If You Want A Prosperous Future, Then Mentally Prepare Like This…

A couple of weeks ago I witnessed a talk from Alex Honnold the star from the film Free Solo. For those of you whom aren’t aware of the film it’s a documentary film surrounding Alex’ pursuit to rock climb a mountain face known as El Capitan.


El Captain may not be the largest, sitting at 3,000 feet, however, it was notoriously one of the most difficult climbs in the world, justified by the fact that one of its most treacherous faces had never been climbed solo (meaning without ropes, complete free climb with no safety harnesses).


The film, which has been recognised for multiple awards, documents Alex’ journey to attain a lifelong dream to be the first to tackle El Capitans face completely solo.

El Capitan

Now how does this relate to sales?

Well pivotal to Alex’ successful summit, was the preparation he undertook. We don’t mean just physical training or acumen in rock climbing, that’s a given, more imperatively we mean mental preparation.


He talked about how it took him eight years of his life focusing and dedicating his life to making the climb which could easily have led to his peril. Much of his time was invested in mentally preparing for what was to com. He stringently focused on breaking the climb down in to segments and walking through every single step. “I would move my left hand to fully lock out and hold my own weight whilst stretching my right arm to this hold and then that hold.” Every hold, movement, grip, pause and stretch was rehearsed and re-rehearsed hundreds of times in his mind.


He mentally walked through every single part of the face of the summit. Before he had completed the climb he had seen himself attaining the goal on hundreds of occasions before.


Listening to his speech reminded me of the story of Roger Bannister and the four minute mile and how well before he had achieved the unthinkable of being the first man to officially run a mile in four minutes, in his mind he had achieved this feat on countless occasions. So much so that to him it was no longer the unobtainable, it was no longer audacious and overambitious. Long before he had achieved the record officially, in his mind he had made it and prepared for it.


Alex Honnold was exactly the same with his quest of El Capitan. He had mentally prepared for every single step and eventuality. In his mind he had achieved the summit well before physically or officially doing so.


The reason we talk about stories such as this is to highlight the importance of mental preparation. Alex and Roger are distinct examples of the power of mentally preparing for our challenges. At Sales Icon Coaching we use the terminology of Priming, and we talk of its power in this article:




In this previous article we talk about priming before sales activities, whether that be big meetings, cold calls, or even at the start of the day etc. But this shouldn’t be the extent to your priming.

How many of us are priming ourselves for the future we want to have?

How many of us are thinking about how successful we will become?

For instance the materialistic things we desire to attain such as designer watches, flashy cars or luxurious houses abroad. But aside from materialistic how about those prestigious career milestones such becoming the top sales person, becoming a manager or director etc.


The more we mentally prepare ourselves for the future that we desire the move we pave our way towards it.

What the mind can conceive and believe, it can achieve

Napoleon Hill

Reflect on the story of the famous golfer Rory’s McIlroy and how his father Gerry effectively primed him for success. For those of you who don’t know, Gerry placed a £200 ($341) bet back in 2004 that his son would win the British Open within 10 years. He sewed a seed within his sons mind which flowered into Gerry cashing in $171,000 richer for this bet alone when Rory won.


In the words of one of the most prolific writers and speakers of all time:

We become, what we think about

Earl Nightingale

So the takeaway from this whole article is to start priming yourself for your future. Start to live your dreams in your mind, and if you want them strong enough and you do all that you can to attain them then soon they’ll be within your grasp. Think back to these stories of Alex Honnold, Roger Bannister and Rory McIlroy, become empowered and pave the way to your future.


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