I recently connected the dots between my current fascination with the Master Mind principle, and one of the most life affirming and transformational adventures of my life. Making this connection has re- energized my commitment to maintaining the master mind environment as an ongoing feature in my life, and helping others do the same.
The Basic Idea
Master Mind groups are seemingly everywhere. More importantly the interestin being a member of, or even starting a Master Mind feels almost exponential. And that’s a wonderful thing. Master Mind groups are powerful, transformative and deeply satisfying on so many levels.
Napoleon Hill, in his 1928 book The Law of Success, first introduced the Master Mind as one of the key principles of success that he shared with the world over his lifetime. He regaled and enlightened readers with real life stories of fascinating, long term and historically significant alliances that created unprecedented success. In sharing and describing the principle, he intended that the Master Mind concept be understood, accessible and utilized by anyone willing to apply it.
He went on to reveal that the power of the Master Mind is ‘in the third mind’, “a mind that is developed through the harmonious co-operation of two or more people who ally themselves for the purpose of accomplishing any given task.”
Specifically, the members of the group must be ‘properly chosen’, such that there can be the giving and receiving of advise, counsel, and personal cooperation in a spirit of perfect harmony and wholeheart
I see that people are doing this very thing, without necessarily realizing they are experiencing elements that make the Master Mind so powerful, and collectively accomplishing all kinds of things they may not accomplish alone.
The Master Mind Principle at Work in My Unexpected Place
I first read Napoleon Hill during the years I was motorcycle road racing, and at the time I made no connection between what I read and what I was experiencing. A couple of years ago, the idea of starting a Master Mind group began showing up, so I revisited Hill’s writing. A deeper look into the concept revealed why it held so much appeal for me. In some very significant ways, my experience in the racing community was a Master Mind type of alliance.
The Group Has a Shared Purpose
We used to say that motorcycle riders made up about 1% of the general population (now that I think about it, I’m not sure what ‘population’ we were actually talking about, but lets just call it the USA) and that racers were a mere 1% of that 1% riding population. I would say that group is organically ‘chosen’. That little percentage created some powerfully allied communities across the country of intensely driven, like-minded individual
Structure of the Group
The racing season was 9 monthsout of the year. Events were generally monthly, and as the sport has grown in this country, there are many more organized practice days that track venues and track day organizations now make available. All these are additional opportunities to meet up, work hard, push each other and share the experience. There are always meetings, problems to solve, decisions to make, standards to uphold and always leadership.
The Member Community
Motor racing is like one big family, ultimately, and when you come back to it, that’s really what it feels like. ~Mario Andretti
The racing community is a membership, made up of many kinds of people, strangers from all over, connected by the love of the sport. Membership is formal; there are fees, applications, competence testing and licensing, and accountability in terms of your conduct, equipment, and of course, medical insurance. The members of the community operate like a community, following rules, observing standard practices, pitching in when needed, being collaborative, competitive and incredibly supportive.The common interest is clear, the love of the sport is palpable, and the commitment is unquestionable. Membership is a requirement, there are plenty of rules and a high regard for safety.
I guess the one place where the racing community differs from the Master Mind is the explicit competition. There is no place for this kind of competition in the Master Mind. However it is the nature of the racing game, albeit a much smaller part of the experience. There is FIERCE competition, and it is not dramatic in the least to say that racer’s hold each other’s lives in their hands every time they go out on the racetrack. Anything can happen out there, and everyone knows it. This requires very focused and aware people. This is quite bonding.
4 wheels move the body, 2 wheels moves the soul. ~Anonymous
The joy of it aside, all racer’s know what it takes to be out there, and how much more it takes to be out there doing well. It’s all about pushing your edge, stretching your reach, and getting out of your comfort zone, but doing it from a place of focus, solid preparation, and attention to everything you can control. So to me, the commitment necessary of time, discipline, money and psychological resources it takes to be in this sport , together with the commitment each racer makes to everyone involved, means the community is also powerfully about the collective membership.
