I spent my Wednesday morning giving the opening talk at the UCSD Ignite Conference, so I thought I’d share my notes with you today.
Over the past month as I’ve been traveling, I’ve thought a lot about what I would say at this important gathering, igniting the entrepreneurial spirit with a day of hands-on learning, competitions and mentoring for innovators, founders, and startups in my beautiful home city of San Diego. I concluded that there are just three steps to mindfulness and the joy that being mindful gives. Yep, just three steps that I am going to recommend you do every day.
Now I am not a Yogi or trained in meditation. I am a doer. I’m an entrepreneur that stumbled on mindfulness for my health and wellness as well as to make sure I focused on the right things and was kind and inspiring to the people around me. But the three things I mentioned above are the three things I do every day, and as I said, I think if you do these simple things you can find the joy that comes from mindfulness, too.
First is the commitment to stop and be still at least three times per day. Yep, three times per day, pause and focus internally. Two times for short periods in the morning and then one extended period in the afternoon.
Why is this important?
Have you noticed that there are people who seem to glide through life just happy as can be, always meeting the right people at the right time and accomplishing big, big things?
I firmly believe that this comes with practicing mindfulness, with pushing all the connectivity and noise away. So what I am recommending you do is pause and reflect three times per day. When you pause, take some breaths (always in through your nose and out through your mouth) and shake your shoulders a little bit. Now, I want you to tell yourself right now how incredible, extraordinary and awesome you are. Understand and feel how incredible and extraordinary you are. I want you to feel how awesome you are. Yep, I want you to tell yourself, feel it and breath it. Tell yourself that you are the most incredible fermenter, the most incredible processor of stimuli that has ever existed! So if your body is that incredible, extraordinary and awesome, then so are you and start today making sure you know it and feel it everyday.
Every time I wonder why I am telling myself this I reflect that my body is so incredible and that even at a University like UCSD they are discovering new things about the body every day, which confirms to me how incredible, extraordinary and awesome we are.
The second pause for me is usually mid-morning, and during this pause I reflect on what incredible, extraordinary and awesome people do. They do one thing that is really important. Incredible and awesome people do the impossible—and yes, you will do the impossible, too.
What I want you to do every day is take action on one impossible thought. I want you to make a commitment to do one extraordinary and incredible thing—every day. This means get out of your comfort zone, take a personal moon shot. Do something that is bigger than anyone ever imagined. Do something that everyone will tell you is impossible. Yep! Become that person who can accomplish the impossible. To do this, you have to breathe it, you have to put it into your personal GPS. You need to think about it, internalize it and be mindful that it is something you are going to accomplish.
What’s your impossible?
Remember use your own personal GPS. You don’t have to think through the “how” just dial in the impossible as a destination on your GPS and let the energy build from there.
So those are the first two pauses, the first two things I want you to do each day. I think all of you will agree that you can do the first two parts of this three part program. This usually comes pretty natural to inspired entrepreneurs, but what I want to make sure you do is to aspire very high. Think incredibly big and if the outcome isn’t the impossible… try again! Remember, don’t worry about the how right now, just put the thoughts out there. But always make it much bigger, much more incredible and impossible than you ever thought possible. YEAH!
Now, the third component that I do in the afternoon is always more difficult for me, and may be for you, too. It takes much more discipline. I want you to find a place to be still, quiet and reflective. A place to stop all the chatter in your brain. (This has always been more difficult for me but it has been incredibly powerful in my life.There are a lot of techniques to help you quiet your mind and I suggest you look at all of them until you come upon the one that works for you.)
I’ll tell you the most powerful one for me, and you can do this in your favorite Yoga position or sitting on a rock or under a tree, if you want. But I stop anywhere and do this every afternoon, no matter what. I pay attention to my breathing. I relax and then suddenly, the magic comes. Really what I mentally do is review everyone that I touched during the day and I ask myself, “was I kind to that person? Did I inspire or help that person in any way?” And if the answer is that I didn’t, I ask myself, “how could I have?”
Yep, the third part of joy through mindfulness is to inventory everyone you touched during the day and make sure you were the kind, loving and helpful inspiration that an incredible and awesome person would be.
Now think about this for a moment. Think about entrepreneurial teams that have respect for each other, that are kind to each other. They can speak to each other in ways that outsiders wouldn’t understand. They can move things so fast. Think about all the people that you touch on a daily basis and their personal, incredible, extraordinary talents that you some day might be able to use.
So let’s start today: Begin with three simple, mindful moments each day.
- Know you are incredible, extraordinary and awesome.
- Know that you will accomplish the impossible because all incredible and extraordinary people do.
- Be kind and inspirational to all the people you touch and recognize they all have awesome talents specific to their extraordinary self, just like you.
Here’s to the joy through mindfulness and three pauses each day.