When you improve a little each day, eventually big things occur. – John Wooden

Imagine you are playing in the biggest game of your life; that game could be an actual sporting game or just simply something truly challenging you are facing. As you imagine being in this challenging situation, I want you to become aware of two battling mindsets in your head.

There is the conquering hero (or Rhino) that continues to keep you in the fight, maintains your focus and composure, drums up your determination and fight, and allows you to execute to success.

Then there is the suffering whiney martyr that seeks to create confusion, drums up your self-doubt, hijacks your focus, enables you to panic and lose sight of the mission, and gets you to question whether you can succeed.

When things don’t go your way, how do you typically respond in your mind? Do you complain or whine? Then you are giving in to the suffering whiney martyr. Which then equals no chance of success!

Or, do you keep your focus? Stay in the fight no matter what happens? Then you are being led by the conquering hero which increases the odds of success!

Simply put, complain and whine, and you will lose every time! Listening to the undefeated mindset is your only chance of success!

To begin living with an undefeated mindset that is led by a conquering hero you need to condition and train your mind (program it like a computer operating system).

Living with an undefeated mindset is not for everyone. Why? Because it is not easy! If you want easy, then complain and whine like most people. However, if you want something more, then take the challenge and learn to face life with an undefeated mindset (rhino mentality).

The following are descriptions you can use to program your undefeated mindset:

When facing adversity: rebound quickly, face it calmly and under control without being pulled down by the suffering whiney martyr.

No matter how you feel or what is going on, get up each day, every week, every month, every year, and every decade!

Attack any obstacles in front of you over and over until they fall, or you do!

Never allow discouragement or despair to take over your mind; rather, continue to stay in the fight despite how you feel!

No matter how tired you get, how beat up you may be, or even how miserable your circumstances may be, never forget that defeat comes not from failing but from giving up.

Never fill your mind with false hopes. Rather, stay real and find the solution.

Obstacles are not to be avoided, rather it is only from facing obstacles can we become the person we aspire to be.

Demonstrate great emotional resiliency by managing your mind and physiology in any situation. This allows the blood flow in the brain to help find creative solutions to what you are facing.

Victory is not promised to anyone. With the right mindset you behave as though it is, believing that if you only wage an all-out battle and work harder than anyone else, then victory is possible.

In the words of John Wooden, “Perfection is what you are striving for, but perfection is an impossibility. However, striving for perfection is not an impossibility. Do the best you can under the conditions that exist. That is what counts.”

So, the next time you are facing a challenge in that big game, or the real big game of life, what mindset are you going to use?


Chris Swenson is a licensed Couple and Family Therapist currently helping people become mentally stronger at his private practice counseling office in Sterling, CO (Rhino Wellness Center). To contact Chris, you can call 970-522-0796 or schedule an appointment online at