Activating Your Bio-Robot — or How Your Morning Matters

philip horváth
Published in
12 min readDec 15, 2020


BEEP. BEEP. BEEP. BEEP. BEEP. BEEP… Irritated you hit the snooze button. Flashes of fear border-lining dread, annoyance at the mildest — you try and go back to sleep.

BEEP. BEEP. BEEP. BEEP. BEEP. BEEP… This time for realz… Ok. ok. ok. You turn the alarm off, drag yourself out of bed. All the things flood into your awareness: that email from your boss and that thing that’s due at work, the thing you need to do for your partner that they have been asking about for months, the kids, that thing at school, oh, and that other thing, all the things… Too many things…

In a daze of overwhelm you empty your bio-robot, climb into the shower, do the thing, brush the teeth. You rush to get dressed as the momentum picks up. Jerked around by the needs of the moment, you prepare breakfast, get the kids off to school, mindlessly and fleetingly kiss your partner as you are out the door and on your way to work (whether out of your house, or into the little box that has become our primary gateway to the world).

A day of reactivity ensues. One thing after another grabs your attention and takes you for a spin, jerks you around and around, until finally you get to be done. Exhausted, you escape the day and eventually lose consciousness, finally let in peace from all the thoughts of the day and the morrow. To live another day, maybe.

You could live a different life

In yoga, one definition of health is that you jump out of bed in the morning, singing and dancing, excited about your day.

When we think health, we typically think body, physical health: Free from disease, free from pain. But what if you body could simply feel great? Where your constant sensual experience is actually experienced? Where you feel the fabric on your skin and the kiss of the wind and sun? Where you look in the mirror and like what you see? Where you can use your body’s inherent wisdom to support you in your decision making throughout the day?

What about emotional health? Where you feel good? Feel safe? Feel like you are okay and part of the world? Imagine what it would feel like if you felt like things were okay most of the day. Or what, if you could feel great? Imagine a slow burning excitement all day, a sense of gratitude and even joy…

Or mental health? Where the thoughts you have all day spark you to ever more insight and learning? Where they are supporting you in discerning what is around you? Consciously analyzing that which you perceive as other, as reality? Providing you with clarity and direction?

We experience the world through our relationships. What if you had healthy relationships with your family, your friends, your work colleagues, and if everyone you encounter supported you in being your best self? What if you had a community you support and that supported you? What if all your relationships where here to hold you accountable, and give you a sense of ownership over your life? A sense that you truly belong here, in this life, in “you”.

What if you could fully express yourself, live your genius, bring your unique gifts and talents into the world?

What if you could serve a vision, a purpose bigger than yourself, something you would be proud of having been part of when you die one day?

What if you could live a meaningful life and leave a legacy that mattered to you, the ones you love, and to the planet?

You can start today

Actually, you can start every morning (and really every moment).

Every morning, when you awaken, a whole new day is in front of you.

All you have done, every move you have made, every decision you made, got you right here and now. And not just your decisions. Three and a half billion years of decisions. Three and a half billion years of reaching, of evolving, of stretching what can be perceived, what can be processed, what can be produced. Three and half billion years of learning and growing, of shaping probabilities.

It continues in every moment. In every moment all of those probabilities collapse anew into the now, invite you to take notice, take responsibility, be in more and more ownership. To be here. Fully.

Being here is something we are born with. As soon as we become aware of time, though, we begin to forget about it and lose ourselves in past and future. We attach to the past, we worry about the future. But we are rarely here. Now.

Being here takes practice and unlearning. There are a myriad of ways to do so, and only one right one. Yours.

That said, there are some fundamentals about your bio-robot, those interfaces into reality, with which you experience, process and affect everything around you. Like any robot, it needs some TLC, a bit of attention and maintenance, and in the very least acknowledgement.

Giving yourself a moment of attention

Are you worth a few minutes of your time every day?


Are you worth a few minutes of your time every day?

Think about it.

If you said no, please go seek help. Seriously, kid. Have someone slap you in the face with a big bucket of love. Have someone give you a hug until you melt. Even if you have to pay them for it (whatever form of therapy works for you). Have someone remind you that you are life. That you are part of everything that is alive. That you are worthy by default. That you matter. That you are not just worthy, but precious.

If you say yes, how are you living that? How are you taking time for yourself every day? Are you creating some space to connect with yourself at least for a few minutes every day?

Starting YOUR day

When I speak with people about morning rituals they usually give me that “yeah, I wish I could” look. Most people appreciate that it would be a good idea to start the day with a morning ritual, but many people simply feel that they don’t have the time (and their day looks more like the one I described above).

