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mental inner game

Mental Inner Game: Mind - Opening Frames for Peace and Creativity

Mental Inner Game: Mind - Opening Frames for Peace and Creativity


“You can not open your heart, it is already open. It is the mind that is closed, and which must open to the heart.”

Peter Russell.

Right at the moment when I started writing this article I came across this powerful quote by Peter Russell, and it connected all final dots in it.

Indeed. Your mind may never get quiet, but make it flexible and the heart will get in. Zen Buddhist tradition says “to open the hand of thought”.

Multi-layered perception of the ongoing reality is at the core of many spiritual traditions; in fact, all of them. Although mostly shamans (or curanderos) are associated with trespassing dimensions, as this is from where they heal, the state of “between-the-planes-of reality” is natural to all greatest spiritual influencers of this planet. It is innate, and often unconscious, in many geniuses and people who change the world with their thoughts and actions. It is also a well- known “after- effect” of many mind-broadening “techniques”, which, however, has to be properly integrated in one’s personality.

The unconscious mastery of “mental inner game” of shamans, remarkable teachers and geniuses is so high that we tend to say: “they are looking from the heart.” Either through ancient books, in person, or even through the different versions of ourselves — we all have met these “geniuses” at least once. And we always remember. They lack judgement and yet the level of their moral integrity is nonpareil. Of no doubt, they know how to put it into verbal messages. Their messages are always manifold yet can be very simple in wording. They come from the interplay between the world where everything is solid and defined, and the world where nothing has its own meaning: and it’s fluid, and makes no sense, and perfect. Whether in the form of poetry which cuts through your aesthetic frontiers, cleaning out your juicy drama, or in the form of guiding quotes, these messages send you into a new orbit of existence. Messages that trespass your old structures.

Roberts Dilts wrote a book “Cognitive patterns of Jesus from Nazareth” where he made a deeper structures analysis of the language patterns of Jesus Christ to demonstrate this.

We can argue whether such people are “being all love”, as they often feel a bit “at a distance” which is natural for the multilayered vision. However, we definitely cannot argue that either in real presence or through texts these people feel vastly open–minded. Using Castaneda’s terminology, the balance between their first attention (in the now) and second attention (the position of the observer of the observer), is so perfectly calibrated, that their lens of perception bears minimum distortion of a subjective nature but remains inseparably connected with the present moment. Siberian shamans have a rule of “not splitting the attention” or “one focus at a time”. Meaning that your attention is priceless, as it gives power to wherever you put it. But the essential part is keeping one focus at a time, but being in the position of the observer simultaneously, and thus remaining spacious.

This article is based on my interest in shamanism (mainly Huna), Zen Buddhism, and ancient texts of different heritages. It’s an interpretation of several perspectives that are common for many spiritual and mystic traditions and can be viewed as mind — expanding “frames”.


Mastering the "mental inner game"

Wherever you are is the entry point. 


From the shamanic and many spiritual traditions’ view nothing has its own meaning. Meaning is something we create ourselves. Meanings are all derived from our internal “maps” of the world. In Zen Buddhist tradition we are only here, because our world is here. When we pass away, our world vanishes with us. There is no world left outside of us. Different internal worlds, or maps, will give different meanings to the same experiences. The depth and intuitiveness of our internal maps underlie such human virtues as broad-mindedness, whole-heartedness and the ability to provide space to other people at wherever they are.

Creating meanings is an intricate process, but quite often it is very deeply patterned in us. You can compare it to having a photo lens and always choosing the same settings for it, simply because you don’t know your lens has any other. The settings we are applying for our lenses punctuate our experiences in the present moment.

In that sense, acknowledging that you have a choice of lenses through which you are looking at something, is mindfulness.

Playing with these “settings” is a brilliant example of how you are co-creating any experience. Sometimes it is the only way to comprehend something. Although at a certain point it can become a natural state of your being, which most probably is not even realised by you, mastering this game can take time. And it is NOT about what’s going on in your head, but about the whole “state” where it puts you. At least this is when it has real power and healing potential.

