Quiet

Question: I find that when I go to bed at night I have a hundred thoughts running through my head. Sometimes it’s hard to get to sleep. I know that I’m a busy person but is this normal?

Answer: Busy people – especially entrepreneurs – process a lot of information on a continual basis. According to a variety of sources, the average brain has 70,000 thoughts a day. I’m not sure how this was measured but it’s clear that there’s a lot floating around in our brains. So it’s not hard to see how we can become overwhelmed by mind-clutter. We need to find a way to somehow turn it all off.

There is a way. The concept involves spending a few minutes each day in quiet contemplation. Some call this meditation. But it need not be construed as having religious overtones. Instead, consider meditation as a time to block out the hustle and bustle of the world around us and sharpen the focus of our mind. I find that there are times when my emotional state is not in sync with my mental state. I use meditation to align my heart and my head.

I used to schedule this time of quiet right after I got out of bed each day. But I found that I would become too relaxed and fall asleep. What works best for me is to complete my morning exercise routine and then spend seven to ten minutes in solitude.

Here’s the process I use. I sit in a chair with my feet flat on the floor, close my eyes and put my hands in my lap. I concentrate on my breathing, slowly bringing the breaths from diaphragm. Then I visualize the Horizontal Situation Indicator that is an instrument on the control panel of an aircraft. The HSI displays a bifurcated vertical bar with an arrow on top. When flying an instrument approach, the pilot attempts to fly so that the vertical bar and the arrow become one. For me, this is the way I see my head and my heart becoming aligned. Finally, I clear away the constant stream of thoughts in my mind and create a void. When one or more thoughts creep into my consciousness, I gently push them out to once again create a void.

By calming our minds and pushing out all thoughts, we become open and receptive to the powerful flow of positive and creative energy that comes rushing into the void. And we can see the successful results through new ideas and solutions to problems we are working that present themselves throughout the day.

This blog is being written in tandem with my book, “An Entrepreneur’s Words to Live By,” available on Amazon.com in paperback and Kindle (My Book), as well as being available in all of the other major eBook formats.

HSI

Undefeated

Question: Someone told me that arrogance and complacency are one in the same. How does one avoid falling into this trap?

Answer: Here’s my challenge to you and everyone – entrepreneur or not. What are you doing today that makes you better than you were yesterday? This is a beautifully simple calculus. Take a look at your life. Do you have a purposeful intent to improve yourself every single day that you walk on this planet? Do we want to waste one precious day of our lives failing to do so?

Purposeful intent is the key to continual improvement. To get started, make an appointment with yourself to catalog the various aspects of your life that you would like to improve – personally and professionally. This needs to be a substantive process driven by a sufficient dose of introspection and reflection. Then spend a moment when you get out of bed each morning and identify at least one thing you will do to move the improvement needle in those key areas you contemplated.  

Do you feel as though you are at the top of your game? Are you a success in your business? You can do better. Are you successful at being a parent? You can do better. Consider this sports metaphor. Suppose we participate on a football team that has an undefeated season and wins the national championship. We might assume that we have reached the mountaintop. But, did we win every game by keeping the other team from scoring a single point? Probably not. So, we can do better. If we actually did accomplish a shutout against every team, did we score a touchdown on every single play we ran during every game of the season? If not, we can do better. You see, there’s always another step we can take to be better and do better.

When we settle for what we have achieved we may become a victim of our own success. We all know that whether in sports or business, teams that rest on their laurels eventually lose. The same is true with life. As long as we sincerely aspire to always do better, our success will continue for improvement is the mortal enemy of complacency. Thus, we’ll remain undefeated if we maintain an attitude of “I can always do better.”

This blog is being written in tandem with my book, “An Entrepreneur’s Words to Live By,” available on Amazon.com in paperback and Kindle (My Book), as well as being available in all of the other major eBook formats.