Rodney Zimmerman - Conditioned Minds Founder
At an early age and as an only child, Rodney grew up with high anxiety and panic attacks regularly as he felt socially awkward because of his height. It became hard for him to function in group settings, so he would close himself off in fear of failure. It was not until he was introduced to basketball by Billy Owens (Univ. Syracuse) and Jeff Lebo (Univ. North Carolina) in Carlisle, Pennsylvania at age 12, that his fear would be transformed into perseverance.
Upon graduating from Air Academy High School, at the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs as a High School All-American Basketball Player, Rodney went on to attend the celebrated and storied University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) on a full athletic basketball scholarship. After 7 years in both the NBA and Europe, Rodney retired from the game of basketball and shifted his focus and energy back on being a staunch advocate for our Nation’s youth. Rodney would take his collective experiences, skill sets, and vision, to develop programs and curriculum's for his company Conditioned Minds, Inc., an innovative and cutting-edge, character development company focused on behavior modeling, centered around focus skills, achievement, data assessments, and redirection towards positive outcomes.
At Conditioned Minds we believe that the greatest fear is fear of one’s own expectations. If young people are designed to seek higher than expected through hard work and fun, the worse once can do is reach a goal, also known as a perpendicular point of outcome defined by our values of success and failure. What must be realized is that what is willed from learning becomes that of each individuals struggle to strengthen ones individual journey. Through cognitive, somatic, and socioemotional experiential application, each participant has the ability to learn that when things are going well, not to settle or quit; but rather to become and do better through perseverance, without fear, or thought of outcome. To accomplish this means to have a humbled heart, yet lead by example through every process. The sign of success inside the winner is built on the challenge we already face before beginning the journey.
Philosophical Statement By The Founder
The ever increasing reality is that misdirection and overall unmotivated factors have defined the truth of today’s cultural statistics. These factors have directly affected the trends in dropout and lower completion rates, those who complete High School but do not attend Post-Secondary educational institutions, and an increase in violence and bullying around the nation. Youth are no longer attached to their true breadth and scope of mental, social, and emotional potential. Such a poignant reality manifests itself daily, as young people demonstrate life devoid of self-confidence, self-realization, attainable goals/aspirations, and mental toughness – to name just a few areas.
I believe that while the emotions behind the design of character development never changes, the way the design is viewed has been altered. A big part to this is the introduction and domination of technology in today’s world in which social interaction, interpersonal emotion, and future aspirations have been altered. To pinpoint understanding of the disarray in a child’s education or lifestyle, we must gain a better understanding of each youths focus. Today’s focus has been shifted to an instant gratification model and a definition of individual financial stature. Much of this has to do with programmatic disillusioned patterns placed in our culture, primarily as of late through media and technology; an immediate want instead of the steady path moving forward to conclude one’s true definition of success (deemed by where we place value in the minds of our youth). These disillusioned patterns have caused parenting to reach its all-time highest challenge in which there is nothing that connects the child’s feelings and directives to the parent’s desire for their child; nor to the schools that try to instill educational value and relevancy using non-educational memorization methods versus actual application teaching, or to community organizations who are focused on proper programs to instill leadership in their participants only to prove baselines in a non-profit (for profit) status quota. How a user thinks, what motivates the user, and how to bring those activators back around to develop the whole user is the algorithm teachers, administrators, parents, schools, organizations, and others have tried to figure out for so long now.
Every day a piece of our lives is placed on a canvas for observation. Our purpose is to draw the path as we see it, finding a piece of the canvas that calms our fears. I feel the question must be asked. What if there was the possibility that expressionism could be partially trained, altering the views of value and possibility? What if the activator behind each stroke of the design was aligned with connecting integers that helped the user strengthen their abilities to visually see a stronger final design of success, and each stroke featured paths of design weaving through emotions causing each user to visualize a stronger reflection of themselves? As Viktor Frankl (legendary psychiatrist and author) said, “When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves. A big part of change for many of our youth is change within self”. Teaching the user to truly give their talent without doubt is the unwavering dynamic of truth to one’s life skills.
While each user tries to figure out if such a truth exists, each is going through their own independent struggles on every level of acceptance, whether academic, social, emotional, mental, physical, or spiritual. Our culture has developed a technology based coded path to existence. I feel that it is imperative to help each user in a therapeutic reflection, not only seeing their code, but understanding how to express their talents at a level which breaks the resistance and tensions caused by surrounding pressures. The persistent feeling of failure and the ability to shut down with self-doubt when things are not going ones way is an everyday occurrence each user battles.
As I have illustrated through the design of Conditioned Minds, a sensitivity and transparency ideology is being placed around refocus (the way a user prepares and processes), reinforcement of positive structure (time management and goal setting), discipline (follow through), and growth amongst talent from adolescence to adulthood. I have always felt that while technology is ever changing, a software based product must directly reflect those changes, developing a product that could reconnect academic growth (tools to help students manage goals, assignments, and grades); social reflective networking (connecting students back within themselves instead of just with others); physical performance (creating stronger attitude and development); and future career focus (developing talents, focus, and awareness potential).
Every young person wants, deserves, and/or will find a way to have some sense of freedom and understanding of self in the end; but how the world accepts their talents has been left to opinion and judgement. Social media has becoming the elevator to the young person being heard or feeling accepted. This technological introduction to a new form of social interaction has left a short term answer to long term problems. Many interpersonal difficulties are now being associated with young people trying to fit in, while no truth in method has been introduced and executed to combat these difficulties of “performance”, translating into the life skill issues many young people are now facing.
As identified in sports, the classroom, social settings, and the workplace, there seems to be too little time to motivate and enhance the opportunities of so many young people in accordance with the ever-changing culture. While I disagree with this, the facts show true as many young people do not communicate with their teachers, counselors, coaches, and parents because they feel that the adult has little time to explain why they are receiving their consequence (bad grade, lack of playing time, non-hiring, or disciplined). There is a fault in our technology based culture, time, or obscure ability to find a solution. Young people are waiting until the last minute to truly prepare for success, holding inwards their talents, while still trying to understand their opportunities.
"Today find strength, or yesterday had no purpose.
For the purpose behind your strength is the perseverance that aligns why you stand where you are, right here; today!" - Rodney Zimmerman
INSPIRE THE "U" INSIDE of YOU
Message From Rodney Zimmerman
It's easier to come up with excuses for why something cannot be done. It is easier to settle on failure than it is to get back up and try with the understanding that you may fail again. By training the mind, spirit, and body to lead through process, perspective, and experiential output, I believe that we will gain a better understanding of our inner-self. We each have the ability to unite a model of conscious conceptualization and cognitive process in everything we do in order to become a part of change. It begins with each of us understanding that our process can truly outweigh outcome measurable’s. What other people say is that your dent, or purpose is not as big or as relevant as theirs. You will be told that your learning curves using critical thinking over physical attributes does not work, and that physical attention gives meaning to outcomes. I believe that teaching young people how to set foreseeable possibilities by strengthening input performance creates a stronger outcome.
This begins by using self-awareness to identify individual character, all while embracing trust over fear and illustrating the importance of intention over attention. By unlocking preparation techniques and increasing follow through, we are training the discipline of the mind to find purpose. With each goal set, we must create sub-goal directives which give perseverance active thought. As the founder of Conditioned Minds Inc., my vision is to have programs, camps, clinics, and technology in place that can mirror a learner, assess behavior and negative factors in real time, and redirect potential positive outcomes by showing the learner their own possibilities through perspective maintenance. This means that the learner will be redirected to take responsibility of what they see by giving them the tools to do so; thus in turn helping redirect towards positive outcomes.