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Put Yourself in a Position that Requires Growth

DISCIPLINE STRATEGY® Blog by Timothy L. Coomer, PhD

Lessons on applying scientific research to solve real-life challenges within a framework called DISCIPLINE: [Decide] [Investigate] [Sort] [Conceive] [Implement] [Loop] [Intensify] [Notice] [Enjoy]

A governor is a mechanical device used to limit the speed of a machine (read more here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Governor_(device)

Some machines will rip themselves apart if you don’t control the speed at which they operate. That is why machines have governors. Unfortunately, we often develop mental governors that work similarly to a machine governor but aren’t necessary. These mental constraints operate quietly behind the scenes making sure we don’t think too big or consider doing something that is outside of our comfort zone.

An essential step in the process of making a life-changing decision is to identify your mental governors and destroy them. Unfiltered brainstorming is one technique I teach to loosen the controls on your thought processes to enable new possibilities thinking.

Unfiltered Brainstorming

In my book, Discipline Strategy (Amazon link > http://bit.ly/_DS), I use the word DISCIPLINE as an acronym for a ten-step life change process. The first chapter is about decision making. To get past the mental governor, I encourage unfiltered brainstorming. Brainstorming works best at a neutral location with a group of trusted friends or family members.

In each chapter of the Discipline Strategy, I include some helpful worksheets that are available in the members area of my website. For this blog, I’m unlocking my guide to unfiltered brainstorming. You can download it here (no registration required):


Read through each step in the brainstorming document. It provides an excellent, but concise, step-by-step plan for setting up and conducting a brainstorming session.


One desired outcome from brainstorming is motivation to establish a goal previously thought unattainable. Such a bold decision mandates growth. There have been moments in my life where I dared to reach outside my comfort zone. Without a doubt, those have been the best decisions I have ever made. The rewards of such daring growth-oriented choices far exceeded what I imagined in that moment of perceived “risk-taking.”

There have also been times when I could not take the leap of faith. I did not dare to embrace ideas outside of my comfort zone. Yes, I had a lot of great “logic” to justify the restraint. Now I wonder what growth opportunity did I miss? What type of person would I be today if I had taken those risks?

When I DID Leap Outside of my Comfort Zone, I Learned This:

1) There is time to grow. You don’t immediately have to be the person required to fulfill the goal. You can build your skills, experiences, and confidence over time as you work toward the goal.

2) The “big risk” you are taking is not as significant as you think. Risk perception and management is part of what I do as CEO of an actuarial consulting firm. I understand risk and have studied the topic more than most. It is complicated. But, when it comes to personal risk and goal setting, I am a firm believer that we overestimate the risk of our decisions.  I’m not talking about the risk of jumping off a cliff into shallow water. I’m talking about the risk of daring to create desired changes in your life or to take on growth challenges.

3) The rewards are much greater than you expect. You are overestimating the risk, and you are significantly underestimating the rewards. I repeatedly see in my life, and in the life of others, an incredible reward to risk ratio. Perhaps 10:1 or even 100:1.

Do This

1) Take the MyPersonality assessment that I offer. It is only going to be free for a short while longer. https://disciplinestrategy.com/my-personality-free/  It will give you some helpful insight into your personality and make some suggestions that may help you expand your horizons.

2) Download the brainstorming worksheet and use it to conduct a brainstorming session. Again, here is the document http://bit.ly/DS_BRAINSTORM

3) Order a copy of the Discipline Strategy on Amazon (http://bit.ly/_DS). The book is released in January 2020. By the time you complete the brainstorming session, the book will arrive in your Kindle (Kindle version) or on your doorstep (Hard Copy) about the time you are ready to kick some butt in 2020.  The book will guide you through a process that will support your life change effort.