A pragmatic tool to deal with negative emotions and set backs.

What is this pragmatic tool I alluded to in the title?  It is a very ancient and simple practice but do not allow its simplicity to belie its remarkable effectiveness. It is one of the most powerful tools to not only deal with the suffering that is an essential component of being human, but to transmute it to grow and produce positive things that would have never been possible otherwise. So what is it already?

Before I divulge that information (if you are in a real hurry skip this paragraph) I would like to flesh out how important suffering is not only for our development but as a vehicle for producing something that positively changes the world by sharing a story about Adele. The talent and skill Adele has honed over thousands of hours of deliberate practice is unquestionable. However, we all know that talent and skill is NOT enough to ensure success in a field. It requires something more that we have not yet grasped and conceptualized yet. However, during the making of her widely acclaimed album 21 she was struggling to produce any songs that connected with her audience. It was NOT until she went through a tough break-up with the first man she had seriously dated that broke her heart was she able to produce the songs that made her album such a success and allowed her to stock up Grammy awards. It was the pain that allowed her to produce something that would change the world. Without the bad break-up she would have been just another uber-talented musican without a muse or a deeper message in her songs.

However, just going through negative experiences does not automatically mean that great success will follow. We see people all the time who suffer set backs and it destroys them. It is only those people who can handle the negative emotions and embrace them and use it as a stepping stone to bigger and better things. So I have been keeping you waiting so long, and the pragmatic tool I have alluded to in the title that can help is journaling.

You may think wow what a waste of my time reading this article. I am not a 13-year old girl. However, before you let your ego jump in please take a second to pause and firstly ask have you ever tried it? They are so many benefits about journaling, which is extolled in the scientific literature but I will NOT make that the subject of this blog post. This world does not need more people regurgitating what is already out there, but does need people sharing their experiences to help people grow and become the strongest version of themselves.

So why did I begin journaling, and how did it help me? I begin journaling because one of my early great coaches, Glen Chu essentially demanded that all players journal what they learn in BOTH practice and games, so that the invaluable lessons they learn truly become internalized. This is something that immediately resonated with me; however the wisdom of his recommendation did not initially transfer over to other areas of my life and got lost as I moved to college.

It was not until I read The Obstacle is the Way that the importance of journaling really hit me. Marcus Aurelius the 16th empire of the Roman Empire, who was the most powerful man in the world at that time religiously kept a journal. During his living years he was the only one who ever saw this journal. So it was NOT a publicity gimmick or a way to build up his ego. It was a practical tool he used to allow him to develop and be the best that he could be. For those history buffs out there you would know how tumultuous times were for the Roman Empire during his reign and how gracefully he dealt with all the challenges. For me personally I completely understand why he kept up his journal. I find writing my thoughts in a venue free of judgement is so therapeutic. The pouring of ideas from your mind is surprisingly relaxing and helps alleviate the static noise of thoughts that are always running in the background of your awareness. Also, through the act of writing, new ideas and insights are able to be made once your ideas are on the page.

But what do I write about? I know this was a huge barrier when I first began journaling. The key is to just get started and write about whatever you want. It does NOT need to be insightful or deep, just need to get the process of writing started and whatever needs to come out at the time will come out. I have included a sample of a journal entry I made this morning, in hopes that it may serve as inspiration for you to begin your journaling journey. This entry is NOT edited and is myself in its raw and unedited version. As you can see from the passage below I like to write my entries as if I am having a discussion with myself.


 

02/08/2015 –I am truly so happy and grateful for the amazing learning experience I had recently experience. It really reinforced the lesson that the primary cause of my suffering is that I believe I am above that suffering. That is the absolutely worst attitude to have.

 

I need to love and embrace the suffering I am allowed to experience by God/Universe or w.e else you would like to call it. Remember that no mental concept fully encapsulate the infinite. But why should I do this?

 

Pain is the primary vehicle, if transmuted correctly, to achieving higher states of consciousness and presence. This is a very important lesson to hammer in, NOTHING external matters! What does is my internal purpose, which is to practice and learn to live in the NOW as best as I can! Why? Everything external is fleeting, ephemeraland will die. So it is impossible to attach your true purpose to something that is only temporary.

