“Drama, combat, terror, numbness, and subservience — every day these things wipe out your sacred principles, whenever your mind entertains them uncritically or lets them slip in.” — Marcus Aurelius
You have one life.
If you don’t protect it, you will end up hating your life and resenting other people for your circumstances.
Most people seek excuses to hide from the work that needs to be done.
Instead of doing the work, they seek drama.
You can either put your focus on everyday drama or on your future vision.
Before protecting your vision, you must define it to set a direction. Lack of direction leads to lack of clarity which gives birth to inaction.
Once you define your vision, you must protect it or your mind will be occupied with stuff that is unimportant.
The mind constantly seeks thoughts to think, challenges to face and problems to solve. If you don’t set an intention, it will make up its own challenges and problems. Hence, you will run on autopilot with useless thoughts occupying your mind.
SHIELD #1: Environment
To protect your vision, you first have to optimize your environment for growth.
Eliminate the negative people, stuff or distractions that bring you down. Sometimes, it’s hard to say goodbye but if you want to grow, you have to let go.
As you remove the clutter from your life, add things that will help you reach your vision. Find growth-oriented people and invest in the education or tools you need to succeed.
Your mind is precious. You must set up your environment to bring quality thoughts in your mind.
As long as your mind is occupied with useless drama or other people’s agendas, you will keep finding reasons to hide from your daily grind.
Treat your attention as a valuable resource. Don’t waste it on the news, notifications, people or events that are not worth your attention.
Brainwash your mind by reading books and articles. Listen to audiobooks and podcasts while performing mundane tasks.
Set boundaries. Build habits. Perform morning and evening routines. Ruthlessly say no to the things that are not important or exciting for you.
Don’t be available to everyone all the time. Go in a cave and do the work that must be done. No one else cares about your priorities.
“Surround yourself with people that reflect who you want to be and how you want to feel. Energies are contagious.” — Rachel Wolchin
SHIELD #2: Wellbeing
When your laptop or mobile runs out of battery, what do you do? You can’t force it to perform without recharging it.
In the same way, you need to treat your wellbeing like a baby.
Let’s face it. If you’re in pain or feeling sick, how could you possibly look beyond the present drama in life?
I’m not saying that you should not focus on your health during rough times. But most people don’t take care of themselves until they face a health condition.
So don’t wait for the diseases to come your way. Prevent poor health if you are serious about working on your vision.
Your mental and physical health are interconnected.
Your food, sleep, and physical movement determines how your brain functions throughout the day.
Feed yourself highly nutritious foods. Get quality sleep for 7–9 hours. Train your body or at least move throughout the day to optimize yourself for high performance at work.
Your mind and body are tools for reaching your full potential.
“To keep the body in good health is a duty, otherwise we shall not be able to keep our mind strong and clear.” — Buddha
SHIELD #3: Philosophy
Your reality is made in your mind.
Even after protecting your environment or taking care of yourself, you will often face drama in your life.
This is where the third shield comes in — your philosophy.
How do you react to stress? What do you do during the time of adversity?
If you ask most people, they panic or get depressed.
I myself get frustrated when things don’t go the way I want them to go. I hate it when useless drama in the present clouds my vision for future.
But then I have to remind myself — What can I do about it? If the answer is nothing, stop worrying. If the answer is something, do everything to solve that problem.
Life is unfair. But life is also a gift. Learning to shift perspective is the key to realize the beauty of life.
Conditioning your mind to act calmly and think clearly during the time of crisis is a skill that takes time to develop.
When life throws drama at you, receive it. Then, manage your thoughts and feelings with tools like — meditation, mindfulness, journaling, gratitude, and kindness.
“You have power over your mind — not outside events. Realize this, and you will find strength.”
― Marcus Aurelius
Setting your own priorities and working on your vision may sound selfish. But if you want to do a greater good, you have to put yourself first.
As they say in the airplanes, put on your own mask before helping anyone else.
Be selflessly selfish to make the world a better place.
Use your environment, wellbeing, and philosophy as the three shields to protect your vision.
Now go. Make it happen.