View from the Summit

Be Mindful, Young Padawan

Posted by Aaron Walker and the VFTT Team on Jan 30, 2020 10:28:47 PM

There’s something that rings true for young men about the master-apprentice relationship in movies like Star Wars.


We all appreciate the idea of learning life lessons from an older, more experienced mentor or coach who loves us like a younger brother.


What comes to mind for you, though, when you hear the word mindful?


I’ll be honest, I always thought it meant simply to pay attention to what’s going on around you. It does mean that, but I came across what I think is a better definition for us living in 2020.


Tim Elmore wrote an illuminating book called Generation Z Unfiltered, which we’ve been reading in our online mastermind groups this month.


One antidote he suggests for the difficulties this generation faces is teaching mindfulness, and this was how he defined it:


The basic human ability to be fully present, aware of where we are and what we’re doing and not overly reactive or overwhelmed by what’s going on around us. It means exchanging all of our multitasking for monotasking. One task or thought at a time. It includes putting down all the juggling balls for a bit. It’s about embracing the beauty of one thing.”


Did you catch that phrase I underlined? That is probably the best way I’ve ever heard it said! “Exchanging all of our multitasking for monotasking.”


What Does Monotasking Look Like?


Entrepreneurs get sucked into multitasking all the time. I’ve seen it happen too often as a business coach. 


They live the most scattered, cluttered, disorganized lives in the world. Between family, business and all the distractions of our insanely connected world, it’s easy to end up losing your mind.


But for every scatter-brained entrepreneur out there, I’ve also provided and received business coaching services to and from people who have just as much on their plate … yet they live happy, fulfilling lives with thriving businesses and families.


I realized Elmore’s definition of mindfulness isn’t all that different from what I recommend to the men in our mastermind groups.


Ten Mindful Methods


  1. Balance screen time with time spent alone or face-to-face with others
  2. Consume more Magnesium - I’d never think of that one!
  3. Pause and discuss two questions - “What do you think are the advantages of our addiction to technology? What are the disadvantages?”
  4. Sit down and do deep breathing - that’s a good one
  5. Take a walk in nature - like I do at the Station Camp Greenway!
  6. Commit to a regular technology fast - did this on a cruise before Thanksgiving, it was huge!
  7. Get adequate sleep at night - the trick is to put your phone on airplane mode if you sleep near it!
  8. Talk about trade-offs - to say “yes” to one thing automatically means you say “no” to something else
  9. Find challenging work that requires your focused attention - even if you start off doing it for free!
  10. Build an integrated personal brand - be real both digitally and in person!


Now ask yourself - how different would your life look if you did just half of these things?


The Flexible Arc of Time


One thing I’d add to Elmore’s list is understanding the flexible arc of time.


During a big football game, when your team’s behind by one touchdown at the two minute warning and it’s first-and-ten at your team’s five-yard line … 


… have you noticed how much two minutes feels more like ten seconds?


You’re experiencing the bending arc of time. Even though two minutes is still two minutes, you sense the likelihood of defeat. It multiplies feelings of anxiety and often brings out the best in professional athletes.


This can expose you as vulnerable to pressure, or it can reveal to the world how much of a consummate professional you can be. It just depends on choices you make in practice, day after day, to rehearse “what to do” when the clock is ticking down to zero.


Routines Matter




The practical way to bend the arc of time in your favor is to arrange your daily life around habits that fill and sustain you.


In our online mastermind groups, there’s an invisible web of time-bending disciplines we follow and teach.


Weekly rhythms like our video conference calls, quarterly structures like the 12-Week Year and biannual gatherings bring a sense of continuity to members.


But broken down to each day, the way I bend the arc of time comes from faith in Jesus Christ.


It’s simply non-negotiable for me to spend time in prayer, devotions, meditation and so forth early every morning.


I don’t do this because the church tells me to do it. I do it because it makes it much more difficult to get anxious, irritable or some other negative state when I have a daily filling of the Spirit of God.


The Pause


Another thing people fail to do today is briefly pause during the day.


Our friends at Ransomed Heart Ministries recently released an app called “The One Minute Pause,” which you can set up to notify you at preset times to take sixty seconds, with a few short phrases of prayer.


This is one of many things we do to simply recharge the tank throughout the day - pause. Not because we can’t do without it, but because we do so much better with it.


I could go on, but if you’ve read this far I think you get the point. Our mastermind business forces us to research and meditate on this stuff, and we’re excited to pass it on because it works!


If you’re intrigued and want to consider being part of one of our business masterminds, I encourage you to apply using this link.


We are launching February 2020!



Topics: Life Coaching, Motivation, Accountability, Coaching, Marriage, Business Coaching, Masterminds, Family, Balance, Career, Community, Relationships, Success, Significance, Priorities, Tips, Parenting, Commitment, Persistent, Consistent, Move Forward, Blueprint, Preparation, Integrity, Discipline, Clarity, Development, Self Development


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