The 10x Mindset
Creating Exponential Growth for Your Future
With Gene Early and Nishith Shah
10x Program - Daily Growth & Mindset Actions
What is 10x for us? 10X represents a symbol for exponential thinking and action
leading to significant growth and development. We assume our present mindset and way of representing our world is 1x.
10x forces us to stir up our courage, willingly choose to take a risk, get outside our comfort zone, enter the unknown, and persevere through adversity, challenge, and success. For this we need to use our imagination and create new mental/emotional and physical pathways to reach these ambitious goals.
ACTION: Identify one behavior pattern that you choose to 10x. Put a time frame on it.
Mine is writing or giving encouragement and validation to others. My 1x is actually zero at the moment. I’ll assume it is 1, and my 10x would be a literal 10 Email or phone call encouragements in the next month.
I invite you to do the same, now or later. It doesn’t have to be a big task. Simply starting something you
have been procrastinating on qualifies. Give yourself accountability to document your progress to the 10x goal you’ve set. Find a way to share your goal and your progress with at least 3 other people.
The 10x Program: A 10x mindset filters how we perceive ourselves and our world. It becomes an
expression of our core identity as a 10x’er. That identity actively generates behavior that produces
reinforcing evidence to maintain its belief, in this case, “As a 10x’er, I have a 10x mindset.”
For example, Carol Dweck writes about change as a presupposition of a “growth mindset” in her book, Mindset. With it, one actively explores, takes feedback, and learns. It shapes a person’s meaning-making. At the next level, a 10x mindset focuses on exponential change. Someone with this mindset has an internal dialogue asking questions like, “How do I 10x this, what can I do that I’ve never done before; if I wasn’t feeling this fear, what could I be feeling?”
ACTION: Take a couple of minutes. Quietly center yourself with a focus on
your breath. Allow your mind to free associate and with each new thought or impression, wonder, “What
would this look like if it were 10x’d?” There are no right answers.
Simply stretch your imagination for several minutes and recognize what effect it has on you.
The 10x Program: Everyone has had 10x experiences, though they usually are not framed as such.
Consider the exponential effect of learning to walk, talk, read, write, and so on. 10x’ing is natural for
However, many of us slow our exponential growth and impact in the world as we get older. We
don’t have to. A powerful exercise is to list life decisions and/or events where you have produced
This becomes the basis for representing what 10x means in your own life. When you
find even one example of exponential change, you have the basis for establishing a core identity, in this
case, “I am 10x.”
ACTION: Review your list. Pick one particularly strong and impactful experience. Fully
feel what you feel as you realize that you accomplished this outcome. This feeling becomes the reference for making a 100% commitment to your identity as a 10x’er. Make the declaration, “I am 10x.”
Test, “Is this a congruent statement about yourself.” If not work with any objections until you are congruent. Use your identity statement often to activate your 10x mindset and action. Review the effects of this identity
and its mindset.
The 10x Program: There are two principles for sustaining a change as profound as being 10x and having a 10x mindset.
First, make the individual decision and consistently act to reinforce it. Second, attract a supportive community to reinforce your change. Some people call this, “finding your tribe.”
We need inspiration, support, and examples of others that say “yes” to us to maintain this change. As you shift to a 10x identity and mindset, you will recognize others who are committed to 10x’ing. Maintaining regular contact with other 10x’ers, you can sustain your own individual 10x’ing.
ACTION: The starting point is owning your 10x identity and generating 10x outcomes at multiple levels. As you do, begin talking to others and gauge their interest. When someone expresses interest, develop your relationship, continue to introduce your 10x experiences, and ask about theirs. Create shared 10x experiences.
As you do, invite others to join, and slowly build your tribe. Use the Goldilocks principle. Keep focus on 10x. Yet be aware that it is only one aspect of who you are. Be wise in the proportion of time and attention you give it.
The 10x Program: Becoming a 10x’er means disrupting your normal way of being. Consequently, you’ll disrupt the systems of which you are a part. So, be wise in how you proceed.
That said, full success will require 100% commitment to your 10x identity. There is a significant difference between a 100% commitment and a 99% commitment. That 1% of doubt or questioning is enough to sabotage your success as a 10x’er.
