03/14/2012 08:27 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

What to Pack to Raise Your Game: The Movie

I got some great feedback about my blog from two weeks ago about what to pack on the journey to raising your game. Enough so that it got me thinking about those four items in a different way.

My previous blog would make it sound like the four items (sense of humor; low tolerance for b.s.; clear, compelling vision; and fierce time management) make up your to-do list, something to check off. But as I discussed this topic with my Re-Wired partner, Bob Moesta, it became clearer to me that the four items are actually parts of a dynamic system. And your brain is the central dynamo of that system. Here's how.

I'll start with sense of humor. 2012-03-14-mail.jpeg You're probably familiar with serotonin, the neuro-transmitter in your body that experts believe to be a contributor to feelings of well-being and happiness. Your sense of humor generates serotonin in your body. This in turn has a positive impact on your ability to think clearly and creatively. Therefore, the greater amount of serotonin pulsing through your body, the better your brain output.

Now let's go to low tolerance for b.s. 2012-03-14-mail1.jpeg It goes without saying that higher amounts of b.s. generate higher amounts of stress. And there are some nasty effects from stress, primarily heightened levels of cortisol. As David Perlmutter points out in his book, The Better Brain Book:

Chronic exposure to cortisol, a hormone produced by the adrenal glands during times of stress, can injure brain cells in the hippocampus, the memory center of the brain; this is a common cause of short-term memory loss.

This would imply if we do a better job of reducing our stress (addressing the b.s. sooner rather than later), we should produce lower levels of cortisol in our system.

Here's the pay-off to increasing your serotonin and decreasing your cortisol. 2012-03-14-mail2.jpeg It opens up your brain to think sharper about what is your clear and compelling vision. Excessive amount of cortisol is going to give you a foggy brain and that's the last thing you need to see your clear vision.

Here's the second big pay-off to getting your serotonin and cortisol straightened out. Once you have a clear and compelling vision, it is easy (easy I tell you!) to have a fierce time management philosophy. 2012-03-14-mail3.jpeg
All your DayTimers and Franklin Planners take on a new meaning. You may even toss them aside because they feel too much like a crutch to you. Once you have that clear and compelling vision, you naturally evaluate all incoming demands on your time through the filter of "part of the vision, not part of the vision?" Your choices become more intentional, thoughtful, and strategic. That's the core of fierce time management.

Tell me what you think.