My Secret Tool For Reaching A Peak Mindset

One of the most influential books I have read that has helped me improve my business and my life in general has been Psycho Cybernetics by Maxwell Maltz.

I’ve been on a number of interviews where I have been asked the question if I could recommend only 1 book, what would it be? This is often the first book that comes to mind.

There is an exercise in the very first chapter of Psycho Cybernetics that basically states the following (I’m paraphrasing here)…

Start a scrapbook of people past or present who demonstrate the characteristics and achievements you aspire to in your own life. Select a different person for each major characteristic. Become an expert in these people’s lives by studying them. Learn how they think and operate so you can model it for your life.

I also remember a similar suggestion in the book Think and Grow Rich.

For a number of years now, I have already *kind of* done this exercise through the various motivational/self development books and programs I’ve studied. But this specific exercise was amazing for me!

Here is how I chose to implement it…

1. Create a mind map of people who have a serious impact on me.
2. Highlight the elements of their personality/mindset that I want for my life.
3. Use the mindmap as a daily reminder to help me reach peak mindset.
4. Watch youtube videos, read books and listen to interviews of people from my mindmap on a daily basis

Here is a paper version I scanned (I also have a large whiteboard version on my wall in my office):


If there are days where I feel my confidence dipping and I need a boost, I will look at my peak mindset map and think about Muhammad Ali. I may take 15-20 minutes out of my busy day to watch some old Ali videos on Youtube. I see his passion and abundance of self confidence and belief and it impacts me. It helps me move back up the confidence scale.

NOW… do it for yourself

I am providing you with a blank template you can print out and use it for yourself. I built it using a Mindmap tool so you can easily reproduce this digitally if you choose.


It will have a dramatic positive impact on your life.

And… once you do it once, you will likely want to create version 2, 3, 4 and so on!


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25 Responses to My Secret Tool For Reaching A Peak Mindset

  1. Vivian July 10, 2013 at 11:45 am #

    Hey Justin……I really think this blog is spot on! I have informally done what you have mentioned for years, but never mapped it out quite like you have. Learning to stay positive through adversity or just when you start to slack off is so important in moving towards your goals !
    Thanks again for sharing another powerful morsel of wisdom.
    I’m sorry I will be missing you at Dennis’s event this year, I’m sure you will be awesome as will the entire event.

    • Justin Popovic July 10, 2013 at 11:49 am #

      Hey Vivian
      Thanks so much for the kind words. That’s cool that you have done something similar. I know when you study self improvement books or read biographies of exceptional people, it kind of makes you think/behave like them… at least for a while. This is my method for doing this on purpose… on an ongoing basis. I have really got a lot of benefit from it! Thanks for your comments 🙂

  2. Ann Mullen July 10, 2013 at 11:59 am #

    I am not too personality-focused. I do have some television character team leaders that I like to think about what they do for their teams. I guess I know them better than anyone else except Jesus and I don’t know him as well as I would like. I have made a copy of this mindset thing and will think about it.

    Ann Mullen recently posted..Senior Care: Insomnia

  3. Jon Barry @ Jon Barry's Let's Talk... July 10, 2013 at 12:10 pm #

    Hi Justin

    Yep, that book is great, but looks like I need to read it again!

    Thanks for the tip, and perhaps I have moved forward in my personal development now, that this idea sounds like one I should do….

    It was a while since reading it, and we should make sure we do re-read books…. as we develop we will absorb more, or bwe in a better position to implement strategies taught,

    Going back to to the email that lead me here today, I would love to add to the list…..

    However, first, let’s cover a thing I have to deal with….

    My wife sees me watching kid’s films…. Buys them. watches over and over…..


    A/ they are not kid’s films. They are CGI animation masterpieces…Anyone who has been around, or watched video animation going right back will be on board with me there….. (If you have heard of a Silicon Graphics: Indigo you will be on page with me – even f that dates this a little!)

    They workmanship and detail they can add now is amazing….

    ALSO, they stories tend to be good, positive, where someone (or rat) overcoming adversity somehow….

    Someone (or dog) going from shy to a leader!

    I am sure we did not have stories here in the UK that dealt with things like this when i was a kid….. (yes we had disney films, but aren’t films more positive now than they were….. (wow) say 38 years ago…..?

    Going to cartoons, they did teach me you can drop a piano on a cat and it will just be a little dazed….. – so that is positive, right?

