Understanding How You Think

Success is a lifelong journey comprised of many destinations. These destinations serve as milestones, small steps we take every day that brings us closer to the next level of success.

However, to ensure that we are moving in the right direction towards success, we need to know two things. First, exactly what the journey is. Second, how we are getting there. A journey that cannot answer what, where, and how is directionless.

That means the path to success requires defining our target and plan of action. Without narrowing it down to these levels, we can only consider it an ambition rather than achievable. 

With that in mind, the path to success requires a lot of thinking. Where we end up is the result of the choices we make. Our choices are the result of our thinking process. So, to end up being where we want to be, we have to change the way we think.

The best way to do that is to allow someone who has already been through the journey to successfully guide us in the right direction.

This is where Nick Davies and MindScan come in. MindScan is a tool to get a snapshot of how you are currently thinking. By understanding our thinking patterns, we learn to be more mindful and control our thoughts to develop better results, much like mapping out the best route to success.

Nick Davies is a business and career coach with 20 years of background in financial services. Over the last 4 years, Nick has shifted his focus on creating his purpose. He trained through Tony Robbins Results Coaching and continues to learn with them.  

Now, he helps people and businesses visualize a path that is crystal clear. He helps break them down into actionable steps that are non-negotiable and take you to the next level.  

Those are some of the things he will be talking about in this episode. You must first understand the way you think to come up with an attainable first step. If you go to the extreme, you set yourself up for failure, and many people make that mistake. 

Success is about taking action and forming a habit. Nick will also be taking us through creating practices we can follow through. Start with small steps, gradually increase them, and end with significant results.

Episode Summary

  • The three primary ways that we all think: relater, doer, and thinker.
  • MindScan is a tool to understand how you’re currently thinking.
  • The importance of understanding your identity and defining what you want to be.
  • Set a specific and attainable goal that you can easily commit to. The number is not essential; it’s taking action and forming the habit.
  • Start your day with success.


Covered in This Episode

[1:38] Introduction to the MindScan Tool

[8:01] Deciding Who You Want to Be

[11:27] Identity Mapping: Vision, Milestones, and Steps

[13:12] How Developing a Morning Routine Helps Change Your Thinking

[17:33] Adjusting Your Routine to the Minimum Effective Dose

[23:38] How to Contact Nick Davies



Think and Grow Rich

MindScan Assessment

Review of Chris’ MindScan Assessment

Tiny Habits: The Small Changes That Change Everything

Guest Information

Website: www.proadvisorcoach.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/nick.davies.980315

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/coachnicholasdavies/

Episode Transcript

Chris Ippolito 00:31 

Hi, Nick. 


Nick Davies 00:32 

Hey. How you doing? 


Chris Ippolito 00:34 

Good. How are you? Thanks for being a host and welcome. Or not a host, a guest. Welcome to the “Get Coached Podcast.” 


Nick Davies 00:42 

Thank you, I’m excited. 


Chris Ippolito 00:44 

Yeah. We’ll just jump right in. One of the coolest things that I learned about you is one of the tools that you use. Let me preface this a little bit real quick. One of the most common pieces of advice from coaches and actually one of the most popular self-development or personal growth books is Think and Grow Rich, meaning your success will come from the way you think and whether you have to change it… and, in a lot of people’s case, you do have to change it. But before you can really change anything, you need to know how you think, which leads me to the really cool tool and assessment that you have access to which is called MindScan. I was wondering if you could expand on what MindScan is and the value that it can deliver to people? 


Nick Davies 01:38 

Yeah, sure. I’m super passionate about this overall. I mean the MindScan tool is so effective but, as you said, it starts with awareness because we just don’t know what we don’t know, that old saying. If you want to elicit change from yourself, you have to understand why we do the things we do. It comes from thoughts, and it comes from defining what is thinking, how do we think.  


It’s similar to primary colors. There are three primary colors, but there are three primary ways we think. The MindScan tool, which we have at ProAdvisor Coach, is a tool that was actually designed by a guy called Dr. Robert Hartman way back originally from Germany. He fled Germany, moved to the States, and lived a little bit time in England as well. He dedicate his life to the study of formal axiology, which is the mathematical value of what is good and thinking about thinking. That’s when he defined that. 


