“The energy of the mind is the essence of life.” Aristotle
Ayear ago, I took a micro-dose of LSD as part of a creative experiment with a friend. Our intention was to explore our entrepreneurial visions of the future.
It was a beautiful day, and we spent it perched on a headland overlooking the ocean. As I sat across from my bearded friend, images and feelings flashed through my consciousness: Human bees.
Thousands of them. Buzzing around, in service to the world, pollinating plants and coming home to share, build the hive, nourish their community before going back out to pollinate.
In my altered state I was receiving a powerful download about one of natures patterns: Interconnection, the web of inter-dependent life and the power of collective energy.
One day, months later, I was reading a book in a cafe. My ears perked up when I heard someone say: “Y’know if bees were to be wiped out, our entire eco-system would break down.”
I had heard this before. But the timing of this comment sunk in.
I stared into space contemplating the mysterious web of life: You pull one strand, and the effects ripple out felt far and wide.
What does this have to do with your performance or happiness as an entrepreneur? Well, a lot.
Your Hidden Roots
A microcosm is defined as “a little world; a world in miniature”. Bees do their work in a microcosm, yet the energy they build and share allows the macrocosm- our entire eco-system- to thrive.
The work of bees connects the microcosm (hive & honey) with the macrocosm (pollination & proliferation).
Your mind connects the microcosm of your life (your innate purpose), with the macrocosm (the impact) of your life.
Your hidden roots of performance and happiness, are the subtle unseen thoughts, perceptions, feelings and beliefs that form your awareness. To train these roots, you need to be able to access them.
To access them, you need to be able to focus your mind, shift into a heightened state of awareness and be still and silent.
When you do, you can build, harness and express your energy effectively, and direct your thoughts in pursuit of your macrocosmic goals.
When you train your mind to be on point, every day, you always complete your goals, your work is high quality, work feels like play, and your baseline of confidence spirals upwards.
Mind-mastery= life mastery.
Therefore life mastery= the ability to focus deeply on the present moment.
1. Focus on quality not quantity- be more human
What would happen to your life and business if you did the same amount of hours, but you tripled the quality of your output in those hours?
For me it meant less time working, more work done. More time surfing, more money coming in. Less effort and stress, more joy from my work.
So how can you achieve this? It begins with shifting the paradigm on the working day and what you are.
You are not a machine. You are an artist, and your mind is a creative force, once you release it from the shackles of conformity.
Conditioning is a bitch.
Look around at how we subconsciously fall in line to a 5 day week, an 8 hour day, a 1 hour lunch, like good robots programmed with industrial era code that keeps us compliant.
Be a rebel.
I suggest you tailor make your day and life, to suit the undeniable fact that you are a magnificent being of limitless potential.
Whether you work in a marketing agency, a bank or your run a tech startup… you have just one responsibility: to express something that emerges from within you.
What changes would you make if you were free to design your life to optimise for one thing only:
Doing your highest quality of work in your most creative and focused states.
2. Upgrade the level of awareness through which you focus on your work
Even if you had a magic pill that made you “limitless” for a while, this pill does its work by increasing the level of awareness you project onto an object or subject.
Even if you learn new ways to learn faster, that still requires you to place a higher degree of awareness on the process.
Awareness is our interface between our potential… and the outside world.
So train it. How?
Have you yet developed a practice of meditation? Does is weird you out?
Have you associated it with hippies and those people who talk about energy all the time?
Now could be a good time to challenge those perceptions. Meditation has been validated by hundreds of peer reviewed scientific studies.
The benefits across the mental, physical and emotional realms are staggering. The whole neuroscience academic community has accepted meditation as a powerful way to heal, grow and create state shifts that help you feel better.
Look I know its not easy. Our modern minds are so distracted and this leads to low attentional powers. Focusing on one thing… is like trying to pick up tofu with chopsticks. Focus is slippery.
But, IT IS CRAZY TO NOT LEARN.
I have meditated (on and off) for 15 years. Over that period, I have quit about 15 times. It can be really hard.
But I have also restarted 15 times, and that’s what matters.
The practice is sticky for me, because I have felt its powerful benefits.
What benefits do I speak of?
- I have greater focus
- I can exist in flow states for far longer.
