The 2020 TED Conference has been shifted to being online due to the COVID-19 pandemic which includes a talk from the NFL's highest-paid quarterback, Russell Wilson.
During the conference's second session, the Seattle Seahawks quarterback virtually gave a talk on the power of practicing neutral thinking in trying times.
“Mindset is a skill. It can be taught and learned. I started 10 years ago training my mind,” said Wilson, who is trained by mental conditioning coach, Trevor Moawad, author of It Takes What It Takes.
Earlier this year in an interview with KIRO Radio’s Seattle’s Morning News, Moawad talked about how he helps Wilson maintain a mindset conducive to success, including always focusing on the ensuing action rather than past events.
“You have three bad quarters, you’ve thrown four interceptions, you own that,” he said. “But the next seven minutes are going to be based on what you do, not what you did.”
I have a choice, right now, in the midst of the storm, to decide to overcome. - Russell Wilson during his speech
Wilson also discussed how getting too hung up on the highs or lows can have consequences that affect the future. He would know having experienced both: winning and losing a Super Bowl, getting married, divorced and then married again, and losing his father.
“Positivity can be dangerous, but what always works is negativity,” Wilson said. “I never want to live in negativity, so I stayed in neutral … that’s where I’ve been living ever since.”
He doesn't want anyone to get confused. Wilson's not a robot. He still feels emotions, but he's trained his mind to not allow him to act emotionally.
“Does it mean I don’t have any emotion? Absolutely not,” Wilson said. “But you have to stay focused on the moment. It’s OK to have emotions, but don’t be emotional.”
Wilson echoed that sentiment when he spoke to NBC Sports Northwest for the Headstrong documentary last fall about the importance of mental health.
“The easiest way to start, in my opinion, is to one, write out where you want to go," Wilson said. "What’s my end destination? Then I think about where I am currently, right now. Then I think about the necessary steps to get there.”
We can all learn a thing or two from the Seahawks' greatest player.
Be sure to check out the latest Talkin' Seahawks Podcast with host Joe Fann and legendary running back Curt Warner.