Below are only five of them, but they are enough.

1. Playing with timelines. Of course — time. The first thing to mention about a shamanic vision and the inner game is knowing how to go out of time. Both pain and pleasure can be all-consuming within a short-term frame. Expand the timeline to include more months, years or even lives into a moment, and observe how your experience will change its significance and meaning. We each have our subjective feeling of time. When this feeling suddenly expands, we experience awe. Whether it is a shocking event, a mind-bending psychedelic trip or witnessing the vastness of nature elements, the sudden expansion of time makes us small and humble. It can be healing and terrifying at once. Keeping this “time aperture” wide-open, and yet being fully in the present moment, is natural for shamans and spiritually-awakened people. Keeping it too wide open for a prolonged period of time, without grounding, can cause a psychosis. Play with it mindfully. Time is a gentle healer. Time is also a gentle killer.

Acknowledging a timeline for any event in your life will alter the perception of its tempo and direction. If you have one hour for saying goodbye to a lover in an airport, your whole experience will have different accents, colours and sounds from the same experience if you only have 5 minutes. Most of our lives we don’t realize that we have no control over how much time we have left for something (in both directions). Respecting this unknown changes any context.

2. Creative limitation frame. Any kind of limitation is a possibility for creativity. We create by having less options, less choices, less opportunities. Creativity is being born out of “HOW”. All limitations open co-creating opportunities. If Beethoven had 64 notes instead of 7, MoonLight Sonata would never happen.

Whenever you think you are lacking something or have lost something — there is a new road hidden nearby. You have to make a guess how to unveil it. The limitation onset is a point of uniqueness, where you create the new choice.

This frame is second to none when listening to someone’s criticism. Critique as an art was born in ancient Greece to diversify the way of looking at things as well as to refine eloquence. However, in its less artistic expression, it takes forms of judgements and sometimes traumatic verbal interchanges. Criticism in childhood is often a source of trauma; in a shamanic language, it causes a soul loss. Many have experienced, but not consciously realized, that if there is no “how” in the criticism, it has an effect of hypnosis. It puts you in a trance-like condition because linguistically it is structured as an equivalence statement. “This is bad.” “You are wrong.” “Your work is useless.” These kinds of statements presuppose that someone knows 100% that something is equivalent to something else. These statements don’t give you any chance for feedback, neither are they providing any insight that can help. The only option they suggest is saying “yes” or “no” to it. In both cases, the effect such statements are producing is shutting you down and thus making you controllable.

To an even greater extent, all the above refers to your self-critic. If your judgmental self-narrative is not offering you any “how”, you are hypnotizing yourself into your own victim.

Instead, offering any question with “how” in response (how do you know this is true? How can I stop being “bad”? How do you define “bad”? etc.) re-directs you towards the state of creativity.

Wise criticism always challenges the richness of your mental map and offers the ways to create flexibility within its rigid parts.

You may notice this across many different spiritual traditions. The answer to the “how” question is often embedded in the language patterns of people who know how to go out of context and play with lenses.

3. Depth of field. Depth of field is a photography term that refers to how much of the image is in focus, and the priorities between the objects within the image. The “depth of field” of our own vision — the same as in the photo camera glass— varies constantly … but much less predictably. Every time you are about to form an opinion about something, especially someone, remind yourself that you are only seeing 2 % of it; hardly more. Richard Moss said that the distance between ourselves and others is precisely the distance between ourselves and ourselves. Can you measure this distance between yourself and yourself? Is it constant? Is it fluctuating? Does the feeling of this distance come in diverse demeanours? Or always the same?

So many peculiarities to “measure” about your own inner territories before you think you can “see” others. This is probably why judging in general is at the angle of mindfulness. Because most of the time we only see such a small fraction of anything. It is good to remind ourselves about it from time to time. 

