Albert Einstein is a genius. He refined physics and made almost every technology we rely on today possible.
Bill Gates is a genius. He made personal computers and software available. He maximized humans’ productivity. He changed the way we work.
Mark Zuckerberg is a genius. His side project turns him to the youngest billionaire. And he connects the world.
There are times when my mind is messy, filled with too many small useless thoughts, became extremely risk-averse, falling into a death spiral of indecisive, procrastination, and negative thinking patterns.
And there are times I feel like a genius.
Thinking like a genius for me doesn’t mean solving math problems or physic theories that no one else can. For me,
Genius = creative, focused, clarity, sharp decision-making, speedy execution.
The first part is something I do routinely to keep myself in the state of genius. For most of the time when I failed to do these things, my performance, and productivity drop, and the genius gone.
Meditate. This doesn’t need to be a long session. I usually do a 10 minutes meditation where I basically sitting still, emptying my mind, focusing on my breath. When my schedule is tight, I make it 3 minutes.
Fasting. I skip breakfast. And only eat two big meals a day, first meal at 12 noon and the second on 8 night. We (people who do the same) call this intermittent fasting. Science and research have shown that intermittent fasting helps lose weight (fat), strengthen the immune system, improve cognitive functions, and prolong life span. Besides, skipping breakfast makes my day simpler.
Cold shower. I used to do cold shower when I was a kid because we can’t afford a water heater in our house. But then after we manage to get one, I quickly dump this insane torture. However, I’m back to cold shower again. Many top performers and athletes do this, it speeds up muscle recovery and improves brain’s function. The main reason I’m doing this is because it is a proven way to strengthen mental toughness. The ice bath is the next level.
Workout. I try many types of routine but I love strength training the most. It delivers the most results (muscle growth, strength gain, fat loss) with the minimum input (in term of time). It can be track progressively. And it is always challenging. At the same time, I’m actively practicing movements to build a balanced physical autonomy.
Read. This fuels my mind with genius thoughts. If you do all the others but filled your mind with junks, you will still think junks.
Jot down key objectives before bed. This is also a shut-down ritual of mine. My mind doesn’t stop until I consciously tell him (my mind), “enough for today, let’s plan for tomorrow.” Jotting down key objectives for the next day provides next level clarity. So I don’t trap in the thinking the next day and able to get straight into the doing.
Sleep more. Don’t be like me who used to be the guy who wears the lack-of-sleep badge with honor and pride. I used to think sleeping less = working more = more productive = better results. But I was wrong. A good amount of quality sleep is important. That’s how our brain clear of the wastes accumulated during the day. Now, I do my best to clock in at least 7 hours to 9 hours of sleep. Sleep optimization is the next level.
Here is something I do (or don’t) occasionally. I think they contribute to my genius too.
I schedule a date with my genius. There are times I need to think like a genius and there are times I don’t. I don’t wait for my genius, I schedule dates with it. In other words, I don’t work only when I’m motivated, creative, and focused, I schedule time and make it a habit to practice them.
Eat clean. My diet is simple – low sugar, low carbs, low sodium, less processed foods. However, it’s not really a clean diet because I eat out frequently. My genius performs at another level when I eat clean.
Reflect. I keep a regular routine monthly and annually to reflect, revise the plan, revisit tough questions.
I don’t buy stuff. I don’t have many clothes, I don’t have a car, I visit the same restaurants, I don’t have many gadgets, I only connect with a few friends, I have only one girlfriend. (I have many books) So I make fewer decisions and worry about fewer things.
Break the pattern. When the opposite of genius happened, when I started to act like the world is going to end and I’m going to die, I laugh and dance. This works every time. It breaks the negative thought pattern, when I get better, I try to find out what is the core source of it and solve it as soon as possible.
Hangout with geniuses. Okay, I have an unfair advantage. It happens that everyone around me is a genius.
The Big Picture
I guess the truth is, everyone is a genius. These hacks and strategies may not work for you, but that is not the purpose. The purpose is to show you the big picture – you’re in control of your own genius.
Everyone is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid. – Albert Einstien
By the way, becoming a genius takes time.
Einstein published more than 300 scientific papers and 150 non-scientific ones. How many of them did you hear of? Two? Bill Gates started coding software at the age of 13. And Mark Zuckerberg started The Facebook in his dorm room.