Your Idea Is Limitless
I recently rented a movie called “Limitless”, which was about an ineffective, unsuccessful guy who is given a pill that gives him access to his entire brain. You know how they say you only use 5% of your brain? This pill enabled him to use it all. He became so sharp, so clear, so smart and his career took off. Imagine how you would be if your entire brain was on-line. No brain fog, no confusion, no questions. As the main character described it, “I knew exactly what I needed to do and I knew how to do it.”
When I work with people and their ideas, this is always where it breaks down. They call me because they are not sure what needs to be done and/or they don’t know how to do it. What did this movie’s main character tap into that enabled him to accomplish his goals so easily?
First, he could see solutions. In other words, he wasn’t trapped by his own confusion or fear. There’s a scene where the bad guy is trying to kill his girlfriend. She’s momentarily safe in a hiding place in Central Park, NY. She is freaking out because this mobster with a large knife is looking for her. She’s so afraid that she’s paralyzed and completely unsure what to do. Her boyfriend tells her to take one of the pills, just take it and you will be able to think yourself out of this. You will see a solution, he tells her, a path through what seems impossible. She takes one of the clear pills and swallows it and within 30 seconds, her face changes. She scans the situation coolly and then decisively acts, using all the available resources around her, knocking out the bad guy and escaping.
We see with our brains, not our eyes. The scene in front of you – the newspaper if you’re reading this in print or your monitor if you’re reading this on-line is seen inside your brain, not outside of you. And our visual processing system is very connected to our emotions. What we see is colored by our feelings. This is why the girlfriend in the movie, when she was scared, looked around her and couldn’t see her way out. But when she shifted into a different state – via a pill in the film’s case – she saw opportunities in what had seconds before looked impossible.
If you feel unbelievably, agonizingly, impossibly stuck, I’m not recommending drugs but rather the recognition that what you see as impossible is a fiction. There are solutions and opportunities all around you right now. No matter what your idea is or your question about your idea, there is a solution at hand. The problem that you are focusing on is not the issue. Rather, it’s your perception of the situation that is the issue.
What is your process for opening your eyes to solutions? Some people go for a walk, some people meditate. I believe it was Alexander Graham Bell who sat in a comfortable chair with metal balls in his hands. He knew that the state right before sleep was where he got his answers. He didn’t know the name at the time, but he was trying to get into and stay in the theta frequency. He would close his eyes and drift off and when he fell asleep, he would drop the balls and wake up, knowing he had gone too far. And he did it again and again until he could hold that state just before sleep without actually nodding off. Success with your idea is not about having all the answers but about knowing yourself so well that you know the secret to shifting your own state, and therefore your perceptions. How do you do this?