There‘s three primary ways we think. There’s intrinsic, extrinsic, and systematic. They’re mathematical terms. We call it the relater, the doer, and the thinker because we have around 45,000 to 65,000 thoughts every day and 80% of those are the same. What would you guess out of the 80% are negative or positive? 


Chris Ippolito 03:04 

I’m going to assume that of that 80%, probably somewhere close to a large majority. I‘m going to say like 75% to 80% are probably more on the negative side. Whereas, the remaining portion is positive. I think that part of it is because of the way our society is, especially nowadays. I don’t know if that was such the case maybe back in the day when there wasn’t so much information being bombarded to us, but that’s my guess. 


Nick Davies 03:36 

Yeah, I think some studies have said it’s up to 95%. 


Chris Ippolito 03:40 

95%, that’s crazy. 


Nick Davies 03:42 

If we’re not aware of those thoughts that are going in, that are loaded into our mind every day, then we can’t do anything about them. I think for me the MindScan is so powerful because that’s what it does. It allows us to stop thinking about our thinking and understand what we tend to do or what are our go-tos, how does it show up for us. From that place, we can start to move forward, as you said, to adjust it to what we actually want. 


Chris Ippolito 04:10 

Right, right. For you and when you’re working with a client, step one really is using that MindScan tool to get a snapshot of how that person is currently thinking because it’s obviously not static or fixed. Our way of thinking evolves through life, as we grow and develop and mature, but also it could be affected by your circumstances, right? If somebody is going through something, a little bit more of a negative experience, that might impact their way of thinking and you’re saying that that will show up in the MindScan. 


Nick Davies 04:52 

It does. You can think of it like an MRI of your mind, like a snapshot in time, and it’s often reflective of what you’re doing right now in your life. If you’re going through a big change in certain areas, that’s going to show up. If you’re in a place where you feel really comfortable, then that’s going to show up as well. If you’re in a place where you’re frustrated, then that’s going to show up as well. It allows you to get ahead a little bit. 


You can think of them like different levels because we’ve got those three ways of thinking, and then the internal version of that and the external version of that. There’s six different areas to look at. If nothing else, it’s just a way to say, “Okay, well, that might be an issue for you. How does it show up? This is how we’ve seen it show up.” We’ve run thousands of these things, and we can see the patterns that open and the type of profiles that pull together. It becomes super powerful. This is a big tool for creating that awareness. 


Absolutely, when working with clients, whether it’s individuals looking to just put their life together and life performance in different parts of their life, or it’s working on their business, or it‘s working towards a new career, or if it’s business owners that are working with teams, the first things first is understanding where you are. This is a key component of that, for sure. 


Chris Ippolito 06:21 

Yeah, there’s that saying when somebody asks you, “How long will it take to get to destination?” and everybody starts throwing out, “Well, it’ll take three hours, four hours.” It’s like, “How do you know when you don’t know where you began?”  


It’s kind of the same idea. Unless you know where you’re starting, it’s going to be very difficult to figure out that path of where you want to go. That’s where this MindScan tool comes into play is it’s just really, like I said, giving you that snapshot of where your thinking is currently versus perhaps where you maybe want it to go. 


But then again, you were saying yesterday when we went through mine… There will be a YouTube exclusive episode of us going through my MindScan assessment, which was really fun. Thanks, Nick, for doing that. You were saying that… Shoot, I lost my train of thought there. You were saying that it was basically like some people…oh, that’s what it was, some people are actually happy. When they take that assessment, they’re like, “Oh, I’m good with all this,” right? Whereas me yesterday, I was a little bit hard on myself but then again, that actually showed up on my MindScan, that I’m going to be a little hard on myself. 


A question for you because obviously, as a coach who’s helping people shift the way they think, what’s something that you’ve done yourself personally to help shape the way you’re thinking and get it more on track where you wanted it to be? 


Nick Davies 08:01 

I think it’s a great question. It’s actually coming up a lot at the moment with clients and in my own life. It really just comes down to identity. Tony Robbins says the greatest and most powerful part of the human personality is the need to stay consistent with who we think we are. The common example of that is if someone’s stopping smoking versus someone who’s stopped smoking. If someone asks that person do they want a cigarette and they say, “I’m trying to quit,” versus if someone says, “Do you want a cigarette?” and they say, “No, I don’t smoke. I’m not a smoker.” 