Also judging is a sheerly human trait. Imagine your dog judging you silently for not keeping up with her expectations… Or a tiger judging the other tiger for not preying skilfully enough. Only humans have given themselves this privilege. 

In fact, it is what, how and why we judge that reflects the richness of our inner world. Just think of how many things we have no cognisance, but we make ourselves believe that we do — death, birth, God, Cosmos — to name a few. The major part of what we know is only what something IS in our own world. If the depth of this “knowing” is crossing at a point of someone else’s depth — we are lucky to meet each other … 

And the last two that are powerfully interconnected. 

Later echoed by some psychotherapy schools, they take roots in ancient spiritual traditions.

4. Everything has a positive intention.

Eckhart Tolle said that the ultimate goal of everything is finding peace.

Whether you realize it or not every action is pointed towards a favourable outcome. The favourability of the outcome may not be straightforward for everybody involved, since it depends on the interpretation, but the intention is always to bring change needed. From a broader perspective, we can say that the intention of every action is ultimately peace. Peace on our terms, or peace of a higher meaning depends on the level of integrity of the individuals involved. But peace is the only intent at the core of any interaction, including your inner dialogues with your higher and lower-selves. However, the well-known proverb about the road to hell that is paved with good intentions, is also hinting exactly at this postulate. All wars are looking for peace, on someone’s own terms. 

5. People make the best choices available to them at any given time.

It is an illusion that we could have done better. As a consequence of the unique juncture of our personality with the facets of reality we live in, every given minute of time we are making our best choices. Our choices are always a reflection of our “inner maps”. Even when we make mistakes and realize that we could have made a different choice, it’s exactly at the moment when we realize it, that we can make a “better” (a different) choice. But not BEFORE that. It is these “mistakes” that refine our inner worlds. Thus, we are always “right” to the best of our abilities. The only time when we are wrong is when we think we could have been doing better. The same is true for everybody.

The combination of these two together is offering the following: We are making our best choices every given moment of time with the ultimate purpose to find peace.

Nothing else to add …

Although the list of such “frames” can go on, even applying only one of them into your worldview can eliminate patterns that don’t serve you any more. 

In the end, it’s an illusion that there are many wisdoms to learn and new things to discover. Everything is already in front of our eyes — seeing it is the key.

Change how you see — and see how you change.

Zen Proverb

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binaural beats

Binaural beats: extraordinary habit for your brain’s health and creativity

Binaural beats: extraordinary habit for your brain's health and creativity.

These days, people have lost their connection with many powerful elements of energy and nature; sound being one of them as a means of healing and brain entertainment.

Although for those who do some spiritual practices sound therapy may be familiar, its benefits are still largely underestimated by the modern society. Those who don’t have time or inclination for some spiritual work may consider it too far-out.

Although, if you make the sound therapy exercises a part of your daily (or at least weekly) routine, it may bring some fresh tides into your sense of wellbeing where “being present” is not a something lofty or requiring tons of inner stamina, but rather a natural state of your mind when you feel relaxed, tuned in, sensitive, thoughtful and psychic.

Isn’t it ironic then, how this natural state has been treated as very unnatural for the majority of human history?

Tuning into yourself is personal for everybody, and you don’t need daily yoga, meditations, mantras and esoteric readings to start. For some people, signing up for the “inspirational quotes” pages on Facebook may become a kick.

This article will point you toward yet another simple trick to get your mind closer to the quiet state.

Sometimes people become so stressed, rigid and merged with their hectic pace that they literally reject anything that could calm them down; eventually even losing track of what initially triggered the stress.

But even for these people, binaural beats can form an invaluable tool to make them feel different and strip some strain off their nerves.

Even starting by listening to binaural beats twice a week will help you discover the potency that they can manifest for the emotional state, brain and body. This is an ancient knowledge which has been utilised for centuries by our ancestors.


What Is A Binaural Beat?

