June 28

Louise’s Life Hacks: Collective consciousness, bliss-junkies, burnout, time-poverty, being in-flow, self-betterment, bio-hacking and “does this still serve me”?

My first experience of the power of collective consciousness focused on ‘self-improvement’ was attending a three-day seminar with Anthony Robbins in London about twenty-five years ago.  I worked with a team in the investment banking sector and there we all were, suited and booted in a crowd of thousands high-fiving, being whipped up into a frenzy of possibility in a well-orchestrated production.  We bought the books and the cassette tapes and some went on to walk on coals and island hop with Mr Robbins himself.

Around the same time, I heard the term ‘seminar-junkie’, which made perfect sense. Today, ‘bliss-junkie’ seems more apt as our quest for being ‘in the zone’ or ‘in flow’ is being explored everywhere from Wall Street to mindfulness festivals.  We have shifted from following a ‘guru’ to a more personal experiential journey towards an enlighted state of being.

Ultimately, what we are all striving to do is to hack our own consciousness, to have more than an occasional fleeting glimpse of our own capabilities; to tap into our often elusive sense of purpose,  and to live a meaningful life.  

Age old wisdom never dies, it is merely reworked to speak to us in real time.  Today, advancements in neuroscience are delivering insights into why and how this state of ‘flow’ works, which is being practised for a variety of purposes in a myriad of ways. Our views are shifting – think Burning Man, sweat lodges and the use of plant medicine as we have recently seen in the UK with the high profile case of Billy Caldwell being granted temporary use of medicinal cannabis oil to treat his epilepsy.

I am interested…
In all of this as my day-to-day working with leaders, executives and entrepreneurs reveals so much about how we are all coping with the complexities of today’s world of work.  When asked the simple Q “how are you”, I consistently hear; stressed, exhausted, knackered, overwhelmed, rushed, juggling, frantic, crazy-busy, sleep-deprived, up to my eyeballs, in over my head. Time-poverty, it seems, is the greatest stressor and threat to our mental, emotional and physical wellbeing.  According to a recent HBR article, 1 in 5 Highly Engaged Employees Is at Risk of Burnout, which is not a great place to be.

I am reading…
Stealing Fire by Steven Kotler and Jamie Wheal, founders of the Flow Genome Project , and whilst you may be up for hacking your brain to drive high-performance in business or in your running, cycling or hiking group (drugs not required), we know that this state of being in the zone, or ‘flow’ has long been top of the list for professional athletes, yogi’s and Wall Street traders alike.  Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, Positive Psychologist asks in his TED talk, Flow, the secret to happiness, “What makes a life worth living?” Noting that money cannot make us happy, he looks to those who find pleasure and lasting satisfaction in activities that bring about a state of “flow.”

I am curious…
About the trend that just won’t go away… that of taking back control of our own wellbeing.  In a Trendwatching report, dated April 2016 titled The Future of Betterment, everything from t
he standing desk, the 5:2 diet, mindfulness, self-tracking and paleo meal plans are explored along with new apps, connected devices and lifestyle movements.  Fast forward and how many of us are not engaged in some form of self-betterment be it mindfulness practices like yoga and meditation or simply seeking out an integrative GP, getting to the gym or taking an armful of supplements?

I’m bio-hacking…
My own wellbeing in the form of completely natural and drug-free pure therapeutic ketones from Pruvit in the US. About 18 months ago a doctor friend suggested a ketogenic diet and intermittent fasting to solve some big health issues and whilst it helped enormously, I knew there was a way to go. I got my hands on my first box of ketones at the end of January this year and the results have been a bit of a life-changer. Right from the start, it felt as if the lights were switched back on, my brain fog lifted and the clarity returned.  I’m full of energy, the kg’s have dropped off and I am just plain happy.  If you are interested in trying these for yourself, send me a message and I shall be happy to share my findings with you.

I’m working…
With a group of leaders in the tech sector who asked me for something out of the ordinary… “take us on an experiential journey to reimagine and redefine how we go about doing what we do“.  Not your usual brief, saying this, one of the most exciting and expansive to date.  Hats off to this incredible team who are fearless in their pursuit of building an eco-system of possibility and providing the fertile ground for a more creative, agile and resilient culture for their people and stakeholders alike.

The Big Q I’m asking…
“Does this belief / idea still serve me?” I’m keeping this conscious Q light, playful almost.  An easy way to let go of stuff that is no longer useful or relevant.

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Anthony Robbins, Burning Man, Flow Genome Project, HBR, Pruvit, Stealing Fire, The Future of Betterment, Trendwatching

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