Category Archives: Mental Hacks

Binary Thinking: Train your Mind to be a Machine

Become laser-focused.
Become laser-focused.

I’ve adopted a new policy lately that I’ve found to work pretty well. It’s the art of Binary Thinking: to go all in or all out, to think yes or no, to say let’s do it or let’s not. So whenever I’m thinking of working/doing/starting something new, if it’s not an impulse Hell Yeah! Then I say no. And by saying no to things that I’m not truly passionate about, makes room to do the things I love.
Continue reading Binary Thinking: Train your Mind to be a Machine

Just Focus.

If you chase two $100 bills in the wind, both will escape.
If you chase two $100 bills in the wind, both will escape.

In the world of multi-taskers, the ability to simply focus on just one thing is now a unique thing — it’s also a common characteristics of thought leaders like Steve Jobs, Aristotle, and Mark Twain. But, how can you focus when you have hundreds of things that need to be done, and done right now. Let me introduce you into a little procedure I like to call, the daily thought.

Checking email before you start the day will put you into a reactive state of mind. Simply focus on your list before someone else’s, put your phone/computer off or a silence treatment. Airplane mode is now work mode.

What’s the Most Important Thing you can do today?
Every morning, after I help my wife get the kids ready for school, I grab my notepad and pen, then write down the top 5 things that I must do today. Even if it’s something little or something huge, if it’s on my mind — it’s on paper, but on only 5 things.

How long will each take?
On the right side of each item in the list, I put a number in quarter increments to how long that item might take (.25, .5, 1, 3hrs).

What’s most important?
On the left side of each item in the list, I put a number (starting with 1) on the single-most important thing that I need to do. It’s not always the single-most important thing I want to do, but mostly the thing you don’t want to do is what you need to do most.

It’s amazing how focused you can be when you prioritize. When you prioritize the important, stuff gets done.

Block out the calendar
On my digital calendar, I put everything that I need to do in the calendar and how long it will take. It’s easy to see how fast you day can fill up, how you don’t have time to get distracted, how being focused is the key. Sometimes, you can finish up before noon and feel great. But, if you wouldn’t of done this, you would jump to the next goal.

Just Focus.

Get Lost

Getting Lost Isn't a Waste of Time.
Getting Lost Isn’t a Waste of Time.

Running is a part of my life, but when I run, I don’t run up and down a road for exercise — I explore. If I see a road that I haven’t been down before, I’ll see what’s at the end. If there’s a trail or something that looks interesting, I’ll check it out. By exploring new and different things, it changes my perspective and gives me a purpose for life.

I don’t apply this just to running, I apply this on life itself.

So I challenge you to apply this to your life as well, don’t go down the same road you’ve always gone down. Try something different and if you see something you like, check it out — getting lost is not a waste of time.

This reminds me of a song from one of my all-time favorite artists:

How to Meditate without looking like a Monk

338/365 Doing the Dishes by Sharon Cooper

Not all meditation is in the lotus (cross-legged) position. It could be while you’re in the shower, or on your way to work in the car, or even while you’re in the commode. Your mind is a muscle and just like every muscle in your body, you can stress it, build it, and relax it. That’s simply what this is about, relaxing your mind in this high-pace world we live in.

 Zen = Nothing

禪-ouyang.svgTo me, zen is just realizing and accepting everything that is happening right now. Imagine your having a really bad day, you can let it get to you by pouting or feeling sorry for yourself, or you can simply accept it and move on with life. Shit happens — that’s life, if you can accept it, you can overcome it.

Introduction to Samu — The Urban way to meditate
Samu is simply meditating while doing your everyday routines and accepting reality just as it is. Like washing the dishes, cooking a meal, or driving home from work — these are things you do everyday while your mind is on autopilot.

For example, when running, say to yourself “I’m running” and listen to your body. I feel a little pain in my feet, my heart is racing — yet I feel alive. When a thought comes into your mind, simply accept it and move on.

These times also make for good thinking/breathing time. I’ve had some of my very best ideas in the car or while on a long run.

Here’s a few examples of how I think or clear my head:

  • Sit in the sun in the morning after the kids go to school
  • When I’m in the shower
  • When I’m on the commode
  • When I pull up at home and turn the engine off
  • That first 15 min before you go into a deep sleep at night
  • Long runs
  • Being by moving water (streams, lakes, oceans, rivers)
  • While I’m in the car
  • Cleaning the house

The Ultimate Urban Meditation Mix

I believe relaxing the mind is a two-part system, eating raw (or nutrient-rich) foods and breaking a sweat.

Try this for the ultimate meditation:

  1. Go for a nice long run or walk, with no electronic devices — just you.
  2. Slam a tall glass of fresh veggie juice (you can pick this up at Whole Foods, health stores, or juice your own) — preferably with beets, not a V8.
  3. Take a long, hot shower for 20 mins. Then, take a huge deep breath and rotate your head.

Coming out of that is like coming out of a coma, your mind is on fire and completely energized — you feel so alive and freaking amazing!

Try it.

Your heart only has so many beats it can handle. If your constantly worried and trying to keep up on things you will shorten your life.

Find little ways to relax your mind, even if it’s driving down a country road with the radio up. Whatever relaxes you. Do it.