I’m coaching some participants in Landmark Worldwide’s Self-Expression and Leadership Program in Houston, Texas. If you are not familiar with Landmark and the transformational courses they offer in self-development and leadership, check them out because they are amazing! Their programs have had a great impact in my life – both personally and professionally.
I was on my weekly coaching call recently with one of my participants (a very energetic, smart, and committed entrepreneur who just unveiled his first vegan food product) and he confessed that he was out of integrity with himself. Meaning, he’s keeping all his important commitments, except his most important commitment – his commitment to keeping himself healthy and vibrant. Basically, he’s running himself way too thin and working hard on little sleep. So, he asked me for some health and wellness advice.
Here’s what I told him, point blank and no pauses – get yourself cognitively optimized for the day. I caught his attention with this phrase, cognitive optimization.
I first heard of this phrase while tuning into Tom Bilyeu’s podcast, Impact Theory. While I had been calling cognitive optimization “getting in the right mindset”, I really liked what that phrase captured that “getting in the right mindset” didn’t fully capture. I’m going to discuss it here briefly.
Let’s break it down. This is straight from the dictionary.
Cognitive: concerned with the act or process of knowing or perception; of or related to the mental processes of perception, memory, judgment, and reasoning as contrasted with emotional and volitional processes.
Optimize: to make as effective, perfect, or useful as possible; to make the best of.
When we add those terms together we get this – cognitive optimization is making our mental processes of perception, memory, judgment, and reasoning as effective, perfect, and useful as possible.
So, listen up sweet entrepreneurs, business owners, and leaders, making a plan and taking action each and every day towards your goal is vital, but not taking care of yourself (meaning your brain and body) in the process will kill your goal, your dreams, and your health.
To start with, don’t miss out on getting plenty of sleep. Everybody is different and will require different amounts of rest so make sure you are data tracking what works best for you. For me personally, I operate best off of 7-8 hours of sleep. If I have a long day of intense creating, speaking and teaching, I require more than 7-8 hours. Know that each day is different, but you can track your specific requirements and calculate a good average.
When we are not well rested our brain (and body) gets foggy, our mental clarity is off, we make more mistakes, have less energy, process information more slowly, and we are not as alert and present to what is going on in our everyday world. In this state we are quite literally at cognitive deterioration. In that condition we miss a whole lot of content and material that could provide the next spark for our creativity, next big idea, or help push a current project to another level of success.
Our brains organize and integrate information that we’ve learned from the day while we rest. Many times we might even solve long-standing problems in our sleep (as some of you may attest).
Why does this matter to your business? We live in a globally connected economy and world. We don’t live in a disparate community. We are finding that we are more alike than we are different and the thought of “human family” is becoming more real by the minute. It matters how we show up in the world on a much larger scale now.
What we pour into ourselves we pour into our business and ultimately our world. When we feed ourselves well (meaning our brain and our body), we feed and grow a strong foundation for our businesses and for our clients and customers. It’s called interdependence, one of our natural laws of the universe.
As the Dalai Lama has said, “Interdependence is a fundamental law of nature…Our own survival is so dependent on the help of others that a need for love lies at the very core of our existence. This is why we need to cultivate a genuine sense of responsibility and a sincere concern for the welfare of others.”
Think about it this way – good-working parts makes for a strong functioning whole. You and your business are the parts that help create a strong functioning world.
Now, back to cognitive optimization. You and your business are elevated to good-working part status when you are cognitively optimized each and every day. That piece is key to creating a strong functioning world. Isn’t that what reaching our goals is about anyway? Creating a stronger and brighter world for our children?
After we get rest, we must get our brain and body ready to be our most productive, creative, and best self. I wrote about this process in Wake Up To Success. Here’s the piece with tons of easy tips to get you and your business cognitively optimized to make the most of each and every moment –
When we start creating from the state of cognitive optimization, the world has no choice but to get stronger, brighter, and more brilliant for future generations.
Have an awesomesauce day!