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[Sorry for my absence as of late. Too many projects and not enough hours in the day!]
I just finished reading ‘Uncertainty – Turning Fear and Doubt into Fuel for Brilliance’, by Jonathan Fields. I LOVED IT, and highly recommend you pick it up if you’re looking for a great read.
The basic premise of the book is that many of us (maybe even most of us) don’t reach our potential because we turn and walk the other way in the face of uncertainty or don’t take the next crucial step because of fear. This is especially true for entrepreneurs and it can seriously affect our creativity and our ability to take our businesses from good to GREAT. Jonathan addresses a number of great strategies to help you take on that uncertainty.
There were two areas of the book that really hit their mark for me. The first was with regards to ritual and routine and the second was with regards attentional training (also known as meditation, mindfulness, etc.).
Ritual and Routine
As entrepreneurs, many of us are responsible for running every aspect of our business – even the parts that we don’t particularly like. As Jonathan states:
“This is where ritual and routine, done right, add immense power to the process. Ritual helps train you to sit down when you most want to stand, when you’re forced to work on the part of the process that leaves you anywhere from bored to riddled with anxiety.”
And, I love this part…
“Over time, ritual has a funny side effect. It creates momentum. It becomes habit that builds its own head of steam, one capable of overriding the call of Twitter, Facebook, Green & Black’s Dark 85% chocolate, and trying to learn whether the rumors about Apple’s next product are true.”
I love the idea that [until we hire someone to do those dastardly mundane tasks that we deplore] developing ritual and routine on a consistent basis creates momentum and becomes a habit. A habit. It sounds so simple but I think it’s brilliant.
Jonathan’s chapter on attentional training speaks to the multiple and profound benefits of various types of meditation. He covers the various techniques and provides some excellent resources for those hoping to adopt meditative processes into their own lives on a daily basis. As well, he talks about research and anecdotal evidence about the positive effects of daily mediation.
On the benefits of attentional training, he states:
“Through daily repetition, [meditation, mindfulness, etc.], they create both physiological and psychological changes that can profoundly alter the way we experience and handle nearly any challenge or endeavor.”
“…it also opens up channels to insight and innovation.”
Essentially, it clears out the chatter and helps to center us, which is particularly important for those of us who work for ourselves, in the creative realm.
I highly recommend you check out Uncertainty. I read a lot of business books and I found this one to be an easy and quick read. In addition, I thought Jonathan Fields was a terrific writer – succinct and to the point but never boring. I found that when I finished the book I wanted to know more about Jonathan himself, as well as wanting more information on some of the various strategies he addressed in the book.
How about you? Have you integrated either ritual and routine or mediation into your daily schedule? If so, don’t be shy – please tell us about your own experience with either practice in the comment section below.
And remember… SHARING is caring. Wow, that sounds so corny – but you get the point .