Srini Pillay: Live in a state of possibility by Moe Abdou


This is Moe Abdou. I am delighted today to have Srini Pillay join me to discuss a fascinating topic — this whole notion of fear and unlocking the fear that is prevalent in each one us.

Srini, I really appreciate you joining us this morning.

Thank you very much for having me. I appreciate it.

I want to start by asking you a personal question. You responded to my first email at 4 a.m. and when I asked you about it, you said something to the effect that I am in a state of flow right now, and I just keep going.

I’m really curious, tell me about that feeling? I read a lot about it. Tell me about that feeling and maybe we can get into that in a little bit because if a small percentage of the world can get into that state, I think we can be at just an amazing place to live.

The flow state for me has been essential because of the number of things that I do. What I try to do is anchor my day and behavior to a number of different things. I would say that when I’m in the flow state, I feel like I’m in a state of creative flow. I feel like I have a certain amount of flexibility in my thinking like I can switch tasks fairly easily. But I do try to make sure that I get at least five hours of sleep which is usually what I need per day.

I also try to make sure that if I’m working in a particular area, that I anchor myself to particular objects of productivity. For example, if I’m working at an issue around fear, rather than simply being in a flow state, I will try to create some kind of goal point at which I either want to produce a talk, a seminar or a book.

I think when I keep myself anchored to the goals and, at the same time, sort of try to do some of the basic things like eat well, sleep well, play well; I feel like I can move into the flow state with greater ease.

Is that something that you consciously try to do regularly?

Yes. In some ways I fell into it partly just because of the diversity of my interest which range all the way from science to music. And partly because of the number of things that I was doing, I felt like I needed to accelerate a lot of what I was doing.

Through my understanding of how the brain works and human psychology, and understanding that a lot of the fast processing is actually done unconsciously, I recognize that in the initial stages of what I was doing, if I was new to it, I would be pretty deliberate and slow and try to internalize the information.

And then when I got to the more creative phases, I would allow myself to move into the flow state. Again, having check in points so that there wasn’t simply in a flow and not achieving what I wanted to achieve.

Further Reading
  • Tolerating Fear — An incredible lesson for me has been recognizing the act of tolerating fear and learning how to tolerate uncertainty its an actual feeling, a commitment to being human and an agreement you make with the world. The majority of us experience fear simply because we think about it. The moment our mind shifts from 'playing to win' at something to the preverbal...

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