The Mushin Way to Peak PerformanceThe Path to Productivity, Balance, and Success
Follow your own nature to achieve clarity, power, and success The Mushin Way teaches tools and techniques to help you reach peak performance and transform your business and personal life. Regardless of what we want to achieve in business or in life, transformation can be difficult and we tend to be our own worst enemies. We hold ourselves back without even realizing what we are capable of. In this book, you'll learn how to break through the cycle of stress and setbacks to act with clarity, purpose, and direction—achieving peak performance and transformation along the way. You'll look deep inside to discover the natural leadership abilities lying dormant within you; you'll wake them up, make them stronger, and learn to draw on the strengths of those around you instead of muscling through with brute force. You'll discover how making the right choice is an empowering act, and develop the strength and confidence to stop hesitating at every crossroad. With pragmatic advice and wisdom drawn from the guiding principles of the Japanese martial art of Aikido, you'll find your inner warrior and learn that even the most challenging battles can be won—or may not even need to be fought. When you set your sights high, peak performance can feel like a constant uphill battle fraught with failures and disappointments. What if success was more like a transformational river current that carries you along to your goal? This book shows you how to come down off the hill into the refreshing waters of mindfulness to begin your journey to the top. Develop laser-like focus, even in high-stress environments Identify and develop your own innate leadership qualities Turn setbacks into opportunities and defeat into victory Achieve much more than ever before, with far less effort Eastern philosophy teaches us to work in harmony with our own nature instead of fighting ourselves every step of the way. The Mushin Way shows you just where your inner strengths lie, and how to leverage them for success.
Introduction The Aikido Way xi The Modern Battlefield xii What Is Aikido? xiii My Path to Aikido xv First Encounters xvi Journey to Japan xvii The Interruption xviii How the Book Is Structured: Applying the Principles of Aikido xix How to Use This Book xxiv Chapter 1 Heiki: Equanimity 1 There Is Another Way 2 An Opportunity to Prevent Violence 3 A True Hero 4 Calm Courage in the Everyday 5 A Moment When I Needed Heiki 6 Calm Energy Leads to Action 9 There When You Need It 12 Embracing Heiki 13 When You’re Known for Fighting Fires, You Get More Fires to Fight 14 Helping Others through Heiki 15 Chapter 2 Ki: Energy 21 Building a New Routine to Embrace Change 22 It’s All about Energy 24 My Own Encounters with Ki 25 When It Feels Like Ki Deserts You 27 Ki Alone Is Not Enough 29 When Strength Seduces You 30 Understanding KiMeans Understanding Your Own Limits 31 Learning Self-Awareness As an Entrepreneur 33 Channel Your Ki to Succeed 34 Building Elegant Support Structures 35 The Payoff 36 Chapter 3 Musubi: Connection 41 Tying Things Together 42 It’s All about Connection 43 Building Musubi: Start with Self-Interest 46 Deepening the Connection 47 Working without Musubi 49 You Can’t Sell without Musubi 50 Turning a Company Around by Cultivating Connection 52 Putting Musubi into Action 53 Chapter 4 Nen: One-Point 59 Finding Your Center of Gravity 60 Staying Centered through Good Times and Bad 62 Finding Your One-Point by Stepping Away 65 Maintain Your One-Point and You’ll Achieve Integrity 67 Sometimes You Have to Make a Change to Remain Yourself 69 Michael Veltri, Super-Spy? 72 Chapter 5 Mushin: No-Mind/No-Distractions/No-Fear 75 Give the Grenades to the Zen Masters 76 No Expectations, No-Mind 77 Mindfulness and No-Mind 79 Emptying Your Mind Isn’t Easy 82 Silencing the Monkey Mind 83 The Opposite of Mushin 84 A Better Way to Make Decisions 85 Chapter 6 Irimi: To Enter 93 Centripetal Force—You Have to Get Close 95 Not Confronting a Problem Can Be Disastrous 98 The Real Cost of Avoiding a Problem 98 Procrastinators, Take Notice! 100 How to Tell the True Problem from a Distracting Tangent 101 Confronting the Smartphone Problem 102 Starting Small Is Still Starting 104 The Power of Irimi 105 Chapter 7 Kokyu: Breath-Power 109 Kokyu-Ho: Knocking Someone Over with Only a Breath 111 Time to Get Uncomfortable 113 One Way to Get Past Your Anxiety 114 Breathing While You Work 116 How to Take Control of Your Day 117 Risking Failure to Succeed 119 Real Risk, Real Rewards 121 Creating Emotional Exhale Moments 123 Try It Yourself—Today 124 Chapter 8 ?C: Aiki: Unity 129 What I Should Have Known 130 Harmony in Action 130 Using Aiki in Daily Life 132 Try It Yourself 133 Use What You Have 134 The Road Less Traveled 135 Start with Self-Awareness 137 Embrace Your Weaknesses 140 Adapt, Improvise, and Overcome 142 Do Your Own Self-Assessment 143 Finding a Way 145 Chapter 9 Zanshin: Calm Awareness 151 Real-Life Daredevils 153 The Skill That Gives Spies Their Edge 154 An Exercise in Zanshin 155 Moments of Calm Awareness 157 Prepared for the Unexpected 158 Developing Zanshin 160 A Moment of Truth 162 The Power of Zanshin 164 Chapter 10 Wa: Harmony 169 Why the Finns Are Different 170 Fighting for Peace 171 Harmonious Hiring 174 The New Polaroid: Winning through Cooperation 176 Harmonious Progress 178 Understanding How Progress Really Works 179 The Honorable No 181 The Honorable No That Saved My Company—and My Sanity 183 Conclusion ?Sumi-Kiri: Clarity of Mind and Body 187 Clarity of Mind and Body 188 The Road to Acceptance 189 Listening to the Inner Voice 190 Clearing the Way for Action 192 My Teacher 193 Duty and Obligation 195 Strength Forged in Pain 196 Tempered Steel 198 A World of Enlightened Warriors 199 Are You Ready to Transform Your World? 200 Notes 203 Acknowledgments 213 Hire Michael to Speak 217 Index 219