 

My primary problem is that I am seeking completion/salvation through my outer purpose, which will NEVER happen. I need to drastically restructure my life to reflect this new truth. Why? I am constantly trying to keep myself busy/build my ego to avoid this journey. The low information diet purported by Tim Ferris is NOT only very practical to achieving your full potential but is also very spiritual.

 

I do NOT need anymore knowledge from books. I need to go out and live life and get in touch with my body. My body has the infinite universal intelligence at its disposal for which I am barely using any of it. Once I am able to get in touch with my inner purpose I will have access to the universal intelligence and my external reality will take care of itself.

 

One important caveat is that you can NOT fight unconsciousness. You can only bring the light of consciousness to it. Whatever you resist persists. Do NOT worry about what I am doing wrong or make myself into a problem. The ego loves that. Just focus on being as present as possible and the rest will take care of itself.

 

So yesterday my pain body did take-over but that is completely fine because I could definitely tell that I was much more aware of the negative energy field and was able to keep it at bay for longer than expected before it took over me.

 

So what is my plan of action? So firstly I need to realize that I need to take care of my body and go inwards before it can be transcended.

 

Plan of Action

  1. Complete fast for rest of day + Sauna to clear my body of toxins
  2. Attend TM group meditation
  3. Clear out extraneous material possession that are cluttering my life and give them away to people that could use them
  4. Remember all the modalities that I have that can be used when feeling pain and can transmute it into presence
    1. Tai Chi/Qi Gong
    2. TM
    3. Heart Math
    4. Bio-Energetics
    5. Walking/Running
    6. Basketball
    7. Yoga
    8. Mindfulness
  5. No books/media (especially NBA.com and espn.com) except what I need for school/MCAT/ Ekart Tolle’s audiobooks
  6. Completely get rid of any distractions keep phone on loud but turn off when I do not want to be disturbed so I am not incessantly checking my phone
  7. No Youtube/Music as the vast majority of the stuff out there is crap that is turning my brain into mush

 

So that’s it for now, the plan in it of itself is NOT that important but what is important is that I am actively pursuing my inner purpose in EVER aspect of my life. I need to practice everything that I do!


As I am sure you can guess I am currently listening to Ekart Tolle’s amazing audiobook A New Earth. I highly recommend anyone read it! It presents so many key and important ideas in such a thoughtful manner that doing a book review on it would be doing it a disservice.

 

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How I am fighting back against time and life sucking social media: Part 1

My title in this article may seem a complete over dramatization of the negative effects of social media, but I am going to vehemently disagree, and explain why throughout the rest of this post. Do NOT misconstrue this as me thinking that social media is the root of all evils in this world.Remember, nothing is inherently good or bad but it is our error-filled perceptions that make them seem so. However, if you are trying to become the strongest version of yourself and live on the narrow path of happiness and fulfillment it is essential that you eliminate or drastically curtail your use of social media.

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In this day and age it is almost impossible to live without electronic communication, unless you want to become a hermit and live on a mountain. Social Media is an integral component of electronic communication so if you want to be involved in today’s world it is almost a necessity. Therefore if you do end up using social media it is essential that you batch your use of social media so that you are NOT incessantly checking your Facebook or twitter every five minutes. (there are real dangers of excessive social media and electronic information consumption). However, I will  discuss in part 2 some alternatives I have used instead of social media that have dramatically sky-rocketed my production.

So why am I so adamant that you need to get rid of social media or drastically curtail you use? Well I could almost write a novel about the slew of negative effects social media has, but I will limit myself to the primary ones on here. However, as mentioned in a previous post use your own experience to guide you about how social media is truly effecting your health, happiness, and cognition. However currently you are most likely too desensitized to the deleterious effects to really understand the whole host of negative effects social media has on you. Therefore I implore you to take at least a 3 day break from using any form of social media. Then go back to using it, and be aware of how much your ability to focus decreases, anxiety levels increases, and how this insidious feeling of unsatisfaction arises.

