~ Shauna Niequist
According to new research by Brendon Burchard and his team, high performing individuals don’t identify with the words hustle and grind. They don’t buy into the idea that you should never be
satisfied. The three things he says they do identify with are: full engagement, joy and confidence. They don’t strive, they get satisfied. You can read more in his book, High Performance Habits:
How Extraordinary People Become That Way.
Last week a convergence of ideas came into my awareness. The quote above by Shauna Niequist
struck a chord and then I saw an interview on Marie TV with Brendon Burchard. For a long time
I’ve been saying that hustle isn’t the way. Following your heart is the way. I would call things
like full engagement, joy and confidence states of the heart. The quote and hearing Burchard
speak feel like a confirmation of my work. The heart matters. And not only does it matter, it’s
Hustle is a bad word. By definition it is all about force. As a noun it means to swindle. To me,
the word screams lack of integrity. That may not be your intent, but words have power. What
are you doing to yourself when you hustle, to your family and friends? How can you remain
whole when you’re so busy there is no time to know what’s in your heart?
Obviously high performing people are that way because they do what they love, what brings
them joy and in doing that gain confidence. It seems so simple. Just do what you love. But what
if you don’t know what that is after years of hustling for someone else’s dreams? There is a way
to discover your heart’s desire, live a life you love and be high performing.
You must slow down and follow the other four of what I call the 5 Ss of Heart Centered Living.
They are interconnected, but it helps me to break them down.
There is so much to do. How can you go slow and get everything done? By slowing down your
brain can relax. A relaxed brain is a more productive brain. It’s also a quieter brain. Now you
can hear what’s in your heart.
When you slow down, you can take in more information. In our high speed world we tend to
rush past that beautiful rose bush or barely glance at a magnificent sunset. And it’s not just
beauty we miss, beauty that enriches our world I might add, we may miss an important detail
that would help us solve a problem or create a new program. We can also tap into the
subconscious more easily which is the powerhouse of our creativity. Rushing to find an answer
often leads us to miss out on a better one if we just gave it time.
When we rush around we’re probably also missing the details of our lives like our spouse trying
to share a painful moment in their day. Too busy to hear, we don’t give our full attention and so
alienate those we love.
The heart needs a slower pace than our brains. It doesn’t hustle. It’s the organ of our soul and
the soul is here to experience life fully.
Once you slow down it’s easier to stay steady. By steady I mean a gentle persistence that is
consistent. You don’t give up when it’s difficult and you show up every day. You will be able
to accomplish all you need to do and you’ll do it with ease and grace. This allows for full
engagement that high performers value.
Now this isn’t about being unforgiving in your approach. The key is to be gentle with yourself
when you drift off track. Stay in the heart. There will be times you become inconsistent and not
feel up to persisting because life will sometimes get complicated and you’ll fall into old patterns
or get caught up in the rush of the 24/7 world. It’s a practice. Just keep coming back to the
slowness and begin again.
It’s so important to keep things simple in order to help you stay steady.
Simplify your routine. Declutter your space. The spaciousness created keeps you from feeling
rushed. And again, when you don’t feel rushed you can more easily know what’s in your heart.
Simplify by getting focused. Most of the things we do are not contributing to our success.
Discover those things that bring your closer to your goals and make those the first things you do.
Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our
response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.
~ Viktor E. Frank
Creating space in your life allows you to breathe. It’s connected to slowing down, but there is
more to it. It’s more than just doing less and clearing out your living space. The most cluttered
space we have is our mind.
I haven’t mentioned meditation yet, but it can help to declutter your mind, slow down, stay
steady and keep things simple. The reason I didn’t mention it earlier is because before you
understood the program, you probably would have said you didn’t have time for it.
Keep your practice simple. All you need is 12 minutes a day. There is a study by psychologist
Dr. Amishi Jha that says 12 minutes is the minimum time you need in order to receive benefits.
But you don’t have to start there if you’re new to it. Begin with three minutes and build up.
And be gentle with yourself if you miss a day or two. The point of all of this is to live life from
the heart and be kind to yourself.
I practice Shamatha meditation. Shamatha means peacefully abiding and is about becoming
familiar with your mind and ultimately your heart. It trains you to become more mindful
and to keep coming back to the present. A daily practice translates into helping you become
more present in your daily life.
Break it down. Take baby steps towards your goals. It’s important to have a greater vision and
to remind yourself of it daily, but if you don’t break it down, your vision may simply remain
a pie in the sky.
Remember, don’t hit the ground running as your bring yourself down to earth. Keep the other
practices in mind. They are all connected. Break each vision down into smaller goals and then
break each goal into small, easy to do steps. Keep your vision big and take small steps towards it.
Keeping it small keeps you from working yourself up into a state of overwhelm, which can lead to rushing and getting lost in your head. The heart is where you want to be.
Small, simple steps keep you steady, create space and allow life to move at a slower pace.
The 5 Ss are truly all connected. Living them will allow your life to flow with more ease and
grace, help you leave the hustle behind and live life from the heart.
Please join me over on my Facebook page aka the Live Life from the Heart Classroom.
Every week we'll delve deeply into the current week's blog and build our lives from the heart.