The power of the mind
I am intrigued by the power of the mind. I always was, I have read extensively about self-awareness, Buddhism, spirituality, hypnosis, etc. Books that I will never forget are “The Celestine Prophecy”, “The road less travelled”, and “Life and Teaching of the Masters of the Far East” and “The monk who sold his Ferrari”. But it was not mainstream business thinking for a long time.
Humanity is under threat
Going back through the blogs, we started writing about the mind when Carr wrote “The Shallows” For the first time questioning the impact of computers on our brains.
Richard Watson wrote about it “Digital vs human”. We are in danger of losing our humanity. Information overload switches off the brain. You need to remember that when you are getting you to consume your daily fix of digital candy. He calls that “transcendental self-attention”. Or “informed bewilderment”. Or “our memory erased by the mundane minutiae of our daily digital existence”. Narrowing, not broadening, of our focus. The true pancake people from “The Shallows”. Social media as an architecture of human isolation.
If you don’t control your mind, somebody else will. As explained in the science of selling
I predicted an arms race for your mind.
The overlap between sports, business and military
Always believed that a healthy mind is a key success factor in running and growing a business and that there is a huge overlap between sports, business and military. Entrepreneurs are the top athletes or navy SEALs of the business world. At a minimum, you should apply their techniques to keep your own mind healthy.
The perfect book for that is “The unbeatable mind” What you immediately find is that the main focus of the way the military train is nothing technical, but mostly physical and mental. Focussing on consistency, resilience, mindset, toughness, fitness, resistance, humility, focus and coherence. Discipline in body, mind and spirit.
When you read “Endure: Mind, Body and the Curiously Elastic Limits of Human Performance” you will find that training and food are important, but to get the mind to switch off the protection switch that kicks in at about 65% of our theoretical maximum strength. Hot to change the settings of your brain to get access to at least some of the emergency reserve of energy that your brain protects.
Jack Black´s “Mindstore” was way ahead of his time. About programming of your bio-computer. The meditation techniques. The mental structures. Literally. He helps you to build a mental house space where you can apply a whole range of techniques. A mental house with a shower, a library, an editing suite, a sleeping room and anything else you can imagine. As the metaphor for relaxation, the re-energising, the mental cleansing, the affirmation and PMA, the visioning, the remembering and the dreaming.
“Buddha’s mind” explains how the neuroaxis, the brain stem, the diencephalon, the hypothalamus, the limbic systems: the anterior cingulate cortex and the amygdala work. For example, you can create intentions physically in the brain, ensuring your inner experience of things coming together toward a unified aim reflects a neural coherence. What that means is that you can program your brain.
“The Power of Your Subconscious Mind” talk about the infinite intelligence within your subconscious mind. How it can reveal to you everything you need to know at every moment of time and point of space provided you are open-minded and receptive. Over 90% of your mental life is subconscious. The outside mirrors the inside. External action follows internal action. Your future is in your mind now, based on your habitual thinking and beliefs. Your subconscious mind is your Book of Life.
You are what you think
Which is why you need to free your mind or “Breaking the habit of being yourself”. You need to embrace the concept that your (subjective) mind has an effect on your (objective) world. The latest research supports the notion that we have a natural ability to change the brain and body by thought alone. In fact, your thoughts have consequences so great that they create your reality.
The most fundamental components of our so-called physical world are both waves (energy) and particles (physical matter), depending on the mind of the observer. What quantum physicists discovered was that the person observing (or measuring) the tiny particles that makeup atoms affect the behaviour of energy and matter. At the subatomic level, energy responds to your mindful attention and becomes matter. Energy is the very fabric of all things material and is responsive to mind.
Which brings you in the realm of quantum physics. To “Metahuman: Unleashing your infinite potential”. A book about how to stop being the prisoner of your own mind. How to awaken to who you really are. The user of the brain but not the brain. The traveller in a body but not the body. The thinker of thoughts who is far, far more than any thought. Your world in mind made. Your mind. My reality is most definitely not your reality. We all live in different worlds. Which means you are the master of your creation. You can create your own reality. What you see, you believe in and the other way around. Our abilities are truly amazing. And those abilities are at a quantum level. Through the body’s quantum detectors, we are seamlessly woven into the universe at the finest level. Quantum, the universe and consciousness are connected (if not the same).
