All of us are always trying to become better versions of ourselves. If you clicked a link and landed on this post, you did so hoping that you learn something new.

The concept I am about to introduce you to certainly isn’t something I came up with. A legendary MMA (Mixed Martial Arts) fighter and coach – Frank Shamrock – coined this particular way of naming the framework.

As is evident by now, there are three parts to this equation.

  1. The Plus – ‘The plus’ is someone who is better than you at whatever you’re trying to get good at right now.
  2. The Minus – ‘The minus’ is someone who you’re currently better than at whatever you’re trying to get good at.
  3. The Equal – No prizes for guessing. ‘The equal’ is someone who is currently as good as you are at whatever you’re trying to get good at.

The Plus

You need ‘The plus’ because you need inspiration. The role of mentors can never be understated. Learning from someone who has been on the journey can certainly be helpful. Mentors can teach us what to do and how to do those things, but more importantly they can teach us what not to do. A personal hero of mine, Bob Proctor, defines mentors thus “A mentor is someone who sees more talent and ability within you, than you see in yourself, and helps bring it out of you.

The Minus

You need ‘The minus’ because we live in a world that pays it forward. As the great Peter Drucker put it succinctly “No one learns as much about a subject as one who is forced to teach it.” The best teachers end up learning as much or more from the process and their students.  As someone who has dabbled with teaching as well as learning, I can vouch for this. Some of my best sources of inspiration have been my students.

The Equal

You need ‘The equal’ because our peers often bring out the best in us. If you’re competitive, you already know this very well. If you’re not competitive, become competitive. That’s how you start winning. However, being competitive is not the only reason to look for a peer. A peer can help you set benchmarks and measure your growth. So, think of a peer as a person who accompanies you to the gym or a sparring partner and not necessarily the neighbourhood bully who wants to beat you up.  Whatever works best for you.


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