Mindurance, LLC

MINDURANCE, LLC is an organization dedicated to creating products and services that help people live the lives they want to live.

MIND. the element, part, substance, or process that reasons, thinks, feels, wills, perceives, judges, etc. ENDURANCE. ability or strength to continue or last, especially despite fatigue, stress, or other adverse conditions. MINDURANCE. the willingness and ability to develop and consistently apply the mental, emotional, and behavioral skills that allow you to most effectively live the life you want to live MINDURANCE, LLC is an organization dedicated to creating products and services that help people live the lives they want to live. From the board room to the bedroom. Stadium to studio. Mindurance is here to help contribute to your success in all areas of your life. Visit the website to see how Dr. Steve can be a positive influence for you, your team, or your organization.

Mission: To create products and services that help people live the lives they want to live.

Arts and Sciences at Ohio State

What happens when a student-athlete plays their last game and hangs up their jersey for good? Psychology alum and former Buckeye football player Steve Graef weighs in ahead of an event presented by The Sports and Society Initiative OSU.


Elite athletes seem to lead perfect lives with great careers and lucrative contracts while amassing rings, titles and medals. Just like millions of others, these #athletes also endure #stress, #anxiety and #depression, except under intense public scrutiny. Don't miss this power panel of #OSU coaches and athletes, led by Dr. Steve Graef, sport and performance psychology expert. #CEU and #CME credits available.
Register now Wexnermedical.osu.edu/brainhealth
Mindurance, LLC #buckeyebrains #2019BHPS


Tips for keeping your New Year's resolution

New Year's Resolutions are just a sexy word for GOAL! Crush your goals this 2017 and join me January 3rd or 4th for a deep diving webinar! Sign up at www.mindurance.org/classes

nbc24.com (NBC News) The New Year usually comes with new resolutions, but change can be hard, especially once life goes back to normal after the holidays.To succeed with resolutions going forward sports psychologist Dr. Stephen Graef at Ohio State's Wexner Medical C


Keeping your 2017 New Year's resolutions

Make New Year's Resolutions a thing of the P.A.S.T.! For more tips on how to kick 2017's ass sign up for my webinar on January 3rd or 4th at www.mindurance.org/classes Thanks Tracy Townsend for a making your boy look good!

10tv.com We all make resolutions to be better in the new year and then fall short. An OSU sports psychologist says this year can be different if you put bad habits in the P.AS.T.


Sunday Special: Ex-OSU player Graef moves from physical to mental side of sports

Reppin in the Rep. For the record, I did not complete my MBA....but I did take two classes!

cantonrep.com The former Lake High standout works as a sports pyschologist in Columbus

The problem with 100
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Today is my 100th blog! Hard to believe I have written 100 of these things! I hope it’s obvious how much fun I have writing these. More importantly is that I hope you enjoy reading them and that they have made some, even if it is small, contribution to your lives. Perhaps a different perspective, a little tip, a new strategy, or just a smile. So for all the readers out there…thank you! Now let’s get to today’s topic…100!

100 is an representative number. It’s something we strive for on a test. It shows proficiency in bowling. High scoring in basketball. Complete certainty or agreement in conversation. A remarkable height. A unique age. An impressive amount of repetitions. A noteworthy milestone. And probably 100 other applications of significance. 100 is a metaphor, a symbol, an archetype for success! Something that the majority of us want the majority of the time, perhaps 100% of us, 100% of the time? Yet, we don’t always reach 100 do we? Sometimes the questions are more difficult.The gutter balls more plentiful. The defense more intense. The odds less certain. What do we do then? How do we measure success then? Was my blogging not enjoyable or successful until I reached 100? Was my 99th blog less important, less enriching? Was 1-99 a waste of time? What will come of 101? Further, if 100 is such an amazing number, how come it represents an AWFUL day on the golf course? Now it’s starting to seem that 100 is actually a moving target. A representation that doesn’t actually equal success 100% of time and in fact, might even be at times the antithesis of it. It changes its meaning depending on the situation, the context, the particular course. So what is one to do?

