Compete to Create: Achieving a Healthy Mindset

by Gabby Ruddy, Fargo  |  November 16, 2017

As Microsoft continues to be dedicated to their employees growth, they invited psychologist, Adam O’Neil and, two time Olympian, Nicole Davis from Compete to Create for a first time High-Performance Culture Training at our Fargo location. Being a high performer can have different meanings to different people; some discussed definitions were testing your mind, body, and soul and pushing past your limits of what you believe you can do. Here are some questions for you to reflect upon when you’re focusing on becoming a high performer:

What is your edge? Will you stay in a stressful situation long enough to have the joy and happiness when finished?

What are you going to be about?

Who am I at my absolute best?


In our training, Adam and Nicole talked about creating a personal philosophy. They defined personal philosophy as a statement that will guide your decisions and actions to help discover who you are at your best. When creating our philosophies, we went through different exercises to help guide our minds; finding words and phrases that we felt best represent who we are. After talking about a section, Adam and Nicole gave our group time to asks questions and share our experiences with one another.

“Before Tuesday I have never been prompted with the question… “what is your personal philosophy?” It just wasn’t something I really thought about… and now I know to remind myself of it everyday”

– Stefanie Ziebell

We spent a good amount of time on how to be mindful. They defined mindfulness to our group as a particular way of focusing on the present moment without judgement. After talking about being mindful, Adam brought us through a 9-minute mindfulness session. There was discussion following our session revolving around how everyone meditates, what to focus on while meditating, and the suggested length of meditation per day.

When trying to be a high-performer, Adam and Nicole stressed the recovery that your body will need. There are four different areas of recovery that were discussed:

thinking well

moving well

eating/hydrating well

sleeping well

For each of these areas, you can train them by moving at least 2.5 hours per week, when eating a meal try to get “as many colors” on your plate as possible, and having optimal sleep at 7-8 hours per night.

Adam and Nicole spoke about how being a high-performer is a lifelong journey and not something that can or should be done overnight. There are four main focuses over your lifetime that they spoke about:

being calm




These are all characteristics that need to be trained overtime. For each of these areas, Adam and Nicole gave us a way to train our minds for this journey. Some of these exercises included replacing destructive thoughts with productive thoughts and concentrating on your breathing to remain calm and focused.

The last areas that Adam and Nicole covered were grit, control, and optimism. Nicole spoke about grit and how it is about passion and perseverance toward long-term goals. What most people found interesting was how passion is inherently harder for people to stick with; perseverance is something that is almost built into our bodies and natural for us to continue. A practice that Adam and Nicole suggested for training yourself on optimism is that at the end of every day you write down three good things that happened to you today and why is was good. They talked about writing them down, exchanging these good things with your significant other, or working this into a family dinner.

This was an impactful training session where you can learn more about yourself and where you are as a high-performer. If you would like to get connected with the Compete to Create Team, reach out to them on LinkedIn or they have a podcast with co-founder Michael Gervais.

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