‘Are you present or absent in your life?’

Mick toddOctober 2nd, 2023

It was great to interact with Mark Chahwan about ‘the power of space and the negativity of a void’ – I expanded this conversation with my business partner and high performance coach at 2b LimitlessPeter Charles Turner (he leads through Intellection and loves time to reflect and think) and the insight was deep, the difference between being ‘present or absent’ in life comes down to ‘opening up space or creating voids’;

Opening Up Space – ‘Being Present’

  • Meditation – Opening up space in your mind
  • Journaling – Opening up space for gratitude
  • Exercise – Opening up space for confidence
  • Community – Opening up space for connection
  • Laughter – Opening up space for success

Creating Voids – ‘Being Absent’

  • Procrastination – Avoiding decisions
  • Judgement – Avoiding deeper reflection
  • Fear – Avoiding courageous decisions
  • Stagnation – Avoiding the challenge of positive change
  • Regret – Avoiding the opportunity that it might not work

Are there any voids that you are opening up in your life?

How do you create the sort of ‘rhythm and tempo’ that makes us as present as we can be?

‘Be regular and orderly in the way you live so that you can be fierce and creative in the way you work.’ – Gustav Flaubert

Rituals – ‘Strengths-Based Behaviours, Practiced on Purpose and Positioned to Enhance, Engagement, Performance and Joy! – 2b Limitless

When used purposefully, rituals open up the space for you to be creative, joyful, disruptive in the way you think, connected, confident, positive and community focused.

Conversely, when we sidestep the chance to create or engage in meaningful rituals, we inadvertently craft a void, often filled with negativity. 

‘By opening up positive space in our lives, we not only invite joy and creativity in… we also become a source of light and possibility for ourselves and those around us.’  Mick Todd

Opening Up Spaces with Rituals – 6 Key Insights

1. Creativity: Rituals act as a conduit for innovative thinking. Just as writers often have rituals to initiate their writing process, setting aside intentional time and space opens the mind into a state of flow, fostering creativity and innovative ideas. 

 2. Enjoyment: Rituals augment pleasure. For instance, the simple act of brewing tea or a coffee can become a sensory delight when made into a ritual, turning an ordinary moment into an extraordinary experience and a key anchor point for a great day. 

3. Disruptive Thought: Challenging the status quo and cultivating novel insights often requires stepping out of routine thinking. Rituals that promote reflection or push boundaries lead to transformative ideas in the way you work and live. Peter Charles Turner really leverages his ‘Intellection’ strength to thrive here.) 

 4. Connection: Many rituals are communal in nature. Whether it’s a family dinner or a community festival, these gatherings foster bonds, create shared memories, and promote a sense of belonging. 

 5. Confidence and Positivity: Personal rituals, like morning affirmations or visualization exercises, are powerful tools in nurturing self-belief and maintaining a positive mindset. 

 6. Community: Larger, community-based rituals reinforce shared values, create a collective identity, and enhance social cohesion. Connection creates commitment that builds a sense of belonging. 

‘The void created by ignoring the pain points in life doesn’t just create an emptiness; it echoes with the haunting sounds of missed opportunities and unfulfilled potential.’  Mick Todd

The Void of Avoidance – 6 Key Insights

Avoiding the opportunity to establish or engage in rituals leads to a void, which often becomes occupied by less constructive emotions and behaviors: 

 1. Judgment: Without the grounding that rituals provide, we find ourselves more susceptible to societal pressures, leading to self-judgment or preoccupied by the perceived judgments of others. 

 2. Procrastination: Without the structure and intention that rituals offer, we can easily become adrift in a sea of distractions and indecision. 

3. Fear and Uncertainty: The absence of ritualistic anchors heighten feelings of fear, particularly in the face of change or the unknown.

4. Stagnation: Rituals often drive personal growth and community progression. Without them, there’s a risk of becoming stuck in repetitive, unfulfilling patterns.

5. Regret: Over time, the void give rise to a sense of missed opportunities and unfulfilled potential. 

 6. Frustration and Isolation: Lack of connection and shared experiences can lead to feelings of isolation and dissatisfaction. 

What are the rituals that make a difference?

1. Daily Reflection or Meditation: Starting or ending the day with a few minutes of silence, reflection, or meditation can help you connect with your inner self, set intentions, and remain grounded. – I love Calm or Headspace for Organizations as a tool.

2. Gratitude Journaling: Taking time daily or weekly to jot down things you’re grateful for can shift your focus from what’s lacking or stressful to what’s abundant and positive in your life. – I love the Five Minute Infosec Journal (I am on a streak of over 270+ days.)

