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How to Create a High Performance Business Mindset Through Ancient Stoic Philosophy

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Let’s cut to the chase. How many more articles need to be written about having a bulletproof mindset, blind beliefs, core values, and positive thinking before we realize this information is completely useless…?

Now before the swarm of an uprising mutiny forms within the behavioral psychology and mindfulness groups, we must quickly clarify this message. This knowledge is completely useless… WITHOUT application. 

Very Little Has Changed Over a Thousand Years

As Aristotle wrote, “We are what we repeatedly do, therefore excellence is not an act, but a habit.” The word “Arete” is Greek for excellence, and is used to describe the status and/or accomplishment of an individual or group of individuals who achieve a high standard of achievement.  At the end of the day when everything is said and done, are you able to consistently walk away from a day at work and say you truly achieved excellence? More importantly, what does excellence actually look like? 

It’s easy to say excellence is a relative word, as excellence could mean multiple things to many different people. For a parent, it could mean they were able to get their kids up for school, finish their homework, and get them to eat dinner together. For an artist, it could equate to getting into that flow state of mind to finish up a project and send it off for publishing. As a business executive, it could mean you were able to finally accomplish and finish the to-do list that has taken you months to get your team together to work on. The list could go on… 

So as a working business executive, what does excellence mean to you? In the end, it really doesn’t matter, because the moral of the story is excellence isn’t a destination, it’s a process and repeated set of habits that serve your bottom line over time. 

To truly excel at a task or role, one must create intentional daily habits and systems that take us closer to the end goal, whether it be a project deadline, writing copy for a marketing campaign, or having a difficult conversation with a coworker about a workplace problem. Our daily habits will always dictate our long term outcomes, which is why so many people struggle with changing bad habits to good habits, as our bad habits usually show their ugly head weeks and months down the road. If you aren’t intentionally taking steps to move your career forward, you may end up quite surprised to see where you find yourself in the end. 

To Understand Business, We Must Understand The Brain

With that being said, one of the biggest difficulties with changing someone’s habits comes down to how we are inherently wired as humans. When it comes down to it, our brain hasn’t changed much for thousands of years since we split away from our close primate cousins. In the end, we still possess a near 40,000-year-old brain that is trying to exist in the 21st-century business world full of distractions, stressors, and newly developed technology that has vastly outpaced the speed of our brain’s own evolution. 

Don’t get too concerned, because this isn’t inherently a bad thing, as it allows us a unique opportunity to go back to our roots to understand how we will behave when placed into new environments and situations. 

This information is vital because it supports our use of these timeless principles from the Greek and Roman Stoics and allows us to apply them to real-world situations we are currently challenged with today. 

Your Mental Mindset is Your Future Roadmap To Business Success 

Thus, we need to realize the importance of our mindset during these unprecedented times, because it’s safe to say this is not the first, nor the last time we as a society endure a pandemic, economic crash, or cultural shift as a result of some unforeseen circumstances on this amazing planet we call home. 

The only way to actually endure and own these uncertain situations is through owning your mindset, which the Stoics believed was the most important thing a man or woman could possess. Your mindset is the ONLY thing you can truly control, which is why it is so vital for us to own our mindset and use it to create intentional habits of success during this period of uncertainty… Because if we end up becoming a victim of our environment, we will always be controlled by our environment. 

Bruce Lee, an avid student of Stoicism, said “You will continue to suffer if you have an emotional reaction to everything that is said to you. True power is sitting back and observing everything with logic. If words control you, that means everyone else can control you. Breathe and allow things to pass.” 

This is why you must always remember that your mindset is the ONE thing that you will always have control over, which is a lesson as old as time. In moments of history, we can find hope in our future and seek knowledge of the past to benefit our next challenge ahead.  

Dr. Erik Reis a high-performance consultant, executive health coach, and national speaker, with over 7 years of clinical experience working with some of the most complex neurological and metabolic conditions throughout the world. He believes the connection between optimal neurological function and physical health is essential to understanding how to fully maximize brain function and cognitive performance in the workplace, which is why SHIFT takes a multifaceted approach in working with businesses and employees to optimize workplace productivity and employee engagement. Click here to visit his website.

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5 Major Challenges Female Entrepreneurs Face in Business Today

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The Mindset That Keeps Successful Entrepreneurs Sane on Social Media

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How Does Emotional Intelligence Impact Entrepreneurship?

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