A binaural beat is the tone (or frequency) perceived by the brain when two different tones very close in pitch are being sent to the listener’s ears simultaneously and interfere with one another, resulting in them producing a third tone which is the difference between their pitches.

The pitch difference is usually very insignificant (no more than 30 HZ), but once recognized it becomes a low-frequency pulse for the brain and makes it follow this pulse.

To illustrate: 550 HZ is being presented to your right ear and 560 HZ to the left ear simultaneously. The difference of 10 HZ will be the binaural beat caught by the brain.

Why do we call it a beat? Because the lowest frequency the human ear can detect as a sound is 16 HZ. Everything lower than that will be perceived as rhythmic pulsation (we literally hear something like “wah wah”) while the brain follows the frequency.


There are not many activities in everyday life where a human brain engages both hemispheres to work synchronically for producing a certain result.

However, there are special exercises to develop the ability to synchronize the two halves of the brain. A good example of a situation where the brain has to switch on both hemispheres at maximum capacity is when one interprets a foreign language.

I have studied simultaneous interpreting at university with my thesis work dedicated to the cognitive understanding of the process.

Based on my research and personal self-observation during the interpretation process, I found that it’s actually not that much about the language proficiency as it is about the refined brain behavior, which integrates many conscious and unconscious strategies in parallel to automatize the process as much as possible, ironically making it a brain skill more than a foreign language fluency.

However, this is an extreme condition for the brain to function in, and although being very stimulating and benevolent for the neural connectivity, it can hardly be recommended as a meditation practice.

Although similarly to meditation practice, exercising your brain in such an unusual fashion can give you great re-charge and feeling of light euphoria accompanied by relaxation which lots of simultaneous interpreters experience at the end of the day.

But more relaxing tools are out there, amongst which we find binaural beats. Extracting the binaural beat, in a similar fashion as the interpreter extracting language meaning, is an activity that synchronizes your brain but in this case, in a much more affordable and pleasant manner than conference interpreting.

Since the brain can only hear one tone at a time, both hemispheres start working in synergy to extract this one tone out of the two, thus immersing the whole brain into synchronization (with certain brainwaves dominating).


Binaural Beats and Brain Waves: Altered States

As we know, the length of the brain waves defines its mental state. Ancient shamans and healers knew a lot about the magic of repetitive drumming and chanting as a means of revitalizing the connection between not only the brain halves but also the human brain and body and the unconscious.

Ancient music was often much more diverse in terms of harmonics, sometimes incorporating the copied rhythms of nature — animals running, winds blowing, ocean sounds, etc.

It was also charged with lots of psychoacoustic tricks. For example, many ancient tribal drum rituals used 4.5 beats per second rhythm to evoke the trance-like condition; the human brain reflecting it back at the same frequency started producing theta waves (4–8 HZ).

This length of brain wave is associated with deep meditations, trance states of mind, access to the unconscious, REM sleep and increased creativity.

The 4 HZ binaural beat is probably the most famous one among people well-acquainted with the topic.

It is through Theta waves that the brain can heal our painful emotions, become insightfully creative and intuitive, feel more compassion and develop extraordinary learning abilities.

The frequency of Theta waves also increases melatonin, a hormone which is not only vital for healthy sleep, but also for the immune system’s proper functioning, especially in women.


Robert Monroe, the father of out-of-body experience (OOBE) researches and founder of the Monroe Institute, along with ex-Nasa employee, brilliant physicist and author of the book “My Big Toe”, Tom Campbell, have proven that the 4 Hz binaural beat encourages OOBEs and remote viewing.

These are also the waves dominating in your brain the minute you are about to wake in the morning.

Have you ever noticed that reflecting on many life situations in this freshly awoken state of mind will give you a very different perspective, more complete understanding of things and often access to the compassionate part of yourself?

