Mindset Minus Mind Games

“We don’t just walk the walk, we be the Be. Be the Be means liberate your nervous system of the irrelevant reactivity based on past overloads of experience. Practice Vedic Meditation twice a day and, spontaneously, you’ll rise into full capability without having to fake your way into it.”

Thom Knoles

There’s no end of affirmations, guided meditations, and other positive thinking tools that we can use to master our mindset.

But are these necessary? And do they even work?

As is often the case, Thom bucks the trend in this episode, giving us cause to think twice about using mind games to keep us on the path to success. He proposes a more elegant approach, one that’s aligned with the Vedic worldview and one with a higher likelihood of success. 

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Episode Highlights


“All things are well if our minds be so.”



The Cart in Front of the Horse



Capability Comes First



What if? What if? What if?



Faking it Till You Make it



Releasing Stress via Vedic Meditation



Freshly Liberated from Stress



Stolen Truths



Be the Be


Jai Guru Deva


Mindset Minus Mind Games

[00:45] “All things are well if our minds be so.”

Jai Guru Deva. Thank you for listening. Today we’re going to talk about the subject of mindset because, from what I hear from my friends and clients, this subject of mindset has recently, and we’re talking in the year 2023, recently, taken over the world of how to be productive, productivity, how to be everything that you can be.

If you can fix your mind and have your mindset right then everything is set. In fact, there’s a famous quote from Shakespeare’s play, Henry V where the Duke of York says to Henry, who’s the king, on the verge of battle, “All things are well if our minds be so.” So this has been going on for a long time, this mindset concept.

We need to really get a proper understanding of it. And, it would appear that people who have a greater degree of attainment and achievement in their lives, more to show, and by more to show I mean, not just physical items, maybe they have wit, they may have wisdom, they may have the capability to meet demands interactively, is also having something to show, right? Not just stuff, not just items, not just objects, but actual capability on show.

That people who have access to that level, generally speaking, are not people who are negative thinkers.

[02:36] The Cart in Front of the Horse

So what is the relationship between a positive mindset and achievement, attainment, and freedom from suffering? It’s very, very interesting what I’m going to tell you, so perk up your ears and pay attention.

Trying to get the mindset there first is like putting the cart in front of the horse. The thing that drives a proper mindset is a nervous system, which is attached to the brain, of course, which can generate regularly the kinds of impulses of thought that are helpful to actions and achievements.

What do I mean by that? Someone has thoughts that are helpful to being productive and having actions and achievements that are worthwhile, by any standard, by the social standard, and then you talk to them and they seem to have a positive mindset. What came first, the positive mindset? Not in the view of myself or my teachers.

[03:54] Capability Comes First

What comes first is capability. What is it that causes us to have negative thinking? The answer is daily accumulation of stress with no release of it. When the nervous system, on a daily basis, accumulates more stress than it is able to release in a given day. That means that each morning one awakens into life with more stress today than one had yesterday.

And stress has this impact of causing the whole body, and then of course the mind attached to that body, to go into that mode which we call fight or flight. Are you going to fight changes of expectation, demands, in order to kill them and make them not demands anymore? Or are you going to flee from them?

This is the binary choice presented by stress reactivity. A stress-reactive body and the mind associated with the body. tend to go binary every time there’s a demand made on us. The demand might be, go by your business plan. You have a great business plan. If you follow it, great achievements will naturally accrue to you.

[05:30] What if? What if? What if?

But then you have these negative thoughts. “What if? What if? What if? What if?” And then something doesn’t go quite according to plan. A change of expectation. A new demand. Something to which you have to adapt, something with which you have to interact, but instead of doing so, you go reactive.

“Oh, no. Oh, no. oh. Trouble, problems,” and then anger, fear, sadness, all kinds of emotions that are irrelevant to productivity begin to rise.

And then if one starts thinking to oneself, “No, no, think positively, think positively. I’m the best. I will work this all out. I’m a king of the captains of industry. All I have to do is keep my attention on my goal. I can see it now. I’m riding in the Rolls Royce. I have people on the other end of the phone doing everything I beckon them to do. It’s all going to be great.”

And then the voice comes, “Yes, but what are you going to tell the bank manager who says you have to give him half a million dollars today, by lunchtime?”

“Oh no, oh no,” Fight/flight reactivity. So what is it that actually smothers our capability? It’s not a lack of ability to create positive thoughts.

[06:54] Faking it ‘Til You Make it

Having positive thinking first is obedient to the old worn out and dilapidated and incorrect phrase, “Fake it ‘til you make it.”

