The key to winning this game is practicing as much as possible to keep moving forward
Four States of mind
When I look at my life, things that feel hard things where I’m reactive, where I’m inundated, I feel the pressure. I’m emotional. I feel like the world is ending all comes from this feeling of this lack of control and the feeling of the lack of control is not actually something I’m feeling. It’s something I’m thinking. And what I’m thinking is all these scenarios over and over again that are playing worst-case scenarios. Is this going to happen? Is this not going to happen? And it’s I’m watching my brain and these thoughts dictate how I feel. And so when I say easy as a state of mind, it’s bringing awareness to that thinking and becoming present in the current moment.
And so when I say easy as a state of mind, I mean that it can be ease as a state of mind that comes from awareness and clarity. Clarity of what’s really happening of where we are of what’s around us, what we smell, what we see, what we feel. And it starts by just getting back into our bodies. And that might be a breath. It might be looking at your hand, it might be tapping your face. It might be hugging yourself. It could be anything that just gets you out of the reality, the programming, the virtual reality, that’s happening inside of our ears. Convincing us that the world is ending and some saber tooth tiger is coming to eat us to pieces to hit that pause button.
Scott Carney wrote this amazing book called the wedge, and you guys know I’m a big fan of cold therapy and breathwork. And the wedge does exactly that. The wedge helps us insert a pause button when everything feels out of control to become aware. And in order to have an ease to state of mind, awareness is the secret.
And so what we get to practice every day is we get to practice becoming aware. Now, once we become aware, Of where we are, what we’re experiencing, what’s actually in front of us. We have all it’s like we have an overview of the field or at least a field that we need to see. And then in order to recreate that situation in a positive manner, or to make momentum forward, we need to find a focus. We need to take consistent action towards that focus. And then we need to celebrate every single win along the way.
And I had this conversation the other day with one of my mastermind members about cashflow and it’s like cashflow gotta work on cash flow, gotta work on cashflow. Like of course, but cashflow is an outcome. It’s an output of inputs and a process. So if you look at cash flow by itself, you’re not going to be able to solve anything, but it feels real and it feels overwhelming sometimes. But if you take a step back and be like, okay, what goes into the cash flow? Is it sales? Is it production? Is it shipping costs as an employee overhead? And what process does it go into? You see the ingredients and then you can pick the ones that we need to focus on, consistently while celebrating the wins to then change the output, which has cashflow.
And there’s this amazing blog called Farnam street, but they talk about the four States of mind. And we are always in the four States of mind. So we are either, having an internal or external dialogue. And internal is we’re talking to ourselves, we have the voice in that head. We’re having that conversation with whoever it is that we’re speaking to. And then external is we’re focusing on what’s happening around us. We’re noticing, the sights, the sounds, the colors, the people. And in those stages of thinking, there’s eyes or helpful thinking, or there’s harmful thinking. And so if you think about it, helpful internal thinking is thinking, We’re just thinking we’re pondering, we’re noticing. The internal helpful state of mind is thinking.
The external, helpful state of mind is being engaged, doing things, aware of what we’re doing, actively participating with our kids, having an active meeting, being, present and engaged, right? And then the state of mind that is internal and harmful is that inner critic. That inner critic where we’re wrapped up in this whole movement of I’m not good enough. I’m not there. And then the external harmful state of mind is the autopilot. Now autopilot’s not always bad. But it’s always the awareness that what state of mind we’re in will give us a result.
And so when I say States of mind are easier, having an easy state of mind, the first step is always coming from awareness. And when we think about it, we’re always in one of those States of mind, we’re always thinking, or we’re engaged or we’re being critical, or we’re running on autopilot. And for me, one of the biggest secrets that I’ve had in my life is at every moment’s notice, being able to recognize where I am, bring awareness to it, pause, and then choose where I go. And most things I study in the things that I read the most, the best place to be as modulating between a thinking state of mind and an engaged state of mind.
So modulating between internal and external, but always in that helpful REM. And then when we’re down in the harmful area and the critical, we need to identify it so we can pause it. And then when we’re on autopilot, we need to be aware that we’re on autopilot and we might be like, I want to continue to be on autopilot while I, think about nothing and I just mow the lawn and that’s okay. But awareness is the key.
What state of mind you are in? Are you thinking, are you engaged? Are you critical? Are you an autopilot? And awareness is going to be the key. And at every moment that you bring awareness, you then get to ask yourself, is this where I want to be? And if not, what am I focused on? What is the consistent thing that I can do to go somewhere else? And then how can I celebrate every win to get there?
And I have a recommended book for you, whether you listen to it or whether you read it, I highly recommend it. And however, you bring awareness to yourself, whether it’s cold therapy, whether it’s a run, whether it’s a stretch, whether it’s breath, whether it’s music, anything that brings awareness to, I want you to practice it. Go read or listen to the book, the wedge by Scott Carney. Listen to it, read it, put it into practice, because I want you to know that you are always able to shift, to bring awareness and to go, and the programming that’s happening in the brain, the horror movie, sometimes all the worst-case scenarios is just preventing you from being present in a state of mind that you choose to be in. And I’m not perfect. I practice these hundreds of times a day. I’ll go critical. I’ll go autopilot. I’ll go crazy critical. I’ll take a breath. I have a pattern interrupt. I have a practice that puts me back in and the key to winning this game is practicing as much as possible to keep moving forward.