Typically, your brain is functioning on Beta waves frequencies (14–40 HZ; concentration & alertness) so it will take you some time to get to the frequency of 4- 8 HZ. You will have to surpass the alpha waves first (8–14 HZ; relaxed focus, light meditation). If you are inexperienced in meditation it may take you longer, even with binaural beats.

“Once you are in the 4 Hz theta state that is your goal, stay there for a half hour to two hours — that’s enough. You are in this physical reality for a reason. Do not use this as an escape. It is a tool, as is meditation itself, for teaching you to eliminate the noise in your mind …” — Tom Campbell says.

(By the way, if you have never heard interviews with Tom Campbell before, I highly recommend them. Apart from plenty of fascinating thoughts and knowledge derived from his own out-of-body experiences, Tom himself has a voice timbre and a manner of speech that hypnotizes you.)

However, 4 HZ is not the only binaural beat frequency that you should explore. Another frequency is 7.83 HZ; known as the Schumann Resonance, which is the frequency of the Earth.

While some people consider it to be totally a ‘new age’ rumor, others refer to scientific evidence that the 7.83 HZ frequency has benevolent psychological and physical effects on the human brain, including increased learning abilities and feelings of balance and grounding; it also forms a natural feedback loop with the human mind and body.

If your mediation skills are good enough to let your brain drop to the frequency around 8 HZ (this is, in fact, the lower edge of Alpha waves that occur during the state of light meditation, or rather, relaxation) you naturally feel better and more in sync

The Schumann Resonance frequency is said to triple the bioenergetics field of the body, working as a counter-effect to the “discharging” of your electromagnetic field that occurs naturally with age.

Listening to Schumann Resonance binaural beats can also train your brain to access the “window frequency” between the two states — Alpha and Theta waves state — a so-called “bridge” where many inner processes are more crystallized and you can become a conscious observer of your own emotional states.

Slowing the brain’s waves by binaural beats pushes the brain to recognise itself on a higher level when both hemispheres communicate with each other. By doing so, the brain constructs neural connections of a new kind and teaches itself to be more flexible and develop plasticity.

The synchronization of hemispheres at the Alpha/Theta bridge can also be well familiar to you in the form of non-linear, vivid visionary images we sometimes experience right before falling asleep.

These pieces of information are often very hard to translate into linear meaningful sentences — again because the state of mind where you put the information into a linear structure demands different brain wave frequencies.

However, if you acquire the skill of remembering and converting those visions into meaningful units, they will often give you deep insights and extraordinary creative perspectives.

Where To Start If You've Never Done This Before?

I’d advise you to start with frequencies coherent to your present state so that your brain attunes more steadily.

In fact, all brainwaves are pulsing within your skull simultaneously all day long, but certain frequencies prevail.

Therefore, unordinary conditions of mind should not be your main goal at the very start, but rather, your mind itself should be an object of observation. With that said, the clear and focused mind is quite an unusual condition also.

Moreover, for an inexperienced person only listening to the “mind-altering” frequencies (without focusing on relaxation, breathing exercises and some other techniques) may at first not be enough to pass the threshold, since the natural processes of homeostasis and mental “noise’ will be your barrier to relaxation and dipping into the new states of mind. Instead, it may only make you sleepy.


So, you probably want to check different applications of Beta waves first, i.e. frequencies that are more “mundane” and put your brain into the optimal state for performing the tasks required, i.e. concentration, increasing memory abilities, focus, etc.

Always keep in mind that the first and foremost purpose of binaural beats is to balance your brain.

Science proves that your heart sends more signals to your brain than the brain to your heart, so the more balanced the brain is, the more capable it is to recognize the messages of intuition.

Small children (before 7 y.o.) function mainly on Alpha and Theta waves, but in adulthood, we naturally forget this. Because of the high variety of external stimuli and the speed of living we switch to faster Beta waves.

Interestingly enough, animals function predominantly on Theta waves with their eyes open, which explains the remote viewing abilities of many animals. For example, domestic pets often sense their owners’ location and wild animals remote trace for their prey.