The problem with faking it ‘til you make it is that you know you’re faking it, and you know you haven’t made it. Someone who actually has capability doesn’t have to drum up thoughts about capability. Someone who actually is on a path of success doesn’t have to convince themselves that they’re on the path to success.

They have that sense of being successful on the level of knowingness. They have it on the level of knowingness. It’s not possible that a change of information is “bad news.” It’s just a change of information. It tells you what is going to be happening and what’s not going to be happening. What is going to be happening and in what time frame and what’s not going to be happening, and in what time frame.

[08:13] Releasing Stress via Vedic Meditation

It’s a change of information. Good news, bad news. Okay. Rather than trying really hopelessly, in my opinion, to hypnotize yourself that, “Everything’s good, everything’s positive, and I’m going to be fine,” what we have to do is actually get there by releasing stress.

Stress accumulated in the body is going to continue to plague the mind with a hair-trigger reactivity.

“What do I do now? Fight or flee?”

Whereas when we release stress on a daily basis and we release it faster than we’ve accumulated it, when we release stress at a faster pace than it’s been accumulated, we’re getting rid of not only today’s stress, but also stresses that had accumulated over decades. And our nervous system is becoming more and more capable day by day.

This is the product of the practice of Vedic Meditation. As a result of practicing Vedic Meditation, the mind is able to settle down into the least-excited state, effortlessly, for 20 minutes, first thing in the morning before starting the day, and again late afternoon, early evening, for another 20 minute dose of it.

When the mind settles down to its own least-excited state, it stops thinking, and the body is able to go into a state of rest. This is not dull, sleepy, rest of deep sleep. No, this is the rest that is a consequence of being conscious, but in a state of supreme inner contentedness. That’s the only way we can describe that quality of that least-excited state. Supreme inner contentedness.

When you experience that, your body is able to rest at levels that make the mere rest of deep sleep look pitiable. Four, five times more restful than the most restful state you can attain to at any point in a night’s sleep.

[10:42] Freshly Liberated from Stress

And it’s this deep and profound conscious rest that naturally occurs as a consequence of practicing Vedic Meditation that allows the nervous system to activate its own self-repair mechanisms and to remove deep-rooted stresses which have been accumulating for decades.

This ends up taking away the fog of the fight/flight mentality, and it causes the fight/flight mentality to be replaced by a new mentality. I call it the stay-and-play mentality. It’s that mentality that naturally occurs when the nervous system has been freed of stress.

A nervous system freshly liberated from stress, when a change of expectation comes, a demand is made on you that’s not something going according to plan, rather than, “Oh no, oh,” fight-or-flee reactivity, one is able to simply look at the change and say, “Welcome change. Here’s the actions that are going to come from this new information I have. I greet new information wholeheartedly and embrace it enthusiastically because I want fresh new information so that I can structure my behavior accordingly and I’m going to stay in play and be adaptive.”

[12:18] Stolen Truths

Now, you can sit around thinking those thoughts all you like if you’re stressed. A stressed person thinking the thoughts, “I’m going to be adaptive. I have infinite capability, I have infinite organizing power, I can achieve anything, I’m not going to react to demands, I’m going to interact with them.” These are all the stolen truths that have been ripped off from the state of consciousness of someone who’s actually released their stresses.

Someone who hasn’t released their stresses, there’s a background sense of self that knows you’re faking it, and if there’s that background sense of self that knows I’m faking it, then that’s going to be the actual driver. of our response. “I’m a fake and I’m saying nice words. I’m a fake and I’m thinking nice positive thoughts.”

Does somebody who’s actually achieving things have to drum up these false thoughts? Someone said to me one day. “I just think of myself as a king. I’m a king. I’m a king. I’m a king. I’m a king.” And I said to him, “Do you think that somebody who’s actually a king has to think that?” Of course not.

[13:43] Be the Be

If there’s part of you that reckons that you might be faking it, you can’t get rid of that. That’s deeper. That’s the deepest sense of self. We need to actually be having the experience of that regal, monarchical, noble status that cannot be overshadowed by a mere change of expectation.

We need to actually be it on the level of Being. We don’t just talk the talk. We don’t just walk the walk, we be the Be. Be the Be means liberate your nervous system of the irrelevant reactivity based on past overloads of experience. Practice Vedic Meditation twice a day and, spontaneously, you’ll rise into full capability without having to fake your way into it.

Jai Guru Deva. 

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