I have a confession to make. It may seem blasphemous since I design and teach life operating systems — guiding people on how to implement systems and processes to be more effective. I live my life on such systems, and they have been massively valuable in achieving the things I find most meaningful in life.
However, sometimes I abandon the system. I drop nearly all of it and go completely off the grid. And I do it unapologetically, without remorse or regret.
I call it going into full Beast Mode.
“Beast Mode” is a phrase that comes from sports and video games. It’s a short-lived state of hyper-intensity, in which exceptional feats are achieved and seeming super-powers come to life.
We all hit times when we’re up against a major challenge, a top priority that must be accomplished. In these instances, success in this one area is of such supreme importance that we must zero in on a single goal with everything we have. All else can wait. THIS must be delivered.
Beast Mode is for these moments.
As mere mortals we do not have true super-powers, except for one — complete unwavering laser focus.
So in such circumstances, I pause all our other goals and projects and in many cases slow or even halt habit & routine formation efforts. All these other elements were carefully crafted to optimize our progress in life, so choosing to go Beast Mode should not be a casual decision.
But sometimes it must be done, bring it all down to a singular concentration. Aim, fire, and unleash everything you have on it.
I have poured myself into Beast Mode the past couple weeks and will continue in this state for a few more. The unexpected high demand of my initial course launch has created a need to deliver massive value to a surprisingly large cohort of ambitious, dedicated students. I am absolutely committed to delivering for these people who have placed their trust in me, I want to instill in them all the knowledge and capability I am capable of providing. It is of such paramount importance to me that I’m dropping over 90+% of the rest of my life’s activities to do so. I’m all in.
This means I’m declining all meetings, halting client work, asking friends to wait until I re-emerge, begging forgiveness from family members. I’m doing what has to be done in a critical time period to deliver on one single mission.
It’s empowering to build into your life the ability to enter such a periodic burst-mode without wreaking havoc in your world. Your life systems need the strength and flexibility to enable periodic shifts into (then back out of) Beast Mode.
This being my first course, I don’t have much infrastructure in place to rely on. Everything is being built from scratch — often in real time, as I have new ideas and cohort participants present excellent suggestions to enhance the program. I’m developing new skills in bullet-time, including a crash course on how to delegate with my tiny team of one talented and highly motivated course operations director (Jane, who thankfully has extensive experience designing and implementing innovative educational programs).
With well-designed life systems in place, you have a high degree of transparency on what matters most to you and how well you’re progressing across the board. So the opportunity cost is in plain sight when dropping everything else for one obsessive burst.
And this highlights the need to make Beast Mode a short intense burst, not a new way of life. It will deliver big results quickly in a narrow slice, and at significant costs to others areas of life (including health, stamina and mental clarity).
Design these modes to be as short as possible.
But when necessary, be willing to go there. This could be for family (helping someone in crisis), work (seizing a big opportunity), or personal development (a health or fitness transformation). Don’t let system structure and more forgiving priorities hold you back when one clear mission stands above all else in a critical moment — when a make or break life situation arises.
At the same time, having a well designed life operating system will better enable the return to a more balanced life progressing across a portfolio of goals and projects. A well-designed system will hold in place and allow a smooth re-engagement. The full range of your life’s pursuits re-igniting from their temporary hiatus.
The ability to go from systemic order to obsessive deep dive, then back again smoothly is a hallmark of an exceptional system. Emerging from Beast Mode without such a thoughtful structure in place leaves you in disoriented chaos, often triggering a downward feedback loop.
So have strong personal systems in place. Live by them. Give yourself the right to go full Beast Mode when a special situation presents itself. Make it happen!
Then return to the life design you have built. The ability to move between these states will make your system better, as you will learn how to leave things such that they are easier to re-engage with later.
You will have the ability to seize unique game-changing moments — and execute on them with immediate massive impact.