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The three primary reasons that social media should be entirely eliminated or use should be drastically curtailed are:

  1. Opportunity Cost – For all the finance and business majors out there this will make complete sense. Imagine all the amazing and kick ass things you could have been doing instead of sitting by yourself in front of a screen “communicating” with others. Do NOT kid yourself and think that your barely spending a lot of time on social media. If that is you, I implore that you track how much time you are spending on Facebook. One resource I found extremely helpful was Rescue Time.
  2. Gives you a Distorted Sense of Reality – One of my favorite professors at BU and one of the most accomplished scientist and people in the world Jim Collins once said in class most young people walk around now a days depressed because of social media. The utter truth of that statement did NOT register till months later because of the quip he made after that he was so lively and happy because he had a dumb flip phoneBut he was absolutely correct because social media distorts reality and makes one think that all of life should be instagram post worthy. It is the small things in life, the everyday miracles, that will bring you the greatest joys in life. Why you may ask? It is the small things where you can most easily appreciate the universal essence in them without your mind or ego becoming attached to them.
  3. Destroys your attention span and ability to complete great work – Social media is absolutely terrible for your attention. The reason Social Media is so unbelievably addicting is because people resort to it to fulfill a need that it never does. When people have a food addiction, they get addicted to bad food when they get hunger pangs. But sooner or later they will get physically full. People go to social media because of a sense of loneliness but social media does NOTHING to counteract that feeling. You need to go spend time with ACTUAL people to do that, not with screens. But as I mentioned in a previous post one should NOT run away from those feelings. Becoming reliant on the surge of dopamine your brain releases every time you get a new message or like will absolutely cripple your ability to focus or complete great work because you will be incessantly searching for the next great thing.

I hope this post helped elucidate the dangers of social media, and if you decide to continue to use social media (it is definitely not the most pragmatic choice, but if you plan well enough it can be done!) at least now you have a clear understanding of some of the dangers and how to avoid them. Stay tuned for part 2 in which I will go into a detailed description of how I plan to phase out social media from my life. 

Chase your Dreams without Killing Yourself,

Pavan Mehat

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PS Here are a few ways to connect with me if you have any questions or have any specific topics you would like me to address. 

Pavan Mehat’s LinkedIn

Pavan Mehat’s Facebook

Pavan Mehat’s Twitter

Pavan Mehat’s Instagram

How to follow the narrow path to fulfillment, success and happiness

This concept of the narrow path is NOT something that is my creation, but it is so important to one’s success that I knew I had to write a post elaborating on this very important topic. As mentioned in a previous post we live in an interdependent world so no idea is truly original and has come from just one individual. However, for convenience I will give credit solely to RSD Tyler for introducing this concept into the “mainstream.”

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So what is this narrow path? It is built upon principles from yogi’s, zen, and other spiritual leaders. According to Buddhism an enlightened individual is referred to as the awakened one. Enlightenment is the pinnacle of any spiritual practice because it means you are NOT controlled by subconscious thought/action patterns ingrained by the past nor do you act impulsively. You maintain rapt attention to the present, and are only making conscious decision about how the unfolding of your life will occur. Living this narrow path is how to live your life to ensure that you are progressing towards achieving enlightenment. Throughout the rest of this post I will refer to the narrow path and enlightenment interchangeably.

Okay so you now have an abstract definition for what enlightenment is, which may be helpful for some of you, but I know for myself I needed this idea to be fleshed out more to truly understand it. I found defining what enlightenment is NOT helps clear up a significant amount of the confusion associated with this elusive concept.

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One can deviate from the narrow path in two primary ways:

  1. Unconsciousness – This is primarily fueled by excessive consumption of highly stimulating and rich foods such as pizza, and ice cream or excessive alcohol consumption. The rest of this post will not be concerned about how to help steer you from this area back to the narrow path as it is relatively easier to identify the problem and fix it. However, if you struggle with delving into unconsciousness to mask unpleasant feelings I implore you to read this post on Understanding your Negative Emotions and this post on making positive change. These two posts will really help support you in moving back to the narrow path.
  1. Getting lost in frenetic and ungrounded energy – This is what the rest of the blog will be dealing in great detail how to combat and get back on the narrow path because in my experience this problem is much more pervasive and insidious because in today’s day and age it is deemed completely normal. What are examples of things that contain this frenetic and ungrounded energy that pull you away from the narrow path. Things such as facebook, twitter, or gossip. Essentially anything that is spewed out to excesses or compulsively checked by you “smart” phone is going to pull you away from the narrow path.

