Which Gets Better Results? Aggressiveness or Relaxation?

One of the lessons I’ve learned from my experience of getting lost in the woods is aggressiveness towards my goals. In yesterday’s post, I mention relaxation and slowing down your mind as a method to access your deep mind, where your genius resides. Don’t these two statements contradict each other?

There’s already an explanation to the paradox of aggressiveness and relaxation in yesterday’s post, but I want to elaborate on it to clarify any confusion. There are two modes of working towards our goals. The first one is ideation and the second one is execution. We need both of them to make significant progress in our lives.

Ideation vs Execution

If you only work in the ideation mode, you might come up with brilliant ideas, but you won’t be able to turn them into real-life results. If you only work in the execution mode, you might be stuck with busy work without making any progress. After a while, your working methods will be outdated and your results will plummet. We need to have a good balance of both to succeed in life.

Relaxation and slowing down your mind is great for ideation. Aggressiveness is great for execution. Aggressiveness is also great for focusing and eliminating distraction. Emptying your mind by eliminating distractions and racing thoughts is great for both, ideation and execution.

When I use the term aggressiveness, I don’t mean aggressiveness towards a person, organization, or property. By aggressiveness, I mean aggressiveness towards the execution of the task at hand, towards the accomplishment of your goals.

Oscillate Between Ideation and Execution

As I have explained in yesterday’s post, it’s a good idea to take breaks from busy work to slow down and empty your mind. By taking a break, I don’t mean stopping working and starting surfing on social media or chatting with your colleagues. By taking a break, I mean doing completely nothing or reflecting on a question you formulate.

“Formulate your challenge as a question. Ask it in your consciousness. Relax. Slow down your mind. Let go of all thoughts and emotions. And let the answers come up.”

Doing completely nothing is a great way to allow brilliant ideas and insights to come up from your deep mind. If you have a challenge, it’s a good idea to formulate it as a question and to reflect on that question. Reflecting on a question means keeping it in your consciousness, but not actively thinking about it. You ask the question in your consciousness, relax, slow down your mind, let go of all thoughts and emotions, and let the answers come up.

Once a feasible idea comes up, you switch from passive reflection mode to active thinking mode. You process the idea logically. Once the idea is proven useful, you switch to the execution mode. You switch into a higher gear by getting aggressive towards the execution of your idea.

Mindfulness and Meditation

As I have said before, having an empty mind, eliminating distractions is great for ideation and execution. The best way to slow down, empty your mind, and to eliminate distractions is through mindfulness and meditation.

“There’s nothing esoteric about mindfulness or meditation.”

All you have to do is to find a silent spot where you won’t be disturbed for five minutes. Sit on a comfortable chair with a straight posture. Set up your timer to five minutes and close your eyes. Follow your breathe as you inhale and exhale. Acknowledge your thoughts as they appear in your mind and let them go. Don’t pay attention to them. When emotions arise, don’t resist them. Let them be. Stay with them. As you get more comfortable, increase the duration of your meditation sessions.

“Mindfulness is the gateway to your deep mind where your genius resides.”

Meditation is a great exercise to cultivate mindfulness, which is highly beneficial in stressful situations. Mindfulness is also the gateway to your deep mind where your genius resides. The only reason most of us don’t have access to our deep mind is that we block it with endless noise. With mindfulness, we can eliminate that noise.

Summary

We have two modes of working, ideation and execution. We need both modes to get results and make progress in our lives. Relaxation and slowing down is great for ideation. Aggressiveness is great for execution. Eliminating distraction is great for both. Mindfulness and meditation are great for eliminating distracting thoughts and emptying your mind, so that you can focus it on a task or challenge at hand.

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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