Focussed attention and deliberate practise at one task is what sustains success and rhythm.
Bringing our lives in rhythm stacks the odds in our favour. The circadian rhythm, the constellations, the rhythm of the tides and moon cycles, the rhythm of the day and night, the rhythm of the seasons. Everything surrounding us is beating a drum of its rhythm.
Understanding and reflecting upon this rhythm reveals mysteries to many, creative ideas to others and helps finding peace within ourselves.
When practising any arts, the practitioner should he/she wish to become an expert or a master at them, must understand rhythm, practise and hone the skills to develop that rhythm. After diligent practice with focussed attention and deliberate efforts, it is possible to attain mastery/expertise in the chosen art.
Why then do so many talented people fail? Why then do so many creative people and entrepreneurs fail? In my view, a few factors behind the failures are as follows:
Lacking focussed attention
Lacking deliberate efforts
Poor mentorship/ coaching
While the above factors hugely define the difference between success and failure. In some rare cases, success has been achieved without mentoring and coaching.
In terms of ideas that involve working with other people, the success of the ideas depends on the vision of the leaders and a great team that can translate that vision into practicable actions and put the organisation on the path to success.
I have been trying to increase focussed attention and deliberate effort lately but been failing over and over. So, I have come up with few hacks that will probably help shift my subconscious mind in an attentive state, one that can help manifest the rhythm required for the arts. Hacks like weekend preparation, not just the plans but down to some other details that look after my health; body, soul and mind.
Most importantly though, quiet the inner critic, getting back on track when slipping, accepting the things as they are not in my control and finally, increasing the focussed attention, deliberate efforts to follow a rhythm that can help me execute the ideas in practise.
Few Mondays ago I posted a poem with the same title. I wanted to elaborate on why I wrote it and how are the body, soul and the mind intertwined.
Self-awareness is to be able to observe one’s behaviour whether in real-time which takes a lot of practice, or through hindsight. In addition, dissecting the emotions away from the thoughts and behaviours. So that we can look down from above. An objective view.
Metacognition is the ability to change one’s emotional state through thoughts. Our minds and limbic system doesn’t know the difference between emotions that are felt through real life experiences or the ones we feel by daydreaming or visualizing an event and emotions before the event happens. Feelings influence thoughts, similarly thoughts influence feelings. When feeling the emotions that we don’t want to feel, the research in psychology suggests, we should replace those feelings with positive feelings. Visualisation is powerful technique that can help us anchor our being in a state of calmness and joy amidst discomfort and adversity.
Chronic stress is a stress response that is built in the body over a long period of time. A chronic stress response when triggered is difficult to control as the chemicals released when in any situation that triggers chronic stress, are the natural state of the body. The body goes into the fight, flight or freeze response, cortisol and adrenaline kicks in, heart beat pumps up and the person loses control over their thought process/rational thinking and emotions. As a result, the individual is likely to make poor decisions and underperform. It’s a self-sabotaging mechanism. For many individuals, if they do not address instant stress then there is a greater likelihood of chronic stress getting triggered.
I have a lot of unfinished articles laying about in the drafts. Despite knowing theory and believing that I am emotionally intelligent, emotional self-awareness in real time can be quite challenging to actualise, especially in high performance situations/sports. But such challenges also give us an opportunity to grow.
So, having explained those terms that I think link the mind body and soul, I will refer back to this diagram I drew when I wrote about the ego.
Heart and brain coherence can be observed scientifically through exposing people to different situations that will trigger a response and the ability of those people via meditation/breathing techniques to remain calm. Exposure and deliberate practise is one of the ways to develop heart and mind coherence.
Conscious breathing is a great tool and anchor to shift to appreciation when feeling stress. Wim Hof has proven scientifically how he can control his body temperature under cold stress through breathing technique. It unlocks the potential of mind, it taps into the ancestral genes that lie dormant within us. Joseph Campbell in the ‘Heroes with a Thousand Faces’ describes the many journeys of the hero. The archetypal journey of hero is full of challenges, stress and obstacles. That is the nature’s way of nurturing the potential of the hero.
It is possible to reach the highest state of consciousness and keeping in mind the struggles of ego as presented above, the rhythm of the heart and breathing technique to consciously shift to a state of appreciation. Practising this over and over can help release all the trauma, stress and dispel negativity. Below are the emotions and how they rank on the spectrum. The elevated emotions on the upper end and the limiting emotions on the other end. The elevated emotions are selfless and also the creative emotions. The limiting emotions are survival emotions which keep the mind, body and soul pinned in a scarce surrounding. There is no room for growth in feeling these emotions. Growth starts when one replaces the limiting emotions with elevated emotions. Deliberate practise through focus, meditation and breathing technique can help reach a higher state of consciousness. One of abundance, one of gratitude, one of appreciation.
Which frequency are you tapping into? Is your mind constantly bombarded with beta waves? Do you rest and sleep to energise yourself? In our sleep, our mind goes into the slower theta waves. With deliberate daily practise of breathing and meditation, it is possible to access to slow down the brains waves to gamma frequency and access higher consciousness. Traditional meditational practises of different religions have proven this. Although, it is not an easy thing to achieve, it is not impossible.
This is an explanation via what I have learnt from studying psychology, a little bit of neuroscience and reading and practising meditation. If you are not a science person, refer to my previous article Affairs of the heart. In there you will find other techniques and meditations, if practised with deliberate focus, those techniques can help you get near the path of higher consciousness.
So, last night I was rewatching one of my favourite childhood shows. “Samurai Jack”
Long ago…. in a lol everytime I recall samurai Jack, either the intro or the phrase ‘jump good’ pops up in my head. Do you remember the episode when Aku is surprised seeing Jack flying and says, “You can flyyyyyy….” Jack replies, “No, jump good”
Jack really should have gone back in time to his home in that episode. But they cut it off there. I don’t remember what happens after.
Anyway, I was supposed to talk about this other episode. The episode is titled, ‘Jack vs Mad Jack”.
In this episode Jack faces the hate, frustration, anger and rage within him. It takes his mirror image physically through Aku’s magic and battles him. One could say that it is also his ego. When he battles his ego and the evil Jack… everything around is getting burnt and the forest is catching fire. Watching it, I couldn’t help but think of that proverb, the hate within you destroys everything around you. The hate within you consumes you. Jack is also struggling to beat his evil self. He gets hurt fighting the hate and rage until he finally realises that the only way to beat hate, frustration and anger is to let go!
So, this is what Jack does… He lets it go! He calms himself, straightens his hair, ties it in a knot, looks deep within and destroys the hate inside him by letting go. In doing so, the evil Jack vanishes and the magic loses it power.
In today’s polarised world, where a brother picks up arms against his own brother, where 2 people with different opinions can’t hold a thoughtful debate, where riots and protests have become the answer, inequality is on the rise…. the answer is winning over hate.
Be like Samurai Jack, destroy the hate and anger within you and let it go… because if you don’t, it will destroy everything around you. In the process, it will consume you.