Matt Brauning: My 3 Top Secrets to Aligning Your Mind To Succeed

Some people seem to have all the luck. They try their hand at a new business venture, a relationship, or new skill, and it works, while some of us keep swinging at the same ball, but never seem to hit it out of the park.


There seems to be mental patterns that all humans share among those “out of the park hitters.” Try these secrets on for size so you can begin to achieve the same results.

1. Get Uncomfortable

People say that it takes 21 days to change a habit. Or was it 7 days. 30 Days? I’ve heard many stories about how difficult it is to change. The reality? Change always happens in an instant, the trick is predicting the instant!

Imagine you have been driving to work the same route, day in and day out, for 30 years. Then one day someone shows you a shortcut. How long would it take for you to change and take the shortcut? 30 days? Would you change one street at a time since you’ve followed that pattern for so long?

Of course not. Change happens in an instant, but we need to find the shortcut. Often that shortcut will feel uncomfortable. It’s a road you’ve never been down before.

I had been going to our church for about a year, and one day our pastor asked if I would preach a message on a Sunday morning about a month out. I was floored! I had just been sharing with him something I believed God was showing me, and never imagined myself speaking to the whole church!

Looking back at that day, I had a choice. Do I step up and do something I don’t feel ready for at all, or do I stay with what I know and pass on the opportunity? I wasn’t ready, but I said, “Of course, I would love to.”

Sunday morning came, and I was as prepared as I could get. I had my notes, my bible, and my nerves, all ready to go. There are defining moments in our life, when we have a choice. Step up, or step back.

Sometimes the very best new opportunities don’t feel great at first, but end up proving very fruitful. The secret is to look for something uncomfortable, then follow it. It actually can be a sign that it’s a change you are looking for.

2. Ask Better Questions

It’s shocking how much the human brain can learn, and even more shocking that many people think they’ve arrived at a full wealth of knowledge.

The human brain has 1010 to the 11th possible neurological connections. That’s the number 1 with 10 zeros… written 11 times! That number is more than the estimated grains of sand on the earth, and more than the stars in the known universe!

First we must realize how truly limitless we are as humans. If this is true, how could we ever “arrive” at knowing everything? It’s pretty silly.

So how do we reverse the know-it-all trap?

Remember a time in your life when you had more questions than answers? For me, it was when I was about 5 years old.

I knew just enough to realize that there was a lot more to know. My number one question was always “why?” Why is the sky blue? Why do fish swim in the water? Why are Doritos triangle shaped?

When we return to a time and place where we didn’t have all the answers, we can begin to solve our problems very fast. We don’t need better quality answers; we need to ask better quality questions.

I consulted with a well-known Fortune 500 company a few years ago regarding customer engagement. I asked them for the top 10 questions they had been asking themselves while attempting to turn around their dropping engagement scores.

Among the top few were these: “Why are our customers dissatisfied?” and “Who are they buying from instead?”

In our own lives, we ask questions like these all the time. “Why can’t I find a decent relationship?” or “Why can’t I stick with a diet for more than a couple of days?”

If you ask a bad question, you’ll get a bad answer. But, if you’ll ask a powerful question, you’ll get a powerful answer! Our outcomes are often determined by the type of questions we ask.

Try asking questions that assume a resourceful answer within them. Something like, “How can we find the very thing our customers truly desire?” or “How can we deliver the best possible experience for them?” Or try, “How do we grow to become the leader in our industry, and make a massive positive impact on our community?”

When we begin to realize that we don’t need to have all the answers, that we just need better questions, that’s where success begins.

3. Single Focus

To focus or not to focus, that is the question. On one hand, if we focus intently on one goal in mind, that seems to be the way of progress. On the other, some of the greatest success stories in the last 100 years are about people with ADD and even dyslexia; people who think about dozens of ideas at once!

The truth is that either way works. But, when I say single focus, what I actually mean is single focus of direction. Our goals and actions cannot take us in the opposite direction.

Let’s say a young businessman wants to succeed. If you were to ask him, “what’s important about succeeding in business?” he would give you a variety of answers: making money, having freedom, giving back, doing what I’m passionate about.

This short list would turn out to be his list of subconscious values – those things most important to him in his success.

Our goals cannot take us in opposite directions. If his number one value or goal is making money, there are certain actions he would need to take. Work on marketing, make sales calls, work with clients, have team meetings, etc.

Those types of actions will move him closer to the value or goal of success. The conflict shows up when we look at the next value in line.

If having freedom is important, that means he would want to perhaps make his own schedule, or have mornings free to sleep in, or take Tuesday off to
go ski. Whatever freedom means to him.

Each day, he can either take actions that lead closer to success, or take actions that lead closer to freedom. He can’t have both at the same time.

My advice is simple. If you relate to this man, consider which value is more important and move in that direction. Think, “If I could only have one, which one would I choose?”

You can have more than one, but there is always a subconscious hierarchy of these values. If you don’t recognize this, you may find yourself in deep conflict.

One day working very hard, and then feeling trapped because you don’t take enough time off. Then taking flexible time off, only to realize that sales have decreased.

Consider picking one as your top value, and make the others future goals. “I may not have a ton of freedom right now, but that’s ok because I am building success right now. I have a goal of freedom in the future, and that’s worth working towards!”

Matt has spoken and taught all over the world on Leadership, Communication, and Presentation Skills. Matt captivates all types of audiences with an honest, hilarious, and exciting look into 21st century leadership.

He was mentored by Anthony Robbins, filmed in the hit movie “The Journey” with training legend Brian Tracy, and consults with fortune 100 companies on leadership.

Some of his clients include: John McAfee (McAfee Antivirus), Ron Welty (former drummer for The Offspring), US bank, The YMCA, University of Southern California, New York Life, Whittier Law School, Keller Williams Real Estate & The Point Church Network.

As an entrepreneur, best-selling author, and Master Trainer of NLP, Matt is a leader in the field of business development and human potential. He resides in Orange County, California with his amazing wife, Lola, and their awesome 5-year old son, Valiant.  Learn more at

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