Due to the nature of its origin, binaural beats should be listened to with ear- or headphones to ensure that the different frequencies enter your left and right ear, rather than being played over a loudspeaker, the frequencies mixing in the air, and your ears picking up the frequencies already mixed together.

In addition, the duration you choose should be 10 minutes minimum. Although passive listening will also affect your mind, it’s a good idea to help your brain to attain the desired condition through focused intent.

There are scores of resources now on the web providing you with all kinds of high-quality audio files with binaural beats both pure or overlaid with some ambient music or chanting.

Some of them are free (Youtube provides them in abundance) and some are not; for example, Hemi-Sync — a brand created by Robert Monroe to produce binaural beats had different music collections for different states of mind. There are also some websites where you can generate the beat yourself.

My personal experience is that pure beats are much more powerful than those integrated into some ambient and relaxing music. Also, as a side note, these ambient tracks mostly embody Alpha or Theta waves, so it may not be a particularly good idea to listen to them while driving.

Choose Your Beats Wisely

Listening to the binaural beats is absolutely safe, which is scientifically proven, but you better choose your beats wisely depending on what you are looking for.

If you do some work in front of the computer with your headphones on, then some ambient track with low Alpha waves incorporated (you usually hear the binaural beat track as a slight hum) will make you unfocused, although more insightful. This means it may be ok for some creative writing, but not for statistical analysis.

If you try listening to Theta frequencies binaural beats while reading, it may well cause confusion, fatigue or dejection — again, because they are not natural for concentration.

Delta waves (0.1–4 Hz) will merge you into sleep very fast (from my personal experience), but not if you are too agitated when you start listening to them. If this is the case, listen to the faster waves first.

Delta waves are known for deep trance conditions, hypnosis, deep sleep (no dreams), but also anti-aging, increased immune functions, self-healing, and the “one with the universe” condition, often referred to as Samadhi.

How About Faster Waves?

It is interesting that lower waves have been given much more attention in the researches than the higher ones. I have found not many substantial researches on the higher Beta waves (starting from 20 Hz- 30 Hz) and Gamma waves 30 Hz- 100hz).

For example, while 15–20 Hz waves are known to be connected to focus and increased mental ability, especially that of mathematical nature, it is also associated with euphoria and pineal gland stimulation (20hz especially ). 20+ Hz and up to 40 Hz (higher beta/gamma waves) are also mentioned in the contexts of meditations for stress relief, astral projections, very high energy, but also fatigue.

At the same time, 25+ Hz (and up to 40 Hz) frequency waves were observed in Tibetan Buddhist Monks on transcendental meditations. 33 Hz is said to be Christ consciousness frequency as well as the inner frequency of the Egyptian pyramids (I like the coincidence) and is linked to hypersensitivity.

Going a step higher from there, 35–40 Hz are found to be linked to the very intense brain activity, when the entire brain is connected and engaged into complex processing of the information at its different parts.

However, this is not the type of condition described as Beta waves, but rather a highly sensitive perception and processing of information, the so-called “Aha! moment”. Usually, in such conditions, the body gets profoundly relaxed while the brain is in the state of highest concentration.

These waves don’t last longer than a second or two and are found to be immediately preceded by Alpha waves over the right visual cortex. In other words, the brain calms its imagery perceiving function for a moment before the insight burst. An analogy here would be someone closing his eyes for a moment when deepening in a complex problem-solving.

With that said, Gamma waves can be linked to states of epiphany and sudden insight as opposed to the analytical problem solving where Beta waves will be observed.

This also explains why these waves usually last only a second and were detected to emanate from the right hemisphere, i.e. creative part of the brain, responsible for assembling together the pieces of the whole and shifting between mental states.

State of The Brain On DMT

DMT, short for dimethyltryptamine, is not only the most powerful psychedelic substance humans can experience but also the one that is naturally produced in the human body. It is known as a “spirit molecule” for its compelling mystical characteristics and effects.

