Archive for the the art of not thinking Category

The Art of Not Thinking

Posted in Motivational, the art of not thinking with tags , , , , , on August 21, 2014 by Dustin Hillis


How I Discovered the Art of Not Thinking

How I Discovered the Art of Not Thinking


What is it that holds people back from reaching their true success and achieving that next level in their careers and/or personal lives?  What is that one thing—that lack of confidence—that causes us to give in, quit and stop at the moment where we could instead reach that next level of success?


That thing, that event, is called the Confidence Anchor.  There are probably events that have happened throughout your life where you have pushed through that barrier and you didn’t even realize it.  For me, the best example of this occurred during a wrestling match my junior year of high school.



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Focus Is Power

Posted in dustin hillis, the art of not thinking with tags , , , , on June 3, 2013 by Dustin Hillis

Focus Is Power

Problem: We think when we should be acting, and we relax when we should be thinking. 

I recently was in Ohio working with one of our Southwestern Consulting™ coaches named Karla.  Karla’s husband is a farmer.  We were discussing how during the harvest season her husband is absolutely focused on harvesting their crops and nothing else.

In business and life, so many people worry about “balance”.

Thinking of life as seasons helps provide focus.  Focus is power.  Focus literally is power.  You can focus the light of the sun and create fire.  You can focus the pressure of water and cut through steel.  How focused are you?

focus is power

focus is power

As I write this, there are thousands of college students in a “Harvest Season” out selling books.  There are many seasonal professions out there.  Great American is one of our Southwestern sister companies and their harvest season is from August- November.  Some industries have a harvest season at the end of every month. When is your “harvest season”?

Here are the rules of engagement to focus during a harvest season to maximize your results:

  • Act; don’t think
  • Literally move fast
  • Plan, study and prepare during “non-income producing activity time”
  • Make quick decisions – be  the world’s most decisive problem solver
  • Work harder, longer and smarter than you ever have in your life
  • Do not waste one single second
  • Have fun – take what you do serious, and yourself lightly
nate vogel


My good friend Nate Vogel named his organization “Red Line” representing when you push a car to its maximum speed the RPM gauge will cross the red line. I love this analogy of “red lining” because so few have ever experienced what it feels like to truly go all out and “red line”.  I feel the reason people don’t go all in and “red line” is fear.  Whether it’s the fear of losing, the fear of rejection, the fear of success, or the fear of (insert your fear)… fear is the greatest paralyzer of focus.

Ask Yourself These 3 Questions:

1.  When is your Harvest Season?

2.  How many times in your life have you “red lined”?

3.  Are you willing to step up to the challenge and try “red lining” during your Harvest Season?


You can do this. Go all in.  Don’t hold back.  Give 100% every day, every hour, every minute.

Focus is power.


If you need help maintaining your focus, you might need a coach.  Complete this form for more information about getting a coach that is right for you:

5 Types Of Decision Making

Posted in dustin hillis, the art of not thinking with tags , , , on November 28, 2012 by Dustin Hillis

5 Types of Decision Making

How to make a decision is simple, but actually keeping your decision-making process simple is not easy.  Decisions are made every day.  Some decisions are big decisions, some are small. Some decisions will change the trajectory of your day, while others will change the trajectory of your life. With so many decisions to make, how do we make sure we’re making the right decision?

Decision Making

Decision Making

I’ll never forget the day I truly made the decision that I was going to ask my now wife Kyah to marry me.  I was in the library of the University of Tennessee on the phone with a jewelry salesperson from San Francisco and she told me “once you put this deposit down, it is non-refundable”, so needless to say I was a little nervous.  But I made the decision, I put the deposit down on a ring, and from that point forward there was no looking back.   I was going to marry Kyah!   Now 7 years later, we have a beautiful baby girl named Haven and life is good.  But what if I had not made that decision?  Life would be much different.

The media have programmed all of us to make decisions.  If we don’t take the time to make logical or principle-based decisions, we all will fall into the decision-making process other people want us to follow.

Are you making an impulsive or emotional decision, or are you making logical principle-based decisions.

Sun Sui says in his book The Art of War that one of the most important things someone needs to master to be an effective decision maker in battle is to “know thyself”.   If you know your values, have written down goals and understand the principles in which you believe, then making quick and decisive decisions should be easy.  However, if you don’t have goals, don’t understand what your values are and don’t live a principle-based life, then you will be easily persuaded and will continue making emotional and impulsive decisions the rest of your life.


There are 5 different ways someone can make a decision:

  1. Impulsive Decision Making
  2. Emotional Decision Making
  3. Group-Think Decision Making
  4. Logical Decision Making
  5. Principle-Based Decision Making


Impulsive Decision Making:

According to researchers at UC Berkley, people make decisions based on the first option they see.  For example, if they are looking for a pack of gum, they will simply just pick the first one they see.  Hopefully when we are making big decisions, impulsiveness is not how we are making our decisions.  If I had made a spontaneous decision about who to marry based on the first girl I was attracted to, I would have married my childhood girlfriend Amy who I haven’t seen in 25 years.


