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Use It or Lose It


05 Nov Use It or Lose It

The Dream

Last night I had a profound dream, in which I was working in a team at a huge and nameless corporation. The team belonged to a division that did something completely useless. We were basically engaged in non-creative busy work. You know – just spinning the wheels!

Then, as the dream unfolded, the corporation made a change. Suddenly the entire division was simply removed. Everyone was out of a job and had to find something else, myself included. The problem was that since we’d been doing useless busywork for so long, our minds had lost their edge. We’d lost the intellectual muscles of creativity from lack of practice.

Now that I think of it, it was more of a nightmare than a dream!

When I woke up, I realized that life is a lot like that dream. Whether we’re talking mind or body, you either use it or lose it.

Physical Growth and Decay

The human body is in one of two states: Growth or Decay. That’s it. And this applies mentally as well as physically.

I recently read a book called Younger Next Year which laid this out succinctly. Your body is either in winter mode or summer mode.

  • If you’re in winter mode, then your body is all about decay. It’s slowing down to make best use of scare resources. Your metabolism slows down and your muscles start to waste away.
  • If you’re in summer mode, then your body is all about growth. Your metabolism is pumping, your blood is flowing and you’re putting on muscle mass. Your body is in a state of abundance, growth and potential.

So which state are you in?

Mental Growth and Decay

The same thing applies to your mind. You’re either growing or decaying.

Recently I was on holiday with my family in Portland, Oregon. We decided to really slow down and take a break. In other words, we entered a mental state of winter. Our thoughts slowed, our bodies slowed and we became lethargic. We went for slow ambles on the beach and watched too many movies on DVD.

And then BAM! I realized I didn’t want to be in mental winter. I felt horrible!

Instead, I decided to get into a mental summer state. I kicked everyone out of the house and we went adventuring, without even really knowing where we were going. We found all kinds of interesting things on the beach that were beyond the range of our initial walks. We tinkered around in tidal pools, played in the surf and generally had a great time.

Now our holiday was about growth, excitement and potential.

So which state are you in?

Use It or Lose It

There’s only one choice here;

  • summer or winter
  • growth or decay
  • abundance or scarcity
  • learning or forgetting

Or, put another way, use it or lose it!

As an entrepreneur, you’re either talking on new partners, new collaborations, new ideas and opportunities or you aren’t.

Of course, the mind and body are connected. When you move physically, you want to move mentally. And when you move mentally you start to generate value. And when you generate value, you generate money and you generate income.

So – Use It or Lose It. The choice is yours!

Tim Levy

Tim Levy is an author, speaker, consultant and coach working with CEOs and entrepreneurs on clarity, strategy and mindset. He runs a strategic marketing agency out of Austin, Texas. He routinely speaks for leading organizations like Vistage International, Conscious Capitalism and Secret Knock. Tim’s intention is to radically accelerate and enable highly purposeful CEOs and entrepreneurs in their business and personal lives.

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