You don’t have to spend hours getting ready in the morning.

At least make sure you activate all the different interfaces you have, set the foundation, so that when you go through your day, you have an anchor point and a north star to orient yourself on.

Your anchor point is your present state. How you are acknowledging that you are here now with all that has been. Forgiving all allows you to be present.

Your north star is your aspirational self. The next version of yourself. Stretched between man and superman, as Nietzsche described it at the time (including the gendered language, so forgive that).

Be kind to who you are now. Encounter it with acceptance, compassion and curiosity.

Choose an aspirational self to inspire you (not judge yourself against — big difference). Focus on a next version of you that is exciting to you, that you want to live and make real. A version of yourself that is just beyond reach of your current capacity, so you can keep growing — because without an aspiration, a vision at the end of the tunnel, how could you know where to turn?

Activating your Bio-Robot

Your bio-robot seems to have a few different interfaces, and each can use a moment of activation:


Every cat or dog stretches when they rise after slumber.

Take a moment to honor your body. Stand still, sense into it.

In the very least, do some simple stretches to wake it up and get some flow going (dancing is also good for that). Your spine is the primary carrier of information up and down your body. Bending it forward and backward, sideways, and twisting it, ensures it stays flexible, and information can flow freely. This can take as little as a minute or so.

As a next step up toward exercise, try some Sun Salutations, Five Tibetans or a 7-min workout. You don’t have to work out for hours every day to maintain some basic fitness. Check out 4-Hour Body on that note. As a “body-hacker”, Tim Ferris has some good insights into how little it actually takes to stay fit (he is an extremist, so please be kind to yourself).

Give you body some water, and a little while later (after it had time for it to flush your system), some protein (to let it know it will be fed today, which provides an array of benefits).


According to Google’s research, the number one indication for high-performing teams is Psychological Safety. This goes for us as individuals as well.

When we are stressed, when we don’t feel safe, the amygdala in our limbic system activates and changes the distribution of blood in your system — away from organs and the brain, and towards muscles in arms and legs.

Doesn’t make for good thinking.

We unfortunately don’t live in a world that is always safe or stress-free. Consequently as mature adults, we have to develop the capacity to create safety for ourselves.

As a morning ritual, you want to set an emotional baseline, so that you are much more prepared when you encounter situations throughout the day that are stressful (that email from the boss, the things your family wants, the doom-scrolling or notifications on your phone).

The simplest way is to practice a moment of gratitude. Take a few conscious deep breaths while you think of as many things as possible that you are grateful for. It can be anything — no matter, or even better, if they are ridiculous things. Feel the joy and bliss flooding your system. Fake it till you make it.

Deep breathing and being grateful activates your parasympathetic nervous system — the one that tells your body that you are okay. Return to this anchor point throughout the day simply by remembering how you felt when you did this exercise (even if you only do it for a few seconds — the more you practice, the easier it will become).


The average human seems to think about 12,000–60,000 thoughts a day (depending on the research you look at — it’s kinda hard to actually measure that). What does seem to be the case is that the majority of these thoughts are repetitive and self-defeating. They are judgey bastards.

The good news is: all thoughts are ultimately you talking to yourself.

As the Buddhists say, don’t be the slave to your thoughts, become their master. We don’t actually need to think. Thinking is very helpful for certain things, and can be very distracting otherwise.

So it seems like a good idea to learn to still your thoughts, so you can more consciously engage with them. Taking a few moments of stillness is key. Connecting to the void, so you can remember who is thinking in the first place. You don’t have to meditate for an hour. Simply take a few moments.

One simple exercise is to think out loud in your head “I am the one inhaling, I am the one exhaling” as you are doing it. By thinking this, you cannot think anything else at the same time (try it!). In doing so, even if only for a few moments, you are taking ownership of your thoughts, reminding you that you can think whatever you want. That you are the master of your mental interface.

Mantras or affirmations can fulfill a similar function, and provide additional benefit — thinking positive thoughts is even good for your immune system.


All experience arises from relationship, to yourself, and to that which you consider “other”, or reality (res ales, “other things” in Latin).

Belonging is created through adding value to others’ lives (value can be as simple as a smile). All the things we do all day ultimately are here to serve that.

So be clear on the value you are committed to creating that day. Take a moment to review all the things that are important to you to accomplish.

There are plenty of things to fill the day, and it is easy to drop the things that are actually important to us. Understanding what’s urgent and important is key (see Eisenhower Matrix and this video about prioritizing in life).