Emotional Decision Making:

Humans are creatures of emotions.  We love drama, action, a love story and cheering for the underdog.  A new science was developed back in the 1950’s called Nauru-Associative Programming that changed the way all marketers in the world viewed marketing.  Through NLP (Neuro-Linguistic Programming) or NAP (Neuro-Associative Programming) marketers and the media figured out how to control us using both impulse buying and emotional decision making together.  In using NLP and NAP, you first show the consumer something that makes them emotional and feeling good – it could be a couple on a beach, a fun-loving puppy dog, a famous athlete, or the most popular is an attractive female.  Next, you flash your product or logo after emotionally charging the consumer.  Then, you finish the commercial with the good feeling emotional distracter.  The first company to use NLP in a commercial was Pepsi in the 1990’s.  Pepsi paid Michael Jackson a large sum of money to simply do the moonwalk across the stage for its commercial.  What’s even more ironic is that Michael Jackson couldn’t even drink Pepsi or anything caffeinated for religious reasons, or even be seen holding the product!  Pepsi didn’t care.  The marketers knew that all they needed was his image of doing the moonwalk and then flash the logo of Pepsi and their sales would increase.  And increase they did.  After that commercial, Pepsi’s sales skyrocketed, helping them go from 15% to over a 30% market share in a matter of a few months!

We don’t realize it, but we are programmed to make decisions every single day with NAP.


Group-Think Decision Making:

Think of the last time you made a decision to do something or buy something simply from the fact that someone you know made a similar decision.  I’m willing to bet it was at least several times in the last month, if not in the last 24 hours!

Group Think actually has its advantages.  It takes much less effort to make a decision based off someone else versus having to actually do the research and think for ourselves!

Group Think can also be dangerous.  For example, a survey was done testing if people would help someone on a crowded street who seemed to be severely injured.  When there were more than ten other people around the individual in need of help the odds of someone stopping to help decreased significantly. When asked why they didn’t stop to help, they replied, “I thought someone else was going to stop and help.”  Yikes!  That’s scary!

The media uses Group Think all the time!  Pay attention to the Presidential elections.  The media always tries to sway America on who to vote for by showing popularity polls and forecast of who’s going to win.  They want to paralyze people into just going with their opinion instead of actually doing the research on their own and making a logical or principle-based decision.   After all, why should we vote for someone who the media says is going to lose anyway?


Logical Decision Making:

Logical Decision Making is a good thing to do.  It helps make sure you’re not making a mistake and probably most the time a logical decision is a right decision.

The problem with Logical Decision Making is it takes way too long.  People who make a majority of their decisions based on a Logical Decision Making process often miss great opportunities, due to over-analyzing the facts, gathering opinions, looking into the history of what they are making a decision about and calculating into the future the consequences versus benefits of making the decision.


Principle-Based Decision Making:

People will let you down, but you can count on true principles.  Here is an easy way to understand what your principles are.  On a sheet of paper make a list of the top 10 things you believe to be true about life.  For example, if you truly believe it’s important to live a life that is debt free and you know that you can get caught up abusing credit and credit cards, then write down this principle for yourself, “if you cannot pay cash for something, you don’t buy it.”  On the other side of that, you might be someone who manages money well, understand how to leverage money, and you’re not stressed by the thought of using your credit to make more money when you manage it well.  You might write down a principle that says, “I let my money work for me, and I make decisions that maximize each opportunity.”  Regardless of your principles, as long as you have them written down and solidified in your mind, then you can make decisions with peace of mind.


Being a quick and decisive decision maker can help you advance your career, improve your personal family life and even save your life.  It’s worth taking the time to actually think about what kind of decision maker you are.  That way, when the pressure comes, you can be fearless in the moment and not hesitate when you make your decision.  Knowing sometimes you will make the wrong decision, but at the same time knowing that because you are making principle-based decisions, most of the time you will be making the right decision for you.

Mind Over Matter

Posted in dustin hillis, Leadership Coaching, Sales Coaching, the art of not thinking with tags , , , , on May 10, 2012 by Dustin Hillis
Mind Over Matter

Mind Over Matter

Soldiers in war can go days with no food and little water.  In Seal Team Six, Howard E. Wasdin describes Navy Seals in combat who have been shot multiple times, missing limbs and still keep moving and fighting.  The human mind and body are two of the most extraordinarily resilient things on earth. Yet the body will only endure what the mind can conceive is possible.

Seal Team Six

Mind Over Matter

How do you condition your mind to conceive that anything is possible?

Step 1: Create an Unlimited Belief Environment

It is mind-boggling how naturally humans limit themselves!  At what point do we start thinking “that’s not possible”?  Social scientists say that between the ages of 12-15 children form their sense of “belonging”.  I personally think that society conditions kids to stop believing that their wildest dreams are possible so that they can be “normal”.  I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again… normal is boring.  As I write this, my baby daughter Haven is 9 months old. One of my prayers for her is that she is abnormal. I want her to be special, think outside of the box, have humongous dreams and be passionately persistent in pursuing them.  I want her to make a difference in the world.  I want other people to look at her and say “something’s different about that one. She just thinks anything is possible.”  One of the only rules I’m going to have for Haven is that she cannot spend time with other kids who make fun of her, tell her that her dreams are silly, or in any way are negative.

