During my corporate career, I was over-worked, over paid and ultimately unhappy. When we decided to start La Kult it wasn’t just as a rebellion against the spirit crushing corporate world but it was also for us to find a new path in life, wherever that might lead, a path that would ultimately return us to a state of satisfaction and happiness.
In a lot of ways, it has done that, as have our other business interests. But when you analyse it, we are still in the corporate world: we want to grow our businesses so we can have a positive effect on the world but also so we can live life on our terms. For anyone who has started their own company you realise how difficult it is and sometimes you may find yourself wistfully looking back on those days when you worked for the man – at least you could escape and come home and relax. When you have your own business(es) there is no escape and many people find themselves even more stressed out than before, playing the grass is greener game and dreaming of an easier, more simple life.
Not me. I probably underestimated the amount of work and stress involved in running your own company and I soon realised that to be successful, and ultimately love what I did, I needed to find a new toolbox that would allow me to operate above and beyond even what I used to. I stumbled upon three techniques which have really helped me manage stress levels, be more productive, be more creative and be exponentially happier. When I first heard of some of these I wasn’t necessarily convinced but practicing them has led me to view my life and the world in a completely different way. Let’s take a look.
Practicing gratitude is a great way to take a positive look at your life and realise what amazing things you have. I used to be the opposite, never grateful, always striving for more, always looking for bigger, better, more. That’s a one-way street. There is nothing wrong with wanting to improve but you must understand the base from which you want to improve from.
By keeping a daily gratitude journal, you can actively acknowledge those things in your life you are thankful for. Write down three things each day and say them out loud and keep thinking of them during the day. Get creative and write down more complex ideas, such as, “I’m grateful for this queue at the store because it teaches me to be patient”.
You can also be grateful for things that you don’t already have yet, like an affirmation, meaning you are setting your success goals as if you have already achieved them, which is very powerful. This technique does seem out there but the number of people I know who use this and have experienced a real positive effect on their lives is great.
Everyone knows about meditation, or they think they do. We are all aware of the calming positive effect it has on the body and mind, yet why so many of us don’t practice it is inexplicable. Two 10-15 minute sessions per day will provide a huge boost in clarity of thinking, energy and calmness. There are many different meditation techniques you can try so find out what works for you. Personally, I have been experimenting with transcendental meditation lately which has allowed me to formulate some quite complex thought processes during sessions.
You don’t have to sit with your legs crossed under a baobab tree in an orange robe, just find a quiet space with no interruptions and meditate away.
Reducing Media & Social Media Consumption
We all like to know what’s going on in the world, it’s human nature to want to know what’s going on over the hill but the number of media, social media and adverts we receive a day is mind boggling. It is estimated that we each receive 4,000-10,000 advertising messages per day. Assuming we are awake for 16 hours a day that equates to up to 10 every minute.
By cutting down on consumption of media and social media this number falls dramatically. For example, I used to watch news every morning before work but recently I have stopped completely, the television doesn’t even get turned on. I allow myself up to 60 minutes a day of internet or TV / Netflix; obviously work related things don’t count. On a Saturday I allow myself to use the internet as much as I want but am finding that I don’t actually even want to, I have found other things to occupy my time, things that are constructive. I work out more, I’ve incorporated daily meditation rituals and I’m feeling so much happier about the world. All that negative news was poisoning my brain and interrupting my thought process, especially first thing in the morning. Now, I feel my thoughts are my own and I don’t have that chatter in the back of my mind from the information overload.
These three techniques are really helping me take control of my life in the way I want to. Eating healthy and working out are great but the mind also needs work, so try these three things and let us know what you think and how things change for you.
Alex Biggs is the co-founder of the brand La Kult (www.la-kult.com.au) which supplies a range of Australian Certified Organic Superfoods and is also developing a line of skincare products focused on the Superfood theme. He is a founder and Director of The Freeway Collective which is developing a range of organic food products both in Australia and China. In a previous life, Alex was involved in the resources and banking sectors before walking away from it all with a vision to provide healthy, sustainable and exciting food products to consumers worldwide.