Chris Ippolito 08:45 

“I’m not a smoker.” 


Nick Davies 08:46 

Yeah, it’s a different identity. I think that understanding what identity it is that you want because you think about anyone around us, people that we respect, mentors or people in the limelight, people that you can see. If you think about who they might be, like if you see someone who’s a top sports star, for instance, why do we give them that identity? It’s because we’ve been seeing them playing sport at a high level, and we’ve seen them do the things that a person with that identity has. 


We can start to reverse engineer that. For me, it was like, “Well, who do I want to be?” I think back to my corporate career. It was definitely good to me, and I learned a lot of stuff along the way, but it wasn’t something I was so passionately attached to. I knew that I wanted to get to that point. I started to think about, “Well, who do I want to be? What do I want to show up in my life?”  


You can start to design that as almost a declaration to yourself. It’s not about ego. It’s just deciding who you want to be, and then moving towards it. The same way of defining where you are, you’ve also got to define where you want to go. For me, it was about starting to put that into place in a vision-type exercise because you’re not going to know exactly but then defining what type of things would that person do and then do those things. 


To go back to MindScan, the most important thing for me, a reminder, is that ultimately the MindScan is going to show up how the MindScan shows up based on where your thinking is now, but to remind ourselves that probably one of the greatest gifts that we have as humans is the fact we have choice. We get to exercise that whenever we want.  


A lot of the beliefs that we have and language that we use tend to cover up that choice and allow us to let ourselves off the hook with knowing that we have that available. For me, it’s about deciding where I wanted to go and then starting to put together, “Well, what would that person do?” and then doing those things and moving towards that identity. 


Chris Ippolito 11:03 

Right. What would be some practical steps that you’ve taken to do that? Was it journaling? What did the exercise look like when you were sitting down and determining the identity that you wanted to create for yourself when you were transitioning from corporate world to where you’re at now? 


Nick Davies 11:27 

Yeah. This is where I get really excited because for me it was exploratory along the way and I didn’t know I was doing it. When I look back on it now, it’s so obvious that these are the steps I went through even though at the time I didn’t feel like it. It’s creating, “Where do you want to go?” Okay, well, for me it was like, “Well, I want to get out of working in corporate. I want to be in charge of my own time, do the things every day, and put myself on the line, start getting value for value, meaning putting value out there, helping other people, and then getting value back. It could be in terms of dollars, it could be in terms of fulfillment rather than trading time for money.” That was my vision overall. 


And then it was like, “Well, what are going to be some milestones on the way to that identity or on the way to that vision?” It could be taking certain certifications. It could be moving locations which fits better within there and other things within family. Bigger activities I could tick off as milestones or I could see as the next step.  


Because the other thing, of course, when you’re talking about a vision is sometimes it can feel so far away, seem like a dream. If you start to create what that road looks like and you can have stops along the way or just points where you can just stand there for a second and say, “Oh, wow, look at what I did.” 


And then the third level down, there’s the vision and the milestones, and then the third level down, as you alluded to, Chris, is what can I do immediately, what are the daily processes and rituals that I can design within my life that are going to put me in the best mindset in order to execute against the milestones and therefore the vision. 


Chris Ippolito 13:11 

That’s awesome. 


Nick Davies 13:12 

Absolutely. Journaling is a great one. Meditation is a great one, of course. It’s almost a cliché a little bit now. If you’re in this world, everyone’s talking about meditation and journaling because it’s valuable. It really is. It works a little different for everyone and the one that’s best is just the one that you do but for me the biggest thing is exercise. 


As I shared with you, we have a three-year-old. I remember we were living in New York at the time, and I can almost remember exactly the moment where I realized… I used to do all my workouts, martial arts or lifting weights in the evening primarily for all of my adult life. There was a moment that I realized, “I’m done with evening workouts. I just can’t do them anymore. I’m going to have to go back to 5:00 a.m. wake-ups and training in the morning. Otherwise, it’s just not going to happen.” Yeah. It just has to be. I knew it was a necessity for me to do something. Yeah, I know if I don’t work out in the morning, that the chances of having a good day, or the day that I want to have, is much less possible. 


Chris Ippolito 14:31 

Right. What’s your workout look like right now? 