Negativity breeds negativity.  Sadly, most people don’t want other people to succeed beyond what they have succeeded.  People are innately programmed to be socially competitive.  People want you to believe that being “normal” and mediocre is better than being “abnormal” and successful.   If you want to break loose of this crazy conundrum of society… make a decision to stop spending time with people who are negative, make fun of you, hold you back and don’t want to see you succeed.  You will be as successful as your five best friends. You must surround yourself with people who have unlimited belief, people who only lift you up and encourage you, and people who have your best interest in mind and want to see you succeed.  You have to create an “Unlimited Belief Environment” in order for you to begin to shift the way that you think.

Step 2: Have Faith in a Confidence Anchor

Once you’ve created the proper environment for conditioning yourself to believe anything is possible, next you must find something bigger than yourself in which to anchor your confidenceFaith is the number one confidence anchor in the world.  I’m personally a Christian and believe that through belief in Jesus Christ anything is possible.  Steve Jobs was a Buddhist who believed he was on a mission to change the world, the Hindu leader Mahatma Gandhi believed he had to be the change he wanted to see in the world, and George Washington had faith in the ideal that America had to be a free Nation.  Some people build their faith in a mission, an ideal, a leader, Buddha, the universe, a tree, etc.  Whatever your beliefs are you need to have faith in something bigger than yourself, in order to accomplish things that are greater than you.

I personally believe that God has given us all certain gifts and talents that are special.  And that our true calling in life is to use the gifts that God has given us to the fullest extent every day to make a difference in the world around us. 

Step 3: Stop Thinking About Yourself

It’s hard to be nervous when your mind is on service.  The reason people are so limited in what they think is possible is simply that they don’t want to look bad.  People are so self consumed it’s crazy.  We are all so concerned about how we look, what other people think about us, being perceived as smart/not looking dumb that we are willing to forgo any kind of success that we might have experienced due to our self consumed need to look cool.

Cool Card

Joe Cool

I’ll never forget my first day in “sales school” at The Southwestern Company where everyone in my group gathered around in a circle and did an exercise where we “tore up our cool cards”.  This might have been one of the most valuable life lessons that Southwestern taught me.  College students are a magnified version of what the rest of society is truly thinking. The exercise was so powerful because it exposed how their need to look cool drives most of their decisions.  Selling books door-to-door for the summer is by most college students’ definition “not cool”.  However, the experience of pretending to literally tear up a “cool card” which symbolizes your freedom to be a dork, be excited about life, have big dreams, or in other words be yourself is one of the most liberating experiences ever!

Now it’s your turn. Take out your “cool card” and say out aloud “I will no longer make decisions based on what other people think.  I do not care how I look, how I sound, or if people think I’m cool.  All I care about doing is setting high goals that make a difference in the world, always doing the right thing and having fun while doing it.”  And then tear up your cool card!
Once you have mastered these 3 steps:  Creating the Unlimited Belief Environment, Have Faith in a Confidence Anchor, and Stop Thinking About Yourself, you will start seeing your paradigms shift.  Your old limiting thoughts will start to melt away.  Your new empowering beliefs will start to fill your head.

Then one day without realizing it someone will ask you, “how do you stay so positive and motivated all year long?” and you will have transcended the world of limiting belief to the brave new arena of operating with your mind over matter.

The Daily Dozen

Posted in Motivational, southwestern company, the art of not thinking with tags , , , on April 6, 2011 by Dustin Hillis

Bob Watral, one of our Top Producer’s Edge coaching clients, was describing how busy he always is and that sometimes he loses sight of what is important. Bob then asked me an excellent question; he said “What are the top 12 things I need to be focusing on everyday?”
Bob agreed that people spend to much time focused on the wrong things… their time is consumed with non-income producing activity.

What we came up with to solve this dilemma is called “The Daily Dozen”. This is a list of a dozen activities to focus on every day to insure yourself a successful day:

1 – Have fun / a great attitude every day.
2 – Focus on income producing activities (Hit my Critical Success Factors “CSF” #s).
3 – Work hard and smart. Be efficient and effective. Cold call and then ask for, get, and work referrals.
4 – Work systematically. Create a schedule allocating every minute of every day. Live and die by my schedule.
5 – Only care about doing what is right and necessary, don’t worry about who is right.
6 – Focus on activities, not results.
7 – Cultivate an environment of trust and likability so that people will want to refer me to their friends.
8 – All that matters is what I do, not what I know. Execute the things I know I need to do.
9 – Do the ordinary things extraordinarily well.
10 – Form the habit of doing those things daily that unsuccessful people don’t like to do.
11 – Outwork everybody in sight.
12 – Maximize every second of the day.

If you want more information about how to get a personal accountability coach send me an email at:

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