Show some love and embrace 1-99 for they are also just as important to our success. Though we might not always make 100, making the most of 1-99 will also lead to success over time. Interestingly, given that I started this blog on June 16th, I have actually written my “daily” blog 100 times in 178 days. That’s actually a completion rate of 58%…not really all that close 100%, huh? Does it matter? I contend no. For my journey to 100 might have taken a little longer than expected, I have enjoyed 1-99 just the same, as well as the days that have passed in between them.

So, as 100 passes and tomorrow I write blog #101, I ask you, regardless of what journey you’re on, that of course you can continue to strive for 100, but also take more notice of and value the 1-99s because without those 100 doesn’t happen. If 100 stood alone, striving for it would be a problem, its the solution that it doesn’t. Here’s to “100” more…keep reading.

Thank the other side
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Thanking the other side

Yes, thats the ass of a turkey! Why? Because sometimes you have to look at the other side of things. On this Thanksgiving….I am thankful for the other side.

I am thankful for traffic jams, for they teach me to be still.
I am thankful for isolation, because I learn to appreciate company.
I am thankful for sadness, because without it, there is no joy.
I am thankful for anxiety, without that, there is no relaxation.
I am thankful for conflict, without it, no such thing as peace.
I am thankful for rainy days, so I can appreciate sunny days.
I am thankful for break-ups for they lead to new relationships.
I am thankful for doubt, because it can lead to certainty.
I am thankful for boredom, without it there is no variety.
I am thankful for death, without it, no life.
I am thankful for sickness, the contrast to health.
I am thankful for injury, so I can appreciate ability.
I am thankful for stupidity, so I can continue to learn.
I am thankful for jealous, its intensity show ones care.
I am thankful for empty wallets, so I appreciate when I have money.
I am thankful for hunger, so I can appreciate satiation.
I am thankful for bad days, they show off the good.
I am thankful for critics, they provide unsolicited feedback.
I am thankful for messy, because it helps me strive for clean.
I am thankful for cluttered, because it helps me value organization.
I am thankful for jerks because they teach e patience.
I am thankful for deadlines because they help me get things done.
I am thankful for unemployment because it has taught me hustle.
I am thankful for controlling, without it no freedom.

Are you thankful for the other side?

Your Garden Song
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The legendary folk singer John Denver wrote the “Garden Song.” First lyrics start as follows:

Inch by inch, row by row
Gonna make this garden grow
All it takes is a rake and a hoe
And a piece of fertile ground

I’m amazed at how metaphorical these lyrics are, particularly as it pertains to what is required to develop as a person, relationship, organization, team, or business…anything really. Let’s take a look.

1. Inch by inch, row by row. Progress happens slowly, deliberately over time. It’s hard to skip over this hard work. Tim Ferris has done his best to hijack the process by encouraging folks to focus on only the essential pieces. But even at that, we will have to work on, at times painstakingly so, these essential ingredients. Yep, inch by inch, and row by row indeed. You want something? Focus on the essentials and dig in.

2. Gonna make this garden grow. Key word here is “make.” The inch by inching and the row by rowing is what cultivates the garden. It’s not like the garden fairy just sprinkles magic seed and a garden appears. Nope. We have to MAKE it happen through the hard work from #1. You want something? MAKE it happen. No fairy gardens here.

3. All it takes is a rake and a hoe. To be successful you need the right tools and a work ethic. The rake and hoe need moved in order to do what they do…right? Guess who moves them? Us damnit. So we need to USE the right tools to create our gardens. I also like the simplicity of this lyric. On one hand it exemplifies the hard working of tools to accomplish something. However, the simplicity in the phrase “all it takes” reminds us that success really, quite simply, just comes from doing. Once you have the tools and the know how, it comes down to doing it. All it takes is application.

4. And a piece of fertile ground. The definition of fertile is “capable of producing.” Well, all you have to do is go in front of the mirror and take a moment. Do you see what I see? Hopefully, you do, because I see the fertile ground. You are the fertile ground! You are capable of producing whatever kick ass garden you want. The mind is malleable. You CAN learn new skills no matter how old you are or how difficult things might seem. You’re fertile baby!

