You Know, You Know

Brent BaldwinEach of us has within us a capacity for decision making; an ability that is far beyond conscious reasoning. Call it intuition, a gut reaction, hunch or instincts; it has many names and has been part of everything we do or have done since we became conscious beings. For or some unforeseen reason, we typically choose not to accept it, or we tend to doubt and deny our ability to draw reliable conclusions from our subconscious. Maybe it’s the lack of empirical evidence that causes concern.

After all, I might be wrong; and would rather not shoulder that embarrassment. The safe bet is not to answer, better still, wait, and someone else may offer to do the heavy lifting. When this happens, all we have to do is agree or disagree. It’s always easier (not to mention socially less risky) to react rather than initiate. Being part of the wallpaper is clearly the comfortable, middle-class choice.

It’s easier to think middle-class rather than put yourself out there without a net, and be the World Class Thinker that you are capable of being.

For most questions, we don’t need to worry about right and wrong. We can easily respond with what we believe to be right according to our feelings. Right, according to me, is undeniable ~ that is unless someone is arrogant enough to tell you that your feelings are wrong.

Your feelings are YOUR FEELINGS and as such are beyond the opinions of a few misguided individuals. Regardless of what the self-righteous amongst us want to tell you.

You know you know,

We are conscious beings with uncanny abilities of perception. And yet, for the most part, we are reluctant to take credit for our ability to be perceptive.

Take for example our moral compass. We don’t need to see the problem well in advance or to employ tremendous powers of deductive reasoning to respond to a situation that presents with a moral/ethical hue to it. We can immediately say that it just feels wrong (or right) and rely on that, confident and comfortable with our knowing.

It is when our motivations are incongruent with our highest and best self that we run into trouble. When we respond with anger, fear, hate or vengeance our responses become vulnerable to the contempt of others (rightfully so).

Trust your inner knowing,

Concentrate and develop focus, learn to believe in you. Not to say that our understanding is the only solution, we want to be open and receptive to alternatives. Willingly engage in constructive debate and conversation.

Herein lies the problem, the place where doubt breeds discontent, where second guesses reign supreme and good intentions stop in their tracks. Believe in yourself, end the cognitive dissonance, and present proudly, express your beliefs with the conviction they deserve.

The reality is ~ you know what you don’t know.

And you know what you do know. Any solution grounded in your heartfelt hunches and beliefs deserve expression. Sometimes it doesn’t get any better than that, not for any of us.

Trust yourself; you know you know ~ Think World Class

The Worst Part of Failure and Disappointment

Brent BaldwinIt’s how we internalize and define our role in the process. If others spoke to us the way, our internal dialogue (post failure) unfolds we would have nothing to do with them.

Experiencing failure or disappointment is something that can happen to any of us at any moment. We all experience small failures and little disappointments on a regular basis, most of the time they’re inconsequential, barely registering on our emotional radar.

But then,

When we experience a big failure or disappointment the game changes we become obsessive. We can tell how impactful it’s going to be by the amount of regret or shame that envelopes our emotional self. With the comfort of hindsight, we see where we miss-stepped and choose to berate and wallow in verbal self-abuse. It’s second nature; we just can’t seem to help it.

Beware, the irrational moments when we decide to burden ourselves with self-inflicted pain and suffering can be the preamble to depression and anxiety. And maybe most debilitating of all, inactivity and avoidance.

The worst part and the most destructive by-product of failure and disappointment is the self-talk. It has that uncanny ability to unleash chattering monkeys in our minds; we start the process of self-deprecating blame, analysis and what ifs, over and over again.

You always have a choice.

1) Not the best option if you are at all concerned about your mental health; but you can continue to live with the negative mental loop occupying your thoughts and do nothing. It’s your choice.

2) Understand what is happening and how it happened. See the situation as an unattached observer. Look at the facts and remove your emotions from the analysis. Look at what happened without defining the facts with emotions. Use critical thinking.

3) Choose to resolve the issue. First and foremost decide on what you can do, your best play and then move on to the next part ~ do it. Put your plan into action.

4) Forgive, all forgiveness starts with self-forgiveness. Grant yourself the compassion that you would so willingly and unconditionally give to others if they were in this situation.

5) Apologize. Acknowledge the issue and take responsibility for your actions. Own your part of the problem and apologize to the offended and hurt. Do not assume responsibility for actions authored by others.

6) Strategize. Be open and receptive to alternatives, take the counsel of your trusted inner circle those with whom you can talk without fear of being judged unnecessarily.

7) The World Class chooses to let it go. Put it into perspective. Is this the single most defining thing in your life? If not then maybe the most constructive thing you can do is just to let it go.

