Becoming self-aware?

Mindfulness without meditation?

I’ve had a couple experiences in the last month that suggest I’m actually getting my shit together. These are obviously the result of increased mindfulness on my part—paying attention to my thoughts in the moment. And yet, my daily meditation practice would be best described as “anything but.”

It shows up simply enough, most often when I least expect it, too.

I’ll be fuming mad about something and think, “I *want* to be angry right now. Just a few more minutes.” And then I get back to living.

Most recently, I found myself standing on the side the interstate in the middle of nowhere. The sun was setting, and my weekend camping plans were canceled because the new engine we’d installed just five days prior had apparently blown a seal. I found myself with the usual doubts.

“This is it. I’m done with cars.”

“If I’m not interested in cars anymore, that’s probably the end of GBXM, too.”

“WTF am I going to do, then? WTF am going to do now?”

“This stupid hobby is as damaging as it is beneficial.”

The weekend prior, when we built and installed that engine, SNAFUs like this pushed our timeline into almost triple overtime. It was awful. But I wasn’t the least bit upset. I saw the disappointments, but I simply chose to focus on solutions over sadness.

And here I was, stranded on the side of the road, contemplating the end of perhaps the most significant aspect of my life beyond my immediate family—and I was evaluating the situation dispassionately.

“We’ll get it to the shop in the morning, pull the engine, replace the rear main seal, and this will all be done and behind me within 24 hours.”

At 1AM, adding a gallon of oil to Fezzik under the streetlight after the tow truck finally dropped me off, “Ugh. I am so tired. This is bullshit, but we’ll fix it tomorrow. It’s gonna suck, doing this all over again out in the sun this time, especially on less than five hours’ sleep—but we’ll get it done and I’ll be home in time for dinner.”

I was home by 3PM.

And since I didn’t make the camping trip, I actually felt like I had an extra day that weekend.

Not bad.

Not sure what all this means, but whatever it is, I like it.

It Starts With Better Stories

“Whether you think you can, or think you can’t–you’re right.” — Henry Ford

I know I’ve mentioned this before, but it bears repeating. It’s just too easy to slip into the wrong narrative. Unchecked, it’s a recipe for disaster; the infamous self-fulfilling prophesy.

Spend your days telling yourself no one cares–and no one will care.
Spend them telling yourself you’re always tired–you will always be tired.

Start telling yourself better stories. You feel great. You’ve got things under control.

Every little thing’s gonna be alright.


Doorway Personas

As a marketer, I’m often thinking about personas. Who is this for–why them, why now? Answering those questions helps me tailor my work to their needs (and earn my keep). But lately I’ve also been wondering, if assigning personas to others influences my words, could assigning personas to myself influence my actions?

Somewhere along the way, I picked up a tip to consciously adjust my posture and smile every time I walk through a doorway. The idea being, over time it becomes muscle memory and you always enter the room on the right foot. I still forget this more often than not, but it makes a lot of sense and I’m going to start incorporating it into my daily mindfulness practice. And I’m going to try using doorways as triggers to do a little reprogramming while I’m at it.

When I climb into Fezzik (my truck), in the morning, do I want to be another frenzied vehicle operator fighting traffic in pursuit of diminishing returns–or do I want to be the skilled wheelman who fluidly dissects traffic with surgical precision?

When I walk through the door at work, do I want to be a doubt-filled poseur who thinks he oversold himself during the interview process and got lucky–or do I want to be a legitimate badass (like everyone else at LeadMD) chosen to join an elite squad and fucking own my shit?

And when I get back home at night, do I want to be the exhausted, cat’s-in-the-cradle parent with miles to go before I sleep–or do I want to be the husband and father my wife and daughter need me to be?

It’s interesting to think I could come up with personas for myself–and use them to change my life–all triggered automatically by something as simple as a doorway. Perception IS reality. And I feel like altering my reality.