From Dread to Excitement (Powerful Mindset Shift!)

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  • “The dread that comes, that existential dilemma that comes in times of turmoil, is actually not anything happening right now, it’s a disconnection from the future.”
  • If you’ve been experiencing dread, learn how to adopt this powerful mindset to start building in more excitement into your day, weeks, months, and year!
  • “When we don’t have something to be excited about, when we don’t have that compelling future, that thing to look forward to, that thing to celebrate, that thing to be excited about, the week and the days feel like a slog, even when it’s good.”
  • Going through the motions is easy, but it can start to turn into dread when you have nothing to look forward to. Here’s how to use visualization to feel excited about your future again!
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[The following is the full transcript of this episode of The Brendon Show. Please note that this episode, like all TBS episodes, features Brendon speaking extemporaneously–he is unscripted and unedited. Filmed in one take, The Brendon Show has become one of the most viewed unscripted, direct-to-camera self-help series in the history of YouTube. It has also been the #1 Podcast in all of iTunes and is regularly in the top podcasts in Self-Help and Health categories around the globe. Subscribe to the free motivational podcast on iTunes or Stitcher.)

This first idea, when you go into protection, when you go into caretaking, when go into managing the energy of everybody else and just hoping to make it through the day, what happens is enough days of that, and disconnection from the future, this dichotomy starts happening, this challenge, this thing here: dread versus excitement. Even great leaders can start to feel dread about the day.

“Ugh, now I’m going to have to go manage more complaints from other people.”
“Ugh, I’m going to have to manage the attitude of my snarky husband.”
“Ugh, I’m going to have to deal with that grumpy person over here.”
“Ugh, I got to answer all those emails!”

So, even in the context of abundance, joy, the good positive energy you can have, when every day can start to feel a little groundhog day, it can start to feel like dread. Even Bill Murray, one of the most fun people on the planet, in Groundhog Day, starts to have dread. And I want you to be attentive to your energy. Over these last seven days, how many days did you feel a little bit of dread? And I wanted to share with you, it’s okay, because you might not have been aware of that dread. It’s not about your life. The dread’s not about the kids, it’s not about the husband, the dread’s not about your health.

The dread that comes, that existential dilemma that comes in times of turmoil, is actually not anything happening right now, it’s a disconnection from the future.

Sometimes, we get it wrong.

We think everything around us is wrong. Actually, we just don’t have a connection. We don’t have something to be excited about. When we don’t have something to be excited about, when we don’t have that compelling future, that thing to look forward to, that thing to celebrate, that thing to be excited about, the week, the day feels like a slog, even when it’s good.

Even when it’s good. You got a good husband, you got a good job, you got some money coming in from the business, you got good opportunities, but in times of crisis when it feels like a slog, when there’s dread there, it’s not that the opportunities, or the husband, or the kids, or the house is wrong; sometimes, you lost connection with what to look forward to, and that was the missing thing. That was the piece of psychology. I know, ’cause I’ve talked with many of you, and we’ve been doing these Lives, I know that sometimes you’re just dealing with the stuff right now. And so, how are we going to win the year? Today’s the pivot.

Today, you are going to design back into your weeks, back into your months, and back, by the end of this year, you are going to design into your days on purpose, visualization of the future, everyday.

Visualization of the future, every single day. Just as you might meditate everyday, I want to turn that into a purposeful, deliberate, visualization of something that you are excited about, you are thrilled about, you can’t wait to happen.

I don’t care if it’s next week, I don’t care if it’s a big thing or a small thing, I don’t care if it’s December 31st, 2020. We’ve got to find those things, and we need more of them than you have been granting yourself in the last 60 days. Many of you have not granted yourself anything to be excited about in the last 60 days. It was more like, “God, I got to figure out how to work out here now at home, that kind of sucks, and oh, I got to figure out this homeschool thing, that kind of sucks, and I got to figure out how to deal with this grumpy spouse, that kind of sucks, and there’s all this…”

That’s life, you know? You’re dealing with these things, you’re like, aah! And dread. We need to build in excitement. We need to build in anticipation, optimism, thrill, adventure. We need to build those things back in. That’s how you are going to win this year.

You’re going to make a pivot right now to institute a new protocol of daily connection with the future. That’s your new protocol: daily connection. Listen, this is different than just writing a goal down. No, I want you to see it, feel it, think about it, dream it, visualize it, and build in every single day or week or month the win, the reward—that thing to celebrate.