MICHAEL VELTRI is top-rated keynote speaker, serial entrepreneur, and leadership expert for elite organizations such as the Central Intelligence Agency and many Fortune 500 companies. As a professional athlete, two-time cancer survivor, and U.S. Marine veteran, Michael shares his unique message of business transformation and peak performances to leaders, executives, entrepreneurs, and professionals worldwide. Michael has worked with diverse public and private sector clients including Fortune magazine's Global 500 standout, Samsung Electronics and the world's foremost medical research center, the National Institutes of Health. Michael's work has been featured by The Washington Post, Forbes, NBC News, and National Public Radio. Find out more about Michael's dynamic keynote speeches, corporate trainings, and comprehensive consulting services at www.michaelveltri.com.
Have you become "successfully miserable"? Are you caught in a "success trap" where yesterday's major achievements are today's performance standards and continued success is the expectation—not the exception? Are you "rewarded" for your hard work with a distracting and never-ending to do list resulting in tension, conflict, and confrontation? In his new book, Michael Veltri introduces readers to The Mushin Way, a pioneering new system for achieving peak performance with balance. Not burnout. Written for leaders, executives, entrepreneurs, and professionals across all industries, this book equips readers with: Practical exercises to unlearn a lifetime of unproductive and reactionary responses to threats, conflicts, and challenges and replace them with techniques that de- escalate, clarify, and resolve situations. Simple and effective steps that teach you how to receive a 20% raise at work. Or the courage and strategy to leave your dead-end job and create the vocation of your dreams. Relevant and retainable tools and techniques to make better decisions when the pace is fast, the stakes are high, and the outcome unclear. The confidence, know-how, and WHY it is so important to your continued success to create an empowering "third place". Actionable steps to move challenging business and personal projects forward to completion with velocity.
Praise for THE MUSHIN WAY TO PEAK PERFORMANCE "Michael Veltri teaches entrepreneurs how to win the losing battle against distractions and attain clarity in their business and personal life. The Mushin Way to Peak Performance is a fun, fascinating read that will free you from being 'successfully miserable' and get you back to loving what you do." —Josh Linkner, New York Times bestselling author, cofounder and chairman, Fuel Leadership; founding partner, Detroit Venture Partners "In my life, there's been nothing more clarifying than violence. Not random violence, but the focused, controlled study of martial arts. In martial arts, the truth finds you. Michael Veltri has been studying martial arts for decades, and distills its most important and crucial lessons into easy to understand exercises that can be applied to business and life. Read this book and you won't have to get punched in the face to apply the lessons of martial arts to your life." —Tucker Max, #1 New York Times bestselling author, cofounder of Book in a Box "In navigating through volatile, uncertain, chaotic, and ambiguous environments, The Mushin Way to Peak Performance teaches readers to successfully balance competing priorities. Michael Veltri's steps toward clarity offer a path to success in life and business." —Colonel Michael Callender, United States Air Force "The Mushin Way to Peak Performance is a playbook on how to successfully apply the many benefits of the martial arts—humility, self-confidence, and indomitable spirit to name a few—to your business and personal life." —Jayson Gaignard, founder of MastermindTalks, author, and named by Forbes as one of the Top Networkers to Watch "In this book, the martial arts principles that were used by the Samurai on the battlefield are applied to the daily challenges of modern life. The Mushin Way to Peak Performance is mandatory reading for any person in a high-pressure career where mental balance and decisiveness are critical for success. Michael Veltri walks us through the steps we can take to overcome the biggest hindrance to our achievements —ourselves. After reading this book, the reader is empowered to apply these lessons toward a successful career and personal life where conflict is converted into growth and setbacks become an opportunity for achievement." —Dr. Edmund T. Karam, MD, FACC, FHRS, cardiologist "In this remarkable book, Michael Veltri explains how the principles of the martial art of aikido help you move through life—not physical combat but business interactions, emotional conflict, and managing the crush of a complex, hard-charging world on a busy individual. Veltri has packed a lot of wisdom into an engaging volume full of stories and anecdotes that make The Mushin Way to Peak Performance a pleasure to read as it teaches the art of living and doing business like a samurai." —Ben Wittes, Editor in Chief, Lawfare, Washington Journalist, and National Security Legal Analyst
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