The Voice Inside Your Head & The Power of Full Engagement

July 2021 - Evergreen Thoughts

June Highlights

  • ❤️ Saw my grandparents for the first time since COVID

  • 🏖 Took time off in Nantucket

  • 🎨 Started an excellent design course

  • 👨‍🍳 Signed up for an online cooking class

  • 🎟 Locked in SeatGeek’s new brand system. Stay tuned :)


Silenzio Bruno!

Pixar’s Luca is a beautiful film set in the Italian Riviera. It’s about two sea monsters who go on land and become humans. One of my favorite parts is when Luca’s friend helps him overcome his fear inducing self talk. His technique: give the voice inside your head a name and talk back to it. Check out the clip below:

Our fight or flight tendencies have been a critical human survival tactic. However, this evolutionary trait hasn’t evolved for our modern age of abundance and safety.

So next time you catch yourself getting anxious about giving a presentation, getting on a flight, or starting something new, ask yourself: “Is your life actually in danger or is your inner caveman or cavewoman voice giving you outdated advice?” If it’s the latter, tell them to STFU: “Silenzio Bruno!”

This tactic won’t eliminate anxiety or fix all your problems. However, it’ll help you make better decisions and reduce how often the little voice inside your head leads you astray. As Seth Godin says in Quieting the lizard brain: “The amygdala isn’t going away. Your lizard brain is here to stay, and your job is to figure out how to quiet it and ignore it.”

Shout out to my wife, Melissa, who is a child psychologist and has been championing this technique (except the STFU part) to me and her clients for many years! 😘


The Power of Full Engagement

I care a lot about how I spend my time. I put holds on my calendar for top priorities. I use Focusmate to reduce distractions. I use Clockwise to audit my calendar. I religiously tracked my time at work down to 15m increments for longer than I’d like to admit. Most recently I even built a custom workflow to track how I spend my time.

While I wouldn’t recommend being as OCD about time management as I have been, I still believe time is one of our most scarce and valuable resources and worth being intentional about. With that said, I now believe there is an even more powerful, and notably much more renewable, resource worth optimizing: our energy. As put in The Power of Full Engagement:

Energy, not time, is the fundamental currency of high performance; performance, health, and happiness are grounded in the skillful management of energy.

No matter how well you manage your time, you’re not going to perform your best, both personally and professionally, if you’re not doing things that energize you. While I’m by no means an expert in energy management, below are resources that have inspired me on this topic:

If you don’t want to sift through all the above content, I’ve found focusing on my physical health to be the most effective way to increase my energy levels. Simple, but not easy, stuff like:

  • 😴 Getting a good night sleep

  • 🥦 Eating healthy

  • 💧 Staying hydrated

  • 🏃‍♂️ Exercising regularly

On days when I work out, eat healthy, stay hydrated, and am well rested, my energy levels, ability to focus, resilience, and mood are through the roof. While there are many other factors at play to living a life of full engagement and vitality, I’m increasingly convinced physical health is one of the most foundational and controllable inputs.

[1] Favorite energy management related resource.

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