Neutral Mindset: Stay Present and Intentional in a Distracted World

faith personal development



Get On Level Ground

What does an obscure Biblical phrase you’ve never given a second thought to about neutral thinking have to do with neuroscience?

Have you ever been to the point where you're so wired and pumped up. Maybe you're ready for an event or a challenge or you're about to speak on stage, give a presentation at work or in a small group. Whatever that challenge is that requires you to step up and put a lot of energy and preparation into it. 


Whatever Goes Up Must Come Down!

Every time I give a presentation or facilitate a training, whether at work, or for my mastermind with my guys and I'm getting ready, I always have a heightened sense of awareness.

A lot of preparation goes into that. It's game time and everything is up, up… 

…and then after that you crash!

Sometimes I've overdone it in the past with the caffeine, and I call that state "wired and tired"; I'm totally ready to go, but at the same time, I know this is fake energy, your adrenaline's pumping, it's getting you ready for something you're about to do, and then after you do it, what happens?


To the height you go up, to that same degree you go back down. 

I was once doing something that required me to be on point for a while; there was a number of weeks where I had to show up a certain way. I was doing this job and at the end of it, I was exhausted. My body just crashed. I came down from that state of awareness and heightened performance that I had to deliver on. I noticed my body wanted to break when it was done, like my body crashed spiritually.

I was strong, don't get me wrong. I'm still walking with the Lord. Everything’s fine in that department, but physically I felt exhausted. I lost a little bit of my drive and I noticed that I just came down.

It was so prolonged that the comedown was also prolonged.


Homeostasis: Everything Goes Neutral

I recently heard a physician talking about this exact experience explaining that whenever you have that heightened sense of performance and awareness, where you have to step up and perform, that from a neuroscience perspective, you will ALWAYS come down.

You crash, but the principle your body's looking to get to is homeostasis where everything's level and in equilibrium. The place that your body always wants to be at: everything level. 

If you take it super high and you push it and you load up on pre-workout or on caffeine and you get ready to step up and crush that performance, whether a speaking gig, a job interview, a training or whatever that is for you, you WILL inevitably come down to the same degree inversely of what you went up to at the height. 

It will affect your mindset, your mood, your physiology, and your energy level. 


Neuroscience Plays a Big Part in Understanding Spirituality & Neutral Thinking

What I mean by that is that neuroscience is not my God. It’s not what I go to, but neuroscience and science itself can explain the mechanics of how God works, of how God relates to us. 

Trevor Moawad, an incredible sports psychologist, wrote a book called Getting to Neutral which was popular in my organization, which talks about the power of neutral thinking.

What does it mean to implement neutral thinking, and a neutral mindset? 

So first of all, what you need to know is Trevor Moab was Russell Wilson's coach, and in the beginning of the book, they talk about some unique ways Russell has really adopted this mindset into everything he does, one of which is that pressure is a privilege. 

So you don't necessarily want to meet fire with fire, you don't want to meet chaos with chaos, but rather you want to stay calm and cool; you want to stay collected, and neutral when you go into these high performance, high stress, high awareness, situations.

The concept of neutral thinking is really about looking at the next step, just one step at a time. 

Don't get yourself so worked up about the outcome and all the steps together. Just focus on the moment, be present; be intentional and focus on taking that one next step. 


A New Way to Read Your Bible

It's really interesting when you look at all of the details, but the entire word of God is inspired — every single word. All scripture is something we can apply and something we can learn from and live from for life.

If you're trying to find the thing you're looking for and you're "I'm gonna read this. I already know what it's about, I've heard this Bible story before." Let me encourage you to stop doing that. You have to stay in discovery as you study, as you listen to the Lord, as you pray, and as you read the Word. 

Stop jumping ahead. 

Stop thinking that you already know the outcome of every story and every message you've ever heard. You don’t. 

When you do that you're limiting God's ability to speak to you in the moment. And if you want him to speak and you want to see something you never saw before, you're going to have to learn how to settle. 

You're gonna have to learn how to read, how to meditate, how to digest, to think upon something and ponder it. If you're always reading with the end in mind and you already know the end of the story and just doing your quick one chapter-a-day or whatever. you're going to miss what God is saying. 