Being “all in” empowers you to persevere and overcome the inevitable adversity you will encounter—internal doubts and dialogue, friends who choose not to join you, organizational systems tamping down your enthusiasm and vision.
In addition, 100% commitment establishes self-accountability. You realize that this is so important that even if you stray, you will bring yourself back into the zone of pursuing the 10x question, “How do I 10x this?”
ACTION: Find a reference experience where you have previously acted with 100% commitment, even if you didn’t verbalize it to yourself or others. Ask and answer, “What made it possible? Why did I make this complete commitment? and, How can I do it again with 10x’ing?” Apply what you learned and make that commitment.
Find a reference experience where you have previously acted with 100% commitment, even if you didn’t verbalize it to yourself or others. Ask and answer, “What made it possible? Why did I make this complete commitment? and, How can I do it again with 10x’ing?” Apply what you learned and make that commitment.
#6 The 10x Program: Here’s another way of thinking of a 10x mindset. Think of it as a mental filter you use for perceiving, interpreting, and responding to yourself and the world you live in.
In regard to these three areas:
1) perception is seeing what is as 1x, and asking, “How do I 10x this…” recognizing that 10x is symbolic and may be qualitative as well as quantitative,
2) interpretation is trusting your unconscious, embodied knowing, to generate a 10x response to the 10x question, and
3) response is having the courage to face the unknown, believe you have access to all the resources (internal and external) you need, and acting boldly even in the face of doubt, unbelief, and fear.
As we are using the concept of 10x mindset, it focuses on lifestyle not just the big events, outcomes, and visions we have.
ACTION: Take a moment, breathe deeply, and center yourself. Look around, in your imagination or externally. Identify a situation…e.g. an interaction between you and another, or an interaction you observe…and ask yourself, “If I were to have a 10x response in that situation, what would it be?”
Take a moment, breathe deeply, and center yourself. Look around, in your imagination or externally. Identify a situation…e.g. an interaction between you and another, or an interaction you observe…and ask yourself, “If I were to have a 10x response in that situation, what would it be?”
#7 The 10x Program: In Session 1 I spoke about 99.9% commitment. It is not good enough. Long term success is based on 100% commitment. That 0.1% “leak” creates a drain on one’s focus, takes energy to refill, and justifies less than optimum results. No one can force a 100% commitment.
It is a personal choice to go all-in no matter what the challenges. Making a 100% commitment is a personal decision, just like your identity declaration, “I am 10x!” Inevitably, to make this decision means digging deep and finding that place within yourself where you know, “In order to be who I am, I have to be and do this.”
This kind of focus, no matter the intensity level, produces the results that are possible for you and those you touch.
ACTION: Meditate and reflect on your commitment to being 10x. Is there any objection to fulfilling your potential as a 10x’er? If not, what is the evidence that there are no objections or barriers to acting from your 10x identity? If doubts or confusion arises about your commitment, pursue them and self-correct to reinforce and anchor in your 10x identity. Say yes to your full potential!
When we think 10x mindset holistically, small things as well as the great things are relevant.
Recently, I stopped myself as I was asking the 10x question trying to more deeply integrate it into my mindset. I realized, silence in a noisy world is a form of 10x. Its 10x effect occurred at the level of physiology. I felt myself calming, centering, and embracing my essential self.
No action, no pressure, no to-do’s. Just presence. Synchronicities happen from this space. Mine was Alison’s reading of William Stafford’s “You Reading This, Be Ready.”
In stillness, I heard this poem much more deeply than I might have. While difficult to objectively measure, it became a small but significant shift in consciousness.
ACTION: You may already have a stillness practice. If you do, pay attention to the kinds of shifts you experience once you move out of that space. If you don’t, consider taking a couple of moments in your busy day to be still. Savor the moment.
Once it passes, reflect on the benefit you experience. Consider whether such small additions are worth continuing as a practice.
What is your 10x story?
Each of us have identified a number of 10x reference experiences. And there are more as we become attuned to them. We fully expect that story to expand as we look to 10x’ing our future. However, for the present, it is useful to set a baseline with our 10x story.