Now, this can happen on small terms and big terms. Let me give you some examples. Well, some of you just had that, right? Who looked forward to Cinco de Mayo like crazy? Okay, let me tell you about a little win we had this week. Cinco de Mayo down here in Puerto Rico. We’ve been locked in for so long, and a local store, a local restaurant said, “You know what, we’re going to put together a Cinco de Mayo offer for our community. You can come over here and pick up a huge tray of tacos and a whole glass bottle of margarita.” I’ll tell you, you thought this place just won 54 NBA championships, 74 Super Bowls, and 100 lotteries all in the same moment.

When that email went out and this community got that, it was like, “Woo!” The whole thing was something to look forward to. We don’t have to cook, we can go pick up stuff, ’cause I’m not in a place where there’s a lot of stuff that delivers to your door, so, Denise has been cooking and cooking, and we’ve been at home, and I was thinking we get to go get some stuff, come back home, and celebrate? Have a margarita? Simple win. We looked forward to that for three days. Simple. Not a big thing.

But maybe all week, you could talk about how with the kids—”Hey, on Saturday, we’re going to go to the park. What toys should we bring? Let’s bring a picnic, what would you like us to bring in the picnic basket? Oh, when we go to the park, how long do you want to stay at the park? What games do you want to play at the park? These conversations of anticipation, it’s got to be built in, and listen, I know the mistakes. Sometimes, people go, “Well, Brendon, let’s wait and see how things turn out. Yeah, okay, I like this idea, but let me plan for October. Let me plan for November. Come on, Brendon, there’s nothing that’s going to happen til 2021.” No, this week, the next seven days was something you can look forward to.

Don’t wait for it to hopefully happen, build it in. You got to build in the rewards, the vibrancy, the adventure, the fulfillment, the daily connection of conversation with your spouse, with your partner, about something coming up. Even in moments of delay.

I’ll give you another simple example. When we came to Puerto Rico, my dream, as many of you guys know, since I was a teenager, I wanted to live in the Caribbean. I had that dream of living on a white, sandy beach with some palm trees, writing, overlooking the ocean, taking daily walks on the beach, running on the beach, swimming in the ocean. I wanted that my whole life. I thought maybe one day I’ll get to a point, then I’ll retire down in the Caribbean, somewhere. You know, ’cause I thought you had to leave the country, and I thought you had to go down there. Well, Puerto Rico is a US territory, so we didn’t have to give up a passport. We’re still under the same Federal guidelines and laws, and I thought, “Okay, you know what? I came down here, I fell in love with the place. Well, we’ve been down here for two years, and we’ve been trying to figure out. Well, where do we live? What’s our vibe and what we want?”

Long story short, there was a new development being built, and Denise and I decided okay, let’s get on that. It was new construction, it was a new building going to be built, and so, we purchased, and as you can imagine, it takes a long time to get things done in the Caribbean, so we’ve been waiting, and then the pandemic hits, and in the meantime, we’ve been renting places, trying to figure out where we’re going to live, and waiting for this new construction to finish.

Well, of course, construction completely comes to a halt on non-essential things like new construction down here, and so for the last 60 plus days, there’s been no construction on our future home. So, it’s like we’re not living where we want, and we’re just kind of waiting it out, and yet, instead of having that as a sense of dread, Denise goes into planning mode. Now, we don’t know when we’re going to get there, but we can still plan. So, she’s already designed every single room. She’s already shown me the layouts and everything, still been moving forward the pieces that she can, ordering this, getting that light, getting that fan, and doing things.

Listen, how many of you had a trip or a vacation canceled? Anyone? Yeah, you had something you were looking forward to, you had to cancel it, you know? We were looking forward to going to a certain foreign country, this year, and had to cancel. But guess what, we can still go, “Okay, we don’t know, are we going to do that in September, now? Is that going to happen in October? We don’t have a date, but guess what we can still do? Well, what are we going to do when we get there?” So, we’re still researching what the cool activities are that we’ll do when we go there. What are the adventures we’ll have when we go there? Who might we get to invite when we go there? We don’t know the date, but the trip is visual. It’s real, we know the things we’re going to do there, and that is a post into the future that we can look forward to, talk, discuss, dream of.