 So how does one shift from being lost in frenetic and ungrounded energy to getting back to the narrow path?

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The most important step towards combating the unconscious and frenetic energy all around us, that we can so easily get lost in is to understand the primary source of it. So for the vast majority of people the primary source of this unhealthy energy is their “smart phone.”

Okay so now that we have highlighted that your “smart phone” is the primary culprit of introducing this negative energy into your life and pulling you from the narrow path, how can you combat this?

This is going to be very similar to concepts mentioned in a couple of previous posts about the importance of batching your tasks and to never multi-task, but the discussion is going to be limited to how to wrest control back from your phone so it does not drag you off the narrow path. The following action steps will allow you to do so:

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  1. Do NOT bring your phone in your bedroom: There should be NO electronics in your bedroom as introducing the frenetic and ungrounded energy right before bed or as soon as you wake up can drastically decrease your sleep quality or put you off the wrong foot to start the day. Your bedroom should be used for only two things and two things only: sleep and sex (maybe reading a book if you are a nerd like me). It’s as simple as that.
  1. Eliminate and Batch: This is something that I definitely had to do recently as I was becoming overwhelmed with the volume and variety of incoming stimuli I was receiving from itouch,cell phone, and email. Therefore I aggressively eliminated the avenues through which people could reach me. Then to further simplify I batched how I responded to these incoming messages. Instead of indiscriminately replying to messages as soon as they come in (which gives the power to the sender) you should rely when it is convenient for you. This tiny difference has helped drastically reduce my stress levels and drastically increase the quality of my communications

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  1. Keep phone on airplane mode or turn off service when you should not be checking your messages: As a mentioned in a previous post increasing the activation energy slightly for an activity you do NOT want to take partake in can be surprisingly effective. This little trick works wonders in preventing me from getting pulled from the narrow path into the area of frenetic and ungrounded energy.

I hope this post helped elucidate what the narrow path to success and happiness consists of and what are the potential pitfalls to falling off of it and how you can safeguard against them. If you happen to have any other suggestions or tricks you use to help stay on the narrow path to success please feel free to comment below!

How the people that you surround yourself shape your life and how to prevent negative people from dragging you down.

It is a commonly purported in self development books that you can very accurately gauge one’s life by looking at their five closest friends, and that is absolutely true. You may say duh that is obvious. But if we all truly understand the power others have to shape our lives do we then deliberately and actively choose and foster the correct relationships? If you are anyhow similar to myself then you most likely automatically just followed the path of least resistance to choose who you surround yourselves.

However, if you want to achieve your full potential you can’t do this. Why is it so important that you are judicious in how you spend your time with others? It’s because the more time you spend with people, the more your mannerisms, habits and even brain waves become entrained. This can either be a good or bad thing. However, if you are not actively choosing to surround yourselves with people that support you and foster your development they are most likely dragging you down. 

You may deem, wow this guy is an absolutely snob. That is not the point I am trying to make. This post was motivated by a recent experience dealing with some negative feelings associated with someone close to me hurting me. However, this time I was able to take a big step forward and not let the negative feelings drag me down. I learned to embrace these negative feelings as I described here and counteracted my body’s physical reaction to the emotional pain by walking and opening up my heart. Depression is called depression for a reason, it is an actual depression of both your emotions and your body. The easiest way to combat your negative feelings is to change your body language. There is no way you can be depressed when you are walking tall with chin up high and shoulders back. 

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So do NOT get me wrong, if someone is consistently hurting you, displaying low character traits and overall spewing negative energy towards you and making no effort to change you absolutely should NOT passively accept this. You need to cut these people out from your life. But there is no reason to be malicious or wish ill will to these people. Just kindly stop interacting with them, and if the continue to persist let them know that you need some time apart and explain as diplomatically as possible that you are on a journey in which there is no space for them.

