• John Panepinto

Mindset Preparation - How To Mentally Prime Yourself For Success In Any Situation

Updated: Dec 23, 2020

michael jordan mindset focus

Every great performance requires that you set the stage beforehand. This is what makes mindset preparation, and the habit of mentally priming yourself for success in certain situations a must do for those who aspire to achieve great things.

Life is complex – on a day to day basis we manage a variety of different pillars that are important to us: our careers, our relationships, our health, the list goes on and on.

One moment you must go from being a relentless action-taker working on your hustle (whatever it may be), and the next moment you must be spending time with your loved ones, or spending time improving yourself.

Each area of our lives requires a different mindset in order to be truly great at them.

We often underestimate the role of mindset.

Have you ever tried working while you are in a party/having fun mindset? How did that go?

On the flip-side, have you ever tried going to a party while you are in a hustle/work/grind mindset?

The results aren’t pretty. You also lose out on the opportunity to perform to the best of your abilities and maximize these situations for what they are.

Why is this?

It’s because your mindset isn’t aligned and optimized with each context.

Today I am going to teach you how to deliberately shift in and out of particular mindsets to optimize your performance in the areas that matter most to you.

For those of you looking to optimize multiple areas of your life - this is essential.

Situations You'll Want To Prime Your Mind For:

poker big event

Your mindset and belief systems quite literally will make or break you.

Your mind can be your greatest asset and push you to accomplish things most people can only dream of, or it could be your biggest limitation and hold you back from the results you deserve.

It can be the difference between crushing your dream job interview, or blowing it.

It can be the difference between having a great work-out where you push your limits and grow, or one that is lacklustre, unfocused, and doesn't help you grow.

Really, at the root of it – your mindset preparation will be the difference between performing to the highest of your ability in a given area, or not performing to the best of your ability.

Preparation is key.

Just as you would study for a test – you need to prime your mind before important situations.

Now – there is not enough time in the day to prepare your mind for each and every situation.

This is why you should pick certain areas that are most important to you – and prepare for those.

The three fundamental areas you should always prep your mind for.

1. Prior to Working on Your Purpose / Major Goals

You want to be performing to the best of your abilities when pursuing your purpose and major goals.

You want to be on your A-Game – whether it be: putting out the best possible content, crushing your numbers, scoring as many points, making the best possible song, no matter what your purpose/passion is – you really just want to perform to the best of your abilities with consistency.

In order to do so - you need to mentally prime yourself. You need to get into the zone.

2. Prior to Switching from "Work-Mode" to "Having Fun/Reward Time"

After a long day of work, hustle, or self-improvement - you're going to need to 'turn off' that switch before you get into your reward time for the day.

You need to get your mind off of work; otherwise your mind will be racing all day long - in turn, a transition of mindset is usually required.

After a long day of working you need some time to unwind and have fun.

Without switching into this mindset, you won't be able to truly be present and your mind will likely remain on work/purpose matters - which isn’t good for you, or the loved ones you want to spend your time with.

You want to be able to truly enjoy these moments with your friends, family or even just yourself– the goal here is to de-stress, get your mind off of work, and back into the moment.

In order to do so - again, you need to mentally prime yourself for this transition.

3. Prior to Important Events

The interview for the job of your dreams, an important networking event, a key performance or presentation, the list goes on.

There will be many one-off, critical moments that are important to you. Perhaps a family wedding, a job interview, a networking event – these are all important events that you will want to be in the right frame of mind for as well.

You don't want your mind wandering, not present, and not focusing on the right things for these instances - so a mental priming routine will usually be required here too.

Objectives of a Mindset Prep Routine:

The ultimate goal of a mindset prep routine is to get you into a mindset that will work in your favour in your next undertaking.

In order to do this, a mindset preparation routine will accomplish five things for you:

1. Bring you to the present moment

2. Reduce stress & get you thinking logically (rather than emotionally)

3. Enhance your focus and understanding of the task at hand

4. Get you excited (rather than fearful) for the task

5. Get your momentum rolling

Essential Practise #1 – Meditation (10-15 min)

meditation prime your mind

The very first thing you want to do is mediate. Meditation is by far one of the best ways to bring yourself to the present moment.

