We’re going to get down into the rabbit hole with today’s post. This is one of the most detailed posts I’ve ever written about success and mindset.
This post is all about getting your mind right and thinking in the right way to maximize business and filmmaking success.
YOUR MIND IS A POWERFUL THING
I don’t think you need me to tell you that your mind is an extraordinary thing, but I feel obliged to do so anyway.
Your mind can make a good situation feel bad, and make a bad situation feel good. Your mind can tell you to be scared when you’re not, and not scared when you are. It can be trained to ignore pain, or to remember moments in your past that you thought had deserted you.
Scientists have conducted studies that estimate the average human brain experiences 70,000 separate thoughts in a day. Each time we blink, our brain is sent a message to keep things illuminated so that the world doesn’t appear dark (Bristow, 2005).
Alright, enough fun mind facts. How does the mind relate in our quest to become a better business person and filmmaker?
Once we learn to take control of our minds, we do what a very small percentage of the world’s population are able to do – we gain a grasp on our emotions and feelings and render power over the way we think, feel and behave.
Most people walk through life in a daze, perpetually reactive and at the mercy of their thoughts and knee-jerk emotions. We’re going to be one of the chosen few, who engage our intellect, creativity and smarts to leverage control over mind, body and spirit.
NLP INTRO: ANCHORS, STATES AND MODELING
I’m at the mercy of standard self-development rhetoric here, and I feel I must at least give a short introduction to Neuro-Linguistic Programming before going into the rest of this section. It is, after all, at the centre of a lot of aspects we’re going to touch on in this post and I have mentioned NLP on the site before.
Bandler is the rather heavy set fellow that you’ll come across often in self-help circles, whereas Grinder is a little harder to find. Both of them are, frankly, geniuses and, in some ways, madmen. But I guess all the great geniuses are.
Bandler, in particular, is awesome. His live seminars are a cross between inspirational intervention and hilarious stand-up comedy.
NLP has been described in many ways, but it essentially explores the relationship between how we think, communicate and the patterns of behaviour and emotion that govern most people’s lives.
There, that’s the Cliff Notes definition.
Now, NLP has been taken in many different directions since the 1970s, when Bandler and Grinder’s seminal text on the subject, The Structure of Magic, was released.
People like Robert Dilts, Steve & Connarie Andreas and Michael Hall have taken NLP in different and varied directions, and it’s become an extremely popular and moneyed industry.
But that’s enough of the history lesson.
We’ll ignore the countless other (often very interesting) applications of NLP and leave it at this: for us, NLP can be summarized as The Science of Excellence.
PRACTICAL USES OF NLP IN BUSINESS AND FILMMAKING
Let’s look at some practical uses for NLP that can actually affect our lives right now:
In talking about NLP, discussing “state” is a good starting point. Your state is how your beliefs and values are demonstrated to the world.
State is a subjective experience and naming the different states one can experience is often a mistake, because different states mean (and feel like) different things to different people.
Some states include: joy, depression, happiness, fear, angst, guilt. You can have upbeat states and downbeat states. We’ll get more into states in detail as we progress through this post, but right now know that your state is your outward representation of your inner world.
Anchoring is a way in which “memory recall, state change or other responses become associated with (anchored to) some stimulus, in such a way that perception of the stimulus (the anchor) leads by reflex to the anchored response occurring.” – Wikipedia.
What that means for us, in practical terms, is a way to encourage good thoughts no matter what the situation.
HOW ABOUT AN EXERCISE?
Here’s how to use anchoring on yourself for great results:
1. Put yourself in a fantastic state before going somewhere or doing something important. Get yourself hyped up. Jump up and down. Think positive thoughts. It’s the physical side as much as the mental side, so jumping up and down and being physically active in a positive way is a big part of succeeding with this exercise.
2. Now turn on your favorite piece of uplifting music. We’re engaging your auditory sense now.
3. Get into the habit of doing this everytime you go out for something important – a meeting, a shoot, a speaking gig, whatever it is.
4. You’ve now anchored a great, resourceful feeling to yourself.
Mirroring is also useful for us. Mirroring is essentially mimicking someone’s body language, posture, facial expressions, breathing, etc and feeding it back to them.
People respond to mirroring We are, at our essence, social creatures and we like to see something that’s the same as us.
AN EXERCISE IN MIRRORING
1. Go out to a social area. A shopping area is a good example.
2. Sit near someone so that they can see you.
3. Now mirror their body language. If they’re sitting cross legged with their right hand raised, try matching that. Don’t be weird. This is an experiment and I don’t want anyone getting arrested for doing this exercise!
4. Notice the reaction of the other person. Do they appear more socially warm and open to you? These are often almost imperceptible and unconscious signals, but sometimes it’s possible to notice. If you’re noticing these signs, then you are mirroring effectively.
Mirror people subtly and you’ll be on your way to influencing them.
Of course, these are just the first steps.
EXERCISE: BEING HONEST WITH YOURSELF
Answer these questions and write done the answers in your journal (you have a journal, right?):
- How did you get to this point in your life? Be as detailed as you want to be. These are your own personal answers.
- What is your biggest challenge or frustration right now?
- Describe your ideal outcome? The dream situation that if you could have anything, it would be this.
- What have you tried so far that didn’t work?
- What have you tried so far that did work?
- What motivates you to take action?
- What gets in the way of you taking action?
- If you agree to do something, can you count on yourself to follow through and do it?
The above are all useful questions to get you thinking in the right direction. Some of them are purely retorhical, but all are useful when you go into a fair bit of detail and really get deep down and honest with yourself.
Being honest with yourself really is one of the most important things you can master. Once you’re honest with yourself, you can start making real progress.
I hope this has been beneficial. Mastering your mind and having control over what you think and feel is a key resource of the successful in business and life.
Thanks for reading!