What garden do you want to make grow? Are you inch by inching? Row by rowing? Do you have your particular rake? How about your hoe? Do you realize that you are fertile enough to produce? You are! Now go sing your song….your Garden Song.

Make a left
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How often do you go against the grain? To do something in the face of criticism even though you believe it will ultimately be the best decision for you. Now granted, there are no crystal balls, and we have to operate based on the information that is in front of us. However, we have all been in situations where our heart or gut is telling us to pursue something, that job, that business, that relationship, that investment, but everyone (or seemingly everyone) is telling us to stop, to go the traditional direction, to not “make that left.” By no means is decision making, especially in the face of a life altering decision, to be taken lightly, but so often we make such decisions based on social conformity. Or based on others who might not have any idea of what we are actually dealing with. Sure it’s nice to bounce ideas off someone or to have them lend an ear, but seldom does that not come with a bit of their own two cents on the situation. Next time you’re faced with a tough decision, at least consider, for perspective sake, the left hand turn. Doesn’t mean you have to pursue it, sign the dotted line, get on bended knee, or withdrawal the money, but it will open you up to a different, and perhaps, more beneficial, enjoyable, adventurous, lucrative path. Not always, but it might. And you won’t know, unless you make a left.

W.A.K.E. Up
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Recently, I have been on the search to establish more of a routine to my day and week. Only devoting two full days at Ohio State leaves a lot of time for developing my private practice, time that can often get wasted. For this reason, I was very excited when I came across the book “The 5AM Miracle: Dominate your day before breakfast.” A quick look through the table of contents on Amazon and boom, into my Kindle library it went. I was impressed by its step-by-step process and its simple messaging. Not surprisingly one of the key premises is to get up a little earlier, as well as have a consistent morning routine that anchors your day. Now, I’m not an overly late sleeper. Left to my own will and assuming I did not have a wild night the night before I am usually able to be up by 8am. However if I want to “dominate my day before breakfast, I really need to get up a little earlier. So, 6:30 it is…to start. Now I have been setting my alarm for 6:30 for the past month and after a few snoozes I would get up at 7:00am. Not a good way to dominate the day…snoozing life? Ugh. I wasn’t being smart, I needed to W.A.K.E. up.

Work your way down. If I wake up at 8am typically and set my alarm for 5:30am there is a very likely chance that I will NOT be successful. Maybe for one morning I could drag my ass out of bed, but after bonking in the afternoon I would ultimately sleep in the next day to catch up on missed sleep. Work your way down 15 minutes a day to slowly get your body used to the earlier morning.

Arrange your room. In the picture above you will see that my phone is perched up on my seldomly used golf bag and not on my night stand. Why? Well, 1) I wont be tempted to check my phone in the middle of the night and 2) it forces me to get out of bed to turn off the alarm, which at this point is needtobreathe’s “Keep your eyes open”…get it?

Keep moving. Once up, keep moving around and building momentum. I have found the first 5 minutes are kinda brutal but after that I am pretty good to go and have greatly reduced the likelihood of getting back in bed. I keep moving by chugging a glass of water, making my bed, brushing my teeth, doing an easy 10-minute band workout to get the muscles moving. By the time I’ve finished that morning 15 I am up and at em. What can your “Morning 15” be? Whatever it is just keep moving.

Early to bed. Finally, one of the most effective ways to become an early riser is to become an early sleeper. Obviously because you won’t be sacrificing sleep. So try to establish bedtime anchors and wind down and eventually fall asleep a little earlier than before. Again, try 15 minutes at a time.

We will see how this goes. It’s still early in the “dominate my day before breakfast” process, so I will continue to report. But I am excited and feeling good about it! I will be gentle with myself during the holidays, alter as needed, and get back on track as necessary. So, if you’ll excuse me, it’s time to W.A.K.E. up.

