In this video from his 30 day challenge, Mike Cernovich teaches us how to get into the moment in order to avoid becoming overwhelmed. We learn to ask ourselves present-inducing questions and then comment on what’s happening – to pay attention to what’s going on RIGHT NOW by thinking aloud about it.
As an example, I’ll write the get in the moment process I’m using to begin this article:
- I am sitting up straight; with the string on my head pulling me into the sky.
- My hands are resting comfortably on the keyboard of my laptop.
- I wonder why we aren’t taught the Dvorak typing method in the modern age.
- The sun is shining through the window behind me; even through the gray clouds above.
- The air is heavy and full of humidity from the oncoming storm.
- I’m pulling the air around me deep into my body; stretching it down into my toes.
The process is designed to stir your heavy mind from its restful place on the previous topic, shake it up a little bit, and then place it back down on whatever it is you want to focus on now. Thinking about something for a long amount of time encumbers your thoughts; slowing them down and with them, your energy level and mood. Getting in the moment perks you back up and motivates you to conquer the next task.
I used Mike’s get in the moment technique last week at a leadership camp I was instructing at. I had been reminded of the mountain of work I would come back to when camp ended. My mind began to race faster than an Indy car, thinking of how I would go about working on the upcoming school session, if I would continue school online or switch to a physical campus, how I would catch back up from a week away from Logic Central, how I would manage to get myself to Colorado, and so on and so forth.
A massive flood of worry crashed into the dam of a mindset I had built while instructing, and nearly overcame it.
The only thing I could think to do in order to stem the tide of stress was to decide that I could not affect any of those issues at camp and therefore to stop worrying about them. I remembered Mike’s video and immediately began increasing the pace of my thoughts.
I’ve learned that the shorter and more shallow I make my questions, the better I’m able to shake my brain off of the negative thoughts and ramp up the positivity.
- I’m standing on the deck outside the chow hall right now
- I cannot immediately affect my worries
- I have a job to do, and kids waiting for me to lead them
- I am walking to the platoon
- “Phase II; Fall in on me.”
I took a deep breath and found myself resting again in my own body, not the unaffectable future nor the unchangeable past.
Why Mike’s Process Works
Mike’s Mindfulness process is very thoroughly explained in the Logic Central Online book: Inner Logic – Engineering Your Life. Your mindset is unavoidably connected to your thought length. Different amounts of time spent on each individual thought process amount to different emotional states at each level.
(From top to bottom, the thought levels decrease in time and effort. The percentages show the average amount of time spent at each level.)
The longer thought lengths amount to deeper, more thorough thoughts; but at the cost of most emotion. Long thought lengths are empirical, based in practicality.
Shorter thought lengths are shallower, but they are also more positive and energetic. They give you an impulsive, Kirk-like, respite from the Spock-like world of your longer thoughts.
Get Yourself in the Moment and Conquer Life’s Challenges
Next time you find yourself stuck on a negative thought or avoiding your next task, try:
- Speeding up your thought length with present-inducing thoughts
- Drawing your breath deep into your body – imagine a tendril of oxygen reaching each toe
- Paying attention to the cool air brushing the tip of your nose as you draw in that deep breath
- Physically getting up and shaking your body around.
- Try to do this without thinking about how you’ll shake your body. Just jump around and let everything else swing naturally.