It is a simple concept but much harder to apply in real world for two primary reasons.

1) People like to avoid uncomfortable and confrontational situations at all this costs: This is something we can all (myself included) actively work on improving. If we want the power to live the life of our dreams we need to do the thing that frightens us the most even if we deem we are not ready to approach the challenge. Fear is the number one thing that prevents people from fully giving their true gift to the world. That is why the graveyard is the most rich land in the entire world. It houses untold fortunes, ideas, and innovations that never saw the light of day because they were obscured by fear. I make it a daily practice to try and always do at least one thing a day that sends a shiver down my spine and gets my heart beat racing.

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2) People want to change the world by changing external situations: Gandhi said it best, you need to become the best version of yourself  so that you are able to best help improve this world and help others. However, it is too common in today’s age when you view a negative trait in someone else to try and “fix” them. That is the worst thing you could do.Usually when you view a negative trait in someone else it is usually the world telling you that you need to improve in that area. The world acts as you mirror and returns to you what you emit in terms of your thoughts, emotions and feelings.

It is undoubtedly hard to take the first step forward in becoming the best that you can be, by cutting people out who bring you down, but it is absolutely essential. You may say it is easier said than done, and it’s too hard. But its supposed to be hard! If it were not hard then no growth would occur. Every situation in your life is exactly what you need to experience to become the best version of yourself. Enjoy the struggle as it is allowing you to transform and evolve to your highest level.

But before I end this article I need to discuss one caveat about this concept. Just because someone is family, or you have extended/long-term relationship does not preclude them from this rule. Just because you have shared blood, genes or a bed with someone does NOT mean that they should be able to act without consequences. The exact opposite is true with strangers. Just because you are NOT familiar with them does not mean you should not afford them the same respects you would a family member. Everyone is fundamentally the same. A saying I enjoy is, “strangers are just friends you do not know yet.” So the key is to NOT place any value judgements or wish ill will to others but to surround yourselves with people that fill your heart up with joy. Just like I mentioned in a previous post about how you should focus on what healthy and nutritious foods you can include in your diet, the exact same is true for the people you let into your life.

I hope this post helped elucidate the absolute importance about deliberating choosing who and how you spend your time with others to ensure that you are able to reach your full potential so that you can give your full gift to this world. In addition, the importance of analyzing how everyone is effecting your life, and taking the appropriate action to ensure that you are surrounding yourselves with people who fill your life with joy and happiness so that you do not leave space for people who bring you down may be one of the most important things you do in your life. Life is to short to be in the company of unhappy and negative people. 

How to Travel Like a Pro

This morning I am heading to Houston to visit some Family. It has been a while since I took a direct flight to an American City (usually when travelling back and forth from Boston it was all indirect flights) and I began to recall all the amazing opportunities to travel all around the world to play basketball. However, it was a bittersweet moment as I recalled moments when travelling really far in which I did not even perform close to my best because my body was reeling from the negative effects of travelling or even worse I became ill. So how can you counteract the negative effects of travelling to help prevent illness or just subpar functioning that would impeded you from being at your best on competition day? Below are four key factors to keep in mind while travelling.

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1. Water – The importance of hydration is something that gets stressed at nauseam throughout the athletic community. However, remember common knowledge does NOT mean common action. It’s not good enough to know better, one must do better. So what are some practical tips you can implement while travelling to ensure you are properly hydrated?

a). Be extra wary of sugary drinks (orange juice for example. There will be a future post on the myths of how “healthy” OJ really is), coffee, and alcohol as they sap you body’s water stores. Always ask for water when the stewardess asks you for a drink. (preferably hot for reasons I discussed in a previous post.)

b). Bring an empty water bottle with you and as soon as it is safe and your allowed to do so (please do NOT get up when the seat belt sign is on and make us both look bad) and ask the stewardess to top up your water bottle with refreshing pure water.

