Mark Divine’s Three Tips to Channel Stress into Success

“You can’t develop mental toughness without challenging yourself. I call it stressing yourself for success. There’s no question the human body is designed with that fight, flight, or freeze response, and you can interpret that to mean we’re not supposed to essentially stress ourselves out because we’re supposed to avoid stress or eliminate stress (which is impossible by the way) because it’s not good for our bodies.

“Well, that’s not true. Even in caveman days, it was the hunter who was able to control the stress response and turn it into a performance behavior that would allow him to get the most meat, face down the charging tiger, and organize a team to defeat him. That was called leadership. So, just because we have stress everyday in our life, doesn’t mean it has to be debilitating or lead to disease in our bodies.”

That’s a quote from our recent Social Capitalist guest Mark Divine, CEO of SEALFIT, and US CrossFit. He suggested the following strategies to channel your stress into high performance and actionable success:

  1. Breath control. Breathing has become an unconscious body function for most people. To get control of your breath, concentrate on it, slow it down, deepen it, use the full capacity of your lungs, and use your diaphragm. Anytime you feel that stress coming on, kick into this breath. In a calm environment, Mark recommends a four-count inhale, a four-count hold, and then a four- count exhale. If you’re in an environment where your heart is racing and you need more oxygen, just slow it down and do a four-count inhale, then a four-count exhale. Continue reading

Launch Your Certainty Anchors

How does uncertainty make you feel? Nervous, stressed, scared? These reactions are common, but they can hold you back. Uncertainty can bring new and unexpected opportunities, creativity, curiosity, and excitement into your goals. Embracing uncertainty and letting go of a strict plan allows you take the blinders off to recognize new opportunities and create innovative solutions.

The author, speaker, and entrepreneur Jonathan Fields is the author of a book on that exact topic, Uncertainty: Turning Fear and Doubt Into Fuel for Brilliance, and recently was a guest at a Social Capitalist Event.

During the interview, he introduced listeners to the concept of certainty anchors. Jonathan studied highly creative, high-performance individuals and found that they shared a certain practice. They needed to feel free, not structure-bound in their working lives, and so they had created certainty anchors, or regular, repeated rituals, in their personal lives. These rituals made sitting with and exploring professional uncertainty possible, day after day, while keeping their overall anxiety-levels low. Continue reading

Five Tips to Break Through Your Filter(s)

Authors John Hagel and John Seely Brown, who recently sat down to record a Social Capitalist Masterclass with Tahl Raz, provide this month’s Master’s Mission, designed to help you diversify your network to expose you to the broadest range of ideas and opportunities. These simple tips will strengthen your safety net – try it!

It is no surprise that we instinctively seek out those who share our interests. This is especially true in times of increasing pressure and uncertainty. We have an understandable tendency in such times to seek out the familiar and comfortable as a buffer against the unforeseen changes around us. In so doing we can inadvertently put ourselves in a cage of similarity that narrows our peripheral vision of the world and our options. The result? We may be even more vulnerable to being blindsided by events and trends coming at us from new and unusual directions.

The Internet compounds this narrowing by invisibly removing subjects and people from our online searches and even our casual exploration of websites, explains Eli Pariser in his new book, The Filter Bubble. Worse yet, we tend to become more extreme and entrenched in our beliefs when we become involved in a tight-knit group that shares them.

The bottom line: the choices we make and the technology we use can progressively narrow the range of experiences we have. To counteract the potential stultifying effects of the filter bubble we will have to overcome our natural instinct to seek out the comfort of those who are most like us. Here are some suggestions: Continue reading

Max Lyons: The Transformational Impact of Service

MyGreenlighter Max Lyons went with Keith to Guatemala – here’s an excerpt of his post Max sponsored Liza's education for the next year.from

Keith and I met just over a year ago through myGreenlight. After a brief conversation about his prior trips to Guatemala and Cambodia/Thailand, Keith invited me to join a return effort to Guatemala.