Once you believe in the universe, there is no escaping “Ask and it is given”. Everything is vibration. You are also vibration. The universe is vibration. The way you vibrate determines how you live. You create your own life. If you tune in with the universe, the universe responds. You are the creator of your own reality. No one else does. And, you create your own reality even if you do not understand that you do so. For that reason, you often create by default. When you are consciously aware of your thoughts, and you are deliberately offering them, then you are the deliberate creator of your own reality, and that is what you intended when you made the decision to come forth into this body. The steps are simple. Step 1 (your work): You ask. Step 2 (not your work): The answer is given. Step 3 (your work): The answer, which has been given, must be received or allowed (you have to let it in). The book gives you 20 techniques to help:
You are responsible
Another version of that is “Zero Limits: The Secret Hawaiian System for Wealth, Health, Peace, and More”. Everything in your life, simply because it is in your life is your responsibility. You are the creator of your own reality. The entire world is your creation. Four phrases that will change your life for the better. Everything you seek and everything you experience, everything is inside you. Keep saying “I love you.” “I’m sorry.” “Please forgive me.” “Thank you.” It will change your life.
Or read “Prometheus Rising”. How The imprint sets the structure your mind becomes trapped within the structure of the imprints. It identifies with the structure; in a sense, it becomes the structure. Each successive imprint complicates the software which programs our experience and which we experience as “reality. The total structure of this brain circuitry makes up our map of the world. It also determines the shape of your body but also society. It all can be reprogrammed. Technology, neuroscience, martial arts, yoga, meditation, quantum physics and neuro-pharmacology (another word for LSD). It is that simple.
You can programme your DNA. Read “The biology of belief”. Molecular biology has shown that the genome is far more fluid and responsive to the environment than previously supposed. You can control, improve or re-programme your genes by exercise, good nutrition, a positive outlook on life, living in happiness and gratitude, being in service, and experiencing love, especially self-love, all enhance telomerase activity and promote a long and healthy life. Cells are like computer chips. Computers and cells are programmable. Thoughts, the mind’s energy, directly influence how the physical brain controls the body’s physiology.
To train your Brian use “Solve for happiness”. Switch off your brain. Stopping assumptions, predictions, memories, labels, emotions, and exaggeration messing up the now. It is amazing. Surveys show that 60-70% of our thoughts are negative. That adds up to 35,000 negative thoughts per day. 62% of all emotional words in the English dictionary are negative. The good news is that you can only think one thought at the time. You might as well make it a happy one.
You can learn how to programme yourself by reading “Inner engineering, a yogi’s guide to joy”. From active consciousness and attention, connecting with the world, (self) awareness, stillness, love, purpose and karma. The book has 11 exercises that help you with that.
If karma is of interest there is only one book to read is “The Diamond Cutter: The Buddha on Managing Your Business and Your Life”. It is a book about karma, imprints and mental gardening. Every thought is a seed to your future. You become what you think. It is all coming from the things you did or thought before. You need to actively manage your karma management. Manage your thinking.
You can use breathing as a technique. Your breathing manages your life force or prana. The concept of prana was first documented around the same time in India and China, some 3,000 years ago, and became the bedrock of medicine. The Chinese called it ch’i and believed the body contained channels that functioned like prana power lines connecting organs and tissues. The Japanese had their own name for prana, ki, as did the Greeks (pneuma), Hebrews (ruah), Iroquois (orenda), etc. With breathing where you learn to actively manage the different systems in your body, including prana with amazing results, You can train your chemoreceptors. You can train yourself to step outside the amygdalae and access your autonomic nervous system and the immune system. You can breath yourself back to (mental) health.
Or you can get a little more practical. Use “psycho-cybernetics”. The practice of calling up pleasant ideas and memories, that and changing your self-image. Act like who you want to be. No one can decide what your thoughts shall be but yourself. Our habits are garments worn by our personalities. They are not accidental or happenstance. We have them because they fit us. Fully 95% of our behaviour, feeling, and response is habitual.
