By far, these are two of the best books I’ve read in the past year
“In order to become present, you must first become absent”
Presence is immersion into the moment, and in order to immerse yourself into the moment, you must disappear into the moment
“As long as there’s a you, that knows you’re in the moment, you’re not in the moment”
Society likes to tell us “be in the moment” – we don’t realize how much effort and struggle it took people like Buddha to be able to “be present”
Being present is just not that simple
“The moment is something that one could immerse themselves into for a lifetime, and they’d still have to work to do”
One becomes present when he removes all the things that are an impediment to becoming present
The most obvious/largest obstacle is the self
“To truly be present, the moment must mean more to you than anything else”
There can be no experiencer, there can only be the experience
How do you approach the present state?
“The present can not be walked towards, it has to be backed into”
The present moment has to mean more to you than your anxieties, fears, insecurities etc.
You can not the treat the seeking of the present moment as a general treatment or prescription to, for example, feeling less stressed – the impetus just isn’t strong enough
The search for the present moment is something that must be searched for over the course of one’s life, it’s a long journey
Does Kapil ever worry?
When he allows himself to the play the game of the mind
We have developed the habit of playing these games, and are attracted by the bells/whistles of the mind
How does Kapil stop worrying? – “When my desire to exit the game of the mind is greater than my desire to play”
“The truth is the central source from which all the problems at hand were born”
Upon examining the source, if you remove the central element on which the problem rests, then the problem will come tumbling down
Every situation you are facing has an absolutely truth. Once you find that, you will find your way.
Instead of pursuing prescriptions, pursue this truth
Kapil tells a story from his upcoming book as an example
If someone calls one stupid, and that person gets angry, you have to examine why that person became angry – why did the anger arise?
If someone called you a cloud, would you get angry?
The reason the anger arose – when that person was called stupid, he or she for a moment, entertained the possibility that they were in fact stupid
When that possibility was entertained, the ego did not like the fact that part of them entertained the idea that they were stupid – this produces internal conflict which outwardly manifests itself as anger -THE TRUTH
“Awareness of the truth is the cure. All doings are done when someone does not have awareness of the truth.”
When you start to recognize the truth of everyday situations, your life will change
On Being Empty Professionally
When it comes down to it, many people are miserable at work
Why do we put up with these unsatisfactory careers
“Something within us is acceptable to us that we’re there”
The comfortableness of being there, is something that means more to us than the comfortableness of leaving
Kapil rejects the idea of a job and having a boss
“Any human being, who lives under the weight and the thumb of someone else, is a prisoner. That human being already has a tyrannical warden called his mind; he doesn’t need two of them.”
In regards to the argument of having to work to put food on the table – “It’s better to live on the street. I really mean it.”
“It’s beneath human beings to have a job.”
Unless what you do makes you jump out of be every morning, and allows you to get fully immersed, then fine
“The things that the mind tells me are correct, are almost never correct”
For this reason, Kapil has stopped listening to the mind
He’s learned to not allow the mind to have a say
The mind always lies
How do we start to let go of the mind, and start realizing that what the mind says, is often false?
Sincerity – in really wanting to learn about the true nature of the mind (it’s habits, patterns etc.)
Experimentation – if one is sincere, they will experiment by seeing how often the thoughts created by the mind are right. How often have our thoughts generally helped/hurt us? Be a third party observer.
A quote I like to remind myself of – “Don’t believe everything you think”
“The mind can move mountains, but it can only move mountains once you are no longer under its control”
Kapil’s main goal – to be the master of his own mind, and to understand how everything works
“When I solve this Rubik’s cube, nothing can affect me anymore. I am no longer a prisoner of anything.”
What ignites doubt within people?
Fear of not getting what they want to get
Fear and desire go hand in hand – “Whenever the mind desires something, it fears not getting it ten times as much”
This causes self doubt
How do you solve this?
If there was a poisonous snake under your chair, you wouldn’t ask what to do. You could jump up and run away, you could stay completely still, or perhaps grab the head of the snake. What you do is irrelevant. What matters is you are armed with the knowledge and insight that there is a snake under your chair?
Whenever there is a consequence, there is fear
What is confidence?
Confidence comes from systems. In order to have confidence in a task, you have to have a system that performs that task for you.
Confidence is more about surrendering yourself to a system, than trying to produce a certain outcome
If you yourself try to produce a certain outcome, most of the time it won’t work out and you’ll be disappointed
If you create a system, then the system does the action, and you have confidence in it
For example, a person has confidence that a river (the system) will take him down a stream. The outcome (going down the river) is not up to him.
To have confidence, create a system that can be relied upon. Test constantly for it’s efficiency, and refine it until the system produces the outcome you desire most, if not all of the time. Have confidence in the system, not yourself.
“The thing is never about the thing”
It’s never about the action, it’s about the source of the action
Same with carrying out the action, it’s not about this, but about the intention behind it
The execution is a natural byproduct of the impetus
You yourself are not the executor of the action. if you believe otherwise, you will be inefficient far more than you are efficient, and you will lose confidence. You will then believe you need to refine your technique to execute better.
“We never do what we don’t want to do”
All of our actions are motivated by our own intrinsic inspirations and motivations regardless of what we tell ourselves
Kapil thinks the notion of self-talk is garbage
“You can tell yourself you’re great all the time, but what’s your mind going to say back. Whose voice do you think wins?”
If Kapil was running a fast growing company, what, as a CEO, would his leadership style look like?
All things, at the end of the day, come down to leading yourself with perfection
When you operate from a place of sincere motivation, and you’re constantly observing the holes in yourself, it has an effect on people
This has a ripple effect on people that compels them to walk along those lines
“Who you are creates who the company becomes”
It’s about examining closely your motivations for doing everything that you do, in each interaction, the way you walk into the office etc. – this sets the tone for everyone
Kapil would recruit and surround himself with the people whose abilities were in line with a pursuit towards making something great
“You are the walking example. The becoming is the message. Talk is cheap.”
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