Having not met anyone else on the trip, I flew down here with a sense that I was stepping into the unknown. Our group spent the past week partnering with local organizations, working with children, and dreaming about the unlocked potential lying dormant within the lives of these little ones. After the first few days here in Antigua, I discovered two core things through my involvement:

1. Our contributions are catalyzing substantial long-term change: In my time in Guatemala, I was able to see what has transpired since the last visit Keith made. During the previous trip a local couple was discovered who opened up their small house to provide free schooling for kids in their village. Once limited by special restrictions, the couple is now able to provide schooling to over 60 children thanks to recent construction.

Click here to read the full post on

What Do You Want to Achieve in 2012?

Does the idea of setting goals instantly paralyze you? Have you found goal-setting to be an ineffective way to create real change in your life?

On a recent Social Capitalist call, the author, CEO, venture capitalist, and coach Christine Comaford gave myGreenlighters the following mission to improve their 2012 planning:

Identify needle movers, rather than goals, for 2012.

Needle movers are things that will move the needle forward in your business or personal life – essentially goals that change your life fundamentally. While a goal is binary and can leave you feeling great or defeated, a needle mover ends with you either reaching your target (what you want), the minimum (what you are willing to accept), or a mind blowing result (beyond your wildest dreams!). You won’t always get the exact result you want but you will have moved the needle forward. Continue reading

Let Someone Else Solve Your Problem

On this month’s Social Capitalist webinar, agenda-setting writer, Fast Company co-founder and entrepreneur Bill Taylor explained what he calls “vuja de.” We all know what déjà vu means: the feeling that a new situation already happened. Bill flips the term to describe the experience of examining the industry you’ve been in for so long — and suddenly seeing it differently.

The need to continually self-evaluate and evolve is necessary to be truly successful, especially in this economy. We all get into routines in every aspect of our lives and find ourselves doing things a certain way because that is how they’ve always been done. Don’t let your expertise get in the way of innovation.

Your Mission: Pick a current professional challenge you’re facing. You can make this as big (raise company’s sales revenue) or small (payroll went out late) as you want. Instead of going to your staff or coworkers for advice, call two contacts in different industries and ask for their input. Have they had similar problems with solutions that could be adapted to fit your scenario? Note how these conversations change your perspective. Did they produce new insight you couldn’t have come up with on your own? That’s the goal.

What practices do you use to get fresh perspective on something?

Flex Your Idea Muscle

On the latest Social Capitalist webinar, guest James Altucher introduced myGreenlight to what he calls “The Daily Practice,” four steps that put you in the right place to succeed by helping you create better ideas and more energy. It was “The Daily Practice” that picked James back up after each of his failures and ultimately led him to success.

The Daily Practice:

  1. Take care of your physical health. You can’t succeed if you’re sick and out of shape. Eating right and getting physically fit increases your energy and makes it much easier for you to succeed.
  2. Take care of your emotional health/intimate relationships. If you’re in a series of bad relationships or constantly arguing with your family, spouse, or boss you are not going to have the emotional health to find the energy to build a business or succeed.
  3. Mental health – flex your idea muscle. You have to be able to generate ideas and have the confidence that your ideas are good. Building your idea muscle requires practice and time just like building any other kind of muscle. Continue reading

The Currency that Worked for a Legendary Silicon Valley Business Leader

On the latest Social Capitalist webinar for myGreenlight, master networker Heidi Roizen explained when approaching a contact for help you should always lead with generosity (right in line with myGreenlight principles). She was then asked:

What has been the best and most original way someone has ever approached you and what did they offer?

The top three creative currencies she was offered:

  •     When she was working to lose weight, a personal trainer offered to train her for free if he could ask her questions while they worked out.
  •     An MBA student offered to baby-sit her kids.
  •     A contact offered to cook her dinner!

If you approach currency in a fun and creative way, your target will have fun with it too.

Your Mission: Go get creative! Think of three unique currencies that you can offer to a critical contact.

Let us know what you came up with.