“10 Unconventional Techniques to Mental Clarity and Optimal Performance”
By Brandon Rynka - Speaker, Ultra Athlete, and Performance Coach
1. “Challenge Yourself”
Surround yourself with intelligent, strong, ambitious people. Ideally, put yourself in environments where you’re not the best in the room at that given skill set. If you want to be a better runner, join a running group with elite runners. If you want to be tougher, join an MMA gym, and train with credible individuals. If you want to gather motivation, stimulation, education, go to workshops, seminars and events that are built around connection, education and positivity. Every day find ways to put yourself in an uncomfortable place, both physically and mentally. The only way to build true authentic resilience is by overcoming challenges daily and programming yourself to step up to the challenge regardless of how you’re feeling. Eventually this mindset will become habitual.
2. “Reset Day”
Give yourself 1 day a week where you make it a priority to set yourself up for success for the week ahead.
- Meal Prep your food
- Declutter your house, car, room and office space
- Come up with a structure for your finances (understand what’s coming in, what’s going out)
- Plan your workout schedule for the week
- Set up meetings, appointments, and phone calls in your calendar
3. “3 M’s: Mindfulness, Meditation and Manifestation”
Structure out 5-10 minutes a day – ideally at a specific time – where you can practice your 3 M’s: In terms of mindfulness, the goal is to be mindful of what is happening around you; the sights, sounds, feelings, and sensations that are present. Be mindful of your breath, and let the present absorb you. With meditation, the purpose is to be one with your thoughts. The idea isn’t to run from them, but embrace your thoughts. Be present with your thoughts, and use it as deep healing rest. The objective is based around just thinking. Thoughts and focus are not the enemy.
Manifestation: Use this opportunity to visualize a life that you want to create for yourself. The intention with manifestation is to have you focus on your dream as reality. Seeing yourself victoriously, focusing on performing in life at a high level and visualizing a strong, confident, well-balanced self.
4. “24 Hour Detox”
Choose a day where you can completely disconnect. Whether it be from work, social media, food, or physical exertion and use this time to cleanse the body, mind and soul.
The purpose is to give yourself the opportunity to heal and get connected on a deeper more intrinsic level. With work, you can give yourself a 24 hr detox where you remove yourself from anything work related; no responding to emails, no LinkedIn, Facebook, or answering calls. I would preempt your business or clients with this information prior to doing this.
Social media/phone/internet: Remove access. Delete the programs off your phone for the day or just put your phone away where it is out of sight. Use this time to get back to doing things you would do without a phone or internet. You’ll be surprised how well you fill your day with productive, rewarding Habits. Food: Try some type of juice cleanse or fasting. Remove the toxins, and chemicals your body takes in and give yourself a chance to fill up on an assortment of micronutrients and phytochemicals. Fasting is also a great way to re-centre your gut health, fight inflammation and rid yourself of unwanted toxins and chemicals.
5. “Find Your Flow”
This should be an enjoyable experiment. Try activities that you know will be challenging, but also engaging, fun, and not overly exhausting, either mentally or physically.
The idea is to involve yourself in an activity that puts you in a state of pure concentration; a “zone” of learning, discovery and some form of effort. Swimming, rock climbing and Jiu Jitsu are physical examples. Painting, drawing and playing a musical instrument are examples of mental flow type activities. Remember, everyone’s different. Find what gives you that proper balance of challenge and fun.
6. “Be present in Nature”
Take a walk in a nearby trail, or sit in a park. The intention is to be disconnected from the outside world of busyness, stimulation and comparison. Your intention is to observe the beauty of nature around you: Listen to the sounds: the birds chirping, leaves rustling, the streams flowing and the wind blowing. Take a look around you, and breathe in the fresh air. Observe the trees, plants, animals, and ecosystem in its pure beauty. Simply take in all that is around you from all levels of sensations: visually, sensory and your internal feeling.
7. “Do things you did as a kid”
Have fun. Be care free. Have a free spirit. Run, jump, wrestle, get dirty, take risks, laugh, sit in weird positions, crack jokes, don’t take yourself so seriously. This is simple…don’t try to be, just be. Have fun and let go of your adult inhibition.
8. “Self-Audit Yourself - Be Self-Aware”
Look in the mirror and ask yourself a few questions:
- How am I honestly feeling
- What is working? What’s not working?
- Am I happy? Why am I feeling this way?
- What makes me happy?
- Am I being true to myself?
- Do I own (take fault) everything thing I do?
- What makes me feel good?
- How can I optimize my time and do more things that make me feel optimized, energized and
- What characteristics, habits and rituals are building momentum? Which characteristics, habits
and rituals are holding me back from the life I want?
- How much money do I need to be happy? What does a fulfilling day to day look like to me?
- How much time per day am I wasting?
- Where can I structure time for all things I value (there’s always time)?
- Am I a good friend, partner, worker, person – How can I be better?
- Who can I learn from?
- What environments and content will progress me further towards a more rewarding life?
- Who do I need to be in order to get what I want?
- Am I grateful for what I have?
Look out into the sky and intentionally observe the stars. Don’t try to do anything in particular, just look. Let the questions and emotions you feel just come up. Don’t hide from what’s being felt or what’s being asked. Use this practice as a form of self-reflection and discovery. The only principle and rule that should be applied is to put distractions away. Stargaze as a disconnected, open minded human being, and see what comes to light.
10. “Do it for you”
Choose habits, activities and tasks that make YOU feel good. Be selfish, but not harmful to others through your decisions. Whether they make you feel good from a progression level, impact level or a contentment level, just make sure to do things for intrinsic reasons.
When applying the “do it for you” mentality, think about “why” you’re doing what you’re doing. Are you doing it for extrinsic motivation, are you doing it for the wrong reasons, or are you doing it because it makes you happy, and makes the people in your life happier, and fulfilled. The goal in life should be to have fun and do things that make you feel more fulfilled, engaged and connected to the true you, in whatever form that looks like. Of course, doing it for you should have boundaries; do things that don’t harm or affect others for your own personal gain; do things that make you feel good but also can add some form of value for your peers whether intentionally or through observation. Before or even after you do anything that you do, ask yourself, “Why am I doing this”. Ask, ask, and ask until you find the true meaning or purpose behind what you’re doing. Be honest with yourself. Lying to yourself is a no win game. You can tell you’re lying to yourself by how you feel after you do something. If you feel empty, you probably haven’t taken the time to do enough self-discovery behind your venture.