Nick Davies 14:35 

This morning, my workout looked like doing something called TMAC Fitness. It is just a 20-minute online workout, which is high-intensity training. It was really handy for me, especially when Waverly was really young, to be able to just fit that in, 20 minutes in the garage in the morning. This morning, I followed up with a bunch of pull-ups.  


There’s a couple of things to say to that as well, Chris. Where we are right now, the beginning of the year, I’ve got a guy in my neighborhood who I’m training with. I’m getting accountability from him. We’ve got a Q1 approach to our training we’re putting together. There’s all these little tips and tricks to the pull like the levers you can pull, again, to make it even more powerful. 


That’s what it looked like for me this morning, but I tend to think about it in different layers. Most people want to work on their health. It’s such an easy example to talk about because everyone wants to do more and look after themselves. Everyone knows, intellectually, how important that is, of course. Sometimes it can be a while. “I’m going to go to the gym five times a week.” If this comes from someone who doesn’t do that at all, maybe it’s a one-time, every couple of weeks kind of person or doesn’t have a gym membership, I know immediately when they say that as a goal that they’re not going to do it. It’s just to say, “I know already you’re not going to do that. It’s not going to happen.” 


Chris Ippolito 16:06 

Yeah, they’re setting themself up for failure because you’re going to the extreme, right? A lot of people make that mistake and it’s like, “Why not just go once a week to start forming the habit and getting into a routine?” A lot of people make that mistake, yeah. 


Nick Davies 16:26 

Yeah, exactly. Keep it small. I’ll even go even further than that and say, okay, if you’re doing nothing right now, a good intention might be just to get to the gym twice a week. Just get there, just put your training stuff on and get to the gym with no expectations for when you get there. 


Chris Ippolito 16:45 

Yeah, I would even go even more minutiae than that as, and I heard this on a different podcast, to develop the routine. Let’s say it’s getting up at 5:00 a.m. to go to the gym. You get up, you walk out your door with your gym bag, and that’s considered success. You just do that consistently.  


There’s actually a book on the whole subject called Micro Habits, I think. The idea being that you set the bar so low, that it’s just so easy to accomplish, that it’s almost impossible to fail. But then once you’ve taken that step out the door, you’re going to go, “Well, I’m already here. I might as well take one more step,” and then you just keep going. 


Nick Davies 17:33 

That’s right. It’s fascinating though, right? It’s how we intellectualize things, and I find that such a dangerous thing. If you feel like that you know something intellectually, it’s so easy to dismiss it. “Yes, I know that makes sense. Yes, I know about that. I know how to eat,” or, “I know how to exercise.” Once you do that, you just go, “I know. I already know.” Of course, the knowing is not in the intellectually knowing, it’s the action, and that’s the difference. 


I like to think about it as different levels of morning routines. If my number one or most effective morning routine is to have, say, 5:00 a.m., or 5:15 is normally my time, and then I’m going to journal, and then I’m going to go to the gym. I’m going to lift. I’m going to spend some time in the sauna. I’m going to come back and I’m going to do the meditation actually sometimes in the car. When I get back, the first thing I do is plan the day and then action against one task. That will be my foundation of a fantastic start for the day morning routine.  


If I can’t get to that for whatever reason, I have an early client commitment or a family commitment, then it doesn’t mean I won’t do anything. I have a second layer and even a third layer version of it, a minimum effective dose so I can still do something in order to prep for the day even if I know I haven’t got an hour or two hours. If I’ve got 15 minutes, I’ve got a version of it. 


Chris Ippolito 19:07 

What does that look like? What’s the second layer and the third layer? Maybe this will be how we wrap up the episode. It’s been great because, as I mentioned to you, really the whole idea with each and every one of the “Get Coached” episodes is, at the end, we want to have that one actionable piece of advice for the audience such that, when they apply it, they’re going to start seeing positive results as long as they stick with it.  


I’m curious. What’s that one morning routine thing that you do that really primes you to have that successful day? 


Nick Davies 19:48 

Yeah. For me, if I’ve only got 15 minutes, whatever the time is that’s small, I can do a workout in 5 minutes. For me, the physical moving of my body is the most important thing. That’s going to look like, say, 25 push-ups, 50 air squats, and it might be some small yoga movements. That’s going to be it. That’s my minimum effective dose. I know that that’s going to be enough to get a little bit of sweat going, certainly get a little bit of a pump going. From that point, that’s my minimum effective dose, yeah. 


