Stress Resilience

with Paul Campbell

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Life Hacking

Improve productivity and efficiency through mind & body connection.

Paul Campbell

CEO & Co-Founder of bLife Inc, Director of Business Development at Microsoft

Lessons Learned

A daily practice of meditation is scientifically proven to improve focus and productivity.

Use sports psychology with focus on performance to win with your startup.

Expressions of gratitude, breathing exercises & affirmations have neurological & biological impact.


Lesson: Stress Resilience with Paul Campbell

Step #3 Life Hacking: Improve productivity and efficiency through mind & body connection

People have been life hacking for a long time. I started my own life hacking, particularly with an Excel spreadsheet at the time, looking at days that I practiced — I got introduced to a meditative or contemplative practice — and the days that I didn't. I would chart my own sort of scale of not only my mood but did I feel like I was productive, and my own definition of being productive was did I feel like I was in a rhythm with the day regardless of what happened.

Sometimes you're in rhythm and you find that parking spot. Other days you don't find the parking spot but rather than it throwing you off, you’re like, "Well, okay, I'll park next door and I'll use this an opportunity to walk." So there'd be certain days where it would just frustrate me that things weren't happening. But the days that I practiced, the days that I meditated, regardless of what happened, I felt better better able to deal with the day’s happenings and more often than not I was just in more of a rhythm.

I saw the correlation and I wanted to understand more about the underlying science of what is the causation relationship, and so that's what triggered me on the quest. When I started to look at the map of the last month, the last three months, I got convinced that the days when I practiced were definitely qualitatively and quantitatively better than the days that I didn’t.

I grew up in a household where my mom worked as a psychiatric nurse. So I was around the idea of how the mind and the brain affected the body. So that was one piece. The second piece is I grew up playing sports and was always fascinated by sports psychology and that the recognition within sports, I found conversations would happen in sports that wouldn't happen in the rest of our daily life.

So if you think about the game of life and how to win within life, what does that really mean? And how do you perform in a high stress environment, which is very parallel to a business environment, and definitely relevant to a start-up experience? So I was just fascinated by people who are able to perform through using tools and techniques like visualization or being able to really calm themselves when things are swirling around them. And so that sports psychology piece was another piece.

And then, for myself, as I became an entrepreneur in the ‘90s I was really running very, very hard and I had a personal health incident. I experienced a stroke. I was 30, turning 31 and I played a lot of sports, was in great health, and so obviously when you talk the proverbial wake up call, that was the wake up call. I wanted to understand, not only physiologically what contributed to this but also my psychology, how did those two things come together. Physiologically I was fine and so that put me on this journey to really want to understand the mind and body connection.

If you wrap all of it up together, in the late ‘90s and early 2000s, a lot of science started to come to the market. We would be able to be aware now of the impact of the brain on the body. Things that were traditionally considered ancient wisdom or things that were "New Age", now we had a scientific foundation for them. We know when you can affirm something or expression of gratitude or how breathing exercises or affirmations, all of these things have a neurological and biological impact and they work together. So that started me on my journey of integrating that into my personal life and my professional life.

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