Change is a constant in our lives.
How we navigate the creative tension of change is a choice. While some people simply respond passively, we have chosen to be proactive in shaping our lives through our 10x mindset involving perception, interpretation, and response.
ACTION: The goal here is to honor our changes as seen through a 10x lens. Identify a series of 10x reference experiences. Pay attention to the pattern which underlies them.
As you reflect on these experiences, craft a short, 2-3 minute story of who you are expressed through this lens of 10x. As you do, think of this as a story to explain to yourself, and to others who are interested, why you are 10x, how your 10x identity has shaped your life, what it means for you and your future.
10x’ing ourselves is disruptive innovation applied to self. 1x thinking is linear. 10x thinking is exponential. It requires us to disrupt our normal approaches to ourselves and our future. One tool we have to expand our mindset is “timeframe.”
Many people have difficulty effectively imagining their mid to long-term future. But such imagination is a learnable skill and is the key to our disruptive innovation of self. In reality, we know so much more than our conscious mind is aware of. I call this embodied knowing.
The question then is, “How do we access this knowing?” One NLP approach is communicating with parts. We can learn to consciously access our embodied knowing and thereby disrupt ourselves exponentially.
ACTION: Imagine yourself in 3-5 years (or it could be 10-20). Identify that part 0f you that has a representation of yourself in that future. Explore who you “could” be having 10x’d yourself. Be holistic across the whole of your life.
By running this strategy multiple times, you can gain a rich representation of your future self. Now ask, “Who do I need to be now to be that person in my future?” Transform your insights into action.
I worked with a client recently who is extremely creative and productive. I saw his “10x identity” hiding in the shadows.
Not surprisingly, he acknowledged reference experiences where he used a 10x strategy. Yet, he was resistant to owning a 10x identity.
Such resistance effectively stumped him from being all he is capable of being. Regarding a 10x identity decision, he said, “Is it an act of faith, without knowing what it is, visualizing myself in that state? It is hard to commit and say yea.” I said, “This is the 10x decision state. It is faith— faith in yourself.
Faith versus security.
Are you going to opt for security or take the risk to be all you are capable of being?” He needed to think on it before taking the leap.
ACTION: Your present state is 1x, and most likely pretty stable. 10x’ing will disrupt that stability. If this is your situation, you are facing my client’s dilemma, “Do I opt for faith with high risk-reward, or security with low risk-predictable return?” Take a small step. Do one thing today that moves you toward your 10x outcome and challenges your comfort level.
In pursuit of a 10x mindset, I sense movement from it being a “good idea” to a “skill” with two parts.
First, I’m asking the 10x question consistently and activating my 10x perception. I have to remind myself to do this, so I’ve not yet moved to unconscious competence regarding 10x perception.
Second, I’m excited as I ask my clients the 10x question and see them generate 10x vision and action. This is becoming more spontaneous for me and reminds me of my learning sequence. I start applying a principle externally and as I do I “apply to self.”
My confidence in the 10x process empowers others to get beyond their initial doubts and simultaneously reinforces and deepens my own process. There is more territory to cover before my 10x process becomes unconscious excellence and a way of being, but I celebrate the progress I’m making just since our first session.
ACTION: Step back and reflect. Ask, “What progress have I made in developing my 10x mindset and what is the evidence I am using to validate that progress?” Then ask, “What actions have I taken to deliver on my 10x outcomes?”
A 10x mindset lives with awareness of our adjacent possibility. I had a beautiful interaction with Mehek illustrating the shift from 4 self-limiting to an “adjacent possibility” mindset.
As I said, “An adjacent possibility is everything adjacent to our present state, available but not yet realized. Metaphorically, it is right next door.
As you leave your present mental space, an infinite number of concepts, ideas, and resources await to solve your problem, and/or create your opportunity.” A recent client had just experienced a week of the “dark night of her soul.” It shook her, yet she came through with resilience. I said, “Your presence is the antidote to despair.”
Her response, “I hope so.” I challenged that.
She acquiesced and then embraced a new identity, “I am an antidote to despair. That is the meaning of my life.” Voila!
