There is a story about a man who, as he was passing some elephants, suddenly stopped, confused by the fact that these huge creatures were being held by only a small rope tied to their front leg.
I've recently been re-reading one my favorite books on taking 100% responsibility for everything that happens in your life. Something I strongly believe in. And as someone who's busy with these kinds of topics on a daily basis, I surely should be applying this concept to the fullest. Right?
Today I want to talk to you about something very simple, yet extremely important: your state, or mood if you prefer.
Literally, everything can impact your state. It will come to you either by what you focus on or how your body feels. If you see risks and problems everywhere, you'll feel less confident and more anxious. If you sit too long after a heavy lunch, you may feel tired, a bit lazy and less motivated to work on difficult tasks.
When I'm really hungry for instance, everyone around me knows that I tend to get quiet, low on energy and impatient. Choosing where and what to eat is then a real challenge!
I've come to realize that the difference between the decisions and actions we take when we feel inspired, full of energy and positive compared to the decisions and actions we take when feeling tired, stressed or bored are miles away from each other. It’s almost as if we are a different person!
Something we actually all know, right? But if you think about it…
This means that the very same person can be incredibly motivated and productive (‘in flow’) at one moment, then get an email with what he or she considers ‘bad news’ and be frustrated for the rest of the day. Those extreme states produce, as you can imagine, very different results in all the things we do.
In practice most of us will not accept to stay into bad states for a very long time. That’s why 'average states' are the enemy. They're actually more dangerous as we tolerate them more. When feeling just a bit tired, bored or frustrated, you may start surfing more on the net, delaying important tasks or performing poorly. “Not now, I don’t feel like it”. This sounds less dramatic, but over time, it makes a big difference on the results you’ll get. And before you know it, ‘average-states-producing-average-results’ is your new standard!
The more you start paying attention to your state, the more you’ll become aware of what works for you and anticipate the “lows or averages” and get quickly back at the top of your game.
Wouldn’t it be nice to be in a beautiful, strong mood all the time? There are two simple ways to go (back) into a peak state:
1) Focus on something that gives you energy
Ask yourself what your current mindset is. Is it positive, engaged, inspired, motivated? Or worried, tired and negative? Then think of ways to improve and redirect your focus to something that gives you more energy.
I use music in the car, an inspiring video or a good discussion. That usually works for me. So whenever I feel less into flow, I 'activate' the things that will bring me back into 'shape'.
2) Change your physiology
Literally move your body and you will feel more energy! Take the stairs instead of the lift. Drink a big glass of water. Go for a short walk or eat something.
One thing that works for me is to do something to tidy my home. I move around, put things back where they belong, get some energy going, and those little actions add up as small wins and make me feel productive. After 5 or 10 minutes I stop and I am ready to start working on important tasks.
From now on, start paying attention to what makes you go into your most productive states. Then try to replicate that in moments when you feel less inspired! Find also new ways to improve your state! It's a fun game!
Feel free to share some of your best tactics! I am curious. And a shot of tequila doesn’t count..
All the best,
Whatever you’re after, building a business, raising a family, traveling the world—there are six universal needs that drive you. They are the force behind the things you do. The simple things and the crazy things.