Our talking of mindset can appear to be so esoteric, ephemeral and intangible—aside from the manifest outcomes that different mindsets can produce. Discerning any sort of cause-and-effect relationships among our thoughts, feelings and actions can seem impossible, much less altering long-standing patterns of behavior or harnessing those internal experiences to increase your effectiveness in achieving your goals.

Yet, our mindset is the internal programming that steers our ships, runs our courses, and carries us from point A to point Z and back again—directing our thoughts, feelings and reactions along the way. Often, it runs on auto-pilot, sailing just below the radar of our awareness, until something or someone prompts us to peel back the lid, look under the hood, and tinker around with the underlying machinery.

At this point, we could use sage advice from a master mechanic or an excellent schematic diagram to help us make sense of it all. We need something to guide our hands to know which parts to replace or adjustments to make to put things running smoothly and get us on our way in peak condition. After all, breakdowns are inconvenient and expensive, and we have missions to accomplish and new horizons to cross.

The Origin of Widget Development

I grew up in a small manufacturing family in central Massachusetts. I had watched my great grandfather at the end of his life running this business that he started out of his garage in 1926. It wasn’t a fancy business—it was polishing pads and things, and so I was always interested in widget development.

Fast forward to one of my first SEAL platoons—I am sent to be on a submarine for what turned out to be 50 days—and I’m trying to think of ways to keep my mind active while I’m on the submarine because we weren’t doing lots of missions. And, I challenged myself to invent a new idea every single day while I’m on the sub.

Fast forward seven more years—I came out of business school and was having a hard time and I was about to leave the software business because I’d gone for the wrong thing—for the money instead of what I was passionate about. I ended up getting into the fitness business. The back-story there was that I was an asthmatic kid, and fitness had been a really important part of my life to help me get my asthma under control.

It dawned on me: If you take control of your body, you can take control of your life. And, that became the mantra of the business that everyone knows as the Perfect Pushup, the Perfect Pull Up, the Perfect Ab Carver and the other members of the Perfect Fitness product family. Three things occurred there: One, I had seen somebody in the family being able to chart their own destiny; Two, I was interested in widgets and I’d developed a muscle memory for creating new things; and Three, I was really passionate about the industry of fitness. When those three finally collided, along with the support of my swim buddy, my wife, I went for it—the overnight success that took ten years.

The Future of Widget Development

The thread woven all throughout all phases of my life’s journey thus far is overcoming adversity, and finding a better way or making something better. Now, I’m working on building mental widgets and helping people build their own widgets. These widgets are tools for helping people get out of their own way and unleash their own expert insights. In my blog post, 3 I’s of an Idea, I said, “Creating products (widgets) is about solving problems.” One of my greatest joys (passions) is hearing from people about how our products have helped them solve a problem or achieve a dream.

Your mindset is your internal programming for every thought, feeling and reaction—and depending on the circumstances and outcomes, it’s your ever-present friend or foe. The future of widget development for me is helping you master the tools and widgets for getting inside your head and starting to understand that you are much more powerful than you give yourself credit for—for creating new platforms, new directions, new courses and new outcomes. Your mindset charts the course and determines how you steer your way through obstacles ahead, and we can all learn better ways to navigate through foggy patches and lay in a course to achieve your goals.