The Heart and Magic of the Group
When I started in the sport I knew nothing. Zero. I couldn’t believe how fast guys could go, how delicately they could handle these powerful bikes, and how ‘zen’ they could be in the heat of a battle for corner. I had little idea the path of years of growth I had set myself on, nor could I know that I was about to experience a level of mentorship and camaraderie I didn’t know was possible. That was the heart of the group for me, and I understand now that there would not have been any other way for me to do it. Mentorship was a principle we practiced, it was just protocol. We helped each other out to raise the competence level (and hence the safety) of all riders. Mentoring happened around mechanical issues, psychological mindset, technique and strategy, even with food, water and supplementation.
Everyone was chasing the faster lap time. The mindset and skill of a faster racer always pulled a slower racer up to a new level. So to get faster, you’d hang out with faster racers, you’d learn what they knew, listen to what they thought about, how they thought about it, what they knew about technique, strategy and overcoming challenges, what habits they practiced, what suspension settings they used…whatever! Tips from the ‘fast guys’ spread through the paddock like wild fire. In this way, everyone in the community would learn from the collective wisdom and experience of the group.
I’ll admit right here that over 10 years of racing, I had a lot of crashes. Much more than most. But I ALSO had gained wisdom. I found in myself the heart and the psychology to always get back up and get back in the game from all of them, wether it was immediately or after a period of healing time. And that was tremendously valuable experience to have and to share.
It wasn’t just the experienced riders that helped. Mentoring happened from anyone that struggled through the trials and tribulations of the sport, and kept going! And because riders came from all walks of life, the community was made of talent from all kinds of industry, experience and know how, so everyone could contribute. This what Hill was talking about when he said ‘this ‘third mind’ was available to and accessed by all the individuals in a group, offering inspiration, thoughts and ideas not possessed by or available to any one member on their own.’
Commitment to the Supporting of Each Other’s Success
Racers committed to giving time, knowledge, and even spare parts for race bikes, knowing that someone would (and likely had already) done the same for them, making it possible for them to continue their effort. Most had ‘been there’ and always remembered what it had meant when others supported them coming up in the sport.
And it happens at times that a rider does not make it back into the paddock after a track accident. And when that does occur, people jump in to help, packing up the rider’s ‘pit’ and making any arrangements necessary to see the rider and equipment are taken care of. That is a wonderful thing for a rider to count on.
Anyone making any kind of progress had clear goals. When a racer stated a goal, they got lots of guidance about how to make it happen. If there was follow through, then improvement or success naturally motivated a greater degree of support. If there wasn’t follow through there would not be improvement, and the natural tendency for support would be reduced and re-directed toward someone else who was better served by the assistance.
And when a rider was not accountable to the rules, efforts were made to engage that rider. If that did not work, the community could take steps to remove the individual that was ‘out of harmony’ with others, with the shared agreements. This also can happen in a Master Mind.
Reaching Farther, Thinking on New Levels
I know from experience that extreme sports create lots of unique activity in the brain, resulting things such as heightened physical senses and awareness, a counterintuitive sense of calm and the formation of deep bonds between people. This makes it more possible to trust someone when they tell you you can do something, and seems to enhance the power of visualization of a goal or intention. So the environment creates the space for thinking differently, trying new things and stepping into courage. People participate in extreme sports to see what they can accomplish, to conquer limits, and to see what they are really made of. In reaching like this, they uplift themselves, their cohorts in the sport, and they break their perceived barriers of what they can do. A mastermind does all of these things.
Assess Your Current Environment, Your Network for Untapped Master Mind Potential
Take a fresh look at what you are already doing and who you are doing it with. If you’re not in a formal Master Mind group, you may recognize elements of the principle already at work in your life.
Hill made it clear that the most powerful alliance, full of possibility, was that between a husband and wife, then family, then coworkers. Look there. You may be having lunch or morning coffee each week or semi-regularly with a friend or group of friends already. You may meet regularly for conversation with people in some other configuration, on a somewhat regular basis. Are you on any online forums where some of these elements are present? Is this already happening for you? Can you make it happen? Is it possible you could formalize it into a Master Mind group and supercharge your contribution and the benefits you get from the regular interaction? This is something to consider, because if you are ready to go to your next level, you can be sure others in your life are as well.