Your self-care and compassion are fundamental in stopping debilitating mental chatter, regret, and shame. Actively choose what you are going to do and why then do it.

Fuhgeddaboudit ~ Think World Class

Savor This Moment

Brent BaldwinBuddhist teachings talk about being totally present to this “moment.” Which on the surface sounds like a solid plan. The thing that has always been difficult for me about being entirely focused on the here and now is this ~ “how do I concentrate on this exact moment at all times.”

With enough forethought and a bit of conscious preparation I have been able to do it briefly and for very short durations. And then, out of the blue, my mind wanders to the first shiny object that catches my eye. Next thing I know; I’m madly off in a new direction. Often never to return to the original state of “being totally present.” In the blink of an eye, I can be planning, re-living or analyzing a past event, or just finding my thoughts a million miles away on an unrelated train of thought.

Being in a state of total and complete awareness is the dominion of a rare breed of individual indeed. I don’t know if I have ever met anyone capable of being wholly present at all times. But, then again, I’ve never had the privilege of meeting the Dali Lama.

Savour this moment.

Instead of trying to find that elusive “present state” mindset I have been exploring the process of savoring. It doesn’t happen automatically, and it doesn’t require a life altering commitment, nor will anyone around you likely know what you’re doing. All that’s necessary is a bit of consciousness, awareness of what’s happening at this moment. It does work.

What the process of savoring does is slows down “the moment.” I find myself as present as I have ever been during these moments. Just consciously take in this current moment and savor it. Don’t judge whether it’s good or bad, right or wrong, just notice the space, the people around you and the feelings you’re experiencing.

Try this for yourself, next time you are enjoying a hot beverage, take a moment and savor the experience feel the feeling, slow down, taste, smell, and enjoy the drink. Notice your surroundings; be aware of details both big and small. You can do this alone, in a crowded café, or with another person. Try it while in conversation with someone else, savor the moment.

Even if the moment is one of discomfort. There are great opportunities and learning in some of the most difficult moments in our lives. We might not savor them, but they are inevitable so might as well leverage them into a learning experience

If we can appreciate the moments we live, we will live a World Class life.

Take a moment right now ~ Think World Class

Visualization, Seeing is Believing

Brent BaldwinYour passion and the realization of every hope and dream you ever imagined will only come to fruition when you intersect passion with mindful intention. From that foundation, the magic begins when you pursue it with reckless abandon.

Dare to be great, dare to set aside assumed limitations, dare to challenge the status-quo and maybe more importantly; dare to fail. Without risk, there is no meaningful or sustainable return.

The choice is yours ~ do you want to stay standing on the corner of walk and don’t walk, or do you want to speed down the highway of dreams with the top down and the wind in your face.

Invest in yourself every day, spend time in quiet reflection and visualize; see, feel, smell, taste and hear the sweetness that lies in your passion. World Class performers, from athletics and sport, business, theater, music, and dance, use some form of visualization to glean a competitive edge and create self-mastery.

Visualization is not going to make the sun rise in the west no matter how you concentrate,

But it does have the power to alter your existing environment and circumstances. It can cause events to happen and to attract your deepest desires. Visualization changes the energy around you; it opens up alternatives and provides answers that had previously been elusive or just beyond your reach.

Seven thoughts on the process of visualization:

1) Nothing is ever going to happen until we get clear about what we are going after.

2) Continually define and refine your vision. Don’t get stuck on a one-way street. Be open and receptive to new influences and ideas.

3) Concentrate on small successes and look for opportunities to leverage these toward your ultimate vision.

4) Visualize in images, not words; paint a picture. Imagine with great detail, see and feel the success or attainment from beginning to end in real time. Not at some point in the future or an event from your past.

5) Sit in quiet contemplation while you create the results you desire in your minds-eye employing all five senses.

6) Visualization isn’t a one-time event! Do it consistently. Ideally twice a day, at a time where you can sit uninterrupted. Be quiet and relaxed and concentrate completely. When distractions arise, dismiss them gently and return to your visualization. Persevere and be patient.

7) Do the work. Put your ass in gear and do it. Nothing will ever happen if we just think and visualize. The action step is where the rubber hits the road. Visualization will give you the why and the how but it all boils down to you making it happen.

Alternatively, you can be uptight defeatist or a condescending, self-righteous boob; saying “this stuff doesn’t work.” Choose not to do it, and you continue to be what you have been, you stay right where you are, living the same life over and over again. If nothing else, being stagnant has zero risks. It may cause a small bit of shame, but you can learn to live with that; can’t you?

Scientifically there is a ton of evidence that supports the amazing effects visualization can have if we are prepared to do the work. Get clear about where you’re going and have the visual acuity to imagine and dream in Technicolor.

Your dreams may be just around the corner ~ Think World Class