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Morning Mindset with Paul G. Markel

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Jan 13, 2018

One of the keys to success and achievement in any endeavor is self-assessment. Self-assessment is also one of the most difficult undertakings for humans, particularly in this day and age. Modern man is so ruled by emotion that honest, intellectual self-assessment can be difficult to do. This podcast is a Think On! Production.

Episode Transcription


♫ Trenches by Pop Evil ♫


Welcome to Morning Mindset. A daily dose of practical wit and wisdom with a professional educator & trainer, Amazon best selling author, United States Marine, Television and Radio host, Paul G. Markel. Each episode will focus on positive and productive ways to strengthen your Mindset, and help you improve your relationships, career goals, and overall well-being. Please welcome your host; Paul G. Markel. 

*Professor Paul*

Hello and welcome back to another edition of Morning Mindset. I am your host Paul Markel and thank you for joining me today. As we said at the outset, we’re going to attempt, with the Morning Mindset podcast, to do things that are, or discuss things that are positive and productive and proactive, so that it will benefit us in our lives. Whether it’s our business lives or our personal lives or our family lives.

Now today we’re going to discuss “Self-Assessment”, that’s right. It’s gut check time, and this is, quite frankly let’s be honest with ourselves, self-assessment is the most difficult thing we can do as humans. As adults, or children or men or women or what have you. Especially in this world we live in today. Today we live in a world where you’ve been told, or I don’t know how old you are. If you’re >30 y.o., you’ve probably been part of the “No Score Soccer”, everyone gets a trophy, “how do you feel about” things.

For at least 10 years, maybe more, maybe going on 15 or 20, there’s been this hard focus in our society about feelings. “How do you feel about that?”, “How does that make you feel?” The fact of the matter is, your feelings don’t really matter when it comes to performance, and when it comes to gut-check time, when it comes time for self-assessment, honest self-assessment, it’s difficult to do that in our modern world, because we’ve been taught for so long that facts, aren’t as important as feelings.

But if you want to learn, to advance, to improve in a skill, we need to engage in honest, no kidding self-assessment, and this is the biggest stumbling block that some people will find when it comes to mastery or advancement. I’ll give you a good example. Let us say that, well it’s the beginning of the year, at least it’s the beginning of the year as we’re releasing this, right? And what do many people do around new years.

Well, they make resolutions, and even if they don’t make formal resolutions, they tell themselves “Well, this year, during this new year, I’m going to Blank.” Now the most common one is health or fitness. Many people will say to themselves during the new year, in January ya know, “This year I’m going to lose weight. This year I’m going to get stronger. This year I’m going to exercise more, or I’m going to-” whatever. But let’s just say, for the sake of argument, that your new year's resolution and your goal is to lose weight.

That’s probably one of the biggest things people struggle with in the United States of America because, let’s face it. This is not the world that we lived in 200 years ago, where if you had food you were lucky. Or you had to work every single day to make sure there was food on the table, and there was food in the house. Today in America, or wherever, in the world quite frankly. Unless you live in places like Africa and South America maybe, but getting food on the table is not that difficult of a task. Very few people are legitimately starving or hungry in America. Matter of fact, it’s generally the opposite, people consume so much food that they get lethargic, and large, and overweight and so forth.

 So that’s probably one of the hottest topics around the new year. Well when it comes to honest self-assessment, let’s say you’ve decided that “Yes, I am going to lose Blank.” You know, whatever, 10 lb, 20 lb, 30 lb. Now part of the self-assessment is to look at yourself and say what do I really need to do? You know, am I 5’10 and I weigh 262 lb, or am I 5’4 and I weigh 262 lb, and you say I need to lose, whatever. Well if your goal is to lose 20 lb, part of your self-assessment is am I gonna be able to do that and how am I gonna be able do that?

Many people, what they’ll do, they’ll fail in their new year’s resolutions or goals, because why? Because they make the resolution, they set the resolution, they set the goal, at least in their minds, and they start out but they have no real, genuine self-assessment. There’s no gut check that went on there. You say “Okay, I’m gonna lose this weight.” Okay, how are you gonna lose this weight? You said “Oh, I’m gonna work hard and I’m gonna go to the gym.”

Okay, when are you gonna go to the gym and what are you gonna do? “Well whenever I can, whenever I have the time.” Or “I’m gonna eat less.” Less what? “Well I’ll eat 1 less cookie.” Let’s face facts here, eating 1 less cookie per day is probably not gonna help you lose weight. You need to be able to look at yourself and honestly say, “Okay, I need to lose blank.” 30 lb, alright, and you say to yourself “How am I going to do that? What am I going to change in my life?” And part of self-assessment is considering how you’re currently behaving, how you’re currently living your life. Now you may say “I’m good. I’m doing good right now, rock on. I’m doing really well.”