My response, “You just made a life-defining statement.” With a bit of facilitation, she entered the adjacent possibility and redefined who she is and what she does.
ACTION: Your adjacent possibility awaits you. Step outside, open your imagination, and enter in. Identify three ways you can move yourself into your adjacent possibility and explore them.
Developing a 10x mindset has challenged me to ask, “How do I bridge from my 10x mindset to my 10x actions producing 10x outcomes?”
One strategy I’m pursuing is finding and modeling role models who are 10x’ing. Sharon Terry is one for me. She is CEO of Genetic Alliance, a patient advocacy group I worked with for 6-7 years.
She has two children with genetic conditions that motivated her to do the impossible, finding multiple cures for rare diseases. She and her colleagues have achieved the impossible in the last two decades.
As a patient advocate’s advocate, she writes about the “…power of visualizing change, empowered by information, converted into solutions and systems for improving well-being.”
Reflecting on her passion and drive inspires me to do the same. Who inspires you? How can you model them to 10x yourself and those you serve? We need such motivation to accomplish all that is before us!
1) Find and model your role model who inspires you to 10x.
2) Visualize your 10x outcome, fully associate into it, keep gathering information to enrich your representation of it, develop a system for consistently replicating your 10x process
Our 10x mindset needs space for the incremental as well as the exponential. At a time, I thought these two mental frames opposed one another. Now I realized they are complementary.
The structure of “leverage” is minimal input creates maximum output. The incremental can be minimum input on one condition…that it produces leverage.
E.g. With my 10x identity, I expect to generate 10x results at multiple levels.
When I read Dave Asprey’s book, Head Strong, which was focused on mitochondrial health, I had a 10x revelation that I had “agency” with regard to my own health. I searched out biohacks to advance my health, each of which are incremental in nature.
More importantly, I discovered I had “agency” and began looking for different types of hacks to improve the whole of my life. These hacks give me “small wins” which maintain momentum and reinforce my commitment to 10x thinking and action.
ACTION: Reflect on your 10x desired outcomes. When you do, ask yourself, “Does the way I represent this outcome generate motivation to exercise “agency” and pursue small wins that fulfill my desired outcome?” If not, work with your outcome until it does.
Two keys sustain a 10x mindset and action.
First is the identity decision, “I am 10x, and I experience the world through a 10x mindset.” Second is the support of our tribe—like-minded people saying “yes” to our exponential growth and contribution to the world. We need one another.
We cannot do this alone.
We can characterize this support in terms of collaboration.
1) what’s important to you is important to all of us,
2) your problem is our problem, and
3) your success is our success.
This is a form of system orientation. As a member of the system called “our tribe,” I am the system, and what I think, say, and do is an expression of the system. At the system level they are also expressions of others in the system.
This perspective reveals the dynamic interaction of our 10x with one another’s 10x. This is one reason we are sharing life experience as well as resources we find that empower us.
ACTION: Review your co-10x’ers goals. Pick one and deeply identify with it as your own. What effect does this have on how you perceive your relationship with your co-10x’er?
A presupposition, defined as a subjective truth, is a 10x concept.
We’ll come back to it frequently.
Often, we assume things to be true, act as if they are, and navigate our world based on these assumptions. Making presuppositions conscious is where the power comes in. It allows us to understand what’s unsaid but true—for ourselves or another, not to mention all kinds of circumstances.
The presuppositional question central to the NLP process of modeling is “What has to be true for “this” to be the case?” Fill in the blank for the “this.” There’s more to be said. For now, consider this: Questions presuppose answers. And, big questions presuppose big answers.
This relates to our 10x journeys because our 10x vision presupposes going into the unknown and trusting our unconscious mind, as well as our conscious mind, to guide us. Our unconscious receives a question and “works” on it until it gets an answer, even when we don’t initially have a clue as to the answer.
ACTION: Formulate your 10x outcomes as questions. Ask them often. Be aware as answers emerge. Then note them down.
“Saying yes” is a key to 10x success which starts with “yes” to our 10x identity. A non-negotiable identity removes so much distraction.
