Tag: state

13. Mike Weeks – Change Agent Provocateur

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On this podcast, I had the pleasure of talking to Mike Weeks, the man who helped Jack Osborne turn his life around. With clients ranging from A-list celebrities in LA to trauma victims in the slums of Haiti and drug addicts on the streets of London, Mike is one of the world’s most extreme change agents. He is an elite climber, who for many years went rope free on rock faces around the world. Mike is also a successful TV and Film producer, and the creator of ‘Jack Osbourne – Adrenaline Junkie’.

We talk about Mike’s troubled childhood, dissociation of fear, his passion for rock climbing, plus how to un-train your brain.

Show Notes:

The Life Event

John Grinder

Jack Osbourne

Un-train Your Brain: A formula for freedom

Rock Climbing

Dissociation of Fear

Being in Control of State

Un-Train Your Brain App

Ray Peat

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Access A State of High Performance: The Life Event

Can you remember the last time your boss screamed at you in front of everyone and it took you an entire week to shake off the embarrassment? Do you have a sibling you see at a family reunion that always ends in a huge fight, splitting the family apart for another six months? Have you ever bolted off stage in the middle of your presentation because you lost your nerve (guilty!)? Maybe you can’t seem to muster the ‘energy’ to finally go for that run you have been putting off since you made your New Year’s Resolution list?

Well, these precious moments that determine the course of all our lives come to one thing. State. In this article, I am going to share with you same take homes for a truly life changing event.

What is state?

State is the ability to be resourceful in any given situation. Much of our life’s decisions are dictated by the will of others, emotions that we cannot control and the environment that surrounds us.

What if you could access an altered state of consciousness that gave you the superpower to call on the exact resources you needed to make the best decision at any given moment. What would that world look like to you? Try to imagine how that would feel. Those resources could be a world free of procrastination, broken relationships and missed opportunities instead a life full of great decisions and world class performance.

These states are often called ‘peak states’, ‘states of high performance’ or ‘flow state’. I feel this use of language can be limiting as it presupposes it relates only to that in a sporting, or a typically adrenaline inducing, situation. Peak performance extends to all areas of our lives such as the decisions you are making from the comfort of your sofa at home.

How To Access Resourceful States: The Life Event

Thanks to three extremely talented and engaging speakers, we now have the tools to access these states: Darryl Scott (NLP developer), Leon Taylor (Olympic Medallist) and Mike Weeks (change agent ‘provocateur’). Each one of them had truly remarkable journeys of their own that they openly share with the participants in order to invite the mind to attach the practical elements of the day to some very vivid stories.

The Life Event is exactly that, practical. So many times I have attended seminars, courses or workshops and they have you sitting there for hours nodding like zombies. I’m sure you can remember from your school days the strategy of sitting in a room while someone dictates facts right are you is not the most conducive for learnings – and these guys recognize that limitation and do everything they can to avoid the pitfall. They even had Jamie G Ward up and dancing.

Physiology

They teach about the power physiology has on our state, completely poo-pooing Descartes notion of ‘the mind-body split’. To emphasize this point right now, I invite you the reader (who may be scrolling down to see if we are near the end yet) to sit bolt upright, shoulders proudly back and your arms up above your head in a ‘Y’ shape, whilst flickering your fingers. Now begin to take some deep breaths, through your nose, that reach right down to your body. Have your head looking up and begin to feel that breath reaching every cell, even the one in your little toe, to feel this shift in energy. Sounds pretty simple right? It is. So, what’s the reason we do not use our body to our advantage when we need to invoke a change in state?

Here is a great TED talk by Amy Cuddy: Your Body Language Shapes Who You Are that talks on this exact topic. The Event goes into many great little ‘hacks’ on ways to harness your body to serve that of the mind.

Disassociation

This is arguably the most powerful resource I have ever come across. I utilised this tool before The Life Event as I had studied under Daryl’s, Mike’s and Leon’s mentor some time ago.

What is disassociation? Disassociating in a given context is being able to remove oneself from that of your own perspective (i.e. how you are now, looking out at the world through your own eyes) and shifting to a point in the room that allows you to look back at yourself from the third person.

This gives you the ability to move away from the feelings associated with being IN the situation, to being able to give yourself feedback from a position of objectivity (i.e. you are looking at the facts of the context rather than being sucked into the emotional baggage of that situation).

I use this for procrastination a lot. One time, I was in my hotel room and I sat down to my laptop to type up notes to a book I had read (I am a keen reviewer of notes). As I sat down, I did the typical thing and opened up every social media website I have plugged into. The thought of writing up notes was so boring that I even logged into LinkedIn to see what my bank manager was up to. As I caught myself, I physically stood up and took three paces back and look back to where I was sat. I then began to review the situation from a disassociated perspective. I then sat back down and looked up to where I was just stood, listening to the feedback my alter ego was delving out. I then smashed out the book notes.

The Live Event does this a better service than I have just written. The event also shows how you can do this without having to physically move, which may be more relevant when you begin to see yourself losing a negotiation in a board room, or you begin to feel angry whilst driving.

No-nothing state games

A huge theme of the two days, are games that allow us to slip into a different realm, something you will hear me refer to as a ‘no-nothing state’. If you drive you can probably think of a time you reached your destination and wondered how you had just arrived without any recall and safely. This was you entering a ‘no-nothing state’ that removes all conscious awareness, handing the steering wheel over to your more sophisticated unconscious mind. The unconscious mind is far more powerful than our conscious mind, so any opportunity to hand the realms over to it the better.

