The 1:1:1 July 2021

The 1:1:1 July 2021

Flowing with Extracurricular Activities

1: Idea / Permission to Play with Your Passions
Did you know that Warren Buffett plays the ukulele? This, I’d like to see.
Many business leaders and innovators have passionate hobbies outside their work. Meryl Streep knits. Larry Ellison sails. Ray Dalio is an avid meditator. Richard Branson, ever the over-achiever, does yachting, hot air ballooning, kite surfing, biking, and rides rockets into space.
The semi-recent fixation with certain billionaires having an affinity for going to space aside, the choice of hobbies — what we do outside of work — feeds all that we are.
Our hobbies and passions outside of work allow us to experience diverse delight, play, curiosity, practice, creativity, and mastery. Many of these curiosity-driven activities nurture and fuel us in ways that go beyond the more easily measured outcomes that our work worlds are filled with.

The pragmatic take: No business will ever out-evolve its leaders. So, if you want to grow and evolve your business, you have to grow and evolve yourself.

Often, our growth will take place outside the walls of business where leaps of insights, self-awareness, personal and relational development flourish.

Our work and daily lives are filled with things we have to do. We have to complete our to-do list. We have to lead our team. We have to bring in new business.

Here’s the idea: Modify one word in your to-do lists. Change “have” to, into “get” to. This simple shift will transform your mindset. In doing so, it will change your relationship to the things you do.

1: Inspiration

If you suddenly and unexpectedly feel joy, don’t hesitate. Give in to it.
…whatever it is, don’t be afraid of its plenty.
Joy is not made to be a crumb

  — Mary Oliver, Swan: Poems and Prose Poems.

1: Tool/ How to Seek “Flow” — The secret to happiness.
The state of flow was popularized by positive psychologists Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi and Jeanne Nakamura. It’s a feeling where, under the right conditions, you become fully immersed in whatever you are doing.

The meditation app Headspace, offers a toolkit and approach for setting the conditions for a state of flow. Here’s a summary from their instructions, and I encourage you to check out this page on Headspace with more details.

From HeadspaceApproach to Create Flow Conditions:

  • “Do something you love. It goes without saying, but this is the easiest way to get into a flow state. Doing something you love can satisfy your mind’s craving for something that’s challenging but doable and something that you’re good at.
  • Create a ritual. As you gear up for activities that will require you to enter a state of concentration, create a series of actions that you do every single time you’re about to begin your task. This could be a meditation, a short walk, or a pot of tea. No matter your activity, it will let your brain know what’s about to begin and that you are coaxing it to be ready.
  • Choose your most important task. Achieving a flow state is best accomplished while focusing on one major task that requires a significant portion of brain power. Multitasking would create a web of distractions that make it impossible to achieve flow state.
  • Identify your peak creative and productive times. Identify the times where your mind most naturally functions at full speed. For many people, the morning after a good night’s sleep is the most productive. Focusing on the day’s main task during these times will make flow state a more achievable goal.
  • Eliminate distractions. Focus on creating a peaceful environment with minimal distractions around you. Store your phone away and put it on “do not disturb.” If you are working on a laptop, maybe try a website blocker. You know best the types of things that disturb you most often. Try minimizing as many of them as possible.”

Watch the Flow TED Talk here.

If you have insights on this, feel free to share them with me here.

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