Ways to distinguish yourself #104 Setup and use anchors and triggers

In 1993, my first meditation teacher explained the use of anchors. My anchor was simple – when I was delving deep into meditation, I would bring my three fingers (thumb, index and middle) together in both hands. The idea was that with practice, I would be able to accelerate my getting into meditative state by activating the anchors.

Triggers are like reminders for an appointment. Let’s say you want to get into a meeting in a positive frame of mind and you know that listening to particular kind of music or a particular song for example will get you into the positive frame of mind, that music or song becomes a trigger for you.

Anchors and triggers work. It requires discipline to setup and follow through. Again, this is something that happens in the long term. Hence the temptation would be to easily miss and ignore their power.
Here’s one way to setup an anchor

1. Choose an anchor (example: snapping your fingers, tapping on your knee, clinching your fist etc.)
2. When you are in a state (confident, happy, excited or some combination thereof) that you want to be in, activate your anchor
3. Repeat this everytime you are in that state

The idea is that after sometime you can activate your anchor to move into the desired state

Here’s one way to setup a trigger

1. Observe yourself how you are getting into your desired state. It can be reading a book, watching a particular clip, listening to a particular song etc. That becomes your trigger.
2. Test the assumption by activating the trigger at a random time.
3. Once confirmed, use this trigger to get into the desired state.

People ask me the key difference between an anchor and a trigger. In my opinion, an anchor is something that you do and a trigger is something external.

Use both of them in whatever combination based on your preference and make the most of your life!