Chris Ippolito 20:20 

Yeah, there’s a coach out there, Jim Kwik. Are you familiar with him? 


Nick Davies 20:26 



Chris Ippolito 20:26 

The mind coach? He talks about it, he says, and it’s a common phrase, but, “As the body grooves, the mind moves,” or something like that or, no, “As the body moves, the mind grooves.” That’s what it is.  


On the topic of changing the way you think, getting your body going first thing in the morning will actually almost kick-start your brain. I actually try and do…for me, it’s not try, but my minimum is 10 push-ups, right? I can do a lot more than 10 but, for me, the benchmark is as long as I’ve done 10 push-ups in the morning, that’s a check mark on a success for the day. If I can do a lot more, which is meditation, journal, all those other things, like you’re saying, it’s great, but my minimum is just 10 push-ups. 


I think that’s a good one. I think if anybody out there who’s listening is not already incorporating physical activities into their morning routine, there’s no reason why not. Even starting as simple as a single push-up, if you’ve never done any and you’re not already doing it. Do one push up, one air squat, and stretch for like 30 seconds, and you’re done. You just keep doing that every day, just slowly increase those numbers, and you’ll start seeing the positive results for sure. 


Nick Davies 21:51 

Yeah. Absolutely. We’re always trying to tighten up our feedback loop. Ultimately that’s what it’s about with us as humans because we’re driven by emotions, we’re driven by our values and beliefs, some of which we don’t even know, back to the awareness point again. You could find yourself in a place where you don’t want to be emotionally, which then is going to impact your actions, which then is going to impact results. You could be in that place for a long time, days, weeks, months, years, before you ever go, “Wow, why am I even here?”  


The quicker you can keep that feedback loop or the tighter you can keep it, the more progress you’re going to make, because it’s just about taking action, getting results, reviewing the results, taking more action, and moving on. By moving your body in the morning, you allow yourself to be in a resourceful state to ask yourself those questions. For you, it might be 10. For me, it might be 25. The number is arbitrary. It doesn’t really matter. As soon as you can feel in a resourceful place, wham, you’re ready to go. 


Chris Ippolito 22:57 

Yeah. Usually for me as soon I drop down and I get to that number 10, I’m like, “I know I can do 10 more.” And then I do 10 more, and then I’m like, “Let’s see what my personal record is going to be this morning.” And then I’ve done it a couple times where I get up to 30 or whatever it is. It feels good once you form that habit, but I literally started with 10. Ten was easy, but it was just like you said, it’s taking the action and forming the habit. 


That was awesome. I think that’s great. Nick, where can people find you if they want to get in contact and learn more about what you do? 


Nick Davies 23:38 

Yeah, thanks. They can get in contact with me just by e-mail. You can see us on proadvisorcoach.com, please go there to see ProAdvisor Coach. Or get me at nick@proadvisorcoach.com for my e-mail address. Or on LinkedIn, Nicholas Davies on LinkedIn. Can definitely see me on there, I spend much more time on LinkedIn, for sure. 


Chris Ippolito 24:00 

Awesome. And I’ll make sure to include that in the show notes and the description of the video on YouTube. It will be nice and easy for them to find you. 


Nick Davies 24:09 

Yeah. And we’re wanting to share complimentary access of the MindScan if listeners are interested, as well. 


Chris Ippolito 24:17 

Yeah, that would be great. And where could they find that? 


Nick Davies 24:21 

We put together a landing page for anyone who’s interested in doing that and it’s only going to be available for a certain amount of time, but that’s going to be www.proadvisorcoach.com/getcoached. 


Chris Ippolito 24:36 

Awesome, awesome. I would highly recommend it, I really enjoyed even just the light assessment that gets e-mailed out. And then if you want to learn more, Nick will follow up with anybody who does it and take you through the more in-depth assessment. Cool, awesome. Thanks, Nick. 


Nick Davies 24:59 

Well, pleasure. Thank you very much, Chris. 


Chris Ippolito 25:02 

Take care. 


Nick Davies 25:03 

Take Care.