To say 2019 has been a life-changing, transformation experience would be an understatement. My business has endured periods of hardship which we’ve been able to bounce back from in a remarkable way and above all, I’ve grown as a person, formed unique friendships and brought myself to a position of total clarity, comfort and tranquillity backed by a vision for a collective, inclusive future for everyone.
I owe a lot of thanks to the workings of Joe Dispenza (he has some great YouTube videos), a dash of Alan Watts, Brené Brown and a book entitled “Power vs Force” but above and beyond all I owe a huge thanks to a good, long-term friend of mine, Gary Waters for setting me on this course in the first place. My friends have played such an important role in all this. To name just a few in particular – Kim, Jack, Mark, Charlie, Sean and Harry – you have no idea what an impact you’ve had on my life this year.
Without further ado, here are just some of the things I’ve learned on the way and just wish I knew about from a younger age.
1. Our genuine emotions only last for 90 seconds
We are responsible for creating our emotions. Our thoughts trigger a chemical response which in turn, generate a physical response.
When we let our emotions overwhelm us, we react in an impulsive and irrational manner. The initial event that triggered the emotion can trigger a series of scenarios in our mind that continue to trigger the emotion, as an addiction for that chemical being released in our bodies.
The crazy thing about that initial chemical release? It only lasts for 90 seconds. By then, the chemical has completely disappeared from your bloodstream. Anything following this, is an effort to continue this emotion through artificially-generated thoughts about the scenario in order to trigger it more. That emotion is essentially an addiction.
Next time you feel a surge of negative emotion, after 90 seconds, be aware that you’re trying to extend it and try to re-contextualise the situation. Remember, every experience is a lesson we can use to help ourselves grow in the future. Every person behaves in a negative way as a projection of their own insecurities and negative experiences in life. We need to understand and find a way to move through a situation without letting a negative emotion overwhelm.
It’s important to learn what physical experiences these emotions generate and wait for them to calm before further processing the situation.
2. Anxiety and Excitement? They’re the same feeling
Unless you have a condition such as anxiety disorder, what you may not know is that the feeling of anxiety in the body is the same as excitement. It’s a rush of Cortisol in your brain which triggers your body’s “fight or flight” mechanisms.
We can often re-contextualise these feelings. For example, if you’re about to fly and feel terrified about irrational thoughts such as things on the plane going wrong, you can re-contextualise by telling yourself “I can’t believe I’m going to visit a new country”, “isn’t it amazing how we’ve been able to engineer such ways to move around the world with ease, travelling at up to 600 mph – what a rush!”, or “I can’t wait to see this city from the sky”.
3. Don’t trust your memories
Research shows that our memories cannot be trusted. Statistics show that 40% of us hold a fake first memory.
Memories can be triggered by people telling you certain incorrect things about your past (often triggered by their own artificially-created memories), fake news in the media (which has proven to impact the way people vote through subliminal influence, for example, Cambridge Analytica), or just a fake memory we create out of a desire to release emotion that memory provokes, as a result of craving that chemical release in our body. Historically, witness statements are often construed as unreliable in court for this reason.
Have you ever reflected on a moment in your past and wondered why your memory was so hazy, and it just didn’t feel right even though you think it happened? We can often remember the emotion more than event, and depending on how you currently experience that emotion, we can exaggerate or construe that event in order to trigger it in a more intense way, particularly when it is reinforced by those around us.
If we can’t trust our memories of our past, why do we often let it define who we are now?
4. Be grateful. It really works
When we practice gratitude, we trigger a series of events in our body that generate positive emotions we crave more of, which can impact our outlook on life, the current situation you may be involved in, decision making and very importantly, physical health. Those chemical addictions invoked by emotion? They don’t have to be negative ones.
Every morning, it’s great to start the day with at least 3 things you’re most grateful of. This can be in life, from the previous day or related to the day you have ahead – just write those things down, and start the day smiling.
In a negative situation, after that 90 seconds have passed, it’s a good opportunity to practice gratitude. Sometimes you may have to meditate in order to ground yourself and re-establish presence first. Sometimes you may have to call a close friend, particularly if you are “seeing red” and struggle to see the positives. A different perspective is always helpful.
