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The Uncluttered Mind

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Don Scott

The Uncluttered Mind- Part 3

April 1, 2020

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This Part 3 focuses not on everything that is going on in the world right now. Rather, that this is the time to lead. And that leading from the uncluttered mind is mission critical – especially now! If you haven’t seen Parts 1 and 2, links are immediately below.
Part 1 – What would 20% more mean to you?
Part 2 – Slow down to create more.

A Time for Leadership

When the world seems upside down, the uncluttered mind becomes even more important. If we are not careful, it will elude us altogether, obscured by unsavory visions of calamity, fueled by the latest news. This is when we need to be clear. Make no mistake, this is the time to lead.

Market Collapse

As I created the first draft of this Part 3, it was March 13th and I was on a plane. The day before, the Dow Jones had closed down around 10%. Since then it has dropped again and again. The coronavirus is changing the very world in which we exist.
Lots of advisors are focused on reassuring clients. All the while, many of these advisors, inside of themselves, are thinking #@$%! this is really bad. Business owners are seeing revenues dip and dive. It seems like the world is shutting down.

Cooped up and going crazy

That heading is not much of an overstatement. It has been really interesting to observe how people think and feel about what is happening. For some, it feels like the sky is falling. For others, it’s like intense cabin fever. (What is the right emotion when the little people you love are driving you up the wall?) Then there’s the fear, the anxiety about how the world is changing, and all the rest. Some people are very distressed, and some not as much.
Where we are inside is what matters most. My reaction to the problem is the problem! I do not mean to take the coronavirus lightly, nor the market crash, economic impact, cabin fever, or any of the outside consequences. The point is though, all of that has happened. Query: How do you want to be with it? You probably do need to react to it and take certain actions. But we are better served by making decisions and taking action from the uncluttered mind. Not to mention getting to feel better while going through whatever it is we are going through.
Decision-making. Impaired decision-making necessarily creates sub-optimized results. Everyone can decide if they want to buy or sell equities right now. I am not getting into investment advice here, but the example is so opportune. Fear, panic, judging self, judging others, judging past decisions - all of those are a result of real outside circumstances. I get that. But the outside event has happened. Does the internal noise help or hurt decision-making? I can only hurt. It is no doubt driving millions of people to be making investment decisions right now that will not serve their best interests.
Impact. Let’s consider the business owner or executive who has allowed a place for all of these counter-productive thoughts to rest. He or she can know such thoughts are hanging out because of the presence of negative emotions. That’s what I call generically “upset”. I am upset because_______. The market is crashing. My income is going down. My business is stressed and the future is uncertain. On and on. Those may be true. They are certainly understandable. But do we want to center on those thoughts and emotions?

Many business leaders have their own little panic, or “this is really bad”, internal judgments going on. Let’s assume this leader is filled with internal judgment. He steels himself or for a tough conversation. He is careful to project words of encouragement. The problem is, words don’t matter so much. The energy they ride on matters a lot. That energy simply cannot be factored out.

Might this be the time to advance and serve from a place of creating rather than a place of retreating? The business leader with the uncluttered mind, she is the one who can truly appreciate, evaluate, and execute from that point of view.

How you get to feel

Consider things going on external to you that are absolutely not what you want. What if you had the skills? What if you had the tools and processes? What if you had practiced, grown, and were living in this place of internal acceptance? This is a place of not having to like a thing on the outside, but not letting it upset you on the inside. Now, that would be worth the price of admission! That is the place effective leaders lead from when they are at their best!
The market has already crashed. Whatever your business, personnel, or other challenges, that are already here. The question is: How do you feel about it? Do you choose to “lose the capacity to feel bad”?

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Recommendation #1:

Try to get your head around this idea that you can learn not to judge a thing, on the inside. That is, to accept it and not go into upset with it. At the same time, you don’t have to like it. You still have to figure out what to do about it. This is a concept of evaluating at an intellectual level, without getting caught up in the thoughts that create internal angst.

Recommendation #2:

Evaluate your own leadership. Are you showing up as a strong leader? Are you on offense or defense?

Recommendation #3: 

Consider where you are leading from. What are the true emotions you carry inside? I’m not asking what you’re trying to show. I’m asking you to look inside. If you have a lot of internal noise going on, you cannot be at your best as a leader.

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