Ep. 92 – FTB Key Concepts: Who Are Your Engines & Anchors?

Hello friends, previous episodes have focused on productivity and principles and practices of the attention economy. These topics have a lot of theory and research on the impact of regular practices in your daily life. 

I want to shift today’s topic to be less about theory and more about the people who are part of your daily life. The Bottom Line on Top of this episode is that there is a direct correlation between the quality of your day and the impact of those around us. The people in your life can have just as much impact as any habit, tool, or technique. 

When looking at the Who surrounding us, they typically fall into one of two categories. They can be engines or they can be anchors. 

The engines are the ones who help propel you forward or are the inspirational pace cars ahead of you. These are the individuals who cheer you on, pick you up, and keep you going. This specific and intentional energy is a critical component of where you are likely to find progress, and innovation, creativity and problem solving, or sometimes, more importantly, offer you a soft place to land. 

The other type of a person who can contribute to the quality of our life is an anchor. This is somebody who typically is holding you back, who has the emergency brake on when you’re trying to rev that engine. The person that’s saying, “Everything’s fine as it is, why do you have to go and change things?” And often with the anchors, it’s less about what you’re trying to do and more about their own comfort level that is being challenged as they are watching you learn and grow and consider new things. 

So as you’re looking around at Team You – whether that is comprised of those connected to you via chosen or biological family, professionally, or personally – look at the give-and-take of the people who are in your life, or in your head. Who is living in your mind rent free – are they an engine or an anchor? 

One way to examine this is by paying attention to the words that surround you. 

Which voices do you hear from the most on any given day? And I’m specifically saying HEAR, because that goes into our cognitive intake system. The people – and let’s just say the five people that you hear from the most on a given day – these are your bankers, they are either investing in you or they are divesting from you. 

Daily deposits are being made into your mind through words. And those words, either add or subtract from your self-confidence. Words alone can be engines or anchors, regardless of who they come from. 

A lot of us have a memory bank full of words that we can pull on at any point to offer as proof. “This is why I can’t or I can.” 

What you say to yourself is a powerful undercurrent that either pushes you forward or pulls you backwards. So just like people, our own words can be add fuel to the engines or weight to the anchors. 

What other people say to you – the words that they use – are the accelerants to the acceptance that you allow into your brain. Pay attention to the people who also deprive you of conversational calories. The people who simply don’t respond or who intentionally send you silent anchors. All this study, all these conversations about unlocking the brain really comes first from that nourishment in the soil of our minds. And that nourishment is words. 

So try an experiment. Reach out today to five people just with a quick positive note. It doesn’t have to be an email, it could just be a quick text or a live conversation. Reach out to five people with a quick positive note and see if they accept your words. Are you around people who are willing to accept positivity? That will tell you something right there. See if they accept your words and what, if any, word they send back your way.

You get to be in charge of what nourishments go into the soil of your mind. And if you are finding there isn’t a lot of sustenance available, consider what that means in terms of what you’re willing to accept. 

People and words can be your engines and your anchors. You get to pick who’s on your confidence crew. Make sure you’re on your own team, too. 

Until next time, take good care.

Your brain is hungry. Give it some intellectual snacks in the
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I'm Kristin

I left my corporate work and dove further into how to navigate this noisy, digital, exhausted world. The result is a methodology centered on communications, productivity, and culture that blends theory with practice and helps people better enjoy the life they worked so hard to get.