Over the years in teaching and developing the OPMINDSET programs I had always sought to figure out the path for how you achieve one. What were the “action” items to this idea of mindset and what does it actually look like. I wanted to get beyond the authorial and into the practical. That came when I began to understand that our thoughts and behaviors are more biological than anything else. We have an input that triggers sensation, sensation becomes a feeling, feelings initiate thought, thought labels an emotion, and emotion comes out as a physical presence (angry, sad, happy, elated, depressed, worry, doubtful, fearful, etc.)
OPMINDSET is about going beneath the surface to the point of origin. It’s about understanding a set of behavioral patterns that are driven by experience AND how to change those patterns to improve your performance on the job and your life at home.
Being Operational means we know how to put ourselves in the right condition mentally, physically and emotionally for the moment we are in and the ones that will immediately follow.
Having an operational mindset means we learn from everything we can and we take the time to prepare ourselves for future events without fear, worry, doubt or bias. We spend time investing in our own physical, mental and emotional wellness to be exactly who we want to be both on and off the job.
So what does that look like?
My combined years of experience and research shows that there are 6 crucial aspects to maintaining an operational mindset and being operational. I refer to them as the 6 Operational Pillars:
- PHYSICAL CONDITION: You are in the physical condition necessary to meet the rigors, demands and expectations of your profession. (FYI, this is not the standards laid out by your department)
- MENTAL ACUITY: You develop your mental acuity through study, research, analysis, reviews, conversations, storytelling, listening and taking advantage of every moment as an opportunity to learn and expand your assets. You learn how to sharpen your awareness and decision making ability to a finely oiled machine. You are able to mentally transition quickly from one situation or moment to the next.
- EMOTIONAL STABILITY: You do the work that gets things out of your way. You deal with things as they come up and you learn the fundamental aspects of emotional intelligence so that YOU are the one to bring calm to chaos. Just as with your mental acuity, you are able to rapidly transition your emotional state from one situation or moment to the next.
- COMFORT: You have gained the ability to be comfortable in the most uncomfortable situations imaginable. You are willing to be pushed outside the “zone of normal” and willing to take a look at things in a new perspective. You seek out ways to expand your bandwidth and zone of tolerance in order to reach a point of “familiar.”
- CONFIDENCE: You are confident in your own abilities, your own training, your own experience and will figure it out. You trust that you are in that situation for a reason and while you may not know the exact answer or the exact method you are confident enough to figure it out.
- CREATIVITY: You have the creativity necessary to work the problem, not let the problem work you. You don’t come with answers, you come in search of answers. You don’t allow history to dictate your actions but know how to use it as your guide. You are willing to humble yourself in a moment in order to accomplish the mission.
These 6 pillars are non-negotiable. They are pillars for a reason because they are the structural stronghold and stability for your operational mindset as well as your ability to be and stay operational. KNOW THIS… it is and will ALWAYS be a work in progress. There is no destination and no end game when it comes to maintaining an operational mindset. No finish line, no goal post, no buzzer. Circumstances will change and you must have the adaptive nature to adjust the pillars as you move through your life and career.
HOW DO YOU STAY OPERATIONAL?
Join me now in my FACEBOOK GROUP and share how you become and stay operational?