I’m reconnecting with what started this blog: a fascination for the power of the brain in general and specifically how it can impact us in business and in life.
The power of our mind
Watch this simple experiment
It proves that what we imagine will trump our logic. We are emotional beings first and firemost, which is why adverts work. They can get the better of us by playing on our emotions. Anything that elicits a powerful emotion (like an outrageous tweet for instance) can bypass our logic, trigger emotions then in turn affect our behaviour.
Instead of relinquishing that power to others, how about harnessing it for ourselves?
It’s been said so often in different forms that it sounds cliché but it is still true: our mind has tremendous power. Knowing how it works can help us know how to work it.
How we programme ourselves
It is estimated that we have at least 50000 thoughts per day, a majority of which are recurring self talk. It’s the programme you’re running or the way you condition yourself to do what you do (unbeknownst to you!)
Monitoring those thoughts will help us figure out how many of those are empowering and worth keeping, and how many are negative and worth challenging or releasing.
Personally, I have a few recurring thoughts I have had for decades. One of which is in the form of a question: “why is everything so difficult?”
It first appeared during my primary school days when I was top of my class or very close without effort.
This changed when we moved to a city, where the academic level was higher.
I then discovered I could not rely on my innate abilities anymore. A rude awakening. I was introduced to the concept of working hard, which was painful. Still is. I’d rather feel I’m in the zone, the flow, than the grind or hustle.
The result of this recurring thought in my adult life is that I run around resentful when obstacles and difficulties arise. I don’t attack the problem with all my focus and give up too easily.
It’s my fault. I’ve programmed my mind to resent difficulty.
Run a better programme
If my performance is to improve, I must condition myself better, run a better programme.
The way I can do that is by asking a better question such as: how do I break down the difficult into its easier components? Or how do I work smart instead of just hard?
In fact, this has been the founding principle of this blog. It’s here in the tagline: “toolbox for the working smart”
I subscribe to the quote attributed to Abraham Lincoln: If I had 6 hours to chop down a tree, i’d spend 4 hours sharpening the axe.
Using the least amount of energy for the highest impact is my jam.
Not because of lazyness but for sustainability.
Because how long could we really sustain working all out with only trickling results?
In the case of our most important tool (our brain) it’s about harnessing its power effectively.
Help is at hand
I’m currently reading Limitless by Jim Kwik. He is reminding me the fundamentals (which I’ve posted about time and time again) such as the importance of nutrition, exercise and self-talk and teaching me how to take things further such as reading faster and improving my memory.
I have recently been supplementing my diet with adaptogens, which are plant-based compounds that help regulate the body’s natural defences against inflammation and stress. I will expand on this in a future post.
I also value recovery time, in nature if I can. Nature has proven soothing properties, whether it’s a stroll among flowers or in the woods. It stimulates feel good chemicals in the brain.
I don’t know about you but I feel I have so much more I need to achieve and frankly, I’ve been slacking. Yes times have been hard. But I’ve had lots of time on my hands that I could have used better.
It is said that Shakespeare wrote his best plays during isolation caused by the bubonic plague. Isaac Newton used isolation time to explore scientific questions too.
Isolation (forced or self-imposed) is a great opportunity for reflection, innovation and creativity.
I don’t want to squander that opportunity and regret later. Do you?
So to recap, while we still can, we need to learn more about our brain to harness its power and unleash its full might onto our field of predilection, whatever it is.
My wish is that this will cause unprecedented individual (and hopefully collective) leap forwards.
What will your leap forward be?
Reflect, Redefine, Rise!