5. Begin the day with the 20/20/20 rule
20 minutes to move, 20 minutes to reflect, 20 minutes to grow. I learned this from a book by Robin Sharma called “The 5 AM Club“.
Move – vigorous exercise for 20 minutes and whilst sweating, you deplete cortisol, the chemical of fear (but remember, it can also be re-contextualised as excitement). You also release the protein BDNF (brain-derived neurotrophic factor) which repairs brain cells and accelerates the formation of new neural connections. You’ll be able to think much faster.
Reflect – before the complexities of the day begin (top tip: don’t trigger these by looking at your phone – find an external alarm clock!), reflect on what is most important to you in life (writing them down also helps), or replay your vision – your dream scenario of living. Meditation is a great tool you can use in order to “be present” and control your ‘monkey brain’ from wondering off to other thoughts. Meditation also lowers cortisol.
Learn – this is your best opportunity to learn something new. Whether studying biographies of those people most influential in life, reading inspiring books such as ‘Power vs Force‘ (this has had the biggest impact on my life), watching a documentation or just learning about topics such as science, the ability to learn is at it’s acme in the morning. Currently, I’m reading a lot about Quantum physics, computing and entanglement. Last week it was on the subject of dark matter. The mysteries of the universe never cease to amaze me!
For those feeling a little more brave, I also turn the shower to its coldest setting for at least a minute – this is great for both your immune system and energy levels, triggering the best of starts to the day.
6. There are no such thing as creative and non-creative types
Crazy, right? In our early years, we are all creative. One thing that can enhance or stifle creativity is empathy. You have to have empathy in order to stimulate creativity. Once your creative side is unleashed, you grow it more and more – neurons that fire together, wire together. Before you know it, you could be creating masterpieces.
Creative confidence comes from when we’re not scared of the crazy ideas we have – that is where creativity flourishes.
So don’t think of yourself as a non-creative type, get out there and create! Practice certainly makes perfect.
7. Staying hydrated is one of the most important things you can do
It sounds quite simple really, but when we are dehydrated it can affect us in so many ways, both physically and emotionally.
You should be drinking 3 litres a day, and not all at once. You’ll soon feel the benefits in no time and find yourself making decisions with more clarity and less tiredness.
8. Affirmation and Visualisation are powerful tools
This goes in-tandem with the 20/20/20 rule quite well. If you visualise the life of your dreams and affirm the action you are willing to take in order to make it happen, the “you” program you have installed in your mind will shift to a new perspective and transform your experience of everything in life. Try it – it really works – and don’t be afraid to allow it to change with your priorities and core values, which are bound to shift over time.
9. Stress and physical health are closely linked
It’s something we all know, but rarely tune in with. It’s not the events in life that activate the symptoms of stress, but rather our reactions to them. This then cascades on to physical health.
It’s important to know and identify when your body is telling you to slow down, change direction or make a different decision. Next time you know you are undergoing a period of stress, try to tune in with your body (ideally, through meditation) and recognise the physical signs. Next time, you start to feel them, you’ll be able to act on them before it is too late.
I’ve previously been admitted to hospital as a result of stress-invoked disease and it wasn’t an enjoyable experience – I learned the hard way. Only by shifting my attitudes and perspective on life, was I able to overcome the disease (the doctor described my recovery as a miracle, and said there weren’t even indicators to show it was ever there in the first place).
10. Have a sense of humour and beware of those who don’t
I feel quoting Power vs Force directly here is the best way. I couldn’t write it any better than David R Hawkins does:
“Totalitarian systems are notably devoid of humour at every level. Laughter, which brings acceptance and freedom, is a threat to their rule through force and intimidation. It is hard to oppress people who have a good sense of humour. Beware the humourless, whether in a person, institution, or belief system; it is always accompanied by an impulse to control and dominate, even if its proclaimed objective is to create prosperity or peace.”Power vs Force – David R Hawkins
The bottom line is, even for those who proclaim to be doing good in the world, if they have no sense of humour, they are often toxic in personality and cannot be reasoned with, due to an alternate agenda which seeks to gain control rather than a proclaimed objective of prosperity or peace.