Your mind is a beautiful servant, but a dangerous master.

Do you control you or does your mind control you?

To many, this question appears arcane and mostly irrelevant. For most people are of the understanding that they are their mind and hence, there can only be one answer. But the reality is that you are not your mind and there is a wonderful lesson to be learned here.

I spent the first half of my life operating under the presumption that my mind and I were the same. Then I discovered The Power of Now, by Eckhart Tolle. In that book, he gave me an alternate perspective, and from that point forward, many things changed for me.

He postulates (from other prior sources of wisdom) that we are not our mind, but rather, we are awareness. Before you check out on this paragraph and dismiss it as new age woo woo, stay with me for a second. In this chapter, he gives you an exercise in which you lie quietly on your bed (when you are not sleepy) and you work to vacate your mind of all thoughts. He uses a metaphor of watching your mind like a cat would watch a hole in the wall where a mouse might pop its head out, searching if all is clear. Every time a thought comes into your mind, you note it and quietly vacate it and continue until your mind is very still. When you get to that complete silence, you have achieved the exercise. Then, he reasons that what is it that is watching your mind? He calls that Awareness.

One may argue that this is semantics, and perhaps that is so. But in the exercise, I have found that when my mind is ablaze with all of the chaos of trying to run an organization full of the myriad variables that I am working to keep under control, understanding that my awareness is able to quiet my mind, has become one of the most valuable lessons I have ever learned.

Working to stay in the present (the Now) is critical, because the future does not exist (yet) and the past is only memories and no longer exists as anything other than reflections. Keeping your mind concentrated on the present is the only solution that facilitates rational, controlled behavior.

Your mind is a beautiful thing. It is the portal through which you experience life in all of its positive (and negative) variations. It is the center of your imagination, emotions, hopes and dreams. But when it is working very diligently to overwhelm you with fears, worries, disappointments, despair, and other intense, negative emotions, it is most critical to remember that you are always the cat watching the mouse stick its head out of the hole. You can always turn the thoughts off. And when they return, you can do it again and again, until you deliver yourself to safe harbor.

Happy Wednesday!

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Written by Brian Weiner
When I was 5 years old, I discovered that the lemon tree in the backyard + dixie cups + water and sugar and I was in business. I have been hooked on that ever since. In 1979, I borrowed $14,000 to create a brand new product... photographic greeting cards with no text on the inside, called Paradise Photography. That was the start of The Illusion Factory. Since then, The Illusion Factory has been entrusted by all of the major studios and broadcasters with the advertising and marketing of over $7 billion in filmed, live, broadcast, gaming, AR, VR and regulated gaming forms of entertainment, generating more than $100 Billion in revenue and 265 awards for creativity and technology for our clients. When I took a break from film school at UCLA to move to Hawaii, my mother did not lecture me. Instead, she took 150 of her favorite aphorisms and in her beautiful calligraphy, wrote them artistically throughout a blank journal. That is the origin of the Lessons from the Mountain series. Since then, on my journeys to the top of a mountain to watch the sunrise, I have spent countless hours contemplating words of wisdom from the sages of all races, genders and political persuasions, constantly accumulating the thoughts to guide me on my life path. I hope you enjoy my books. Please let me know your thoughts, as I highly value your feedback!