The Energy Redirection Technique: How To Quickly Overcome Setbacks In Life
And it doesn’t matter how optimistic you are, or how positive you feel, some things in life will inevitably go wrong.
Your car breaks down in the middle of the freeway.
You experience delays in a project you’re working on.
Someone you thought you trusted betrays you.
Sometimes, no matter how positive you try to be, bad things just happen.
And when it does, what’s your usual course of action?
Usually, it boils down to one of three options.
The first option is more of a knee-jerk reaction.
Option #1 – Frustration
You get emotional. Frustrated. Maybe even angry about what happened. This happens to most of us, and it’s perfectly understandable.
But as you can imagine, getting frustrated doesn’t do anyone any good. Especially to yourself.
It breaks your flow. Your happiness dips. Stress and anxiety rises. And all of this just makes it harder for you to find a solution for the initial problem.
In short… frustration breaks happiness
Losing Happiness breaks your Flow
Breaking Flow prevents you from effectively solving the problem.
But it gets worse.
What you give your attention to, you MAGNIFY. So stressing out over the problem simply magnifies the problem even further.
So what do you do? There’s the second option.
Option #2 – Fix the Problem
The second option is to start looking for a way to fix the problem.
Now this is definitely a level up from the first option. But the thing is, you still face the issue of “magnifying what you focus on.”
For most people, the focus is still on the problem. Some people develop an “obsessive fixation” with fixing the problem.
If you’re constantly obsessing about fixing the problem, what are you really focusing on?
The problem. Which seems to linger even more.
But there’s Option #3: I call it “Energy Redirection.”
And it’s best described with a quote by futurist, Buckminster “Bucky” Fuller:
“You never change things by fighting an existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.”
In this scenario, you’re flipping the problem upside down.
You create a “vision” to work towards something that doesn’t involve directly solving the problem, instead renders the problem completely irrelevant. At the same time, the vision causes you to aim for something “bigger” than the problem.
Someone breaks your heart. Yes, it’s painful. But rather than pursue them back (which may be pointless), you set a new vision — to be the ideal man or woman, so you can attract someone even better.
You get sick and are hospitalized. You set a new vision when you come out to get your body and health into even better shape than before.
To better illustrate what I mean, I want to share a story Burt Goldman, a dear friend of mine and one of Mindvalley Academy’s most long-term authors, shared with me.
This incident happened years ago when Burt was teaching a class.
He was leaving his class and decided to offer some of his students a ride home. But when they reached his car in the parking lot, he found that someone had rear-ended and dented his car, without leaving an apology note with a phone number.
His students were aghast at what had happened.
But Burt had a different approach.
After taking a quick look at the damage, he decided to take a quick trip to the mechanic to find out how much it would cost to fix.
Total damages: $300.
With that in mind, Burt decided to set a goal for himself. He mentally decided to find a way to grow his income as a trainer by $300 a month. And he wanted to do this by the end of the month.
This now became his new focus. Not the damages to his car. He forgot about that. He just used the incident of the dent as a catalyst to create a bigger vision, which would in turn render his initial problem obsolete.
This vision was big enough to inspire him to take action to achieve his goal. And he told me that it led to an insight: He decided to create slight modifications in his class brochure that would hopefully attract more students to his classes.
Sure enough, by the end of the month, Burt made an extra $300.
But because Burt had set a big vision for himself, his MONTHLY income from teaching was now $300 higher than it was before someone rear-ended his car.
So that little $300 “dent” led to Burt enhancing his business to the point where he now made an extra $300 every month. He pivoted the problem into a vision.
And that’s how energy redirection works.
So don’t get fixated on fixing the problem.
Focus instead on a greater vision that will render the initial problem obsolete.
Here’s the four steps to using energy redirection:
Step 1) Take the problem and make it into a “project”
Don’t stress out over the problem. Instead, look at it as a catalyst to propel you to a new project that you can work on in your life. In Burt’s case, the damages to his car became a project of growing his monthly income by $300.
