If someone offered to give you the drug Bradley Cooper took in “Limitless” would you take it? If you could swallow a pill that was 100% safe and would instantly inspire you – would take it?
I know I would. I’m sure most people walking the planet would. A simple shift in mindset is what most of us need – and if a pill could help us feel our full potential and take action on it – it would be incredible. Sadly, it’s unlikely a drug like that exists, and if you’re like me – you’d rather find healthy and safe ways to have success.
Instead of seeking the pill, you can cultivate a healthy mind and wire your brain for success in more sustainable ways – ways that guarantee you can have health, wealth, and a long happy life.
One of the best paths to creating a powerful mind is to study peak performance states. While many of us have had the experience of being ‘in the zone’ most of us haven’t figured out how to repeat those states consciously. In my case, I know I’ve often wanted those ‘flow states,’ but they came to me by accident…or some would say, “by the grace of God.”
Unfortunately, that’s not sufficient. We’re not interested in having the best peak experiences be left to the gods – we deserve to be in control. One of the best resources on how to ‘wire your mind for success’ can be found in Steven Kotler’s work. Until Steven’s work I never really fully understood how to get that state where performance is at peak – instead, it just happened. Most of the time it was just luck, or so I thought.
Let me share a few points that you can use instantly to help you create peak states more often:
1. Control Your Environment
Walk into any Starbucks, McDonald’s, or Barnes & Noble – and you’ll notice they always have similar layouts. The music, the chairs, the smells, the clothes their employees wear. It’s always the same in every store.
As billion-dollar empires, these stores are made to help you ‘feel the same every time.’ Every visit trains you to feel a certain way. The more you go into these stores, the more your mind gets wired to believe how the owners of these empires want you to feel.
If you want to tap into this same genius, here’s one of your first ‘mind hacks’ to help you wire your mind for success.
First, start by performing tasks in the same environment. Find an environment where you feel most able to complete your task at hand. Next, create an awesome playlist that inspires you. Any playlist where the music just sucks you in and will help you get tapped in.
To better elucidate this and make this example more concrete – let me give you an example.
When I go to the gym, I have a special ‘amp me up’ playlist. It’s got a series of songs which get me jacked up. For years I’ve listened to these songs while at the gym. Anytime I hear them – I feel pumped! If you make yourself a playlist that elicits feelings, it will get into the zone faster. And the more you use this playlist, the more those mental grooves will settle in.
When you combine a controlled environment with music – you’re guaranteed to create a mind wired for success. Repeat this over and over and soon enough – you show up and your mind will go right into that peak state. First you have to control where you do your task, do it in the wrong place and you won’t reap the rewards.
If you decided to go a vegan conference and all there were only vegan foods – soon enough you’d be eating vegan and talking to vegans. If you went to a meat eating conference, it’s likely you’d soon find yourself eating meat and learning about the powers of consuming beef. Similarly, if you go to the gym to work out you’ll make yourself work out. Your surroundings will shape your habits, your will, and who you become.
Use this intelligence to your advantage. Control your environment. Use an environment that compliments your tasks, and you’ll find yourself getting a lot more done.
“I think it’s important to get your surroundings as well as yourself into a positive state – meaning surround yourself with positive people, not the kind who are negative and jealous of everything you do.” – Heidi Klum
2. Show Up
There are days I want inspiration to hit me. Thinking this way only delays success. Hoping the gods will look kindly on you and gift you with a muse is not how genius happens. As the great Thomas Edison once put it: The people who get the results are the people who show up.
When I read about Michael Jordan, I often read his coaches say: “Jordan was the first to show up and the last to leave.” Sure Michael had natural talent, but his genius was that he showed up.
One great example of how genius is born can be found in author, professor and researcher, Malcolm Gladwell’s work. According to Malcolm’s renowned research, a true expert devotes over 10,000 hours of practice to their craft. No way around the time needed to become the best. Time is the friend of excellence.
Show up, control the environment, use the playlist, and reap the rewards. This is the magic pill that unlike some Hollywood fantasy has worked for millions of men and women – and it can work for you too – all without any adverse effects.
“Seventy percent of success in life is showing up.” – Woody Allen
What steps are you going to take today to make sure you achieve success? Let us know in the comments below!
Image courtesy of Twenty20.com