This article wouldn’t be complete without looking into the brain function on DMT in correlation with brain waves. A small study was conducted in 2005 observing two participants’ brain waves on Ayahuasca.

The results were astonishing — the brain waves detected were 36–44 Hz and 50–64 Hz; full-speed brain synchronicity. Later, MAPS (Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies) repeatedly cited Gamma waves as connected to the ingestion of Ayahuasca (i.e. brain on externally provided DMT).

As this article unfolded, I was listening to Alpha waves binaural beats and enjoyed the whole process a lot. Hopefully, you enjoyed the reading and maybe will try to integrate the magic of binaural beats into your life!

Tune in! Be present, be “in-phase”.

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Entrepreneurship Flow: Launching a Creative Project

Entrepreneurship Flow: Launching a Creative Project

Creativity is like a child. It doesn’t have a plan or agenda. It isn’t waiting for any result or appraisal. It has no idea about linear time and space. It is only waiting to be expressed. That’s it. It’s like a game that you are playing for its own sake — just for fun, not for anything else. My friend, a gorgeous and talented artist, once said as she looked at her own paintings: “Nothing is being drawn here. It all just comes.” And as I looked too, I literally felt how all those animals, trees, roads, and vivid colours just appeared on her canvas and stayed there. Creating a piece of art is a channeling; it is a flow that comes through you. Your body and your skills are merely tools giving it a structure.

Entrepreneurship is a special kind of creative flow. All gorgeous things and successful businesses that materialised on our planet were once just an idea.

Think about it: Everything was once just a thought.

Successful businesses and impactful projects don’t come from business knowledge or business background or having a business plan. They come from the same source as playing a game or creating a painting. The difference is that a business has an agenda; it’s whole purpose is to attain something. In entrepreneurship creativity, we become wired for accomplishment.

Here, we as creators want to bring some VALUE to the world. It is a part of the game, and yet this is the part that traps many entrepreneurs and creatives. In fact, this part can cause so much tension that some will just drop their ideas without even starting. For them, it is not the fear of being seen, nor the fear of failure — it is the fear of STRUCTURE that causes lots of talented ideas to never manifest into a meaningful project.

An idea by itself is a huge experience. When you suddenly catch some great idea, you experience a “WOW!” moment. It gives you lots of energy and joy. But in order for it to be expressed on a practical level, it needs linear development, consistent tempo, an organised structure through which it will generate VALUE.

That is why so many creative people (on all levels, including business) unconsciously get attracted to people who are good at building structures. This union — creativity and structure — is a key factor for successful enterprises. When these two meet, either as two business partners or two aspects of the same person, this is when the entrepreneurship flow really happens.

How to Access Entrepreneurship Flow

Let’s look at these two parts of flow so that we can understand the importance of balancing each perspective when launching a project.

Firstly, let’s recognise that the flow is a life force that knows where it is going. The controlling power is already in the flow, otherwise it would be a splash. So exerting some kind of control over this flow makes no sense and only leads you to getting stuck. But the flow without an “attracting force” also doesn’t exist. That is why it is a “flow” not a “splash” — it is going TOWARDS something. Ok?

Second, being overtaken by the idea and having lots of fun with it is not yet being in a state of flow, unless you are five years old.

Third, since the flow already has an attracting force within itself, it doesn’t need to be controlled. It has to be allowed to go where it is flowing.

And fourth, if the splash doesn’t take a form of flow by itself, it can be created. It is being created either by YOU yourself realizing a need for a structure, or by someone else who is better with structures then you are.

This where your creative force gets converted into the entrepreneurship flow — it’s the skill of breaking an idea into a process without intervening into the process too much, yet maintaining the flow.

