Mindset: Existential Flexibility

“If you stand for nothing, Burr, what will you fall for?”

This is one of the famous lines Alexander Hamilton says to Aaron Burr in the musical Hamilton.

Developing an infinite mindset requires you to make an existential flex–a pivot that fundamentally changes your life and those that live around you. Whether you flex now or later, you must have the capacity for “existential flexibility.”

Apple Computer

In 1979, Apple was already a big company with the success of the Apple 1 and the Apple 2 computers. Steve Jobs was already a well-respected CEO. They had revenues higher than these college drop-outs ever imagined.

During this time, Jobs went to Xerox with a few others to tour their facilities and speak with their company’s executives.

This was when he discovered the computer “mouse”–a cursor that allowed normal people like you and me to navigate a computer. No longer did you need to know code in order to use a computer.

Jobs came back and said they were going to scrap what they were working on and implement this. Many of his close friends tried reminding him of everything they had been working on–not to mention the tens of thousands of dollars they would lose due to sunk costs.

To his friends he said, “I’d rather blow up our company than have someone else do it.”

Jobs understood that he needed to pivot in order to keep playing the game. This existential flex led to the creation of the Macintosh computer.

How This Relates to You and Me

In regards to your health, what is your just cause? What purpose are you trying to advance by working out, eating well, and sleeping enough?

If your just cause relates to your family, determine how you can better approach health with your spouse and/or children.

If your just cause relates to winning a competition, how can you better approach training, recovery, and nutrition? Is there something no one else is doing that you can now do?

Just ensure that your “flex” is related to advancing your just cause. If it isn’t, you have fallen into “shiny object syndrome.”

Daily Directive

Having the capacity for an existential flex is different than having shiny object syndrome. It’s not a new idea every week or quarter; and it’s not focused on selfish pursuits.

Rather, it’s a realization that you can further advance your cause by pivoting.

Learn from the examples of both Alexander Hamilton and Steve Jobs: Determine today what innovative approach you can take toward better advancing your just cause.


Other articles in this series:
Mindset: Adopting an Infinite One
Mindset:Advancing a Just Cause
Mindset: Trusting Teams
Mindset: Worthy Rival
Mindset: Courage to Lead

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