It can be that simple. It can be a place you’re going to go, a family outing, but here’s what I want to know—listen, the difference between what I’m talking about…

This is not hope and inspiration, this is coaching you to sit down today with a calendar and every single week, build something in that you can look forward to and talk to with your spouse, your partner, your family, your team. Build it in, talk about it, discuss it, get excited about it. That’s what you got to do.

It’s tactical, it’s every day. I want you to sit there. For me, it’s when I wake up in the morning. When I wake up in the morning, I lay in bed for an extra couple of minutes, and I just visualize and think about things I’m excited about, think about the future, think about things I don’t even know how it’s going to happen, you know, we’re working on a documentary. I have no idea when that’s going to get done. No idea when it’s going to come out, but I sit there and I imagine scenes that might be in it, conversations that might be in it, places we might air it, just sit and dream about it. I don’t get attached to: does it turn out exactly as I wanted? No, no, no, that’s called flexibility. That’s adaptability, my friends. That’s your ability as a high-performer, to pivot, to make things happen, to manifest.

You can do that, but manifestation comes after visualization, and if you’re not manifesting what you’re wanting, and if you’re not manifesting the energy that you want in your life, I promise there is a disconnection with the future. And it’s not because the future doesn’t hold promises for you, it’s because you haven’t made plans for the future, because you’re scared they won’t come true.

I want you to visualize a bigger future for yourself than you ever have before, not because it’s disconnected from the reality of the pandemic right now, but because you have a choice, and it’s right here.

If you’re going through the motions, dread will be there. If you’re not visualizing the future, dread will be there.

Even if you have good things in the world, and you have to do them every single day, dread will be there. But if you build in excitement, and you get to figure out what that means for you, psychologically. You got to figure out what that means for you, your family, your spouse, psychologically, emotionally, spiritually. You got to know the answers. I don’t know the answers. My job, as your coach, is give you that prompt, beg you, cajole you, cheer you on, give you that impetus to say, “Oh, how do I build excitement back in? Because dang it, I’ve been in too much protection zone. I’ve been a little bit myopic-focused right now to handle things.”

Listen, I talked to a friend last night who lost everything. Laid off 30 employees, been building his dream for 17 plus years, lost the business. Lost the business in this. The dread was there. It was real. The day before that, a dear friend of mine lost a family member to coronavirus. The dread was there. The grief was there. Both people had to cope.

So, when I talk about visualization, manifestations, and hopes and dreams, I don’t do it disconnected from reality.

I say if we don’t touch base with that future, if we can’t see ourselves moving on when we lose family, if we can’t see ourselves rebuilding, if we can’t see ourselves with a better future, then what’s it going to feel like? And who owns the fact that it feels like that? Because we have that choice.

Sometimes, we just forget the choice, and we forget the ability to build that excitement in, to build that in, ’cause even in the person who lost family members, they could start thinking about how are we going to honor this person? When things come around, when we can get together to celebrate this person’s life, how are we going to get together to celebrate this person’s life? Let’s do that. Let’s get together and celebrate this person’s life. How can we build things, create things, share things together to celebrate this person’s life?

“Oh, I lost my job, oh, I lost my business. What can I be excited about starting anew, because now, there’s all this white space. What can I learn? I wanted to learn these things. For years, I’ve wanted to do these specific things, and let me try them, now. Let me get excited about those things.”

I’m not saying that the loss isn’t there, and I’m not saying detach from the loss, be unaware, try to stuff it down, I’m saying that can be there, and excitement, and adventure, and joy. The human being is capable of holding extraordinary amounts of emotion, extraordinary ability to expand and feel. There’s this myth that you can’t be angry and grateful at the same time. I’m like, “Oh, that person has never studied emotion, ever.” That’s not true. It’s not true. It’s a nice thought, and it reminds us of a dichotomy of a choice that we get to make, but we can simultaneously have emotions and feelings, because they do linger. Absolutely. I can be grateful that I had my father, and mad in the same instant that he’s dead. Sad that he’s gone. I can be grateful for an opportunity, and sad that I’m not capable or ready for it yet. It’s okay, we are immense inside. What I’m saying is it’s okay if you feel vulnerable, or sad, or lost, where you’re struggling with capability and coping, and that is also, though, why I encourage you to build in those touchpoints with the future.