Where do you usually create your best work from?
Individuals perceive the question at different levels.
A common place to start is of course the physical location of your work. Some people have the freedom and flexibility to bring their work to their choice of place eg. quieter, more inspiring place and environment. However, that is simply out of the question for many others. But I was looking at a different level.
Am I talking about the inner level? Yes, but it’s probably quite different from what you think.
Most people would agree that they create their best work or perform their best from a mental state of calmness, clarity, purposeful and filled with inspiring thoughts. But most people operate from the outside-in paradigm where they create conditions or use techniques to make that to happen. And then, they could create their best work or perform at their best.
Consider the possibility that this actually works differently as I point you in another direction.
In traditional performance coaching, it was believed that high performance occurs when you have the right knowledge, strategies, and create the right mental state for success. If that was true, many if not everyone, would have obtained massive success by now. After all, it’s no excuse as all that are readily available in this Information Age.
A better and more accurate formula for high performance shared by Alan Fine was this:
PERFORMANCE = CAPACITY – INTERFERENCE
Which means, we perform to our peak capacity when there’s less interference getting in the way.
You can work very hard, possess great talents and creativity, but if you fail to understand the significance of interference, it will hinder you from producing your best. It’s like pressing hard on the acceleration pedal with the brakes on!
Can you recount the times when you were in your optimal state and ‘in the flow’? What did you do to get into that peak-performance state?
My guess is, it’s definitely not by over-thinking, which produces more interference. Interviews with top athletes showed that many got into their peak mental state by not doing anything deliberate, trust the hard training they’ve put in and just relax into it.
The single most important point of understanding interference is they’re all essentially thought-generated. And the key is not in thinking how to eliminate them, but in understanding the nature of Thought.
All that we ever experience is created from within, not from circumstances. It’s not that circumstances don’t matter. But what we feel is our thoughts about the circumstance in the moment, and not the circumstance itself. I understand that this may sound foreign or even absurd for many people. I used to think that too, and later I began to understand it intellectually but didn’t quite grasp it. And as I was open to that possibility and continued looking in that direction, I saw that it’s true. It’s not until certain life events happened to me which I felt and responded differently, that is when I realized that I’ve embodied the understanding. It was like an awakening to see my own thoughts, moment by moment, and how my feelings were not actually affected by circumstances but by my thoughts.
What I’ve seen, I could not ‘unsee’. This is the best thing I have to share here. That is the reason why I directed my writings in Coaching Journey to look deeper into this direction this year.
Clarity, peace and psychological well-being are our default state - the mind's factory setting. Click To Tweet When nothing gets in the way, when our thoughts are not revved up, our mind gets quiet all by itself and return to clarity. And our innate wisdom is found when our mind is clear.
Just like our immune system that allows our body to heal itself, our psychological immune system allows our mind to self-correct and return to its default optimal state.
If we do not understand that, we would try mental techniques and strategies to gain clarity. That’s like stirring up muddled water and adding stuffs hoping to get clarity. But if we understand, we would instinctively know there’s nothing to do and the water always return to its original state of clarity.
Returning to clarity reconnects us to our innate wisdom – the wellspring of great inspirations, creative ideas and solutions. It’s innate because it’s already inside of us. We see it if we don’t look out there for what’s already inside. Many don’t and they operate in the misunderstanding that wisdom is somewhere out there – seemingly elusive.
This understanding saved me a lot of time in studying and practicing various methods to get to my optimal, clear state of mind. Now I don’t have to wait for the right conditions to take place for me to get into my optimal state to work from. It’s there inside me all along!
Distractions come, and they will always come like the tens of thousands of thoughts that pass through your mind every day. If you know that you need not do anything about it, they would dissolve, just like you don’t have to do anything to get rid of shadows once you see the nature of shadow for what it is.
Again, understanding about this intellectually will beget more unnecessary thinking which gets in the way. The best you can do (if you haven’t grasp it), is continue looking into this direction and stay in the conversation. I wish you well and to your increasing seeing and deepening understanding.