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2. Ear Plugs and Eye Mask – This is a really underrated hack one can make that will drastically decrease the negative impact of travelling. So why would an eye mask and ear plugs help you?

Well have any of you slept for hours on a plan and felt not rested at all? I know I have. The primary reason is that there is too much ambient light. Remember all the photoreceptors all over your body. If while your trying to sleep your photoreceptors are detecting light, your body will decrease the release of melatonin (to simplify you can think of it as the sleep hormone) and therefore drastically decrease your sleep quality.

So what about the ear plugs? Airplanes are very noisy, especially if you are seated towards the rear of the plane as I usually am as usually purchase my flights using air miles. You may not consciously notice how exhausting the excessive ambient noise in the airplane is. But once I began using ear plugs I noticed a drastic difference in my energy levels after flights, and if I forgot my ear plugs I felt just wiped out after even a relatively short flight.

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 3. Leverage the Power of Light to regulate your circadian rhythm – Have you ever had an experience in which you were physically tired, its bed-time and your laying in bed, and you just can’t sleep? You can blame your circadian rhythm for being out of whack. Jet Lag and all the host of negative side effects that accompany travelling are almost all due to de-regulation of your body’s intricate circadian rhythm. It is impossible to avoid any disruption to your circadian rhythm during travelling but leveraging the power of light can mitigate the negative effects one may experience during travelling. So how can you use light to do this?

a) Ensure that before, during, and after the fight you get as much sunlight exposure as possible as this will help re-set and regulate your circadian rhythm. Geek Alert: Even though your eyes have the highest density of photoreceptors (sensory receptors that are sensitive to light) in your body and light reaching your eye will have the strongest impact on your circadian rhythm. However, light reaching any part of your body will help to regulate your circadian rhythm. This may seem counterintuitive, but remember skin anywhere on your body can produce Vitamin D from the Sun Rays. How can it do that? It has to have photoreceptors!

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b) Use of the Phillips Blue Light – This is a tool that I have used for the last year and a half and it has been absolutely essentially for allowing me to reach my full potential in all areas of my life. It is especially helpful for me during the winter months in Vancouver, in which you can go days without seeing the Sun. This is also especially helpful for travellers who have a really early flight and have to get up when it is pitch black. The lack of light really confuses your body’s circadian rhythm and it gets really confused. The Phillips blue light will help to drastically reduce the damage. To catch my flight to Houston today I needed to get up at 5am and it was pitch black. I did not feel too great when I woke up but after the use of the Phillips Blue Light I felt like a million bucks.

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4. Move- This is one of the simplest recommendations and is free and requires absolutely nothing but yourself. Walking is a form of exercise that I love and I have detailed the positive effects on your body composition here. There are a whole host of other reasons why movement is so important, such as improved blood circulation, movement of lymphatic material, and stimulation of brain. I could go on for days extolling the benefits of movement, but that is for another post. I implore you to just try every 30-60 min get up and stand up, walk up and down the aisles and see if you have some space to get some stretches in. I know when I am disciplined and make a concerted effort to move around during the flight both my body and my mind feel 100% better than if I do not.

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So there you have it, some actionable items one can take to drastically improve how they travel. Allowing you to mitigate the negative effects of travel, therefore allowing you to perform at your peak wherever in the world you are competing.

Why you MUST make your bed every morning so you can make your Dreams a reality

May is an absolutely amazing time of year  because of the plethora of convocation ceremonies taking place all over the country. My favorite part about the convocation ceremonies are the keynote speeches. While I appreciate all of the speeches a lot of them are just idealistic platitudes such as “follow your dreams” or “be happy” which make you feel good but are not helpful in guiding a newly minted college graduate in taking his/her first steps in the “real” world.

That is why I LOVED the speech given above by Admiral McRaven above. It gives you a very concrete action item one can take to become the best they can be. You may think that making your bed is a trivial task and why does it matter? It is NOT the specific task that matters but it is a tangible and relatively simple task that YOU HAVE control over to complete each and every day. I mentioned this in a previous post about the power of habits and this posts builds upon that.

I may sound like your mother but making your bed is important business.