One of the things that Jesus does everywhere he goes is he cultivates curiosity and he keeps his true listeners in a state of discovery.


How Do You Stay in Full Discovery? 

This is an eternal principle that we now can prove with neuroscience, and it comes straight from the word of God in an obscure scripture you probably haven't heard a lot of messages about in Luke 6:12-17. 

It’s when Jesus went off to the mountain to pray and he spent the whole night in prayer to God. And when day came, he called his disciples to him and chose 12 of them who he also named as apostles. And from there it names all 12 of the apostles. It then says Jesus came down with them and stood on a level place guys. 

He stood on a level place; on level ground. 

So this was really interesting to me because I just got done studying and learning from the neuroscience perspective about “staying level” or “neutral” with the way you do things and in your mindset. And we see here specifically the writer of this gospel, Luke, who's very detailed, wrote that Jesus found himself and stepped down onto level ground.

When John the Baptist shows up in Luke 3, it says “A voice of one calling in the wilderness. Prepare the way of the Lord. Make straight paths for him. Every valley will be filled in, every mountain will be made low, and the crooked roads become straight and the rough way smooth, and all the people will see God's salvation. 

He just described level ground. Every valley's filled, every mountain comes down. Everything is smooth, everything is level, everything is flat. 

There's this awesome verse in Psalm 26 where David says, “as for me, I shall walk in my integrity", and he says, "redeem me and be gracious to me. My foot stands on a level place in the congregations. I shall bless the Lord (v. 11-12). 

Again, level ground.

God is saying something right now about getting on level ground, on staying neutral in your approach, in your mindset, in the way you walk out your life. 

David is basically saying when he stands on level ground that his foot is on a level place. He's saying, “I stand on principles, and I won't turn aside.” He's governed by principles. He's governed by a process, and his moods will not fluctuate. His mindset will not change.

He will not go up. He will not go down. He will stay on level ground because his foot is firmly planted on solid level ground. 

Level ground is a safe and proper place for God's children to walk. It's not necessarily a place free of dangers; it doesn't mean there's no hardship, or nothing we need to watch out for, but it is a place that God expects us to walk. It will take effort, one step at a time. 

But God's will for us is that we would stay level, that we would stay flat. This is where I want to overlap this concept of neutral thinking, a neutral mindset, a neutral approach to our life. 


Guard Against Distractions!

We need to guard against all the things that are coming at us all day long from our phone to other technology and distractions the enemy brings into our path. These things release a chemical that makes you feel great when you anticipate a reward, a dopamine spike.

We're constantly flooded with this feel-good neurotransmitter. So when I think about neutral mindset, and the biblical principle of walking and standing on level ground, I'm thinking about something predictable and neutral.

My body, my mind, my spirit, my soul is not governed by ups and by downs, or by notifications, emergencies and alarms. I'm able to settle within my spirit and be guided by peace because I know where I stand.

That's the mindset, the posture that we as kingdom-driven men should be employing right now. So if you've been in this heightened sense of awareness where notifications and outward experiences are driving you, and where external measures are influencing or disrupting your world, your workflow, your focus and control, then put those things aside.

We need to lay those things aside and get on level ground. 

Start to embrace neutral thinking. Be able to calm yourself. Know who you are in your walk with the Lord. Find that place with God where you're walking on a straight path. 


How can you get on level ground? Have you been driven by the ups and downs? 

The heightened sense of awareness, the crash of discouragement, the heightened sense of performance, and the comedown where you're tired, where you're wired, then you're tired again; this cycle of going up and down where life seems to be erratic and unpredictable because it's being governed by external circumstances... 

...all of those things are combining to put you in a state of stress.

When we follow the Lord, we're not promised an easy life, but you don't get stressed the way the world does. You don't have to deal with a fight and all these external pressures and filter it the same way that other men do. We are told how to conduct ourselves in our conduct to walk out life on a level path.

Everything we need is within the scripture. Everything we need is within a relationship with Jesus, and everything you need is with the voice of the Lord to you.

Start to listen, to bend your ear; you're going to start to need to bend your knee and listen to the Lord and spend time with him in prayer. We need the Holy Spirit to direct and order our steps and make our paths straight to me. 

That's what level ground is.




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