Mental Fitness & Opportunity Cost

Opportunity cost may not have a line on our P&L.

We may not be able to precisely measure it but…

It impacts our business growth, career, health, wealth, happiness, family, relationships and more.

And it’s almost entirely a function of our mental fitness and alignment.

As ever, I hope you find this helpful.

And that your time reading is an investment with a return which more than outweighs the opportunity cost.

“How do I know I’m aligned with my vision and not just kidding myself?

“How do I stay aligned when things are challenging?”

These are two great questions I was asked this week by the CEO of a fast-growing business.

The short answers are:

One. You’re consistently achieving your goals in the desired time-frame and you feel relaxed and in flow.

Two. You have a vision you love, understand what the mind is and its function and therefore you prioritise your internal state over everything.

Short and simple answers but in themselves, perhaps not that helpful.

So, here’s a summary of some of what she and I then chatted about.

Firstly, when you’re aligned with your vision, here’s what you’re definitely not

  • You’re not in your head thinking about how to get to your goal.
  • You’re not striving to make it happen and you’re not stressed, worried or doubting.
  • You’re not feeling urgency or that you’ve got more to do than you can do.
  • You’re not wondering what to focus on or do next.

Because all of the above are outcomes of a lack of alignment.

Secondly, being mentally aligned in the context of achieving any goal is not a head game.

It’s somatic.

Our body tells us what’s really going on in our mind and what we’re aligned with.

Because our body is in the mind. (Our mind is not our brain).

And what we’re predominantly mentally aligned with – consciously or otherwise – dictates our actions and outcomes.

What’s going on ‘in our heads’ and what we’re ‘intellectually engaged’ with may be an indicator of what we’re aligned with but not necessarily.

For example, if we’re up in our heads trying to figure out ‘how’ to get from where we are to where we want to be…

Or how to fix a problem.

We may be thinking positively but it’s almost inevitable we’re aligned with where we are now and not with where we really want to be. 

Because when we’re fully aligned with our vision, we’re not up in our heads or entangled in our thoughts, feelings and emotions…. or with trying to work out how.

When we’re fully aligned, we’re in KNOWING.

And experiencing the stillness, peace and certainty of this KNOWING.

As such, we don’t think or feel, we know.

There’s a clarity and ease …..and a distinct absence of thinking and figuring out,

And this ‘knowing’ means we’re then led by the wisdom of our intuition and our heart and not by the limitations, doubts and fears of ego.

When we’re aligned, our decisions are fast, easy, certain and they’re not subject to doubt, fear or change.

Solutions also come readily and our actions and outcomes flow too.

When we’re aligned, we’re moved to do what’s required to realise our vision in the fastest and most effortless way.

When we’re aligned, we respond to the world differently.

And stop projecting our fears and doubts… because we’re not in fear or doubt.

When we’re aligned, we’re in FLOW.

And when we’re in flow, everything flows.

It’s easy and effortless and enjoyable.

It’s power, not force… and there’s a huge difference.

One lights us up, energises, fuels and moves us; the other exhausts us.

And, as an added bonus, when we’re in flow, not only are we moved to do the right things, we’re up to 500% more productive too.*

So, in summary…

When we’re not in alignment, we’re out of flow and we feel this to the degree of our misalignment.

That’s how we know what we’re aligned with.

And when we’re out of alignment, we experience the effects (and costs).

These include indecision, procrastination, poor decisions, delays, obstacles, missed opportunities, uncertainty, striving, over-thinking and endless busyness and doing.

We also meet with more fear.

And things feel harder and often more stressful too.

Despite this, we may still experience growth and achieve significant results.

We may also still get plenty of stuff done and believe we’re doing the right things.

And we might ‘get-off’ on or be comforted by our busyness too…

Because we’ve been conditioned to equate ‘doing’ with results and with being worthy.

But doing anything when we’re out of alignment will always deliver compromised results relative to the outcomes we’d otherwise experience.

And something will invariably ‘appear’ to slow us down in some way… 

Because “opportunity cost” always increases as our alignment decreases.

Even if we remain unaware of this, which our ego is very keen to ensure we do.

Either way, if we continue to operate from a lack of alignment…

And therefore from fear and our ego’s promise of “when I get this in place, it will be different / better / easier”, the opportunity cost continues to be significant…

  • Maybe we become ill and need to take time off.
  • Or something, seemingly unrelated, ‘blows up’ in our business.
  • Maybe valuable members of the team leave or increasingly reflect our concerns.
  • Or we keep hiring more staff to alleviate the busyness and unwittingly, we just create more of it…. or more inefficiency.
  • Or maybe we just become sick and tired of the slog and the effort to reward ratio and the hours and the stress.
  • Etc.

Yet, on the flip-side…

When we are mentally aligned, we’re physically aligned too. We get our mojo back and find we’re literally powered by intuition and pulled by our vision.

When we’re mentally aligned and mentally fit, we…

  • Have a confident, unwavering expectation about our goals.
  • Have a total indifference to the possibility of their non-fulfilment (no matter what).
  • Understand results are not a function of doing but of our mental alignment, our consciousness and who we are being.
  • Relate to and respond to perceived obstacles in ways that support us. We see them as bridges, not barriers.
  • Live from knowing and not from wanting or belief because we…
  • Understand wanting keeps us wanting and that beliefs are subject to change whereas ‘knowing‘ is solid and immovable.
  • Find all of the answers to ‘How’ without any effort. 
  • Operate in and from flow and it feels easy and enjoyable.

As to the second question…

How do I stay aligned…..?

The simple answer is to stay true to the vision and increase our awareness.. 

Our awareness of Self, of what our mind actually is, its purpose and how it functions.

When we understand the mind and how it projects and reflects what we’re giving life to in consciousness…

We soon discover we really don’t have to strive or work hard to stay aligned at all.

We discover our job is to surrender to our vision and goals from the understanding that our alignment is our natural state.

That it’s natural but just not normal.

Then we can operate from a state of knowing and flow every day.

From the understanding that it’s only our not knowing or our forgetting that pulls us out of alignment and out of flow in the first place.

And, perhaps best of all, we then not only enjoy being in alignment and flow and realising our vision and goals….

We can realise them so much faster, with certainty and with less effort too!

*Findings from McKinsey’s 10 year study on the impact of flow on top executives.

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