In these blog posts, I have advocated striving for excellence in aspects of our lives that we can see, feel and sense will bring us greater health, peace of mind (aka happiness) and evolve our consciousness and character. Thus we spend a lot of time discussing excellence habits around nutrition, sleep and physical training for our body, along with meditation and visualization for our mental fortitude, as well as things like contemplation and service for our spiritual well-being. These things are all under our control, meaning that we decide to do them, learn the technique, do them, and benefit. That approach works and is a crucial means of mastering the self in our service to humanity.
But the challenge is that TIME seems to work against us! We race against the clock, are pulled in different directions at the same time, are required to multi-task and diffuse attention until we literally can’t focus for longer than a few moments on the important things – even if we had the time to do so! We are left feeling distracted, frayed and grumpy, saying, “I want control over my time, my schedule, my life!” Been there, done that.
In this post, I propose we flip our relationship to time. From now on time is in our control and is only a linear concept when we choose. The other times it is a rhythmic pattern your mind emits when you emit excellence (notice the cute inversion of the word time and emit?). Consider your body-mind system to be an energetic field which will contract or expand depending upon the mind’s state. When thinking is in a negative, rutted state, or working on someone else’s timeline, then the body-mind contracts it into a state that perceives time in a linear fashion, with events lined up on the clock, tick tock.
But when the mind is in a positive, relaxed and euphoric state, where your higher Self is the boss, it expands and perceives time as spiraling out from an intentional focus. In this state, you can speed time up, slow it down, go backward or forward at will. Though I present this concept metaphorically, my personal experience, in my “highest and best moments”, is that reality is close to this. Let’s discuss a few strategies that will help emit excellence, and control time.
Control the Start and Stop
If your daylight hours are on a timer, why allow someone else to push the start button? What if you decided to plug into linear time at a point of your choosing? This is where you sync up with other people’s perception of time. Until that point, when you push the start button, you are emitting excellence and experiencing time separate from the masses. But I don’t have control over my work hours, you say. Well, many still work for eight linear hours because their employers require it. But the question is: how much intentional productivity is delivered during those eight linear hours? Probably not much because you are so distracted by all the other bullshit going on. As an employer, I can say with certainty that I would much rather have an employee maintain serious focus and productivity for shorter blocks, and specific hours for meetings and stand-up problem solving, than someone dodging and weaving through tasks for eight hours.
My start button for linear time is pressed at 10am during normal business days, and it ends around 3pm. That means I adhere to linear time for a maximum of 5 hours a day whereby I am available for meetings, phone calls, podcasts, check in with my team and do some focus work. What do I do the rest of the cycle of daylight? That is reserved for thinking, planning, writing, training and engaging with my family. My perception of time during those blocks is experienced as rhythmic, natural and not pressured. In other words, it is not linear and stressful. I run several businesses, am writing a book, and am launching a foundation, yet below you can see that my calendar for next week is surprisingly uncluttered. When I took a look I was actually pretty surprised how well my aversion to meetings has paid off! (but to dispel any illusions that I am perfect, you should see my calendar during a podcast week).
Control the Center
Controlling the center means to maintain an ever-present awareness of where the center of attention is focused. If my objective is to write this blog post, then my center is focused on the blog and I don’t waiver until it is completed. No email, no phone, no distractions…time is not relevant and no clock is allowed. If engaged in a conversation, the center is focused on the higher self so that I don’t get pulled into a mental-emotional pattern, or what I call an egoic rut. When training, the center is on the intention and virtuosity of the training method. When you identify the center, radar lock your attention onto it and don’t waiver. This will keep your mind in a focused, non-distracted state with expanded perception. You fastidiously avoid collapsing back into linear reality. Controlling the center requires controlling the breath, which will allow you to direct attention like a laser beam– in the SEALs, this is called “attention control.”
Your mission: Identify the center for the most important tasks you engage in during the day. Before you press the start button on said tasks, perform four box breaths (four count in, four count hold, four count out, four count hold, repeat four times) while reciting: I am connecting to my higher-Self, I will control my center, and I offer this act in service to XX (add your concept of higher power here). I am confident this drill will deliver powerful results.
Control the Out
Know when to say no, so you don’t get sucked into linear time-sucking misadventures. Always be on the lookout for “the out” if and when you do get sucked get in. I have discussed Essentialism, KISS and Deep Work in past writing and my podcast, and each of those principles ties into this concept. It is all about controlling your creative energy by controlling what you opt into. In order to know what to opt into, you must opt out of 90% of what comes your way. That means you must learn to say “no” in honor of the bigger “yes’s” in your life. Keep things simple by eliminating commitments, conversations, meetings, and people that pull you back into linear time, and suck your “emitting excellence” energy. I admit this is a challenge for most of us, myself included. That is why I offer it as a practice, not an absolute. Practice daily – knowing that we won’t be perfect, yet we will slowly learn our way to greater simplicity and control over our lives.
Your mission: Make a list of all the tasks, projects, business deals, people and ideas that you have said yes to that, now in retrospect, you wish you had steered clear of because they sucked your time, money and life force. Now, identify where you are re-playing that same script and make a list of the crucial conversations to have in order to de-clutter your battleground. Finally, make a short list of the critical “yes things” and a much longer list of the “no things”. Post that list where you typically make decisions and review it daily. Practice saying no in service to the bigger yes.
Well, enough time on this subject of time. Until next time, have a good time training and practicing your Unbeatable Mind skills. Hooyah!