Whatever their talents, many starting entrepreneurs know nothing about these two components of a successful project and how to balance between them. They get unbalanced, and they end up getting frustrated or stuck at the very beginning. I sometimes visit start-up networking dinners in Silicon Valley, and it is amazing how many bright entrepreneurs of different ages and backgrounds have almost no understanding about their product (especially in “creative sector”) when they are pitching their projects to business angels. They don’t have any authentic feel for their target audience, nor do they have any philosophy of their brand. These struggling entrepreneurs can be roughly divided into those who need some adjustment to their structure, and those who simply fit a project management position much better. In fact, both would benefit from partnering with each other before pitching in front of investors. Rarely have I seen teams that had both skillsets from the start. And in the start-up world, this is totally fine. In fact, that is what networking is all about — to find each other and learn from each other.

However, if you are launching your project by yourself and you don’t have a mentor to supervise your launch (and especially if you are a creative yourself), you better understand this balance.

Very often the creativity/structure union is formed by two people within a certain project (this happens for couples too, there are many famous couples like this), but not always. Sometimes you have to learn how to develop it in one person. It takes time for these two components to recognise each other and start speaking to each other. With the union of two people, it usually happens very organically. But when you are a solopreneur, and you know nothing about the importance of this balance within your project or business, you may experience lots of inner conflict with understanding even how to start. It is not until you become aware of it that it will start changing.

Moreover, breaking it down to steps can be a creative process. Visualising and understanding a structure for your idea to become a project, making architecture from a mass of energy, is also a fine art. If this process is seen as being “not creative” and “boring,” it becomes heavy, too left-brain. In fact, it can create resistance to the idea.

Remarkably, I have seen that sometimes one and the same person can become better in one role just depending on the chemistry within a project. For myself, I tend to be very good at structuring for others’ people ideas (something I’ve learned in the corporate world), but when it comes to putting my own creative process into a working “grid,” I prefer having someone else supervising me.

On a business level, these two components are presented by a well-known leader/project manager union. And only when there is rapport between these two people will the business enter “the flow.” So if you are a start-up and you are forming a team, make sure you understand this. If both of you are overflowing with creative energy, it is not yet an indicator of future success; the same goes if you both are super well-versed with management processes and can create a business plan in a minute.

Did you hit the flow?

What are the signs that your emerging project or business hit the entrepreneurship flow?

Your project or business is showing signs of some RETURN. It may not necessarily be financial return, but at least you can sense there is an EXCHANGE happening. Your idea is getting notices. People like it and want to learn more; investors are interested to talk about further development; you are enjoying the ripples your idea produces; and what’s most important is that your most valuable asset — YOUR TIME — remains YOURS, and not someone else’s. At a certain stage it will certainly have to convert into a financial return, but with all the above in place, the idea is validated and the overall process is right.

If you are missing any of the above, chances are you are overwhelmed, not getting enough feedback on your idea, have a sense of a “missing link” you are unable to find yourself and feel there is no exchange happening. Instead of burying yourself in writing a business strategy or just stressing out, take a step back and observe which of these two components needs attention: creativity or structure? If it is creativity, you are overthinking and micromanaging too much and getting lost in the structure. If it is structure, you are probably not clear enough about your project’s direction and its key factors. Sometimes you are not able to step back enough yourself to see the broader perspective. This is when you will need help from a third party. Ask for this help. It will save you time and money in the end.

Entrepreneurship flow is a stage of project development when the balance between creative forces and structuring forces are optimized to the max, which produces returns on both external (from the world) and internal (within a team or yourself) levels.

Like all living organisms, your enterprise goes through different periods of life, and going out of the flow is an organic stage of development for any project. This can mean two things: it is either dying or unexpectedly growing.

Think of it like two hemispheres of the brain. When it comes to brain activity, the state of flow is when the right and left hemispheres are maximally in sync. I was doing research on these conditions as a neurolinguist during my university days, and I know that it is not easy for a human being to enter the state of flow at will. But we can develop this ability, and in fact, this is what all effective people do knowingly or unknowingly.

When putting our ideas into projects, too, we should be able to know how to tap into this flow intentionally and be able to maintain it.

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