September 29, 2015
As a leader of a company, it may seem like you’re always analyzing things from a financial perspective—and your own brain should be no exception. Consider your mind a financial asset that you invest in with an expectation for ROI. And as with any other investment, your goal should be to get your money’s worth.
How much time, effort and money have you already invested in your brain? Do a quick calculation for the lifetime costs of food, shelter, education and medical expenses from birth until now.
To get a true “total cost of ownership,” don’t ignore the price of poor career, investment and life decisions. If you’re completely honest with yourself, you may find that you’ve been suffering from what I call Lack of Insight (LOI) Syndrome, or weak “light bulb” moments.
How frequently are you truly inspired? What if you could produce an atmosphere conducive to generating strong light bulb moments on a regular basis? Here are some ideas for achieving optimal mental health so that you’ll have the capacity to create the ideas that are worth the most.
Love Your Brain
Let’s start by assessing where you are today in terms of how much love and care you give to your brain. Many folks take better care of their cars and yards than their brains. Ask yourself the following questions:
- How much rest do you get on a consistent basis?
- What images and sounds do you expose your brain to each day?
- What kind of people do you surround yourself with?
- How do you feed and hydrate your brain?
- Do you use intoxicants that kill brain cells that never regenerate?
- How do you exercise your brain and body?
- What negative emotions are you harboring that cause poor productivity, to say nothing of the consequences on unhappiness and life fulfillment?
We all have the power to create negative emotions, and we often blame it on factors outside of ourselves. This happens if we have not mastered our minds, and instead we have taken the subservient role as a slave to our brains.
Organize Your Brain
As a technology company founder since 1999, I’ve learned that there’s no need to separate “work” and the rest of life. Find the kind of work that you are deeply passionate about, as this is the only true path to happiness and abundance. Expect that you may not enjoy all aspects of your work responsibilities all the time. But if you are truly on a path pursuing the right avocation, then perhaps there will be no real difference between work and play.
Speaking for myself and the many passionate people I know, work and play are both inextricably linked together, and it’s a wonderful way to live! And you don’t have to be a company founder to live this way.
Rest Your Brain
Living a passionate life where work and play are intertwined requires significant discipline and skill. You’ll need to become a master over your mind if you don’t want to burn out. For example, if you take on too much responsibility, you may ultimately fall victim to LOI Syndrome. The cure for this is regular “recharge time,” in which you do absolutely nothing.
Many people don’t actually know how to do nothing with their time off. Their lives are filled with endless recreation and socializing. This all takes mental energy and effort, even though it is not “work.”
Otherwise high performing leaders may reach a point where they are hitting their heads against the wall to trying to figure out how to turn their companies around. This is a very big danger for anyone who fails to manage their brains and their time. Often to escape LOI, they’ll need to take a break from work and other life responsibilities to recharge.
Value Your Time
After our brains, our second most valuable asset is time—namely the 24 hours that we’re all given each day. While more specific ways to make the most of our time can be the subject of a whole series of articles, that and how we use our brains are directly related to the vast differences among people’s productivity and creativity. The difference is often not due to raw intelligence or talent, but instead relates to how we use or we do not use our brains.
In summary, without our brains, we could not pursue our goals and dreams. Treat your most valuable asset with the love and kindness it deserves by giving it excellent nutrition, hydration and rest. Determine what time of the day, week and season you are most productive and creative.
Remember that the clock is always ticking. Every day we all just get a daily deposit of 86,400 seconds into our “life account” that we can spend any way we wish. This daily deposit is the great equalizer—nobody gets any more, and there is no guarantee that you will get more tomorrow or even get to spend your 86,000 today. If we use our brain and time wisely, then we can create light bulb moments and avoid LOI Syndrome.
This is a winning formula for a life of happiness and a fulfilling career. And on that note, I’ll sign off, as I want to spend the remaining balance of today’s 86,000 seconds on creating a new project. My brain is in the flow, and I feel it coming.
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