Next is the strategy level of “yes.” At the conscious mind, behavioral level, “yes” gives us momentum. At the unconscious mind, existential level, it affirms our being in the world. In the frame of feedback, “yes’s” communicate, “Keep going…accelerate to the goal.”
In contrast, “no’s” are course corrections, often needed, but inevitably slowing our progress. How then do we 10x self-feedback? Emphasize the “yes’s” even when self-correcting. An easy one is making a mistake. A “no” occurs when we judge ourselves.
A “yes” occurs when we go, “Great! What can I learn that will move me toward my goal?” “Saying yes” is a 10x skill because no matter what the circumstance, we can always find an angle that will increase our “yes’s” and decrease our “no’s.”
ACTION: Step into and own your “I am yes” identity. For a set amount of time (a day, 3 days, a week, etc.) commit to looking at everything through a “yes” filter. Compare the effect from before, and then after. What difference did it make?
In the 10x Program, we are unlocking our imagination. We are releasing our attachment to a form of reality we have established as fixed.
Typically, we maintain this limitation by holding internal representations as fixed until they are adjusted (somehow).
However, once we own agency over our internal representations, they are no longer obstacles to creation, but amazingly abundant resources for creation.
One of my clients had a week-long, “dark night of the soul.” Through our work, she changed her meta-narrative that it was a time of despair to it is evidence that “I am remarkably resourceful and resilient, able to get unstuck from even the most despairing of internal states, and full of light, creativity, and possibility.”
The meta-narrative was most important because it extended beyond that one week and its effect on her. It became a resource for any and every “dark night” she might experience, as well as a resource for all she interacts with.
ACTION: Have you established this meta-narrative for yourself, that you have agency regarding your internal representations which are an abundant wealth of resources for you? If not, what would it take to do so
Research shows that consistently adding novel activities to one’s life demands we adjust to new situations and generate new behaviors.1 We may do this by pursuing new external stimuli as well as new internal stimuli.
An example of external stimuli is the video, Powers of TenTM. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0fKBhvDjuy0. It shares visuals at progressive intervals beyond space into the expanse of the universe and then back into the micro-spaces within our bodies.
It very much parallels The Overview Effect http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CHMIfOecrlo) with interviews from five astronauts on the effect of seeing the earth suspended in the darkness of space.
After seeing these videos externally, I took an hour to meditate on 10x and found my imagination extending beyond my norm. Suddenly, I was seeing a hat fly off the hat rack, dried flowers blossoming into fragrant colorful blossoms, and books on my shelves coming alive with the truth contained within. I released the limitations on what I could imagine. Both the external and internal created 10x experiences for me.
ACTION: Identify one external and one internal stimulus that exponentially expands your perception. No need to act on what you perceive…yet. Just enjoy the experience.
ABOUT GENE EARLY
ABOUT NISHITH SHAH
Nishith Shah is an NLP Master Trainer and the founder of Thought Labs. For over 14 years, he has been actively revolutionizing the lives of people and organizations, by transforming the way they accomplish their targets and goals. At the age of 19, Nishith was one of the youngest COOs in the country for a training organization and was responsible for training more than 10,000 students.
At Thought Labs, with the vision of transforming the way people perceive human potential and taking to the maximum to achieve extraordinary results – Nishith has been vigorously involved in strategically designing learning systems using NLP experiences. This has helped him gain a cutting edge in creating the highest standards of training and coaching programs. He has devised innovative training programs such as “NLP at The Himalayas”- which is an out-of-the-world experience- completely experiential, ethereal and one of its kind in the world!
Personally responsible for transforming the lives of more than 3000 people through his NLP training and coaching programs, Nishith has gained expertise and has become extremely proficient at coaching, training & mentoring to bring about a massive change in individuals as well as organizations. His program has been attended by delegates not only from India but also from the U.K., France, Spain, Columbia, Croatia, the U.S.A, Australia and Netherlands!
He has shown his skills time and again, by working with renowned organizations like Aditya Birla, Wockhardt, BOSCH, Oye Happy, Christ University, Jain University and Ways2save, to name a few. He has also been invited as a guest speaker at a number of International Conferences, such as the CISO Platform.