Maybe some of you haven’t seen Limitless with Bradley Cooper, so here’s the premise: a stuck writer takes a pill that turns him into an all-knowing genius.
After that, he writes a best-seller in just a few days and then does a whole lot of other cool things.
This movie inspired me. Sure, it’s fiction, but since I first watched it almost 10 years ago, in the back of my mind, I’ve always tried to find things — be it physical or psychological — that would unlock my potential in a similar way.
Lately, I feel like I’m onto something. In the last few months, I lost 15 pounds and counting, I outlined my new novel in detail, I started an email list (and people actually sign up and love what I send) and all this, while I’m raising a toddler and a 5-month-old baby during a raging pandemic.
I’ve never been busier, yet I’ve never been more productive.
Let’s look at what that means for a second.
What do you struggle with?
I used to say I can’t really do anything meaningful while I’m still working with clients — I just don’t have the time and energy.
Then I gave birth to two children and, since we need money to raise them, I look after them and still work with clients too.
Yet I find the time and energy to do what’s meaningful.
Whatever you struggle with, you’ll get more of, until you figure it out.
In my case, it wasn’t just about time and energy, but also about focus. I find it difficult to focus on multiple things. I thrive when I focus on one thing. You give me one goal, I’m like a hound. I’ll chase it down.
But I had to learn how to do multiple things, how to prioritize, and how to be good at everything. Because while I still intend on not working with clients someday, I can’t not be a mom.
I think it’s exactly because I’m busier than ever that I’m succeeding more than ever. I’m finally conquering what I always tried to avoid: doing too much at once. Focus is still important, but I achieve it by saying NO to the unnecessary, not by trying to eliminate what’s uncomfortable.
Now, the reason I’m saying this is that your Limitless pill hides in your own biggest challenge, and once you find it, you’ll be stronger than ever.
That being said, I’m pretty sure my version of achieving a Limitless state can’t hurt you. Quite the opposite.
Here are my “pills” that work wonders.
The truths you’re saying to yourself that are limiting you in any way are probably not truths at all — or they’re only a part of the truth. What they are is negative self-talk.
Here are a few examples.
It’s difficult to lose weight. True, but it’s also possible and completely within your grasp.
Who’d want to read my novel? Well, maybe no one, but maybe lots of people. Can’t know for sure until you write it, can you?
Even only removing negative self-talk will feel like you’ve gained access to some super-speed button in your brain. But replacing it with positive self-talk: now that’s a limitless mind for you.
A limitless mind will say: I’m absolutely capable of losing weight. Food doesn’t have control over me. It’s just food. It’s easy for me to find joy elsewhere.
A limitless mind will say: I’m a great mother and I always know what to say or do to make my children feel loved. The fact that I’m not spending every waking minute of my day with them is irrelevant because I always make the time we spend together special.
A limitless mind will say: I’m a great writer. The right words just come to me. I have something to say and I know there are people who would benefit from my message.
It will also say: I am enough. What I want is available to me. I have all I need to start right now. I love people and they love me.
If you’re doing this right, you should feel the difference in your stomach. There will be this tingling sensation, the realization that, wow, you actually already are the person you’re trying to become.
And that person can do anything.
There’s consciousness below the eternal chatter of your mind. There’s the you who thinks about your to-do list, and gets anxious over the future or sad about the past.
Then there’s the you that watches you thinking about your to-do list and wonders “What is the big deal?”
This second you, this is the super-you you want to be. It is eternally peaceful, it always knows the answer or can figure it out with just a little time. It is certain in its decisions, it doesn’t need to be calmed or motivated or inspired. It holds power beyond what you can imagine.
It’s also accessible to you through meditation.
Now, here’s the deal with meditation. You’ve already heard you should do it a million times, but if you don’t, or if you don’t do it regularly, the reason may be this: you expect it to be easy.
That certainly was the problem for me.
It should’ve been easy to just sit there, focusing on my breath, but it’s not. It’s the psychological equivalent of taming a wild horse. You could get thrown any minute into something that might make you cry; or something that makes you worry. You get the idea.
Meditation could be painful if there are a lot of underlying issues you haven’t faced.
It could feel impossible to just sit on your but for a few minutes. It could feel like your body is literally rejecting it: you’re tapping your fingers, wondering how long before your timer rings, thinking to yourself that that’s a huge waste of time.
If this sounds familiar, next time it happens, ask yourself what’s below that thought. There’s that thought, and then there’s something right below it. It’s usually a darker, quieter space. Like a basement, one you haven’t visited in a long time. It needs a little natural light, it needs some fresh air. No wonder you don’t love spending time there right now.
Force yourself. In the beginning, just force yourself to get in the basement, to find the nailed windows, and let some fresh air in.
Then see what’s there. I guarantee you, in a dusty corner, you’ll find everything you’ve been looking for outside of yourself.
All truly great thoughts are conceived by walking. — Friedrich Nietzsche
A few years ago, I read somewhere that you should make a list of all the best ideas and/or decisions in your life and try to find what’s common about the environment when you conceived them.
My big discovery? Like, 80% of my best ideas — and my best decisions — happened during a morning walk.
Be it with my dog or with my baby, any time I had to take walks in the morning, and especially when I had to do it consistently, daily, no excuse, that’s when my life was somehow untangled. That’s when I’d suddenly figure things out.
It was during a walk with my dog that I first had an idea how to get out of a difficult financial situation — and the decision I made that day changed everything for years to come.
It was during a walk with my baby in its buggy that I finally realized once and for all that yes, I am a writer, even though I had barely made a dime with my writing back then. But things shifted after I felt the certainty.
Your mind and body are connected. When your body does what it’s meant to do — move — your brain does what it’s meant to do too — give you the answers.
You already have it in you.
While there might be abilities you need to develop to achieve your goals, chances are what stops you isn’t something you don’t have and must get — it’s a block inside you that you must remove.
And yes, I know you’ve heard that a thousand times, but have you found the block?
Or have you, after a while of aimlessly looking around the mess that’s inside of you, given up and re-focused your energy on finding more extrenal resources?
Take those pills. They work. No need to thank me.
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