Think of this as giving yourself a clean slate for the task at hand.

Meditation will enable you to stop worrying about the past, and stop stressing about the future – instead making you focus on what matters most and the only thing we truly can control, the present moment.

By taking control and focusing purely on your breathing (rather than your thoughts) – you will be able to cultivate mindfulness, reduce stress, and be cool, calm and collected in your future tasks.

Meditate for 10-15 minutes in peace and quiet without any interruptions or distractions.

Meditation will:

- Bring you to the present moment

- Reduce stress

- Enable you to think logically rather than emotionally

Essential Practise #2 – Journal Routine

journal prime your mind

Now that you are present, cool, calm and collected – it is time to understand and focus on the task at hand, and also recognize the key success factors relating to it.

Grab your journal and identify the following:

- Your desired outcome for the upcoming task at hand

The purpose of this: to identify the destination that would satisfy you

- Three key success factors you must focus in on to be reach your desired outcome

The purpose of this: lets you focus in on the ‘how’ of getting to your desired outcome

- Three reasons ‘why’ you will be successful

The purpose of this: builds confidence, stimulates your belief in yourself

This journal routine will do three things:

1. Identify your destination

2. Identify the key success factors you should focus on to get to your destination

3. Build your confidence and belief in yourself

Essential Practise #3 – Music or Motivation

music motivation prime your mind

You are now present, have a good understanding of the task at hand, what it takes to get there, and have reminded yourself of why you should believe in yourself – now it is time to get in the mood and sway your nerves in the right direction; towards excitement over fear.

Rather than letting your nerves make you fearful – you want them to make you excited.

Two methods for this work very well – Music or Motivation.


  • Listen to music that gets you in the appropriate mood for what task you will be accomplishing.

  • If you are going to the gym, listen to music that pumps you up and makes you want to hit the gym.

  • If you are going to work on your purpose, listen to music that makes you hungry and want to embrace having guts, grit, and courage.


  • Listen to podcasts or YouTube videos that trigger motivation for you in the specific area you are tackling. Tony Robbins or Gary Vaynerchuk, are probably two of the most popular ones for work/purpose contexts – but there are a ton of other good finds out there too, preferably you want to find one in your field.

These will get your mind right, get you thinking about your field, and actually provide you with some learnings and motivation prior to tackling your objective.

The goal of this stage is to get excited rather than fearful.

Excitement will work in your favour, fear will work against you. So sway things in your favour.

Essential Practise #4 – Get Some Quick Wins

quick wins

Your mindset is 75% there at this point – now you just need to get your momentum rolling.

Momentum is very much like a snow-ball – it can take a while to get rolling, but once it gets rolling, its hard to stop!

Ever notice how the first 5 minutes of an interview will have you full of nerves, but 30 minutes in and all of a sudden you’re far more comfortable and relaxed then when you initially came in?

That’s because of momentum. You got rolling.

So the final step is to get some quick wins so that you can cultivate this momentum.

If you are doing something social – start speaking to everyone on your way to your destination; from the uber driver, to the doorman, to the store clerk; these will warm you up much quicker and get your momentum rolling by the time you reach the task at hand.

If you are going to the gym –do some light reps, and warm up your body (this is a given - you are probably already doing this, but the philosophy applies to all other contexts).

If you are beginning work on your purpose / passion –practise your craft in a lighter manner to get warmed up.

The Bottom Line:

Mindset prep is all about maximizing your performance and capabilities in the situations that matter most to you.

You want to have your mind work in your favour, and in such a way that you get the most out of your efforts.

Mindset prep will enable you to switch from one focus area into another, and perform to the highest of your abilities in each.

The next time you work on your purpose, prepare to have fun, or go to a critical event – try deliberately preparing your mind through this routine, and enjoy the amplified results!

Now go get after it!

My Challenge To You:

The next time you have an important event that you want to excel in – prepare your mind using the following 25 minute routine:

  • Meditate, focus on breathing rather than thinking (10 mins)

  • Journal (desired outcome? 3 key success factors? 3 reasons to believe in yourself?): 5 min

  • Listen to Music or a Motivational Video to get yourself in the mood: 5 mins

  • Get Some Quick Wins to get your momentum rolling: 5 mins