The event presented many of these games, which I will leave you to explore by going to see for yourself, rather than attempting to write up descriptions. Mike Week’s also has a book, ‘Un-Train Your Brain’ that explores these games along with a free accompanying app.

Whilst learning the games is useful and fun, they are irrelevant without the framework. Have you ever meditated, or gone for a relaxing walk along the beach, leaving you floating along like a zen master? To then only to go lose your marbles when you read a text/email? Well, that’s because you haven’t been shown techniques of how to anchor the state you achieved in meditation to the real world. Essentially, you had just escaped reality for several minutes.

Leon, Darryl, and Mike show you how to apply these ‘games’ to contexts where you want more or higher quality choices. If you are struggling with a situation at work, with a spouse or even in your own head, the structure they provide gives you a way to call in a more resourceful state.  By taking a proactive approach, applying a little bit of work before the context rears its head again.

Summary

Above all else, the event is great fun, an experience I got to share with like minded people (to any of them reading it was a pleasure meeting you and please stay in touch). If you attend events like these, please do take the time to engage with others as you’ll be left making some beautiful connections, like I have this time (I spoke about this in my review of the biohacker summit I hosted).

As many of you know, I try to put as much back into the mind as possible by reading, engaging with experts and attending courses such as The Life Event. When I read about the growth mindset, realising learning and growing don’t stop when you leave school, my life turned upside down for the better. This is why I was delighted when Darryl Scott closed the event by saying:

We’re not done yet, we’re still a work in progress

I took a lot away from this event, which came with impeccable timing. The day before I had had my most difficult client to date and I feel I did not serve her to the best of my capability. Going over some of the techniques I had learnt before presented a solution right before me.

If you’d like to find out more about their future events then please head over to their website.

How Game Of Thrones Destroys A Winning Mindset

Recall the last episode of Game of Thrones (GoT) where you see the blood of a human being squirting out from their dying body as it sprays across the face of the killer. Try to remember how you felt seeing the life pulled out of someone right in front of you. Really put yourself back there as you remember the emotions you were experiencing inside of your body. If you don’t watch GoT, try to recall the last murder in a movie you watched. Did you wince? Did you stomach knot up? Did your hairs stand on end? Did you look away? Did it make you cry? Perhaps you got an adrenaline rush?

Get ready to read how the simple act of watching TV could be holding you back from becoming all you can be.

throne made of swords in a medieval fair

 

How much TV do we watch?

We spend, on average, 7.5 years of our lives watching television. Yes, 7.5 years. When I first read this, I said to myself there and then I am no longer wasting any more time watching TV. I don’t want to look back and realise I spent 10% of my life sat in front of a box, watching other people do more interesting things than me.

That being said, this isn’t a time management lecture. We are all grown ups and we each have the choice to decide how we spend our time.

“So, Jamie, why are you telling us this? Just to get on your moral high ground?”

Mirror Neurons

I was in a lecture by a gentleman called John Grinder, who introduced me mirror neurons. Mirror neurons fire off in our brains as if we are performing the task we are observing. Confused? Imagine, you are sat down at a game of football and you are really really into the match. Watching the players move around the pitch, kicking the ball and sliding in for tackles causes these neurons are firing off in your brain as if you are doing the act yourself.

When I heard this phrase I began to think how it might tie into why we love watching sports as a species. I’ve never really understood why some people get so much pleasure from watching others play, but when you think of mirror neurons this really begins to make sense. If you watch Cristiano Ronaldo (I assume he is still playing football?!) score a goal in the last 90 minutes and you have been so focussed and emotionally invested in the game, you are likely to get the same adrenaline rush as if you yourself scored the goal.

I believe this is why we react so passionately and intensely when we watch others perform to a high standard. As far as our mind is concerned, we are out there on the pitch.

What’s so bad then about feeling this rush?

Mirror neurons certainly have its positives. If you have recently taken up a new sport, art or hobby then watching experts in that field can only be a positive. I believe this is the reason top level athletes and executes engage in visualisation practices. By visualising or observing the desired act, one is conditioning the brain on improving this new skill or habit.

However, mirror neurons have a dark side. Cast your memories back to the start of this article where I asked you to re-live those tense moments in GoT. Perhaps now you can understand why you felt so lousy. Your brain was technically carrying out the same act as it observed. Yes, you killed that person.

Perhaps as a one off it is ok. But spending 7.5 years watching the same style of television is only going to condition your brain more and more on these negative states. By which point, you have a chronic case of negativity in your mind. Can you picture someone who spends a lot of time watching thrill seeking action movies, depressing news channels or nerve racking tv shows? Can you describe their personalities? Are you seeing any patterns evolve?

How your environment shapes you

I used to have a chronic state of anger all through my life. I also used to watch a  copious amount of TV shows, often dark-themed and depressing. I watched 100s of movies, many of which I repeated. I was always drawn to films on the darker side of life. Do I believe my character was partly shaped by what I feeding my mind? Absolutely.

Our minds are so sensitive and precious. Our prehistoric brains that go back 100,000s of years cannot distinguish between real life and what it sees on an artificially created tv show. We need to be aware of how our environment has the ability to radically shape our mind and thoughts. We’ve all heard ‘you are an average of the 5 people you surround yourself with’, but I want to extend this and say you are an average of your environment, period.

Challenge

Who here wants to pick a life they create, rather than one that is being created for them by the tv network, Hollywood studio, Sky News or Facebook Inc? Summer is nearly here, why don’t you try giving up TV for 30 days and see how it changes your life? We have the ability to choose our lives. The question is, are you willing to step outside the box?