How to use your body to manage your mind

There was 3-hours until my flight. Austin to Cleaveland. I did a lap up and down the terminal looking for a nice cafe to write. I found one.

The seat I was on was high. My feet couldn’t touch the ground. They were dangling there. The table didn’t match. It was too low for the chair. My thighs rubbed up against the bottom of the table.

I starting thinking.

The world needs more well-designed chairs.

I had a good view of the planes and the rest of the walkway. People going places. Two guys at a table in front of me starting leaning into one another. As if one had a secret to tell the other. Then the one leaning in pointed across the cafe. I looked where he pointed.

There was another man. He was talking. I could see sounds coming from his mouth but not enough to know what he was saying.

The voice was familiar. He kept talking.

He was leaning over the rail with his elbows on one of the high tables. Sunglasses on, hat on.

I start thinking.

That’s Matthew McConaughey.

I looked away.

He started speaking.

This time I recognised the voice. I’d heard it the night before watching Tropic Thunder highlights.

It was Matthew McConaughey.

I was alone, 8000 miles from home and 10 feet from Matthew McConaughey.

I started thinking again.

I’ve got to go and say ‘Hi’ to him. He probably gets it all the time. But now’s my only chance. I’ll just go and say hello. No photos. Just hello.

My heart was racing.

More thoughts.

Why’s this happening? He’s just a man. A man like me.

He got up with his wife. They were leaving. I’d blown my chance.

Then they stopped. She went into the bathroom and he stood in the hallway.

I’m going. I could feel my heart in my chest. You know it’s a good time when it starts.

I went over.

‘Hi, I’m Daniel, I’m a big fan of your work.’

He stuck his hand out and grabbed mine.

‘McConaughey.’

‘I was watching Tropic Thunder last night.’

He smiled.

‘Where are you off to?’

‘New York.’

‘How come?’

‘Got some work.’

‘Have a nice trip.’

He smiled again.

I went back to my seat. My feet dangled.

I opened my journal and started writing.

Met Matthew McConaughey today. He introduced himself with one word. I said about 30.

I sat there for another 2-hours before my flight came.

Want to manage your mind?

You can do it by listening to your body.

If the body changes, your mind will come along.

It’s natural for your heart rate to go up in uncertain situations. Most people would write this off as fear. But the thing is, fear is caused by the same hormones as being excited.

Same energy but a different form.

Knowing this, the next time you get nervous and your heart rate goes up, you can remind yourself.

‘I know this feeling. I’ve felt it before. Instead of letting it hold me back, I’m going to use it to push me forward.’

The best thing?

It works in reverse too.

Raise your heart rate and you can change your mind.

Humans work best when they’re running away from something or chasing something. Either way, you better get moving.

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