For anyone who’s ever tuned into one of my live WAKEUP Calls on Facebook, you’ll know that I host most of them from the studio I’ve built in my basement. What you might not know is that I actually spend quite a bit of time there working, brainstorming and even relaxing.
When I started planning the space I wanted a place that would put me in a certain frame of mind, a place of inspiration, a certain state of being…and that’s what I want to talk about today…
You see this space in my basement has become a sort of metaphor for life, a way of being. A way of making decisions and using all the tools in your arsenal to get all the things you want, need, and desire out of yourself, your, life, and your business. Because at the end of the day, putting yourself in the right environment is paramount in maintaining your flow.
So how do we get to that state?
It starts with trusting your internal guidance system even when the path isn’t obvious or you’re not sure what step to take next. Now I don’t mean that when a problem arises you simply react with the first instinct that comes to you…
What I’ve learned is that my first reaction or thought or solution is rarely the best solution and is rarely the one that I ultimately end up going with.
Because here’s the thing…
The one that I come up with first is usually triggered by an emotional response or human reaction or survival mechanism of some sort. Whether it’s a financial difficulty – you just opened the mail and there are those dreaded bills and it triggers a feeling or emotion in you, it pays to take a breath and a step back and trust yourself to figure it out.
So today’s WAKEUP Call deals with a certain affirmation that I have to remind myself of constantly…
“I’m greater than I feel when I’m down and things are never as bad as they seem in the moment.”
In other words…Things always find a way to work out…
Do you have that belief inside? The belief that things will always work out?
Now, I’m not talking about faith or religion – just a trust or a knowing that things will always work out.
So how do we tap into that knowing – that in the end everything is going to be ok, everything will work itself out? That doesn’t mean things don’t get a little hairy sometimes and it doesn’t mean that things don’t get stressful when we’re balancing our budget. It doesn’t mean that we won’t question ourselves, our decisions, or our direction from time to time. That’s all completely normal.
Case and point…
We can all relate to times when we thought we were following our gut or intuition or a sign from the universe and we’re convinced we’re on the right path, but then all of a sudden, shit hits the fan and all our plans are jammed up and everything is in the ditch and we start to question…
“How could this be? I did everything right…How could this happen?”
Welcome to life as a human!
But how do we make the differentiation between the thoughts and doubts that are driven by ego, our lower self, or fear OR if it’s that voice inside that reminds us that at the end of the day, everything is going to work itself out?
I’m asking because consciously, you may have no idea how you’re going to jump that hurdle or overcome that challenge. It could be a deadline or a looming date that’s getting closer and you don’t have a solution and you’re freaking out because it’s unsettling not knowing what’s going to happen or how you’re going to work it out or how you’re going to solve that problem.
To put that ultimate trust in yourself that everything will work out is a very difficult thing to do, but if you know deep down that even though you can’t predict how the solution will appear or what it will look like – even if you can’t put it into words or thoughts – you just know it will work itself out.
Now what I’m talking about here is not just blind ignorance where you hold onto something unrealistic out of stubbornness – that’s borderline stupidity.
What I’m talking about is trusting yourself. Trusting that you’ve done everything that you could and also knowing that if you haven’t, you take responsibility for it, you clean it up, and you fix it. Next, you need to realize that the weakest part of your brain has the loudest voice. That monkey on our shoulder speaks the loudest.
It starts inventing problems and issues that don’t exist…
And that’s where stress and anxiety come in the most. When we begin obsessing over the future – things that haven’t happened yet. We try to solve December’s problems today and that anxiety can be layered with any number of other emotions like fear or guilt driven by a bad experience we had in the past.
But living in either the past or the future is a dead end street…
I’ve discovered that the loudest part of my brain is also the dumbest part of my brain because that first reaction, decision, answer, first draft is never the best one. The answers are there but they aren’t always that obvious and if we become obsessed or attached to having the answer to the problem RIGHT NOW when we want it, like a spoiled little child, we’re setting ourselves up for a lifetime of disappointment, a lifetime of stress and anxiety. A lifetime of worry and fret, fussing and worrying about things that haven’t yet happened or things that probably won’t happen, or things that are completely out of our control.
