The Secret Formula for Happiness, Success, and Well-being, part three The Key to Everything (#929)

If you missed part one, “Waking Up to a Deeper Truth”, you can read it here.

If you missed part two, “How the Mind Works”, you can read it here.

Over the past couple of weeks, I’ve been sharing the story of how a mission launched back in 1990 has led to the work I now do in unleashing the human potential. In part one, we talked about the infinite creative potential of human beings and the possibility of a whole new way of being in the world; in part two I shared some “thought experiments” which help highlight the way that thought creates our experience of life and at times obscures a deeper reality of peace and possibility.

This week, I want to share what for me has been the final piece of the puzzle – the Rosetta stone which unlocks our deeper potential and allows us to live more in the light of our creative genius. I’m going to share this “key” in two simple words of potentially life-changing advice, then I’m going to talk about why they matter so much and how to make use of them in your own life.

Here’s the key:

Settle down

Now in case you’re not hearing trumpets and choirs of angels singing in the background, let’s talk about it…

1. People do really well when they’re settled down

Great athletes and performers in every arena of life talk about “flow states” – periods of time where everything seems to come together and they are able to operate at the peak of their powers with little or no extraneous thought. Yet the same thing is true for all of us. When our thinking minds are at rest, the deeper mind comes through, and we effortlessly make largely unconscious “no-brainer” decisions to navigate whatever arena we find ourselves in.

We seem to intuitively know that we’ll do our best by approaching important situations with a clear head, which is why we know to take ourselves for a walk around the block, a quiet cup of coffee, or even an extended bathroom break before having a significant conversation or making a big decision.

Which begins to answer the question everyone asks when they start to see the importance of settling down – how do I do it?

2. Settling down is the most natural thing in the world

Ever see a young child having a tantrum? They can be contorting like an insane orangutan, screaming things normally reserved for the scripts of horror movies, and then minutes later, they’re as good as new, happily toddling along to take part in their next adventure.

So why is this the key to pretty much everything?

3. A settled down mind is the gateway for both creative insight and leaps in consciousness

I was talking to an executive last week about a huge breakthrough at his company. His top engineers had spotted a design flaw in the company’s most important product line which was going to take a minimum of one year to correct, as the only plausible fix involved retooling the factories involved in its manufacture. After racking their brains for weeks to find an alternative, they finally admitted defeat late one night and the executive prepared to make a formal announcement the next morning about changes that would cost the company tens of millions of dollars and probably lose them their most important customer.

To his surprise, when he came back into the office at 6am, the team of engineers were already there, hard at work. When he asked them what was going on, it turned out that having given up on solving the problem, their minds settled down. Independent of one another, each of them had had a creative insight into solving the problem and made their way back into work in the middle of the night, only to find their colleagues already there working. The problem was solved, and over time this “back burner” approach to creativity became standard operating procedure within the company.

But it’s not just creative insights that come through a settled down mind – it’s also the kind of leaps in consciousness that change our experience of life across the board.

Here’s how I explained it to a client recently:

Imagine yourself inside the glass elevator of consciousness. You know that it’s designed to go up, but for the life of you you can’t find the controls anywhere. There’s a button marked “meditation” which works sometimes but not others; so does the one marked “prayer”, and the ones labelled “walks in nature”, “deeper understanding”, and “hang out in a peaceful feeling”.The more you walk around trying to find buttons to make the elevator rise, the more it bounces up and down, occasionally taking you higher but just as often dropping you down into lower levels of consciousness and muddle.

I did a poetry course at university many years ago, and got into several arguments with my professor that no matter how convinced I was that Suzanne Vega was the only person in the world who really understood me, song lyrics did not qualify as poetry. Be that as it may, I’m going to conclude this trilogy of tips with a song lyric from a fairly recent hit called “Home”, written by Greg Holden and Drew Pearson and performed by Phillip Phillips:

Hold on, to me as we go
As we roll down this unfamiliar road
And although this wave (wave) is stringing us along
Just know you’re not alone
Cause I’m gonna make this place your home

Settle down, it’ll all be clear
Don’t pay no mind to the demons
They fill you with fear
The trouble it might drag you down
You get lost, you can always be found

Just know you’re not alone
Cause I’m gonna make this place your home

With all my love,


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