warm thoughts


Written on: April 11, 2022

Attendees at the PERC Marketing Conference April 5-6 in Minneapolis enjoyed lunch and a keynote speaker, Cindra Kamphoff, author of Beyond Grit. The book provides ten powerful practices to gain the high-performance edge.

In the book’s Introduction and in her presentation, Kamphoff discusses April 15, 2013, the date she completed her third Boston Marathon. She described the Boston Marathon as her favorite because it’s so challenging. The first thirteen miles, all downhill, tear at your quads and cause serious discomfort. The second thirteen miles include five big hills, most notably Heartbreak Hill around mile 21. Those are 26.2 tough miles.

She felt she crushed it on April 15, 2013 “I crushed it. I owned the course. I pushed up Heartbreak Hill steady and strong, passing more than 100 people. I finished with my personal best time. As I walked back to my hotel, two blocks from the finish on Boylston Street, I had a huge, shiny smile plastered on my face.”

Soon, though, the significance of the race faded into the background as she heard sirens. She learned why: two bombs exploded near the finish line, killing three people and injuring an estimated 264 others, including 14 who required amputations.

As she crowded around the hotel TV with her husband and other running friends, she realized she had run through the finish line where the bombs went off 45 minutes earlier, she and others wondered if there could be more bombs along the route and if there could be bombs near them or even in the hotel. She forced herself to take several deep breaths and not go to the worst-case scenario. It was hard.

As she watched news reports on that terrorist attack and the manhunt that followed, she went to some deep places and found herself asking three pivotal questions:
• Why am I here?
• What difference am I making in this world?
• Why do I do what I do?

She sat in the hotel room and thought about her “why,” questioning if she was truly following her calling and wondering about her purpose on this earth. She considered the day a turning point in her life. After it, she started making different decisions with her time, energy, and mindset. She started living, thinking, and performing intentionally. “I started owning my why,” she said.

Kamphoff described the new mindset she took on as a “High Performance Mindset,” a mindset in which you are always performing in a variety of roles that you have in life. “To live a High Performance Life, we must be fully present, engaged, in control, and confident. When we live in this way, we become more consistent and succeed above and beyond the standard. We become gritty.”

She states that as you live the High Performance Life, you’ll become practiced at being mentally strong, meaning you take control of your thoughts, your actions, and your destiny. When you live a life of high performance, you tackle difficulties with gratitude, recognizing that struggle is necessary. Problems are puzzles that can be understood and solved. With a High Performance Mindset, nothing is too hard or impossible.

“Mastering your Mindset is not like riding a bike – once you learn it, you can always do it – but actually living a High Performance Life requires ongoing attention.
The Top 10 Practices of the World’s Best Are:
1. The world’s best are gritty.
2. The world’s best are clear on their purpose.
3. The world’s best are a master of their thoughts.
4. The world’s best know themselves to master themselves.
5. The world’s best dominate the controllables.
6. The world’s best own the moment.
7. The world’s best choose empowering emotions.
8. The world’s best own who they are.
9. The world’s best live and let go.
10. The world’s best choose their courage zone.

With these ten practices and 52 strategies outlined in the book, Kamphoff says people can persevere and overcome unimaginable obstacles. “Mastering your mindset can mean the difference between being cut from or thriving on your team, losing your job or earning that bonus, playing it safe and remaining stagnant or taking a monster risk and having it pay off. Your relationships, career, health, dreams and life’s purpose can flourish if you’re prepared to do the work,” she said.

In her keynote at the Marketing Conference, Kamphoff went into detail on Practices 1, 2, 5 and 9.
“The world’s best are gritty,” she said. “They know what they want and they know why they want it. In the face of adversity and setbacks, they go after their goals with deep commitment.” Regarding number 2, she said, “The world’s best are clear on their purpose. They own why they do what they do. They keep their ‘why’ front and center. This purpose keeps them motivated and hungry when the going gets tough.”

Regarding number 5, Kamphoff helped the group define examples of things they can control and those they can’t. With the acronym “APE” she stressed Attitude, Preparation & Purpose, and Effort & Energy. Another acronym “ANT” stood for “Automatic Negative Thoughts” and she encouraged stomping the “ANTs.” Number 9 centers around understanding that people are not perfect. They are kind to themselves, let go of their mistakes quickly after learning from them, and decide to live life full-out.”

Kamphoff works with players on the Minnesota Vikings among many other clients. The Foreward to her book was written by Adam Thielen, wide receiver for the Vikings. An excerpt of his message states:

“ You have to fight through the hurt, you have to persevere. Your best self is the one at the other end of the trail of grit. It would be a shame if you never knew that person.”

“Ultimately , that’s what it comes down to, not just in football but in every area of your life. Know yourself. Know what gets you to your best, highest level. What keeps you motivated even when the struggle and discomfort make you wish you could curl into a ball. There will be a lot of trial and error, and you’ll have to stay committed – that’s why I still see Cindra each week. If you don’t keep your why in mind, you’ll have to start from square one again and again. But if you can keep building on your why as a foundation – if you never stop searching for what makes you the best version of yourself – you’ll take off beyond boundaries you never even knew were there. That’s what Beyond Grit is all about.”