that contributed, but the four that I am thanking were slightly different.

   First and foremost is my wife, Tammy. There aren’t enough opportunities to thank her for everything she does, but this a small shot. She has given, without much complaining, and held our family together through more than homework sessions. The space I have enjoyed to grow and become more of who I am is only possible because of her quiet understanding. If she will ever believe in herself, the way she believes in me, the world will go to a knee in awe of her.

   Both of our children, Ethan and Avery, will receive a stole. Quite simply, they move me. Their intellect, enthusiasm, and unquestioned love have pushed me past unimaginable personal boundaries. When I look at them I am reminded of what is good and perfect about life. I hope that they will keep the stoles as a reminder that anything is possible.

   The fourth is for the head of academic affairs at our U of P campus here in Springfield, MO, Dr. Patty Duncan. With a bright smile, a word of encouragement, and a swift kick in the pants, Dr. Patty moved me from college student to life-long learner. She dedicates her time and energy to pushing others up when they don’t have the strength left to pull. The stole is a reminder, I hope, that her efforts are more than appreciated, they are necessary.

   Gratitude is a wonderful. It puts us back in the frame of mind and emotion needed to make an impact. I almost feel selfish for feeling grateful because I know that it benefits me more than those that receive it. Every time I smile with the warmth of feeling grateful, more things come my way to make me grateful. The four people above are proof.

Be your best,


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And the winner is…not me.

Posted by pjmcclure on May 27, 2009

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Our next speaker is...

Our next speaker is...

Tomorrow I have the opportunity to audition as a student speaker for my bachelor’s commencement ceremony. This will be my first motivational speaking opportunity in more than a year and I am JACKED about it. No, I have not been selected yet, but I have visualized giving the speech for about six months now and am already selected, as far as I’m concerned.

My topic is, living at your fullest capability. Big surprise, I know. I only get 10 minutes and I plan to blow them away with passion and energy. In my visualizations I end the speech to a standing ovation and receive multiple speaking opportunities afterward. We’ll see what happens though I’m confident in the result.

This speech is another launching point in the trek of pursuing my potential and inspiring others to pursue their own. I’ll keep everyone updated as to the audition and plan to have someone video the speech at commencement on June 13. When I post the video you’ll be able to see and hear the crowd roar, I can see it already…

Follow up:

Apparently my vision was slightly off. I got the phone call after the auditions and heard the old, tired refrain, “You were great and we had more great auditions than we expected. Unfortunately, you were not picked as one of the speakers”. They said I was a top candidate and yada yada yada.

Bitter? No. Disappointed? Immensely. I had high hopes for this opportunity and it took a bit to get along after the news. Frankly, the whole ceremony is less exciting for me right now, but I can see that there are other elements about it that are very important that I have to keep in mind. The example of accomplishment for my kids, showing them that education is valuable and its pursuit never stops. Thanking all of the people that made the pursuit of a degree possible for me. Ultimately, knowing that it is an afternoon ceremony that marks the end of something and a beginning that is purely for me to define.

A funny story came out of the auditions too. As I waited for the auditions to begin, I sat in the prep area with another candidate. A pretty girl in a summery green dress that had a striking feature, a prostetic leg. She wasn’t the least self-conscious about it and we chatted while we waited.

When I finished my time and walked back out past her, I wanted to wish her luck, but I had been taught a long time ago that saying, “good luck”, is actually considered bad luck in matters of the stage. So, in my infinite wisdom and never-ending smoothness said, “break a leg”.

Thank God she laughed.

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The House That Fire Built – Part 2

Posted by pjmcclure on May 21, 2009

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The kids checking out the new paint job on the cars

The kids checking out the new paint job on the cars

To hell with Murphy and his law of negativity. From the time that the fire started in our garage, everything that could go right, did, and at the best possible moment.

The wall that the fire started on is the same wall that I kept ammunition in a steel tool box. Because the flames got the hottest there, the ammunition began to explode, which is what woke Tammy up. By the time she heard ammo popping, we later learned, the fire had already spread to the attic and was literally above us. If the sound hadn’t woke her, its likely that none of us would’ve woken up, ever.

Some people have asked, “What if she didn’t wake up? Have you thought about how horrible that would have been?” The first that enters my head is, “What kind of a stupid #$%^* question is that!” Of course you think about it! The difference in people is what they do after they’ve thought about it.

Many will dwell on the what-if, I’m not sure why. Maybe its to get sympathy or have people tell them how lucky they are… I don’t know, because its pointless.

Dwelling on something that didn’t happen, especially if it could have been tragic, does no good for anyone involved.

It might have annoyed some, but we constantly directed the topic away from the what-if and to the what-did. Tammy did wake up, we did get out, and that was only the beginning of the positive energy and events coming our way.

The 911 call went in around 2:20 am, by 3:00 am it was obvious that our house wouldn’t make it. Half of it had gone to the ground and what was left looked like the biggest broken tooth in a mouthful of tornup gums. In total, 31,000 gallons of water ran through the remaining floor and into the basement. A little bit of roof remained in the corner furthest from where the fire started, but the fire had reached its rafters as well.

