"If you are distressed by anything external, the pain is not due to the thing itself, but to your estimate of it; and this you have the power to revoke at any moment."
― Marcus Aurelius, Meditations
Once you start developing your meditation practice more profoundly, you get to a powerful realization: you are the main reason for all your problems.
Not to say that external problems do not exist. The insight is the following: how you deal with what happens to you is the only divine driving force for your potential to experiment with the light.
Recently, I started to put real effort into my meditation practice, and it has been very challenging, but fantastic at the same time. I am working with a meditation coach and going to a weekly class just for this matter. An important realization that happened this week: what happens when you go at life with 110% intensity all the time? You will most likely crash and burn. You will lose presence and awareness, imparting your judgment on people, relationships, and business decisions.
I have been living in the last ten years at 110%, most of the time. The net result is certainly positive, but it does come with scars of war. I know many founders in this situation as well. Frankly, it is not worth it. Like most evolution situations in life, one must suffer ahead of time to then evolved and mature.
A more prudent approach I have learned this week: try going at 50-60% of your "mental" or physical VO2Max. When you do that, be aware of what happens and how much self-identification of the mind comes up.
When you slow down, you become more present.
By being present, you start developing superpowers of awareness.
Professional athletes don't have a game day, every day all the time. They focus on recovery as much as they focus on work since the work is intense.
Controlling 110% of your life is a grave fallacy, sorry to disappoint you with the catchy title. If you had any hope of thinking, this was an exciting title, meditate more.
In life, it is often better to move at 50-60% of your energy, to conserve it, because there are intense moments in which you'll need to burst with everything you've got. The mental behavior of players in a final is different than in the first game of the season. Paradoxically, you have to work daily on being a true champion to have the courage to be in the position to play the many final games life will bring at you.
Be present, work at 50-60% of your effort, with "game day" bursts of 110%, knowing that we have little control, aside from how we respond to life.
"Until we have begun to go without them, we fail to realize how unnecessary many things are. We've been using them not because we needed them but because we had them."
― Lucius Annaeus Seneca, Letters from a Stoic
I am in Miami until Sunday to figure out if I am going to build my next company from here, while keeping spaces in San Francisco and São Paulo for the team.
At large, I dare you to listen profoundly to signs in front of you. Instead of looking for constant input, look for answers.