“We typically think of vision only in terms of grand 10-year business schemes or long term life goals, but the reality is that vision is a fundamental component of daily life. I was recently speaking with a friend, Matt, who’s the CEO of a media company in Los Angeles. Outside of entrepreneurship, Matt’s passion is the martial art Brazilian jiu-jitsu. Recently, he was sparring with an adversary who was larger and more experienced than he. On paper, this opponent should have defeated him easily. However, Matt had other ideas. As the sparring started, Matt looked intensely for weakness in his opponent’s structure and for possible areas where he was off balance. At a certain point, Matt literally had a vision of the sequence of steps he could take to maneuver the adversary into a rear-naked chokehold. That vision gave him the belief, calmness, and clarity to act decisively, and a minute later he had his opponent pinned and tapping the mat in submission.”
“In essence, the key to this strategy is to turn our focus outwards. Rather than being continually consumed by the idea of ‘what’s in it for me,’ you focus entirely on the other people you interact with. You empathize with them, you’re genuinely curious about their hopes and dreams, and you respect them deeply. You act as a leader with their best interest in mind. Operating with this external focus also liberates one from the discomfort of painful of self-awareness. Adopting an inquisitive external focus frees our mind and energy to serve and create in the best possible way.”
“Our mental narrative in the present is the essential basis of our future possibilities in life. It’s not that positive thinking is the magic pill, but it’s recognizing that:
1) Our thinking is the foundation of the actions we choose to take and not to take based on what we believe is possible
2) Our thinking acts a filter on reality either revealing or concealing the opportunities constantly flowing through our life.”
“Because whether it’s in sports or an entrepreneurial venture, 99% of the suffering is not in the “failure” itself. 99% of the suffering is the story we make up in our mind about what it means. E.g., ‘I’m a bad person,’ ‘They don’t like me,’ ‘This always happens to me,’ ‘This is unfair,’ ‘I’ll always be mediocre’ etc…. This is what I call the multiplier effect. What was an initial pain of 10 points gets multiplied into a pain of a 1,000 by the distorted magnifying glass of the mind. A pain of 10 is fine. Adding guilt, shame, or resentment to the mix is totally unproductive. Instead, get curious! Approach it like a child eager to learn without the burden of self-consciousness. What can I learn here? How is this painful experience making me stronger? How can this fuel my desire to work even harder next time?”
Wellness & Entrepreneurship: “If we compulsively stretch ourselves too thin in a desire to fix everything, we quickly lose our mental and emotional balance. Anxiety sabotages focus and pulls us compulsively from task to task, without clear insight as to which tasks are actually productive. We lose sleep and skip the gym. We order convenient, low nutritional food, and neglect our outside relationships. Our emotional juice begins to wane, and we become more reactive to situations. We start getting annoyed with our co-founder and become less available to junior employees. We feel a sense of isolation and loneliness. Simple life activities begin to feel overwhelming. Our mind races, and we feel as if we’re going crazy….. Here’s a question: If your mind and emotions are out of balance, what hope is there for anything you create to be balanced, high-quality, and sustainable?”
Whether we’re entrepreneurs or we’re simply ambitious in our career, the mantra most of us have absorbed from western culture is “If I work harder, then I’ll be successful. And if I become more successful, then I’ll be happier.” Consciously or subconsciously we believe that somewhere in the future after x, y, and z happens this magical time will exist where we will finally feel secure and fulfilled with our life.
However, upon closer examination, this formula of “deferred wellbeing” is a complete illusion. In fact, it is the formula for a fulfilled life set completely backward.