    So, similar films I love….


    Flushed Away!

    Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within (Which i ONLY bought because I read about the tech going into the anims – but love the film for the content too)

    Toy Story – starts as competitors, and ending as friends…. Team – Together EveryOne achieves More….

    Thanks for the post, and the reminders!

    Posted By Jon Barry of

    Jon Barry @ Jon Barry’s Let’s Talk… recently posted..The Importance of June 24th

    • Justin Popovic July 10, 2013 at 12:29 pm #

      Hey Jon. Glad you liked the idea! It is a great way to get back into the Psycho Cybernetics material. I have probably gone through that book 20 times now!
      As for your comments about the animated movies. I also loved the Movie Up! It helps that my kids love it too! They really are more than just cartoons. It is unbelievable what some of these production companies have been able to accomplish between great story telling and visual artistry. Its so fun to see! Thanks for your great comment.

  4. Mike Huffman July 10, 2013 at 12:14 pm #

    Man, once again, Popovic kills it!! You know I’m the type of guy that needs an extra push sometime and this is JUST the type of thing that gets me going. Good luck on stage this weekend dude, you’re gonna further solidify yourself as the expert you are, i know it.

    Get em buddy

    • Justin Popovic July 10, 2013 at 12:30 pm #

      Hey dude thanks for the input. Glad you liked this exercise! I’m sure you’ll find no shortage of people to inspire you for your list. Make sure you share it with me 🙂

  5. Wendy July 10, 2013 at 12:56 pm #

    Hey, Justin. Thanks for sharing this. I am going to try it. I am perplexed, though. NOT offended, mind you, just perplexed. Not one female on your list. There certainly doesn’t need to be, just surprised not to see a balance. I am not familiar with CT Fletcher, so had to google him. Thanks for introducing me to someone new! One day, I will make your list 🙂 Until then, keep being great.
    Infinite love + gratitude,

    • Justin Popovic July 10, 2013 at 1:16 pm #

      Hey Wendy
      Glad you’re going to give it a shot. And GREAT question. The example I posted today was a new one I literally made for the purpose of this blog post so I just happened to pick the people who were at the top of mind. I have a number of versions of this exercise I have done with dozens of people on my overall list. Females included 🙂

      Some of the women on my list:

      Amy Purdy (not as famous but this talk was amazing
      Arlene Dickinson
      Lisa Nichols (got a chance to meet her in person)
      Rosa Parks
      Cassie Campbell
      Louise Hay

      Thanks 🙂

  6. Kater July 10, 2013 at 2:50 pm #

    Hey Justin

    Love the concept and the drawing. Thanks for turning me on to Psycho Cybernetics. I still listen to each volume over and over. The 21 day routine and ASM are my favorite sections.
    Kater recently posted..How to Use Filezilla to FTP Files

    • Justin Popovic July 10, 2013 at 3:08 pm #

      Hey Kate… that’s awesome. Psycho Cybernetics is packed full of inspiring lessons. The 21 day idea is amazing. Glad you like my little spin on it here today 😀

  7. Mark July 10, 2013 at 10:48 pm #

    Hey Justin,

    I remember hearing about psycho-cybernetics and how you can’t get results unless you change your mindset – I think Maxwell analysed those who lost weight and those who kept it off with self esteem issues being at the root. I admit I have not read the book as of yet. But I will add it to my list. Think and Grow rich would be my no 1 inspiration.

    Unfortunately, I am not the most persistent person. That is where I definitely need to work on. I found I get inspired by others so this might just be the trick!

    • Justin Popovic July 11, 2013 at 11:49 am #

      Hey Mark

      TAGR is another classic. I think the reason I prefer Psycho C is because of the practical exercises that you can use… and in my case adapt to make sense for your life/style. I’d love to hear how this works out for you. Keep me posted.

  8. Dan Tredo July 11, 2013 at 11:16 am #


    I read Psycho-Cyberntics after you recommended it to me earlier this year. Whats funny is I lived in England for 3 months this year and that was the only book I took with me so I read it constantly for 90 days. It radically changed me in the sense of how I try to use my imagination to picture end results and to ‘feel’ what it would feel like if I already became the picture in my mind. Very powerful stuff and thank you for recommending it.

    This peak performance exercise sounds like another great suggestion. Since I’m using mind maps already for all my projects, I plan on starting one as soon as I get back to Colorado. It sounds like a lot of fun too – especially if you begin finding youtube videos and linking them right into the mindmap for each person.

