The Zen of Entrepreneurship

David Hawkins, the author of Power vs. Force, mentions 17 levels in his map of consciousness.

  • Enlightenment
  • Peace
  • Joy
  • Love
  • Reason
  • Acceptance
  • Willingness
  • Neutrality
  • Courage
  • Pride
  • Anger
  • Desire
  • Fear
  • Grief (Sadness)
  • Apathy
  • Guilt
  • Shame

Map of Consciousness, a Useful Tool for High Performance

I find this map useful to regulate my emotional state for high performance.

I find emotions of shame, guilt, sadness, fear, desire, anger, joy, love, and peace useful for different purposes.

  • Peace and sadness are suitable to reflect on my life and make plans.
  • Joy is useful for long distance running.
  • Anger is useful for working out with weights in the gym.
  • Shame, guilt, fear, desire, and love are powerful motivators to execute my plans.

Peace vs. Apathy

Even though I read the book Power vs. Force years ago, there were still some open questions in my mind. I always wondered what the difference between peace and apathy was.

Apathy is the lack of intense emotions. So is peace. Then, what is the difference between them?

I think I’ve found the answer.

The GDPR Will Destroy Email Lists

Yesterday, I had a challenge. The new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) comes into effect starting from May 25, 2018.

This regulation affects my email newsletter as well. I have to collect explicit consent from my newsletter subscribers before that date. After that date, I have to delete the subscribers who didn’t provide explicit permission.

If you ever operated an email newsletter, you know what that means. I expect only 10% of my subscribers to complete that procedure. That means I’m going to lose 90% of my email newsletter subscribers in two weeks.

The GDPR Makes the Subscription Process Harder

It doesn’t end there. The new law requires me to have a checkbox in my subscription form. If a visitor doesn’t explicitly check that box, they won’t be able to subscribe to my email newsletter. I expect at least 50% of the visitors to overlook that box.

I know that you’ll suggest some hacks for that, such as loading the form with that box checked or making it a required field. Both practices are forbidden in the new regulation.

On May 25, 2018, I’ll lose 90% of my existing subscribers and 50% of my future subscribers.

The Most Productive Level of Consciousness

On which level of consciousness would you be if you were in my shoes? Anger? Fear? Grief? Apathy?

Surprisingly, I felt acceptance yesterday. There is nothing I can do against this law. Neither anger, nor fear, nor grief, nor apathy is a productive emotion at this moment.

The most productive emotional state at this moment is to accept what is, comply with it, and carry on.

My livelihood doesn’t depend on this list. But there are people whose livelihood depend on email lists. They are going to lose at least 90% of their income in two weeks.

The New Law Won’t Accomplish Anything Useful

You might defend the new law because there are so many spammers out there. I know that a lot of people add all the emails they could find to their lists. As a result, we all receive a bunch of irrelevant emails every day.

  • Will the new law prevent spammers from populating their lists with every email they come across?
  • Will it prevent auto-followers on social media?
  • Will it prevent bots from spamming the comment sections and contact forms of blogs?

It’s not going to happen.

The New Law Will Only Hurt Legitimate Businesses

This law will only reduce the revenues of honest people and businesses who comply with the law. That reduction in revenue won’t serve anything.

The revenue will be reduced because a prospect will overlook a checkbox in a sign-up form, not because they didn’t want to sign up to the email newsletter in the first place.

I always had a double opt-in mechanism in my email lists. I never added someone manually. I never sold people’s emails. I never sent irrelevant emails to my subscribers. Yet, I’m punished by this law.

Take It on the Chin and Carry On

Acceptance means to take it on the chin and to carry on. That’s exactly what I’m going to do in this case. Quitting is not an option at this moment. Neither is breaking the law. If my content is worth the attention of people, it’s going to find its way to their screens.

Now, I get the difference between peace and apathy. When you’re on the level of apathy, you don’t feel any intense emotions, and you give up. When you’re on the level of peace, you don’t feel any strong emotions, but you keep on going.

High Involvement, Low Attachment

The lower levels such as anger, fear, guilt, and shame are strong motivators to take action. But at a certain moment, you need to accept the reality and let go of your attachments to the results. There’s no way around this.

In a previous post, I called this attitude high involvement, low attachment. You take massive action and do your best without being attached to the results.

While taking action, anger, fear, and similar emotions are strong motivators. But once the work is over and you’re waiting for the results, you better get to the level of acceptance and peace, and don’t get attached to those results.

A Nontaxable Asset

At the end of the day, there is one asset that governments can’t forbid or tax. That is your knowledge and the lessons you learn. I owe that lesson to Warrant Buffet.

Sometimes a lesson learned is more valuable than 90% of your email list. Understanding the difference between apathy and peace was such a lesson for me yesterday.

Burak Bilgin
Software developer with a Ph.D. and 15 years of experience. I write daily on personal development and life lessons. Sign up to my email newsletter to receive a weekly overview of my latest content on personal development and life lessons.

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