How to Use the Power of Your Mind for Success
Become a Deliberate Creator
I’ve been a daily meditator for the past few years or so. Mostly because I like to start my day on a positive note, entirely focused on my end game. I’ve read many books on the subject over the years including those by Eckhart Tolle, Norman Vincent Peale and Esther & Jerry Hicks. I listen to new meditations on YouTube just about every day, and I spend about 20 to 30 minutes early each morning with my eyes closed and undisturbed by anyone, including my husband and kids. In fact, if they try to poke me while I’m meditating (which they often do, because they need something urgent, like help opening a pickle jar), I flat out ignore them. There’s one thing I’ve learned over the years and that is this: the most effective thing you can do to accomplish any goal in life (and in business) is to meditate.
Here’s why: your brain is, for the most part, an uncontrollable organ and most of your thoughts are nonsense, most of the time. Think about all of the useless roads of thought you go down in a day. If someone recorded your thoughts and played them back to you, you’d understand that most of them lead you to nowhere. If your brain had some electromagnetic power to play a movie of your thoughts on the big screen all day, what would that movie be about? Nothing. “I have to go to the grocery store. I need to buy fruit. I shouldn’t eat fruit. Too much sugar in fruit. What fruit can I eat? What should I eat for lunch?” And so on. Just a useless path of nonsense thoughts. No one wants to see that movie. Not even you. It’s like getting in your car without knowing your destination. Without a map. Just driving in useless circles and winding up right back where you started.
You could, instead, become a deliberate creator. Guess what? No one is in charge of your thoughts and your brain except for you. And here’s the bottom line: you get what you think about whether you like it or not. There’s no such thing as “no,” because whatever you give your attention to is a “yes,” good or bad. It’s your choice. Think about success and you will succeed. Think about failure and you will fail. Think about nothing and get nothing. It’s a slippery slope to start your day focused on nothing, because those nothing thoughts will only lead to more nothing thoughts, and so on.
Being a deliberate creator means waking up each morning and being in charge of your brain. YOU get to choose what you’re going to think about and what you’re not going to think about. Make a decision that your brain will only think about and focus on goals that you want to accomplish, and you’ll see in a very short amount of time, that you’ll have a much easier time accomplishing your goals without the distraction of the useless noise in your head. You could make lists of all of the things you want to accomplish all day long, but until you become a deliberate creator, you’ll never get anything done. You’ll just continue to get sucked into a useless whirlpool of nonsense thoughts and tasks.
Here’s a challenge for you: start right now by choosing one thing that’s at the top of your list to achieve. Close your eyes and spend 20 minutes focused on that one thing. See it in your mind. What does it look like? What does it feel like? Feeling it is important, as if you already have it. What’s the emotion that it conjures for you, as if you’ve already achieved it? Spend 20 minutes visualizing it and feeling it without your brain getting sidetracked about what’s happening on social media. Silence everything else except for this one thing that you focus on for 20 minutes straight. Once you’re done, carry that feeling with you throughout the day and see how long you can go without any external stimulus changing that feeling for you. It’s not easy. In fact, I challenge you to go all of 10 minutes in your normal day without losing that feeling. Once you learn to carry that feeling with you for most of the day, you have become a deliberate creator.
Your greatest challenge in life is not making lists of things to do. It’s about controlling your mind and staying in that place of focus for as long as you’re able. Once you master the art of focus, you’ll notice how easy it is to achieve your goal without any obstacles. Because the truth is, that you’re your own biggest obstacle when you get into your car without a map of where you’re headed, and when you pass each day without focus.
Do you know what some of the world’s most successful CEOs and thought leaders have done on a regular basis? They’ve quieted their minds to focus. They have actually checked out of work for a week or two, turned off their cells phones, closed their computers and just focused. Rupert Murdoch. Arianna Huffington. Bill Ford. Steve Jobs. They’ve checked out of work just to turn off the noise to meditate. It’s easy to react to all of the stimuli around you on a constant basis. It’s like playing a game of tennis and you’re just returning the ball without actually winning the game.
As the Founder of Blinked, the social media platform for recommendations, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had to reset the game. When I see that I’m just volleying, I stop whatever I’m doing, take 20 minutes and meditate. No matter where I am. No matter what I’m doing. In a taxi. At a coffee shop. In between meetings and conference calls. Sometimes I have to force myself to do it. But I can promise you that I go back to being a deliberate creator every time, with a stonger focus and power to tackle my goals. Personally, I set my own goals pretty damn high — like on building one of the most engaging social media platforms for recommendations on the blockchain — but why not? (←See that’s me controlling my brain.)
When you become a deliberate creator, you control your mind, focus on only the things worthy of your brain’s resources and drive your car towards your desired destination. You’d be surprised how much you can accomplish with deliberate focus and how much faster you’ll achieve your goals. Of course, there will always be people and situations that will try to throw you off track, and even try and send you back to your starting point by focusing on the what is for them, rather than on the what will be for you.
Your job is to roll up the car window, look at your map and keep driving.
Julie Benlevi-Little is the CEO and Co-Founder of Blinked, a new blockchain-based social media platform for recommendations that enables users to share in up to 90 percent of advertising revenue. She’s been featured in The New York Times, Crains New York, The Wall Street Journal and has been a guest speaker at Google, E-Bay, Microsoft and NYU’s Stern School of Business.