We’re hosting a 1 day workshop in London in May– a unique transformative day with 3 leading minds working in the fields of mindfulness, creativity & innovation. Here we speak with our invited guest for the day, Shamash Alidina, about Moonshot Thinking and how this can help us be better entrepreneurs and leaders.
Psst. Also did you hear we’re now accepting applications for our next Home School – a 6 week e-course for budding entrepreneurs and early stage startup founders from every corner of the globe– more info and how to apply »
President J.F. Kennedy took the bold step of promising a man on the moon by the end of the 1960s – a literal moonshot.
That big dream motivated thousands of people to work day and night to make it a reality. But it started with the dream. Moonshot thinking is a concept often spoken about at Google, and now many other organisations. The concept revolves around making the world a radically better place to live in.
Shamash Alidina, our good friend at The Happy Startup School & expert in mindfulness introduced Moonshot Thinking to us over a coffee a few months ago.
Now, we’re moonshot evangelists on a mission to bring better clarity and focus to individuals and teams in our community that want to make a bigger impact. We’ll get onto that in a sec.
Shamash! Tell us about you and the power mindfulness can have on the success of entrepreneurs
I’m a mindfulness teacher trainer and author of several books on mindfulness.
Mindfulness is being accepted in mainstream corporations. Google, offers mindfulness in many different forms for its staff. They do this not because it’s the latest fad, but because it works! The evidence base is hard to deny. It increases mental resilience, boosts focus whilst making you feel more relaxed. Mindfulness improves emotional intelligence and communication, and above, makes you feel more happy. There’s hundreds of other companies using mindfulness.
Entrepreneurs are under pressure to succeed. It’s a pressure that both internally generated as well as the external pressures from supplier, customers and staff. Working under high pressure is fine. As long as you know where the release valve is. Mindfulness is the best release valve I’ve ever used to help relieve pressure and improve performance long-term.
Lots of successful entrepreneurs now practice mindfulness and meditation – I’d urge you to have a go if you haven’t tried it yet!
Can you tell us more about the concept of moonshot thinking and how it can help businesses?
Moonshot thinking is the opposite of the way most people think. Most entrepreneurs think about how they can make their service 10% better, not 10x better.
But 10% better is what all your competitors are doing too. And the way 10% growth is often achieved, is by working harder. This leads to burnout and you’re still left competing with your former competitors who are also working harder! 10% improvement isn’t very exciting, is it?
There is a different way. But it requires brave, bold thinking. Not harder work.
Think about how your service could be 10x more effective. To achieve that, you need to think wayyy out of the box. You need to put the box in the bin and start again.
This very idea of thinking creatively and starting again is what can make the difference in your industry.
Without moonshot thinking we would never have had any new technologies like: radio, television, digital camera, mobile phones, the internet, the self-driving car, planes, the new electric car ‘Tesla’, wifi etc.
I also believe in personal moonshot thinking.
How can you make your life a radically better one? Going on a mindfulness retreat? Totally changing career? Moving to a different country? Taking action to build that app you’ve been thinking about? Creating personal moonshots and the challenges around actioning them are all things we’re revealing in our London workshop in May.
Do you have a moonshot in mind, how are you working towards it?
I’ve got a few I suppose! It can seem arrogant to share moonshots, but that’s the whole point of this workshop – to give you the safe space to share radical goals (that may likely fail, but that’s fine!) to help you make a bigger positive difference in the world. They may sound impossible, but so did inventions like the radio – it seemed completely crazy that music could be transmitted without wires!
Okay, here’s some of my moonshots:
- One of my big dreams is to help build a Museum of Happiness in every city in the world! I’ve taken steps to start gathering an initial community and have organised a couple of events. We’ve even been given a building in London to start the first one! This is what moonshots are about – having big dreams and then taking the necessary small actions.
- Another is to radically deepen my personal mindfulness, as best I can. I do this by prioritising to attend as many retreats with whoever I consider the best mindfulness/meditation teacher in the world. I’ve been doing that for the last five years or so, learning with teachers like the Dalai Lama, Jon Kabat-Zinn and Ajahn Brahm. Not sure I’m radically more mindful, but at least I’m hanging out with the right folk!
- Finally, I endeavour to live each year as if it’s my last year on the planet. This helps decision making for me. Living each year as if it’s my last has taken me to some interesting, fun places all over the world, from New Zealand to Mexico. However, I try not to spend everything in my bank account every year…that’s the other challenge!
I’ve been very privileged to be able to take the above steps on my moonshots. But everyone’s different and your moonshots may be far more conservative, or wild for that matter. Whatever they may be, we each start from where we are and go from there.
What was the first workshop in Brighton like for you? what did everyone leave with?
I had a wonderful day, and the participants said they got a lot out of it too.
I loved the combination of a relaxing start with little mindfulness meditation exercises, followed by radical ideas around 10x thinking with Laurence, getting creative juices flowing through the vision boarding with Claire Holgate, and finally getting down to setting some concrete goals and actions with Carlos. A perfect day for me – I felt energised, uplifted and inspired to take action, which I did! Following that day, I set up the Museum of Happiness’ first event, which was a sell out!
“An amazing day. I felt a huge shift in my energy, motivation and clarity.” Attendee, Brighton workshop
Even if you come away with just one new idea, one new friend or one new tool, it’ll be worthwhile to come along. I met some really cool people making a big difference in the world. I really can’t wait for the next one, and would love to meet you too!
Come shoot for the moon with us in London on Friday May 8th. Join Shamash, Carlos & Laurence for a fun, interactive day. You’ll create a vision that inspires you (and your team) to do great things and move from ideas to action. Early birds available, and get 3 tickets for the price of 2 (limited availability). View website & booking info »
*Thanks to our friend Claire Holgate for the lovely illustration!