Excellent, that’s part of self-assessment too. But the truth of the matter is, many people can’t begin to improve because they’re not able to honestly look in the mirror. They’re not able to honestly have a conversation with themselves and say “Alright, I want to improve in this aspect in my life, but I’m not improving right now, why is that?” What is it that’s keeping me from being, and like I said, you throw it out or whatever, “Keeping me from being more physically fit? Keeping me from being stronger, Keeping me from losing this weight? What is Keeping me from advancing in my career?”

Your self-assessment might be “Well, this is what I’m doing Today. This is where I work, this is what I do, but it’s not where I want to be. I’d like to be a Supervisor, at my company. I would actually like to be in charge, or maybe I’d like some other type of promotion. Maybe I would like a raise, maybe I would like to be making more money.” Everyone would like to make more money, right? Well, the reason most people aren’t making more money or aren’t advancing in their careers is because they can’t sit back, and have an honest conversation with themselves and say “Alright, I want to be doing better. I want to be doing more, I want to be making more money, what have you.”

Why is it that that’s not happening, and in our world, a world where everything is filled with emotion and feelings, unfortunately a lot of people in the United States and in the entire world, their honest self-assessment is “Well, I’m not advancing in my career, I’m not making as much money, because other people are unfair. Because people don't like me at work, people aren’t treating me properly, the boss is greedy, the system is wrong.” That’s crap, that is crap. In the United States of America today, and I don’t know about Europe or Asia or what have you, but in the United States of America today the fact of the matter is, is if you aren’t advancing in your career, if you’re not where you want to be, job wise or career wise, most of the time it’s not because ‘there is a system set up to hold you down’.

Most of the time, I’d say 99.5% of the time, the reason you’re not advancing is because you haven’t done a self-assessment gut check and you haven’t honestly said to myse- yourself, or myself or whatever “The reason I’m not advancing is because… blank.” Maybe you’re not putting forth the proper amount of effort, or maybe you think you’re putting forth the proper amount of effort, but it turns out that other people don’t feel the same way as you. Okay? Now, it could be that you’re in a position, in a job where you’re not advancing, you’re not making more money, you’re not doing what you want to do, and you’re unwilling to make a change.

That is honest self-assessment. You say “Well, I really wanna be doing this and this and this”, and you say “Why am I not?” Is it because you’re afraid to be uncomfortable, you’re afraid to make a change? Sometimes you have to have a look in the mirror and talk to that person and say “Well, you know, I wanted to do this” or “My goal originally when I started my career or I started this job, my goal was to do Blank, and here I am 2-3-4 years down the road, and I’m no closer to achieving my goal than I was when I started. Why is that?” And that’s tough, that’s difficult, because everywhere you look. The media, all the filth that comes from Hollywood, all the social psycho-babble that comes from the big government complex about, “You know it’s not really your fault. It’s the system, it’s racism, it’s this-ism, it’s that-ism. That’s what’s holding you back.”

So you glom on to these excuses and you never take the time to really have a honest discussion with yourself, some real, serious self-assessment, and say “Maybe the reason that I’m not achieving, I’m not losing weight, I’m not getting stronger, I’m not whatever, it’s not because ‘forces are aligned against me’, it’s because I’m not doing the right things.” And before you start doing the right things, before you make that change, that’s where the self-assessment comes in. You’ve gotta have that conversation, you know it’s kind of like the, I know it sounds cliche but, the alcoholic. An alcoholic cannot recover until they get to that point where they realize they actually have a problem.

Because up to that point, what? It’s not my fault, it’s not that big of a deal, it’s other people, everyone’s always on my case, blah-blah-blah. An alcoholic cannot recover from alcoholism until they have that honest, C.T.J. moment where they look in the mirror and they’re like “You know what? I’m the problem.” Now I’m not saying you’re the problem, but I’m saying that if you wanna advance in your life, if you want to advance in your career, in a new skill or what have you, the first thing you gotta do, is have a conversation with that guy in the mirror. Engage in some honest, no kidding, maybe even painful, self-assessment.

Alright guys, that is your Morning Mindset for today, thank you very much for joining me. I appreciate everyone who is so far left a review on iTunes or whatever it is you happen to be using to listen to this podcast on. Share it with someone, leave a review, and we’ll talk to you again real soon.”



♫ Trenches by Pop Evil ♫


Thank you for spending time with us today. To get show notes, submit a topic request, for more from your host Paul G. Markel, visit, that’s Please leave a review of this podcast on your favorite podcast player, we appreciate your time & effort, and we look forward to reading your honest feedback.