Take a moment to list the things. Listing them will allow you to check them off at the end of the day — giving you that sense of meaningful accomplishment, having moved you further toward who you want to be one day when you die, while having added value in the world today.


The Romans thought of genius as something everyone possesses. We all have a unique voice. Everyone has voices in their head. They are here to teach you something.

So “get it all out and call it poetry,” as a poet friend of mine likes to say.

Spend a moment writing, drawing, singing, creating… Get it out. Remind yourself of your genius, of your voice.

Remember that your voice matters, just like everyone else’s. What wants to emerge through you? Give it space. Journal. Maybe nothing comes that day. Other days, it will come in spades. Key is, to create space.

By making a moment of space every day, you let your genius know you care. You let the muses know you want their insights. By creating space, you create a creative pull, so that you genius can emerge. Your voice matters. Take a moment to honor that.


We can all imagine the future. We are actually very good at it. Only usually, we have been trained to imagine all the bad things that could happen. We are trained to worry (from German “würgen”, which means to choke — go figure). We are trained to assume the worst.

If we dare to imagine a positive future, we are called “dreamers”, “unrealistic”, “idealists”. But why not?

Why wouldn’t we imagine a positive future for ourselves and our species on this planet?

If you can trust those three and a half billion years of evolution, overall, things have gone in a good direction for humanity — not necessarily for other species on this planet, but we are also becoming more aware of the impact we have been having, and beginning to mitigate that.

What would your ideal future look like?

You probably already spend plenty of time worrying about “all the things”.

How about taking a few moments every morning to imagine a different kind of future. One you would want to experience?

If you want to build anything, the first thing you have to do is imagine it. So take a moment to visualize your future. Connect to it as if it was already true. The more you can feel it, the more of a pull you spark, the deeper your motivation will become, the more motion your e-motion ignites in you, the more likely you are to realize that future.

One good shortcut is a vision board. By creating a visual representation of your aspired future, you can simply go to that reference point instead of having to imagine it all anew every time. This way you can focus on the emotion rather than the content of your vision.


Your life matters.

You are creating future in every moment. With every decision you make, every breath you take.

What is calling you?

What are those urges, those hints from the gods that manifest in your dreams? Those flickers of knowing that you know you have had, and that are here to guide you?

Similar to your genius, make time for your calling. Take a moment to review your life, where you are at with all the different interfaces. Acknowledge yourself for having created everything that brought you into the now.

Then remind yourself of the things that matter to you. Remind yourself of the legacy you want to leave behind one day. One day, you will be dead. That is highly likely. What would be the next chapter in your autobiography on the way there?

Take a moment to connect to that, and to your capacity as a creator. Take a deep breath to really let that sink in.

You are creating future in every moment.

Then go about your day — having activated your bio-robot, bringing all your intelligences to bear, and having an anchor and an aspiration to guide you along the way.

You can use a habit tracker to support you in remembering these steps. Checking off those 7 basic things every day reminds you that you are indeed taking care of yourself, that you do matter, and that you are moving toward living your best version of yourself in every moment.


As I said above, this whole process does not have to take hours.

The short version:

  • Move your body to awaken it.
  • Set an emotional anchor point.
  • Still your mind.
  • Be clear what you are committed to.
  • Express yourself.
  • Envision desired futures.
  • Remind yourself that you are the one creating your life.

All this can be done in a couple of minutes, in flashes of connection (even throughout the day). The key is to connect. To at least give a moment of attention to each of the interfaces of your bio-robot.

Some days, you will do more, some days you will do less or nothing at all. It’s not about perfection. It is about finding your proper and rightful place between anchoring yourself and your current identity, and stretching yourself toward your next best version of self.

Start your day with reminding yourself that you matter by spending a few moments on yourself.

Put on that oxygen mask first, so you can then assist others on the plane.

This way, when that alarm goes off, you are actually more likely to jump out of bed in the morning, singing and dancing, delighted about what is to come.

[and if you alarm clock really goes BEEP, BEEP, BEEP, BEEP, BEEP, consider getting yourself a new one, so you can wake up to something more pleasant — maybe an inspiring song or some birds chilping away?]

The future belongs to those who create it. What kind of future can you envision? For yourself, for your organization, for the planet?
Connect with me through
LUMAN or and let’s create the future together.



philip horváth

culture catalyst ★ planetary strategist — creating cultural operating systems at planetary scale — tweeting on #future, #culture, #leadership @philiphorvath