Mentors - Bennie Harris

"Nobody believed in us except our fans and the people that surround this program. Now the whole world knows about VCU."


Wow, what an enjoyable week!!! Listened to a rich, refreshing teaching on "Re-framing" this past Sunday at our Center for Spiritual-Los Angeles, watched VCU spank Kansas to get to the "Final-Four" and more thought provoking study of Emerson's Essays!

Between Rev. John's discussion on "Re-framing" as a Spiritual Practice and watching this 11th seeded team, that no one expected to win, ("I'm just so overwhelmed right now," senior Ed Nixon said. "Nobody believed in us except our fans and the people that surround this program. Now the whole world knows about VCU.") put the smack-down on Kansas; I was reminded of some material I'd also been working in The New Psycho-Cybernetics.

Chapter 14 of this book is entitled; "How to Get and Keep That Winning Feeling". Psycho-Cybernetic principles and strategies have been used extensively in Sports Psychology since Dr. Maltz's published his landmark work in 1960. With this in mind, I wondered what it took to convince this team of 14 young men and one of the 10 youngest coaches of a Division 1 school, that they could go up against these other power-house schools and win.

If you have never read "Psycho-Cybernetics" or "The New Psycho-Cybernetics", consider getting a copy, it's an investment that will return to you, rich in dividends of understanding!

In Chapter 14, one of the subtitles is; "THINK IN TERMS OF POSSIBILITIES", it opens with the following; "You must supply the goal. And to supply a goal capable of activating your creative mechanism, you must think of the end result in terms of a present possibility. The possibility of the goal must be seen so clearly that it becomes real to your brain and nervous system."

As I watched the VCU player's take on this vaunted, Kansas Jayhawks' team, it was obvious that they were prepared and thinking in terms of possibilities. This is VCU's 10th NCAA Tournament appearance but they've never been to the "Final Four". They'd never even played in the "Sweet 16" before and had only made it to the 2nd round once in the history of their institution.

Now, contrast that with The University of Kansas and you'll see why the Jayhawks were expected to win by just showing up. Kansas has 39 NCAA Tournament appearances, with 26 "Sweet 16" appearances, 13 "Final Four" appearances, and 5 National Titles, backed by 53 Conference Titles. They have 5 players that were picked in the 2008 NBA draft, with a total of 12 currently playing in the NBA, with a history of 74 All-Time NBA Draft Picks.

To date they have had 25 NBA 1st Round Draft Picks, 16 1st Team All-Americans, 31 McDonalds All-Americans, and 38 All-Americans. This basketball Powerhouse has 50 years of basketball tradition behind it with 6 straight Big-12 Titles, 59 straight Home Wins, and 631 consecutive games on television. They've also recently completed their $55 Million dollar Men's basketball Clubhouse and Locker Room.

As I read all of this, I wasn't sure that I wasn't reading about the Los Angeles Lakers or one of the other professional franchises.

How was VCU, invited to the NCAA Tournament as an "At-Large Berth Team" supposed to compete with Kansas' 50 years of basketball history?

Again, it's evident that they were prepared and THINKING IN TERMS OF POSSIBILITIES! This was so obvious in their play and the interviews after the games. Some of the published, tell-tale statements noted were;

  • "It's a matter of being locked in and communicating on the defensive end. When we do that, we truly believe we can guard anyone in the country," Rozzell said.
  •  "This was a goal we talked about during our summer workouts," senior Brandon Rozzell said. "I'm just happy to have accomplished it with my best friends. We're not done yet though."
  • "We were really focused on executing our game plan on the defensive end," Burgess said. "It doesn't matter if your shots or falling or not, if you're playing good defensive you're always going to be in games."
  • "These are my brothers and playing with these guys is something that I don't want to end," Rozzell said. "We don't care who the star player is on a given night, we just want to win."
  • "It's amazing what a team can accomplish when nobody cares who gets the credit," Head Coach Shaka Smart said. "Our guys have played with that in mind over these last couple of weeks. Every night it's a different guy stepping up."

What powerful, emotional displays of "HOW TO GET AND KEEP THAT WINNING FEELING"!

What about you and me in our daily lives and that which we wish to accomplish? Are the same Sports Psychology principles applicable towards our achieving a desired result? ABSOLUTELY!!!

The process that we can us in obtaining desired results in our lives is no different than that which powerhouse universities or sports franchises utilize. The only difference in strategy is that they have million dollar budgets to hire teams of professionals to lead the effort in getting the results that they desire. The process is still the same!

Regardless of our past performance or results, we must start with a new goal in mind, re-frame our thinking to shake-off our past inadequacies and again think in terms of possibilities.

Below I've included some "Key Ideas" from "The New Psycho-Cybernetics" that are included in my latest project, "TRANSCENDING PTSD". Please watch for its release in the next month.



Keys to Getting and
Keeping That Winning Feeling

WE MUST THINK IN TERMS OF POSSIBILITIES: To be successful, we must have a goal that passionately fires-up our imagination. This goal must be imagined so clearly that it becomes real to our brains and nervous systems. Then we must think about it only in terms of possibilities, casting aside any doubt, worry or fear that might seep in. We rationally work through the negative thoughts, replacing them with more wholesome, positive, desirable images and memories that evoke feelings of greater joy, passion and promise.


WE MUST BUILD SUCCESS PATTERNS INTO OUR SUBCONSCIOUS MINDS: We've all experienced success at some level, that's our starting point in succeeding again. Success is built upon success; let's recall how success felt, what emotions did it evoke, what actions were we involved in? Our process of thinking, remembering, and imaging is mapped in our brains; this mapping is a memory storage process whereby everything we think, learn, remember and imagine stored for recall....all of our previous patterns of success are stored there, waiting to be recalled and re-applied.



WE MUST CULTIVATE OUR FAITH AND COURAGE: To be successful, we must define our most desirable outcome, and then with tenacity we keep one determined corner of our minds open to the possibility that this thing will work as planned. The more vividly we picture our success the greater our faith becomes and the more courage we develop. The gradual doses of faith and optimism that we start with are enough to get the ball rolling as we build our vision and momentum.



WE MUST CHANGE THE NEGATIVE SELF-TALK: To be successful, we must change the negative self-talk, substituting positive affirmations that evoke strength, resolve, commitment and knowing. "I AM THE KIND OF PERSON WHO...." This affirmation is written down and repeated until it becomes our personal mantra. It must become our automatic response to any doubt that might tempt us. It must flow from our being with grace and ease.








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