So the question becomes:
Do you have the mental toughness the mental awareness to be able to reign those thoughts in when they start to roll in? When the doubt, the worry, the fear, the fight or flight response get triggered?
Our thoughts are like mosquitos – really hard to follow and really hard to catch. But getting those little suckers under control takes practice – this is where the WAKEUP Call comes in…
We’ve all had this happen…
Everything is going great, things couldn’t be better and all of a sudden something shitty happens, someone says something or some trigger ruins your day.
But think about it, this doesn’t happen to dogs.
If you accidentally step on your dog’s toe, or give it a stern look or talk to it in a cross voice, they might react but then 30 seconds later they’ve moved on and it’s like is never happened. Why can’t we be a little more like that? Stop thinking about the future to the point where we’re incapacitated and we have no creativity left.
There’s a solution for everything for those who are willing to find it.
Every one of us knows what it feels like to be in flow…
When I’m having a good day, I’m like a freight train and when I’m in that space I do whatever I can possibly do to protect that and not let anything bring me down, or distract me, or pollute that space.
If we can protect that space we’re unstoppable. We are at our most productive and time just seems to disappear and all of a sudden you’ve put in a 15 hour day and didn’t even notice because you’re in your happy place.
If you can be in your happy place when you are doing what it is you are meant to do, being in your flow is absolutely paramount to doing good work.
We talk about the 5 things that leaders do all the time and one of them is “invest in yourself”. Do the things that feed your soul and your brain to get yourself to your happy place. The things that feed your brain and psyche in a positive way.
That’s where building and creating our environments comes into play. Where me building my space in my basement comes into play…setting yourself up to find your flow.
Because when you’re in your flow, it becomes so much easier to let go and trust yourself to let the solutions come to you rather than you trying to force them.
We can’t let ourselves get caught in the cycle of…
“Well it didn’t work yesterday so it probably won’t work today.”
“I had writers block yesterday so here we go again today.”
Or “Well the dog shit on the carpet again, my day is ruined.”
The secret is is to do everything within your power to be professional, to be skilled, to be masterful to know your craft so you can trust that it will work out.
And I don’t mean “it will work itself out” like it’s something existential. No. YOU will work it out. You will figure it out.
It’s just up to you to see the answer when it comes. Because when the answer comes to you it might be the middle of the night 3 days from now. Or when you’re in the shower, or out walking the dog or having a coffee and all of a sudden – Poof! A little light bulb comes on and you have a moment of clarity and the solution presents itself and you know what to do and you do it and it works out.
By no means am I advocating that you just sit back with your fingers crossed and hope for the best. WE have to develop the skill to set ourselves up for success. To give us the best chance at finding the solutions we’re looking for.
We’ve all had those eureka moments when we’ve come up with a great marketing idea, or we’ve writtens some killer sales copy or come up with the perfect subject line, where we can’t help but sit back and think to ourselves, “Damn that’s magic.”
If we don’t take a moment when those little miracles happen to acknowledge and celebrate the fact that it all came together – if we don’t take the time to acknowledge ourselves and take that as a win, basically what we’re sending out to our subconscious is that it doesn’t matter if you win anyway because you’re still going to feel shitty about yourself, it’s still not going to be good enough, because as soon as you have something to prove you also have something to lose. As soon as you’ve created that miraculous little piece of work now it’s expected that you can turn it out on demand…
But let me tell you something – we cannot create on demand…
A writer cannot write on demand
A composer cannot create music on demand
An athlete cannot win on demand
We need to give ourselves credit where credit is due and celebrate the little victories and reward ourselves in the little moments where things just come together.
And that’s the WAKEUP call – reward yourself for doing the things that you want more of so that when you’re in the flow you can capitalize on it and learn to trust yourself.
When the time is right the fruit will be ripe and in the meantime you will sleep well and spend more time in your happy place, because hey – time is all we’ve got right?