Be a black cork
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Last night I shared a bottle of wine with a friend and when it was opened I was surprised to see, for the first time ever, a black cork. “How cool!” we both thought having never seen a wine cork with this appearance. Now I admit, though I’ve had a fair share of wine in my day I am by no means a wine connoisseur and it wasn’t until later, when I met up with another group of friends, that one of them, who is much more well-versed in wine, politely stated that she had seen black corks in bottles before. I could have been disappointed by the now seemingly less unique quality of the cork, but instead, it got me thinking.

As the average wine drinker, I had never experienced a black cork before, hence it was really kinda cool. However, to the expert wine drinker, not so much a big deal. Assuming basic statistics, there are going to be more average wine drinkers than there are expert wine drinkers. So the decision to place a black cork in a bottle of cabernet has the potential to resonate and stand out to a far greater amount of people.

As you think about your personal growth or business, what is your black cork? What is going to offer value, appeal, or offer uniqueness to the most people. Now I can certainly appreciate selling to the high end niche and obviously this has been a good strategy for a variety of brands, however, let us also be clear that there is a substantial market out there that appeals to the average. Further, we don’t even have to apply this philosophy to the literal selling of goods and services. Instead we can think about what characteristics or skills we offer as human beings in general and/or in our line of work. For example, in my work as a psychologist I am often amazed at how few of my clients have ever deliberately done, or even heard of, deep breathing. So much in fact that when we complete deep breathing in session, they are equally amazed at its immediate benefit for stress reduction…it’s like they’ve seen a black cork! If I did belly breathing with a Navy Seal, someone who is obviously expert in the utilization of performance mental skills, he may have more of a “oh, I’ve seen this before type of reaction.” The black cork is just a cork to him.

So consider, what can you offer your average “consumer” that they have never experienced before? Maybe the “experts” have, but the average hasn’t. Is it deep breathing? Cold towel after hot yoga? Listening in a relationship? A personalized email? Spending an extra minute? Basic running form? Three popular guitar chords? Can you start (or continue) providing this on purpose?

What is your black cork?

Go L.U.C.K. yourself
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This beautiful little buddy landed on me while I was running yesterday and it was too good of a shot to not capture and write about. So here we go, let’s talk about luck. As luck would have it. That person is so lucky. What a lucky son of a bitch. We’ve heard it all before. Some people are lucky, some are not. But I am believer that we make our own luck. As such, some of the luckiest people are those that have put themselves in the most opportunities to be lucky. So I turn back to that quote, “Luck is when preparation meets opportunity.” Want some help being lucky? Start being L.U.C.K.Y.

Listen, look, learn. Increase your awareness. The luckiest notice opportunities. They hear things that others might not. They may make the most of a random conversation in a coffee shop. Want to be lucky? Get off Pokemon go and start putting yourself in the mix and pay attention. If you stay in your apartment like a hermit the only opportunity that is going to present is something within the walls of that apartment. The more you get out and about the sphere of opportunity increases. How does one get out? Say, Yes! Not all the time, but more. Do it more.

Utilize your strengths. What are those talents that you possess that you feel like you are in your sweet spot when performing. The more you do those…the more you utilize these strengths, the more you put yourself in a position to be successful. The lucky do things that bring them joy more often, so they are often getting rewarded. Some call that lucky.

Count your blessings. Start noticing the good things in life. When we start noticing the good, we start noticing the possible. When we start noticing the possible, we start noticing the opportunities that life presents to us. If we are in our heads, assuming bad things happen to people, do you think we stand a chance of making the most of a “chance” encounter? No way! Assume its out there for you to find and keep your eyes open.

Know more people. The old adage it’s not who you know it’s what you know really is true. There are countless times when opportunities occur because “someone” was talking to “so and so” and they needed “X position” and “so and so” thought about you and told “someone.” It really does work that way and the more people you know, the more that can happen.

So if you're sitting out there wondering why everything always seems to happen for everyone else (I get it, I’ve been there too)? How do you get out? Simple, go L.U.C.K. yourself.

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