- I become aware of my negative thoughts before they even form
- I can trace thoughts at the root and become aware what drives them
- I can flip thoughts into more constructive ones that serve me
- The voice in my head stops being critical and becomes supportive
- I become aware of patterns triggered by external stimuli, and can deploy new healthy default patterns to respond in ways that help me
- I have better control over my emotional states
- I can empathise with others more
- I can spot patterns of judgement and deploy logic, compassion or something else, to release judgement
- I can see the causes of fear, but feel less fear.
In a nutshell… When I meditate every day, life flows.
*Hot Tip: You have to kill that “instant gratification” mindset. This is a life long practice. With 10 minutes a day of the right techniques you will feel greater focus very quickly.
But there is a subtlety to meditation that means a teacher can be necessary to continue to deepen to the really juicy benefits.
[ If you want to learn from someone who isn’t a smelly, dreadlocked hippie AND can communicate the subtitles of meditation in a scientific, rational way…. I’ll teach you ]
3. There is a war going on for your attention. Be ready.
If you want to master you mind, you need to understand it is under attack.
Right now, some of the worlds highest paid psychologists, marketers and computer scientists are combining brains, technology and dollars towards ever more sophisticated ways to grab a piece of your awareness.
This is hardly conspiracy theory stuff. It’s just simple fact. The stakes are high.
Your attention is a commodity, and those who capture it, can influence your decisions.
This isn’t just about whether you choose coke or pepsi.. your attention is being captured and manipulated in far more interesting ways.
Make no mistake. Never before in history has there been more orchestrated and effective mass distraction and coercion.
What are the performance and happiness implications of this? They are serious.
This war for our attention has significant collateral damage. We are living in the time of greatest threat to our focus, confidence and self-belief.
Distraction leads to shallow focus, which leads to low quality or incomplete work.
When you fail to perform, your confidence becomes eroded by self-doubt. You start judging yourself. Because belief drives performance, distraction creates a negative loop of self-doubt.
Here is the loop:
Distraction >> diminished focus >> decrease in work quality >> failure to meet expectations >> confidence decline >> stress >> overwhelm >> distractions….
What allows this loop to be triggered in the first place? Lack of awareness and lack 0f techniques to develop stronger focus.
It’s your responsibility to do something about this, by training your awareness to filter out distraction and focus on what you choose.
You need in your toolkit, an array of tools and techniques to deal with distraction and practices that train your attentional capabilities.
You need to train your awareness to stand guard at the gateway of your mind. Your awareness must protect you from the invasion of your mind, and the downward spiral towards stress and poor performance that is inevitable, once your mind has been compromised.
4: Build your entire life around peak states
You need to take your attention seriously, if you want to reach your potential. I do all my work in 3-4 hour bursts of creative focus, listening to minimalistic electronic music, in an environment in which distraction is an impossibility. I created a free framework for your to think less and do more, using “Flow sessions”.
It starts with committing to them by locking them in your calendar, and then actually taking steps to remove all potential distractions.
Every email or phone distraction will cost at least 20 minutes, when you factor in the opportunity cost of coming out of flow and back into flow
Flow sessions will help you do more in less time and achieve flow every day. But that is not their true power.
The real power of achieving flow every day, is that this creates an upward spiral of confidence and self-belief. Think about it. If you are performing at your peak, whenever you want, you begin to feel powerful.
It is time to quit the weak sauce… and commit to flow.
*Hot tip: If you work in an office, spread the Flow session culture as hard as you can. The more people around you who understand the power of working in altered states of optimal creativity and focus, the less distractions you will face. Coordinate times when everyone commits to shut down emails, slack channels and bugging each other all the time.
The output and energy levels in the office will go through the roof.
Experiment, to see if you can feel states of collective flow, when several of you are in the sweet spot. This is the gateway to truly remarkable things happening.
I’m talking almost telepathic, extra-sensory, synchronistic awesomeness.
What to do next?
- If you have never meditated, after you read this, close your eyes, and try and focus all of your awareness on your breathing. Every time your mind wander off, just gently bring it back.
- Lock in your 1st Flow session in your calendar NOW
- Commit to learning more techniques to train your mind, so you can focus on your growth as an entrepreneur
- Share this article with anyone who wants to help develop their inner game.
In April, I’m launching LIMITLESS, a 90 day launch into confidence, clarity & flow, for entrepreneurial freedom seekers who want to feel powerful.