Hooman Motevalli is an entrepreneur and business owner enamored by the human brain and its processes. Throughout his life, he’s seen the mind play an integral role in shaping the leaders and followers around him. Here he shares his journey, findings, and recommendations on how to manage the voice in your head that tries to stop you from becoming the best version of yourself.
While coaching at the Aston Villa Soccer Academy in the UK, entrepreneur and business director Hooman Motevalli noticed something interesting in the mindsets of the soccer players he worked with. This revelation sparked a grand curiosity in him that built the foundation for his business endeavors today.
He noticed that — despite playing on a team together and sharing a common goal of achieving victory against the opposition, some players would not be willing to collaborate with the others, going to lengths to give each other a hard time, such as not passing the ball and refraining from socializing together after practice.
However, when Motevalli was nearby or addressing the team, they would switch their behavior and pretend that everything was okay. With a desire to figure out what was going on so he could lead his team in the right direction, Motevalli figured he needed to do some digging to understand what was happening in the minds of these young players.
He began by asking them directly what the tension was, but realized quickly they were reluctant to open up so easily. “Even when you’re close to them and friendly, they would still not disclose to you that they have some disagreements. I thought it was an ego issue, but the interesting part is that they would try to keep it away from me and the other coaches,” Motevalli says.
With a determination not to take no for an answer, he persisted, and eventually, his players began to open up. He concluded what was going on and shared that it was completely different from what he initially expected. The behavior he noticed on the field actually extended way far beyond it.
With a background in art, Motevalli explains that soccer and theater are a lot alike. As with any skill, one’s mindset and personality play an important role in how successful they will be, and there are many variables that play a role in determining that outcome.
As a dynamic leader in his field, Motevalli’s prescient view of the human mind allowed him to think outside of the box. In his eyes, success is defined by one’s ability to inspire, lead, and motivate others, yet as a passionate coach for his soccer team, certain team members of his were unable to work together.
Brene Brown’s methodology, “Clear is Kind. Unclear is Unkind,” explains why, suggesting that most people try their best to follow instructions, while they may not fully understand the reasoning behind why they should be doing it.
Although Motevalli’s soccer players were clear on his instructions, some of them still engaged in counterproductive actions both on and off the field because of their mindsets, essentially the voice in their heads that instructed them to do otherwise.
“Most managers, directors, and people don’t perceive — they just try their best to follow the instructions,” explains Motevalli. “That sort of confidence without clarity is a big problem. To have clarity of perception is very important in our current world, where there have been so many misunderstandings and serious problems,” he says.
With a desire to challenge this, Motevalli has created a leadership training course called “CCC,” Convert Confusion to Clarity. In it, he outlines various exercises and techniques that can help people step into a growth mindset, such as journaling, running, and mirror work.
“One thing that contributes heavily to the confusion people experience in their minds is the non-stop voices they hear in their heads. But if you just start to write down what’s going on, you won’t believe the difference it will make.”
Speaking from a personal perspective, Motevalli explains that the average person doesn’t constantly observe or think about their brain mechanisms. Instead, they allow their mind to confuse and control them. However, if you make the decision to consciously think about your brain and how it works, you’ll be able to utilize it and apply your cognitive abilities in a way that suits and benefits you.
Motevalli’s goal is to help other people, whether young members of a soccer team or readers of this article, how to take that confusion out of their minds and learn to live and work together in a way that benefits everyone.
His upcoming book, “Convert Confusion to Clarity,” is slated for release later this year, where he’ll be sharing more tips and resources on managing the voice in your head so that you can be the best version of yourself, for you, and for those around you.