3. Physical Activity: Whether it’s a daily walk, yoga, or an intense workout, physical activity releases endorphins, increases energy, and enhances well-being. David Labouchere and Victoria Tipper lead this for 2b Limitless (Bootcamp, The Al Qudra Morning Rides, Ice Baths…)

4. Setting Intentions: Start your day by setting clear, positive intentions. This ritual channels your energy towards fulfilling activities and interactions. Tony Martin is massively intentional around what matters most to him.

5. Connecting with NatureSpending regular time in nature, whether it’s a walk in the park or tending to a garden, can help reduce stress and increase feelings of connection and joy.

6. Regular Detox from Technology: Setting aside specific times where you disconnect from screens can help you reconnect with yourself and those around you. ‘Outside Offline’.

7. Reading: Setting aside dedicated time to read, whether it’s personal development books or just for pleasure, stimulates the mind and expands horizons. There are different ways to do this… Audible is my preferred approach as I am an auditory learner. I am loving ‘Belonging’ – Owen Eastwood at the moment.

8. Celebrating Small Wins: Recognizing and celebrating even small achievements can cultivate a mindset of abundance and appreciation. I love how Ian Ward brings this mindset of celebrating your incremental gains. (I hope you had a win at golf on the weekend?) ‘You get more of what you celebrate!’

9. Community Engagement: Regularly participating in community or group activities, like volunteering, mentoring, making charitable contributions fosters connection and gives a sense of purpose beyond self. Guido De Wilde leads through this type of service.

10. Creative Expression: Engage in some form of artistic expression, whether it’s writing, painting, dancing, or playing a musical instrument. It’s a wonderful outlet for emotions and a catalyst for joy and creativity. This is an approach that I love in Melda Yasar Cebe – Remember creativity takes many different shapes.

12. Affirmations: Repeating positive affirmations can rewire the brain to foster positive thinking and cultivate a growth mindset. Garreth Ewing creates powerful starts to the day through this approach.

‘Every day, in every way I am getting better and better!’

13. Setting Boundaries: Ensuring you set aside personal time and space regularly helps maintain balance and ensures you have energy for growth and connection. Melanie Bangcaya-Jadi creates real personal and professional balance through her boundaries.

Rituals – When approached with mindfulness and intention, have an unmatched potential to elevate your life, catalysing positive change and fostering deep connections, self belief and a genuine sense of belonging. 

On the other hand, avoidance creates a void, leaving room for negativity to creep in and hinder growth and confidence.

By recognising the value of rituals and actively incorporating them into your life, you can unlock vast reservoirs of creativity, joy, and community – Truly Present.

Additional Insights

Victoria Tipper shared key ideas;


  • 1/4tsp Himalayan salt/sea salt in water upon waking to help rehydrate (optional to add lemon for extra liver support)
  • Morning sunshine within 30  minutes of waking, without sunglasses on to help boost serotonin and melatonin that evening as helps with sleep
  • Morning movement to boost dopamine
  • Practice daily gratitude – what 3 things grateful for that day before bed (helps with mindset, sleep and reducing inflammation)
  • Eat within minimum of 12 hour window – Give your body an opportunity to recover
  • Wait 1 hour before consuming anything (except morning salt/lemon water)
  • Finish consuming foods and drinks 3 hours before going to sleep (except water and herbal teas)
  • Power down hour before bed – limit screens or use blue blockers. Avoid doing anything that will activate the brain (emails/ watching the news, social media)
  • Connect with someone you love
  • Experiment with different forms of breath work and find what suits you (box breathing, 4-7-8, Wim Hof, guided meditations on apps like Headspace or Calm). Especially important to practice deep belly breathing for 1-3 minutes before meals to aid digestion
  • Move more and sit less – sitting is the new smoking! Find ways that work for you (stand at least every hour, walking meetings, standing desks, always walk if on the phone), aim for 10,000 steps a day
  • Walk for 20-30 mins after meals (if you can’t head out for a walk then calf raises under the desk can help lower blood sugar)


  • Consume 30 different types of plant based food to fuel a varied microbiome (fruit, vegetables, nuts/seeds, legumes, herbs)
  • Consider ice baths and sauna use (great for dopamine, longevity and immunity)
  • Reflection of what went well for you that week, what will make the next week great
  • Prioritise play at least once a week, aim for more if you can open up space. What makes your heart sing and giggle? Do that more!’You learn more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of a conversation!’ – Aristotle
  • One to ones with people you love and those that leave you feeling energised
  • 2-3 strength training sessions
  • Mobility session to prevent injuries


  • Update of individual strengths based rituals – What are the upgrades from the month before?
  • Reflect on what’s distracting you from your goals – What’s stealing your focus? How will you feed the focus and starve the distractions?


  1. Evaluate and update goals, what have you achieved?
  2. What went well?
  3. What didn’t?
  4. What are your learnings?
  5. What’s next?
Mick todd

Blog Contributor

Mick todd

Snr Partner, Founder and CEO