Have You Met the Growth-Twins? They Go by Kensho & Satori.
Kensho and Satori are not the main characters of a Japanese manga. They are terms used by Michael Bernard Beckwith to describe two sides of the same coin: growth.
The former is about evolving through hardships, the latter through insights.
Do you remember how cautiously you handled your new relationship after a painful breakup? That is Kensho in action.
Or that one time when a genius idea popped up while you were chilling in your bath? That is Satori’s work.
Despite the diversity in our ways of experiencing them, the growth-twins remain universal. Therefore, this story is not only about the “What?” part. it is especially about:
► How to embrace and employ Kensho and Satori?
💔 Chapter 1 — Kensho:
It is the process of growth that follows an unpleasant or wounding experience. It could be losing a loved one, getting fired or taking a financial hit. It is never easy. Yet it remains like Thanos: inevitable.
Up till my teenagehood, I have been overweight. Like 111 kilograms at 14 years old overweight. Classmates constantly made fun of the “bear” I was. Even when they did not, I was consumed by the fear of hearing a sudden hurting joke. Children have no filters, they tell you what they think such as “You can’t play with us! you are too fat to hide and too slow to seek”. One of the most hurting moments was seeing my crush pointing fingers at me and laughing. It happened when my sport outfit got ripped because, well, even max size was not comfortable enough for me to afford a leg stretch.
This kind of painful moments taught me numerous evolving lessons across different stages of my life. Today, I partly owe my investment in empathy and health to my teenagehood traumas.
In addition, stacking a couple of major failures, disappointments, and heartbreaks helped me elevate my consciousness and deeply embrace the tagline: “Focus on the only thing you have control over. Yourself.”
The human mind is extremely strong. It enables us to harness our suffering into improvement and maturity through Kensho. Usually, it is a time-consuming process. Results could take up to decades. Therefore, one might wonder: What if there is a shortcut to channel our pain into growth?
Last year, I stumbled on an extraordinary technique that Eric Edmeades shared during one of his speeches.
💔🌀 The Hindsight Window:
Simply put, whenever something bad happens to you, you pause for a moment and take deep breathes. Then, you start picturing any future blessings originating from the incident that just occurred. In a way, you already consider your misfortune as a lesson or as something that is “meant to be”. The key is to travel through time, in your mind, and visualize rewarding outcomes deriving from the current “tragedy”.
The day you get fired, for example, you could see it as an opportunity to take a serious shot at chasing your dream. Perhaps, while you are applying for new jobs at your favorite cyber coffee, you would make a lifechanging encounter with a new friend, business partner, a lover or a mentor.
Let’s be clear, Hindsight is not only about the long term.
For instance, a few weeks ago, my application to speak at a TEDx event was denied during the very last selection step. Truth is, I worked like crazy to get there. I was very frustrated and extremely sad when I received the “sorry you are rejected” phone call. Then, Hindsight Window kicked in: I thought to myself “ Hold on! What if I used the time initially intended for my speech preparation to write stories? Eventually, I would have more content for my next public speaking attempt”. Three days later, I got back to writing.
You could think of Hindsight as a cliché. It is not. In fact, as Steve Jobs said: “ You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards”. In other words, you could blame the universe and your bad luck. You can be angry and sad. Or, you could stand straight with your shoulders back, face your issues and learn from them. You could be excited about being the hero that struggles for a few chapters only to triumph at the end.
► Hindsight Window is about reconfiguring your mental state through visualizing a worthwhile settlement triggered by your current trouble. It is moving from frustration and anger to excitement and gratefulness.
💡Chapter 2 — Satori:
It manifests by means of sudden insights that change your vision or bring solutions to your current concerns.
Satori is shy. It does not show up as often as we would like. In fact, I spent hours looking for ways to seduce Satori into visiting my mind as often as possible. After all, suffering can be a great teacher, yet it is surely not the sweetest.
In my journey, I learned about meditation and visualization which basically inform our subconscious minds about our current aims. If you meditate regularly on a subject such as “ what should I write about ?” story ideas should start popping up. In my case, It was not that frequent for quite some time despite my efforts. Back then, I did not know that I was missing a key factor. Later on, I understood that my Satori dysfunction originated from tons of irrelevant thoughts that were polluting my mind.
💡🚫 Process of elimination:
After reading “Innercise” by John Assaraf, I deduced that Satori shows up regularly only if you are focused on a limited number of topics. Your brain understands that certain subjects are important to you. It works secretly on them then “POUF!” the insight shows up. However, it has a finite capacity. Distractions and incoherences block out the subconscious processes.
► Thus, decreasing the number of ideas you focus on grants your mind with more leeway.
Picture it this way: if you have 50 MO data balance left on your phone and you want to spend them reading stories on Medium, what would you do?
Naturally, you would turn off your push notifications, your messenger and your GPS: basically you would disable every other data-consuming app.
Similarly, you start each day with a balance of 24 hours. You could spend them complaining, gossiping, and reliving frustrating events in your mind. Or, you could straight up ignore the negativity. Instead, you could use that same time to reflect on treating yourself with proper meals, a warm cup of coffee, calling people you love, doing something you enjoy, exercising, meditating and learning something new.
It does not stop there. In fact, Mathew McConaughey defines the process of elimination as an overall healthy lifestyle hack. It is not limited to our thoughts. He highlighted that “It is just as important where we are not as it is where we are.”
In his speech at the University of Houston, he explains that the first step of achieving your best version is to define what success is to you. Then, you dispose of any activity jeopardizing your aspirations. Consequently, you gift yourself extra space for rewarding experiences that will help you fulfill your dreams. In that regard, I consider Satori as the “reflexion part” of the McConaughey approach.
► If you cut off the ideas and activities that poison your mind, your brain directs more resources to fulfilling and healing insights.
With such clarity, your Satori mechanisms are guaranteed to concentrate on promoting your growth and carrying your goals.
► Kensho and Satori can be effectively boosted. It is up to you to adapt the previous techniques to who you are today, and to who you aspire to become tomorrow.
Whether it is the Hindsight Window or the Process of elimination, we are talking about long term processes that are easy to pick up and hard to master. Rest assured, failure will be on the menu. Luckily, consistency leads to prevalence. Whenever you feel like giving up, remember that :