    Thanks for another GREAT suggestion!
    Dan Tredo

    • Justin Popovic July 11, 2013 at 11:51 am #

      Hey Dan
      Wow your only book!?! I know that many people have read that book over and over again and saw/learned something new every single time. Sounds like its working the same way for you. Awesome idea about linking the youtube videos to the mindmap. I’ve been listing my videos in Evernote but that makes it even eaiser!!! Nice one. I’d love to see some of the people you choose for your map

  9. John Paduchak July 11, 2013 at 2:56 pm #

    Hey Justin,

    I’ve also done this informally for many years but i really like the mindmap idea. You’ve also convinced me that it’s time to dig out my copy of psycho cybernetics for a re-read. It is a fantastic book and really one of those basics that you go back to over and over again like “Think and Grow Rich”, I also really like Jack Canfield’s “The Success Principles”

    Finding people with the traits you want to model is a great way to make quantum leaps toward becoming your ideal you. Great stuff keep it coming.
    John Paduchak recently posted..Tips And Advice On Designing Your Website

  10. Sue | London Life Coach July 12, 2013 at 7:44 am #

    Hi Justin. I’ve heard about mind mapping before and how it can help to get to your goal. Thanks for mentioning Psycho Cybernetics by Maxwell Maltz, now I’m very much interested. Gotta get a copy asap. Thanks!

  11. Cheryl Kissell July 12, 2013 at 11:09 pm #

    Hi Justin…I know you will be one of the favorites at the Earn1KADay seminar because you just vibrate at such a hgh level. I haven’t read Psycho Cybernetics, but it’s at the top of my read list now. I have always focused on “Science of Getting Rich” (thoughts are THINGS) and Proctor’s “You were born Rich” (in resources).

    I have a large whiteboard, too…so will probably need to get another for this mindmap…what a super concept…because when I get asked who I admire, I’m always stuck because noone is perfect…but by breaking it down into characteristics…wow…you got me! I also love the idea of finding the inspiration using you tube because most have something out there…another brilliant spin.

    You know…you probably should create a product around “Psycho Cybernetics” as I’ll bet the book has a lot of fans…and they probably never thought about it the way you have.

    Thanks for being so transparent and open in your sharing…Love It! All my best to you and yours!
    Cheryl Kissell recently posted..The Supreme’s ruling on National Healthcare JUST screwed Small Business

  12. Susie Lampman August 24, 2013 at 1:37 pm #

    Psycho Cybernetics, you say? I’m now adding it to my to-buy list. Need to pump up my life and my business stat!
    Susie Lampman recently

  13. Regina October 1, 2013 at 7:00 pm #

    This couldn’t be a perfect time to run up on this blog post! I’m normally a very positive, uplifting and encouraging person however, there are times I need to stimulate my mind and dump the negativity that will sometimes creep in. Your suggestion of creating this mindset is definitely something I’m going to do and post on my office wall to remind me of what I know to be true and that is, I’m destined for greatness! Thanks!
    Regina recently posted..Build a Targeted List

  14. Cheryl Kissell October 2, 2013 at 6:05 pm #

    Hi Justin…Wow…I need to dig that book out…I know I have it somewhere. I have always used “The Science of Getting Rich”, by Wattles as my bible. I even have it on my desktop as I read it every month to remind myself. I know Proctor is a huge fan of “Think and Grow Rich” because “he did it”.

    I also just put your Motivation Mix on my desktop…always good to have that in the background for easy playing. Thanks…can’t wait to open the 1st one as you have been an inspiration for me.

    Always my best regards to you and yours!
    Cheryl Kissell recently posted..The Supreme’s ruling on National Healthcare JUST screwed Small Business

    • Justin Popovic October 4, 2013 at 4:06 pm #

      That’s awesome thanks Cheryl. I followed Bob Proctor quite a bit a few years ago and recently went through his stuff again. Always great insights! Hope you enjoy the mixtapes 😀

  15. David Lynch November 6, 2013 at 4:10 pm #

    Aaaaw, man! No Bruce Lee??? How messed up are you? LOL
    David Lynch recently posted..Productivity Rules To Live By: The 33 Commandments

    • Justin Popovic November 6, 2013 at 4:32 pm #

      LOL… I could do another 10 of these and still have people left off. This was a group of people I was inspired by at the time 🙂

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