Don’t think of it as the “problem.” Think of it as a “project.”
Our choice of words matter. And words have incredible power to move us. “Project” is an empowering word because it means creating something new.
Step 2) Create a vision that makes the problem obsolete
One of the beautiful things about setting goals is that it turns on our minds to look for answers that we never knew once existed. Whether this phenomenon is due to the reticular activation system of our brains, or simply intuition, doesn’t matter. The point is, it works.
So use the problem to inspire you to create a vision to make the problem obsolete.
Step 3) Pursue the new vision aggressively and joyfully
It may be natural to drift back to thinking about the problem, but keep in mind that by doing so, you’re not helping.
If the vision, when fully formed, will eradicate the problem, be sure to shift your focus back to the vision as much as you can. Pursue it joyfully because when we pursue a project or vision with joy, we keep ourselves in the state of Flow which makes us perform much better.
Step 4) Monitor your state of flow
In my talk, Happiness Is The New Productivity, I list how being in a happy state makes us better at solving problems.
Know that you’re not going to solve your big problems by being stressed out.
If you have a vision that’s inspiring you, and you’re monitoring your state of flow, you’re more likely to achieve your vision.
Sometimes, I find that by pursuing this philosophy, amazing things can happen.
In 2009, I almost lost my business.
Google changed its advertising policy, which favored larger advertisers — the Ikea’s and BMW’s of the world — Making it much harder for smaller businesses to run ads on their platform. A long checklist of requirements had resulted and many small businesses with startup budgets could not meet these requirements.
Mindvalley was one of those smaller businesses.
Overnight, we were no longer able to advertise on Google and it dealt a devastating blow for the company.
For the next 6 months, we were on a decline and bleeding money.
At one point, one of my key managers was organizing weekly meetings with many of our top team members to address this issue. And I still remember the title of the meeting in our calendars – “Fixing our Google problem.”
One day, I showed up for the meeting. And it was one of the most depressing meetings I have ever attended.
The energy was low. Stress was at an all-time high. And everyone was completely obsessed over fixing the problem.
So I told my team this…
“Guys, I want to suggest something…
“Number one, rather than talking about how to fix our Google problem, I want to firstly change the title of this meeting. I want it to be called, ‘How to Become a Google case study.’
“And number two, I want you to stop obsessing over fixing this problem, and instead aim to find a way, despite the budget, to create websites that are of the same quality as big industry players.
“This is our NEW goal.”
It was like flipping a magic switch.
Over the days, the energy in the meeting room became electric. Everyone felt far more motivated and driven to reach this bigger vision. Focusing on a vision is far more inspiring than focusing on fixing a problem.
But it got even better. As I mentioned earlier, when you set goals, your brain has a tendency to look for opportunities to get you closer to your goal.
Two weeks after changing the title of the meeting, I happen to be at a Google conference on mobile technology in my city.
As I was waiting in lunch, I happen to turn to the person next to me to say hi, and it turned out that he worked for Google. And he was also aware of Mindvalley.
We got talking. As I described the problem we were facing, he offered his help. I also invited him to visit our office, to share what we were doing to become a Google Case Study.
This led to a string of interesting coincidences.
Within four weeks of setting our goal, Google had sent a film crew to our office to film and interview our staff to create (you guessed it) a Google Case Study on how a small company like ours was using Google’s advertising solutions.
And that’s how Mindvalley became a Google Case Study.
That’s the power of flipping your mind from discussing the problem, to creating a vision that makes the problem obsolete.
Do this right, and amazing things can start to happen.
As my friend Michael Beckwith said in a recent interview on Consciousness Engineering
“Behind every problem, there’s a question trying to ask itself. . . .
Behind every question, there’s an answer trying to reveal itself.
Behind every answer, there’s an action trying to take place.
And behind every action, there’s a way of life trying to be born. . .”
~ Michael Bernard Beckwith