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The Mushin Way to Peak Performance: The Path to Productivity, Balance, and Success



The Mushin Way to Peak Performance: The Path to Productivity, Balance, and Success

Michael Veltri

ISBN: 978-1-119-28526-7 January 2017 256 Pages

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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