At that point we shifted our attention to what our next steps were. Clothes and personal hygiene items topped the list, but at that time of night, we thought it could wait. Apparently other people didn’t think so though.

Before sunrise, the Red Cross showed up with stuffed animals for the kids, a personal hygiene kit, and a gift card to use for clothes as soon as we wanted. Before the gratitude for the service could set in, a bag of clothes showed up for our kids. Some of it brand new because the person had gone to Wal-Mart in the middle of the night to get it.

When the firefighters began to shut down their operation, the sun was up. Word spread throughout the community about what had happened and by noon we had recieved cash, gift cards, clothes, offers for vehicles and housing. We would like to believe that we could have handled the situation on our own if needed, but the people around us rallied so quickly that we didn’t have any choice but to land on our feet.

Our screened in porch... sort of.

Our screened in porch... sort of.

The aid came from everywhere. People we had never met, some that I still haven’t, were showing up constantly. Two of our neighbors made it their personal mission to make sure we were cared for. Though both would have, the neighbor with the largest house practically dragged us in to live with them. Refusing rent or money for utilities, they did everything they could to provide some sense of continuity for our kids and sanity for us.

I have to say, it was the easiest move I’ve ever had. The biggest thing that I had to carry in was the small box from the Red Cross.

We spent most of our time telling people, “thank you”, and, “we’re fine, really”. The more we focused on the positives, the more opportunity we saw. The more energy we put toward being grateful, the more we received to be grateful for.

Many success teachers and scientists alike, teach that everything has a frequency and we attract things that vibrate with the same frequency. Believe it or not, this includes our thoughts.

In fact, our thoughts and emotions cannot be seperated from the conversation. What some call, luck, I call intention. Had we focused on tragedy and pain, we would have found tragedy and pain, in multiple. Instead, we intentionally put our thoughts to what we were grateful for and were soon overwhelmed with the outpouring of love and compassion.

Within a few days, things settled down a little, but generousity of our community, family, and friends continued. For us as a family, we had to continue forward and began talking about the house we wanted to rebuild. Prior to the insurance settlement and with no idea what it would cost to build a house, we began to create a vision for what we wanted. The story of that vision coming to life is the best part yet. It’s next.

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The House that Fire Built – Part 1

Posted by pjmcclure on May 15, 2009

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   2008 had been an awkward year. I started a new position on January 2 and had an up-and-down year, but enjoyed some moderate success. In May, my beautiful, young (39 years old) wife had a freak heart attack that could have sent us reeling but turned out to be little more than an inconvenience. Then in October, after driving 12 hours to make it home from a business trip, I slipped into a Nyquil induced sleep only to have Tammy wake me up at about 1:15 am saying that she thought the house was on fire.

   Groggy and irritated, I made my way to the door between our family room and garage, following some unsually loud popping sounds. When I opened the door all mental cloudiness went away. The garage was full of smoke and immediately to my left the room was glowing orange. Slamming the door I ran back toward our room, told Tammy to call 911 and get the kids, while I ran to put clothes on. Why clothes, you ask? Because in my adrenaline soaked mind, I thought that I could go put it out.

   In two seconds I had pulled jeans and shoes on to combat the threat. When I opened the door this time, flames jumped past me a few feet and I immediately shed any manly thoughts of extinguishing the blaze. Running toward the kid’s rooms, Tammy was grabbing our daughter and I pulled our son out of his bunkbed to get out of the house. Our neighbor, Bob, was already coming to the front door with 911 on the line and helped us get clear.

   For the first few minutes outside, my mind was still holding to the thought that the fire department could contain  the fire to the garage and we’d be back in before too long. Once the firetrucks began to arrive and situation unfolded it became apparent that this would not be easy. The fire had gotten into the attic and spread throughout the entire house before the first drop of water hit it. As we have since learned from the investigation, the fire was likely in the attic when we discovered it. More on that later.

   So there I was, standing in my neighbor’s yard, watching everything we owned burn, pretty dramatically too.

Beginning or End?
Beginning or End?

   Firefighters running in and out, one section falling, then another. Knowing that my family was safe inside our neighbor’s house made the experience less shocking and more contemplative. For month’s afterward people would explain my calm demeanor and matter-of-fact attitude regarding the house by saying that I must still be in shock. Are you kidding? When you stand in a pair of soaking wet shoes at 2:00 in the morning, watching firefighters try in vain to save your stuff, the shock goes away. At least it did for us.

   We have worked hard for a number of years to think and act in a certain way. Our lives were not centered on that house or the things in it. Our family believes in the bigness of life moving forward. That attitude was best captured by our 6 year-old son. While the house blazed he looked at Tammy and said, “Well… daddy still has his job and we can replace our old stuff. Can I go to bed now”? That was it. His biggest concern at that moment was if he had to go to school the next day because all he had was pajamas.
   I’m not saying that we didn’t miss some of the things that we lost, but the things of the past were not the focus. Where are we headed now was the focus.
Big picture  speaking, we knew that we had a plan for our family. Fun, excitement, positivity and always making the best of a situation was our plan. Loving each other and supporting one-another. That was our plan. This fire, while a part of our reality, was not enough to wreck our plan and only served to focus our plan even more.

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