The Inner Excellence Flow Chart – What Training Your Heart and Mind Looks Like

By: Jim Murphy


The basics

  1. The best performances and best possible life comes from learning to be fully engaged, heart, mind, and body, independent of results and circumstances. Fully present is even more empowering than fully confident.
  2. Inner Excellence training is about training the heart and mind to come together, united and wholehearted. Your heart (spirit and will) is the source of all your actions; training it is the most important thing you’ll ever do.
  3. We train the heart to love most what’s most empowering. This creates a powerful stability and inner strength that goes beyond temporary transactions, wins and losses, and ever-changing circumstances.
  4. Your opponent does not exist. He’s merely a dissenting voice to the truth I speak (see it here). Your rival is not the enemy, they’re your teacher–your partner in the dance. The real opponent is the loss of vision and possibilities that happens when your ego is threatened.
  5. Self-mastery (mastery of the ego) is the great battle that goes on in your mind, for your heart. The pursuit of mastery requires daily disciplines and training, developing empowering habits of thought and action.

“True mastery transcends any particular art. It stems from mastery of oneself – the ability, developed through self-discipline, to be calm, fully aware, and completely in tune with oneself and the surroundings in the midst of the ever-changing moment.” – Bruce Lee


1. Redefine success: Focus on the process not the result.

4 goals:

  1. Give it your best shot.
  2. Be fully present.
  3. Be grateful.
  4. Focus on your routines and only what can control.

The #1 goal is to learn and grow into your true self; the person and performer you were created to be. The first thing we do is completely change pursuits, from pursuing what we want but can’t control, to pursuing absolute fullness of life–to be fully alive; to feel and experience that life more and more often. The results take care of themselves.

Inner Excellence training is holistic: Heart. Mind. Body. Since the heart/spirit/subconscious is what runs your life, we focus on training the heart (where our hopes and fears lay) to become a certain type of person, the type that has peace and confidence in any situation.

2. Get a clear picture of where you’ve been and where you want to go.

Clarify what’s held you back in the past and learn about the three most common obstacles in performance:

1. Overthinking

2. Negative thinking (judgmental)

3. Self-consciousness (self-protection/concern for self and what others think)

Consider the type of athlete or performer you want to be; how you want to handle adversity and pressure…what’s most important to you and what you value most.

3. Clarify your ideal performance state (IPS).

Start with how you want to feel (WTF) and don’t want to feel (DWTF) when you perform. Think about when you’ve performed your best and choose 3-5 words to describe how that felt, and do the same with DWTF.

IX training is developing habits and routines based on becoming your true self, which involves developing ever-increasing awareness of WTF and DWTF, when you’re moving towards it, and when your’e getting away from it. As we do this, we also gain more (non-judgmental) awareness of the environment, learning to think less and sense (see, touch, feel, smell, and hear) more.

The IPS for all of us involves less thinking and greater sensory awareness, and especially… more awareness of the beauty that is always around us but sometimes harder to see.

4. Learn the IX mindset:

I compete to raise the level of excellence in my life, to learn and grow, in order to raise it in others.

We know that the most powerful motivation in human history comes from a purpose beyond self (whether it’s special forces, music, sports, business, etc.).

Learn the 7 traits of Champions and 7 beliefs of Champions.

5. Start to develop routines around how you want to feel and live and the type of person/performer you want to become.

Inner Excellence is an in-depth system of training the heart and mind with daily habits and routines of thought and action.

Three key areas we focus on:

1. Belief (the subconscious comfort level that you can live your dreams). Belief is the x-factor in high performance. Comes from daily thoughts and feelings, images and experiences.

2. Freedom (play like a kid with passion and excitement). Most athletes, by the time they turn professional or soon after, have lost their freedom in some sense or at some level.

3. Focus (to fully present in the moment, fully engaged, heart, mind, and body, unattached to what you’re trying to do). We learn to train the mind and master the ego so the heart—the deepest part of us where our hopes and dreams, fears and anxieties lie—can be transformed… so you can become the type of person that has a meaningful, fulfilling life, with amazing experiences and deep, enriching relationships, a life where you’re constantly learning and growing in love, wisdom and courage.


1. Keep a journal on these five areas as you continue to develop self-awareness and awareness of the process of self-mastery.

2. Start to work on your daily routines.


  • Create a music playlist that you listen to every time before you compete or practice. AND/OR create a music playlist that you listen to first thing in the morning, every day when you wake up. The playlist should match WTF in your life and if it’s pre-performance, how you want to feel when you perform.
  • Work on your visualization routine (do at least twice a day, two good times are in the morning before you start your day and just before bed). The GPS is a good one to start with.
  • Figure out your ideal routine for game week or for traveling to tournaments or events: If you want to see the questionnaire I send to my performers pre- and -post performance, send me an email. Generally I respond within a week.

Let me know how it’s going!

Love Jim


I’m writing this in Boston, on the patio of The International, for this week’s LIV tour event. I’ll be in Vancouver, BC a week from now and likely in the Seattle area the rest of September finishing the audiobook!

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