3 Lessons on Focus from Dandapani

I first met Dandapani at an Entrepreneurs Organisation event in Istanbul in 2012, I have since met him in Boston and then helped bring him to Barcelona to spend a day with our Entrepreneurs’ Organisation chapter.

Dandapani teaches some simple but highly important lessons about awareness and our mind, and how to be intentional about your life… and in particular your energy.

Video summary from Eugene Wong on LinkedIn

Wisdom from Dandapani

  1. Winning and social approval is not the motivation of the gold medal athlete. They do it to learn more about themselves. Winning or losing is not so important, it is about knowing who you are. Failure is like an enhanced moment to learn who you truly are.
  2. Your life now is a manifestation of where you direct your energy or a sum total of where you have been investing your energy.
  3. There’s people in your life that boost your energy. There are those who are energy neutral. Be kind and detached from your energy vampires. Give the work back to them.

How to Improve your Concentration

Dandapani tells us that there are 3 steps to practice that improve our concentration:

  1. Finish that which you begin
  2. Finish it well, beyond your expectations
  3. Do a little more than you think that you are able to do

Use these 3 steps in every area of your life: from making the bed in the morning, to tidying the kitchen, to reading to your child, to writing emails, to writing blog posts…

Further Resources on Dandapani’s lessons

Check out my previous videos and blog posts that were inspired by Dandapani:

Resourcefulness. Shifting to a Growth Mindset.

How to be Resourceful

It is more valuable to be resourceful, than full of resources. It is more powerful to think in terms of possibilities, rather than what you could do with what you have now. Our imagination is an incredible gift, if we use it to imagine… not to find excuses.

“Poverty is not about a lack of resources, it is about a lack of dreams”

When times are difficult, it is easy for our mind to shrink back to our limitations. It takes a deliberate effort to shift our patterns of thought back towards possibilities. It is important for our spirits to remember our dreams. As a friend of mine says “If you have a dream and you know exactly how to achieve it, you don’t have a dream… you have a project” (Alden Mills).

In the video below, I share a pattern I have seen repeated in the language used by resourceful people.

Victor Frankl and the Source of Purpose

I often recommend people to read Victor Frankl’s book “Man’s Search for Meaning”. Frankl tells us that purpose is not something to be found outside. Purpose is not something written on a tablet for us to find in the environment. Purpose is something we decide to have. 

Ultimately, man should not ask what the meaning of his life is, but rather must recognise that it is he who is asked. In a word, each man is questioned by life; and he can only answer to life by answering for his own life; to life he can only respond by being responsible.” Viktor Frankl

If you liked this post, you will also like How to find Purpose and Self Belief: The Hero’s Journey and There are no They.

Our Brain is Teflon for the Positive, Velcro for the Negative

Neuroscience based Habits for Happiness… There is a saying that I heard recently from Elsa Punset… “Our brain is teflon for the positive and velcro for the negative” It is a powerful metaphor.

It is solidly grounded in psychological research. In good relationships the ratio of positive to negative comments is 7:1. 1 negative comment about a friend needs 7 positive statements to balance out… because our brain is so much more tuned into anything that risks our safety.

I noticed in the summer that I was paying attention to the difficulties, the challenges and was regularly in a state of anxiety and frustration. The habit that Albert shared with me – sending him a whatsapp each day for the next 21 days with 3 things I was grateful for – achieved a significant shift in how I was paying attention to the world around me… and then a shift in my inner state.

We never really have life figured out. There are a set of practices that help me remember what is important and help me put my mind into a creative, productive state. Sometimes I forget to do these practices, and over time I lose the power to access that creative, productive state.

My Grateful Whatsapp for today:

Gratitude 1/21

  • went for a run up on Ctra de les Aigues, along the mountain of Tibidabo this morning… there was a misty rain that is more common to Ireland… and it was wonderful to run with this light cooling mist.
  • I completed several Zoom-based online leadership and communications programs this week and I am feeling positive about my ability to teach via video.
  • Had a good night’s sleep. (I stopped drinking coffee 3 weeks ago because I was having trouble sleeping… and it is so good to wake up refreshed in the morning)
  • I can hear my daughter singing the music from Frozen II right now. She regularly fills our home with songs.

This morning’s run… atop the hill of Sant Pere Martir.