I had the pleasure of listening to a lecture on YouTube by Vishen Lakhiani, founder and CEO of Mindvalley. During his talk, he explained a theory (theory of awesomeness) that he created on how he believes people live their lives.
The theory is this: We live in a state of balance, we are always balancing two things
1-A balance of being happy in the now
2-Having a vision for the future.
We all have different degrees on the scale of having happiness in the present and at the same time having goals for the future.
Based on this theory, he explains that there are 4 difference states of mind:
1- No Happiness, no vision for the future:
This creates a sort of depression. Nothing to work for, no fulfillment.
2- Happy right now, no vision for the future:
Sounds great, but he calls it “the current reality trap. Happiness and fulfillment are two completely different things.” The way I interpret how it is described is that it seems like this state of mind is like an empty happy. Happy without fulfillment, happy, but no idea of where you are going, where you want to go,
3- Stress & anxiety – The state of mind of most entrepreneurs:
You have a vision for the future, but you are just not happy yet. You have goals and dreams, and targets and happiness will come when you get to that place in the near and not so near future. You have struggles and stress in order to reach that happiness, but once you are there you never actually get happy. You end up extending that line with another vision to get to that happy place. “Happiness becomes this elusive thing that is always ahead of you.”
4- State of Flow:
You have a vision pulling you forward, but you are happy right now. Your happiness and vision are completely separate. Happiness is not tied to your vision. This is living in a state of flow.
Vishen Lakhiani defines the Flow State like this:
“The Flow State is a mental state of mind in which you are pulled forward by big goals, yet happy where you are now. It creates a feeling of growth and a feeling of being lucky.”
This state of mind feels like you are in flow your life, like the universe has your back.
Although theories like these cannot be tested scientifically, I agree with Vishen, that if a person believes in these ideas, whether true or not, that person will want to be in the flow state and as a result, become closer to that state of mind.
He explains that it is just a theory and we are free to choose to believe in it, like any theory.
Where do you want to be? Which state? And where are you now?
THE PARADOX OF INTENTION
You must have goals. But your happiness cannot be tied to these goals. You must be happy BEFORE you attain them.
-Sandra Anne Taylor,
Vishen says something that we all know but often forget:
“Happiness is not found. It comes from within.”
How can we immediately inject happiness into our lives?
- Meditation – reduces stress, which in turn lowers cortisol levels which supports the immune system and results in healthier and happier individuals.
- Creative Visualization: visualizing how you want your life to unfold.
- Intention Setting: the act of telling yourself how you want your day to unfold. Pretending you have control over your future reality. if you do this enough, is that if you do this enough, it start to feel this way.
- Inspirational Reads: reading inspiring and positive autobiographies, self help books
- Gratitude – being thankful for what you have, admiring the world around you