I may sound like your mother but making your bed is important business.

It is absolutely essential to make sure that you complete a small task NO MATTER what on a daily basis because it helps corrects an inappropriate locus of control. Broadly speaking yon can categorize an individual’s locus of control  as either:

1. External – They attribute both their success and failures (the events of their life) to external circumstances.

2. Internal – They attribute their successes and failures (the events of their life) to their OWN actions.

When these two loci of control are spelled out so clearly it is readily apparent that an internal locus of control is needed to maximize ones potential. But why would one have an external locus of control? It is something that primarily results from a phenomenon called “learned helplessness”. There is a multitude of sophisticated research studies that delve into this topic that I highly recommend you check out if you are intrigued by this topic. However, the basic crux is that as an individual becomes to feel overburdened by the stresses and pressures of life, to help them cope they then default towards adopting an external locus vs. an internal locus of control. It requires constant work and vigilance to maintain an internal locus of control.

What can you do today to ensure that you are maintaining an internal locus of control? You need to commit to completing small tasks on a daily basis that will cause you to push your limits and comfort zone just a little bit (but not too much). Making your bed is a great first step in reprogramming the internal locus of control so that you take responsibility for BOTH your successes and failures.

Be Happy and Chase your Dreams,

Pavan Mehat

PS Here are a few ways to connect with me if you have any questions or have any specific topics you would like me to address.

Pavan Mehat’s LinkedIn

Pavan Mehat’s Instagram

How to get out of your rut and past your plateau: The importance of mentors

This is a super powerful blog post that can exponentially improve your results. In Zen Buddhism there is this concept of “empty” existence. Nothing exists in of itself. In other words nothing “inherently” exists. For example if you look at a rose, it has red petals, a green steam, roots etc. However, there is nothing that you can point to or find when you open up the rose which encapsulates what a rose is. A rose is the combination of the interdependent interactions of its various components. A rose is not the petals, or its stem, or roots. This may seem obvious, but the implications of it are NOT and it is something that has been lost in modern society. We live in an Interdependent world but increasingly believe that we have complete autonomy over this world.

Misunderstanding of the true essence of the universe may be the one thing (it is still something I struggle with today) that is holding you back from being as happy as you can be and living the life of your dreams. You need to realize that you are never doing something 100% autonomously, even if it feels like it. You need to come to grips with the fact that perception is extremely faulty. A simple example to illuminate this is the myriad of visual illusions we fall prey to. Even if you consciously know of and understand the visual illusion you can NOT prevent yourself from misperceiving the object.

The internalization of this concept will make you realize the importance of finding mentors to help guide you along your way. When making a major life decision, for example when deciding which of the many schools who are recruiting you to attend the MOST important factor that should influence your decision should be how well your future coach/teammates can help foster your development, NOT the reputation of the program, the location, or the facilities.

However, you may say I do NOT have access to highly successful people that want to mentor you. That is NOT a good enough excuse in this day and age because of the rapid advances in technology. We can easily connect and interact with people on different continents on a daily basis. In addition, you always have books, which store and capture the information of some of the greatest minds and allow their wisdom to permeate throughout the world long after they are gone.

I have been blessed in my life so far with amazing mentors, but I was the one actively seeking out mentors and always willing to provide something of value back to my mentors. However, for those of you who can not fathom how to build a meaningful relationship with a mentor I would like to discuss someone who has had a monumental impact on my life and who I consider a mentor but is someone I have not met yet. Elliott Hulse. My cousin sent me a video of Elliott Hulse about 6 months ago (I can not even remember what the video was about), and instantly his energy and openness resonated with me. Even since I have religiously followed his YouTube channels and have learnt so much valuable things about myself. There is no excuse for not having amazing mentors in your life. It is on you to actively seek them out and realize that nothing you accomplish is solely because of yourself.

I hope this article expanded your view the world. Blogs such as these are much more fun and helpful if there is interaction. So please always feel free to reach out to me on facebook or linkedIn (Pavan Mehat) or shoot me an email at pavanmehat12@gmail.com if you have any questions or would like to discuss this topic further.