Read “Limitless”. The book describes how to tackle limiting beliefs and your internal programming. You are who you believe you are. You are your internal language. You can change that language. Change your internal belief, and anything is possible. Superheroes don’t become true superheroes by giving in to limiting beliefs. A mindset that comes from silencing your inner critic presents you with a world of possibility. When you’re surging with positive emotions, you’re seeing and seizing on opportunities you might never have noticed before. And with a high sense of motivation and the right methods, you’re well on the road to becoming virtually limitless.
Another book to read is “Stillness is the Key: An Ancient Strategy for Modern Life”. stillness. To be steady while the world spins around you. To act without frenzy. To hear only what needs to be heard. To possess quietude—exterior and interior—on command. Stillness as the highest good and as the key to elite performance and a happy life. To achieve stillness, you need to focus on three domains, the timeless trinity of mind, body, soul—the head, the heart, the flesh.
“The Buddha and the Badass: The Secret Spiritual Art of Succeeding at Work” asks the questions. Starting with courage. How courageous are you? Are you living your best life? How big is your vision? The bigger your vision, the easier it gets. When you live this way, you may find that the vision is not coming from you. Instead, the universe is choosing to go through you to realise what the world needs. Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it.
Personally, I think it is about “Deep work”. Constant distraction as an issue. Digital crack as an addiction. Knowing that attention is what we choose to focus on and what we choose to ignore defines the quality of your life. Our brains construct our worldview based on what we pay attention to. Why not work on something you love to do?
And follow what you are supposed to do. As described in “The Great Work of Your Life: A Guide for the Journey to Your True Calling”. The book follows the Bhagavad Gita, a Hindu scripture on finding your purpose and the ethical and moral struggles of human life. Going beyond wealth, power, fame, and leisure. Find fulfilment in profound engagement and mastery.
If you need help with finding your purpose read “Motivate Yourself”. As Mark Twain said, “The two most important days in your life are the day you are born, and the day you find out why.” Unless you are a lucky person, finding your purpose is not easy. Let alone living it. At a minimum choose to be happy. Once you choose to be happy, the way you vibrate changes. Attracting you towards matter or people who are vibrating with similar energy. Energy of a certain quality or vibration tends to attract the energy of similar quality and vibration. That is why happy people are lucky people.
Finding “Ikigai: The Japanese secret to a long and happy life”. Follow your ikigai. There is a passion inside you, a unique talent that gives meaning to your days and drives you to share the best of yourself until the very end.
Ultimate it is all about “The Not So Secret Rules to the Game of Life | For People with the Guts to Live Consciously”. The importance of self-awareness. You need to be aware. Life is a series of decisions and choices. Most people tip-toe their way through life, hoping to make it safely to their death. You are responsible for those choices. Life is a decision. We all have the intellect and free will and yet we willingly go along with the constant stream of bullshit that is being deposited on our heads. We live in a society where we know the price of anything but the value of nothing. We keep kidding ourselves. We find satisfaction in surrogates. We confuse non-essential needs with essential needs because we think we cannot satisfy our essential needs. What you do need is someone or something to drag you from your routine and to kick your ass. Because later never comes. You cannot find yourself. There is no liberation or salvation, no nirvana. There is no way out. There is only awareness, life in the here and now. You are already free and unlimited. You limit yourself only by the fog of negative beliefs about yourself, others and the world.
It is you or somebody else that decides. I like it to be you.
It is very difficult to translate the thinking in this book to management and leadership. There is one book that comes closes. Namely “The Quantum Leader: A Revolution in Business Thinking and Practice”. As a business, you operate in a quantum vacuum. The quantum vacuum is the ground and source of everything and everyone that exists, conscious and unconscious, the driving force that causes the universe to evolve as it does, the prime substance that gives rise to all substance, the “prime mover” behind all movement, the reason for things being as they are, the sense of direction, the purpose behind things, the essential purpose coursing through our lives.
Because organisations organise human beings, they, too, have mental, emotional, and spiritual dimensions. We decide which problems we choose to solve, what goals we think it worth attaining, and our willingness to follow the rules all spring from our emotional and spiritual dimensions—from our aspirations, our ambitions, our associations, and from our visions and deepest values.