From Implosion to Explosion

Explode your life and business by imploding your mind


Lassi Viitala


From Implosion to Explosion

What’s common between World War II and invention of an atom bomb, scaling human mind to increase happiness and fulfillment in life and being successful in business life? All of them benefits from a phenomenon called “implosion” – an inwardly directed explosion – to induce even stronger outwardly targeted game changer explosion.

Manhattan Project as game changer for World War II

While arguably a gloomy topic from the category should-never-have-happened, there’s a lot we can learn from the dynamics and inventions in the World War II and specifically from the outcomes of the Manhattan Project. The rivalry, a war, between two sides had started in 1939 and after three long years the Manhattan Project to design a war-ending game changer – an atom bomb – was launched in the Los Alamos laboratory. Eventually the project was a questionable success, ending the war in a horrible bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki 1945.

But how did such a game changer device come to be? One deciding moment, a game changer in the process of seeking a game changer, was the discovery of implosion – an inwardly directed explosion. For some time, the scientists had known they need to find a way to combine a critical mass of matter to release enormous amount of energy. However, due to the nature of the physics related it had to be done in a concise and fast way. It was Seth Neddermeyer who finally took the concept and made it a game changer for the building of a working device.

Together the scientist in Los Alamos laboratories discovered in 1944 that a way forward is first to induce an inwardly directed explosion. And if done right, enormous outwardly directed energy can be unleashed.

Increasing self-consciousness as game changer for fulfilling life

Most of us live our lives from start to end in one form of autopilot mode of sorts. The concept has been studied and quoted in many ways. Daniel Kahneman talks about system one and system two thinking in his book of Thinking Fast and Slow. The point being, that system one thinking is intuitive and superficial reactive thinking that comes naturally and effortlessly for all of us – hence the default mode. System two thinking is deeper thinking requiring effort, time, and intentional willingness to stress one’s mind.

A Finnish philosopher Esa Saarinen talks about the same subject by pointing out, that most of us rarely have time to “stop and think a bit more”. That most of us just flies through our hectic days without using nowhere near the full potential of our minds.

Robert Kegan has taken another angle on the topic outlining five orders of conscious mind. Orders rank from impulsive mind reacting with one’s reflexes to self-transforming mind operating on the highest level of consciousness, capable of dialectic discussion between different ideologies.

Finally, philosopher David R. Hawkins has proposed a map of consciousness constituting of 17 different levels of self-consciousness starting from the lowest level of shame to highest level of enlightenment. Depending on the level of one’s own self-consciousness, the limitations of one’s thinking and behavior can range from severe to unrestricted creativity.

What does any of this has to do with implosion then? All of them require intentional energy-demanding inward work to reach something more and valuable in external life. Whether it’s stopping and taking time to reflect, think or work one’s mind trough internal roadblocks of shame, fear or anger, an inward explosion of mind is required. Such implosion of mind requires effort, that all of us would benefit from prioritizing it high in our daily routines. Implosion of our mind is a game changer for our actions and journey in our external life.

Scaling business by scaling mind

Let’s talk about business. How often do you hear leaders talking about self-consciousness, internal roadblocks of human minds and alike nonsense softy talk in strategy meetings? Exactly. Such topics are often taboo, deeply personal matters that has no place at workplace. Yet, it is evident that the limitations of our mind are directly reflected into our actions at workplace too.

I was once coaching a startup who had two years of product development behind but lacked the sales and income. Their CEO wanted to know how to sell, what are the best strategies to use and how should the product be marketed. They had decided that since they lacked the turnover and customers, their next focus and investment was to hire salespeople to get the sales going. I asked them one question: Who are the customers and why should they buy your product? I got angry, frustrated, and defensive response: We know what we are doing, there’s nothing wrong with the product. We just need the salespeople and sales strategy to get the income.

They were not able to answer the simplest question there is – why and who should someone buy your product? They were too proud and in love of the result of their two-year development. They were afraid that they would have to start all over, or even worse, must admit that there was no customer for the product and the idea was just simply bad from the beginning. They were simply limited by their undeveloped mind to see broader. They were stuck and searching for solutions within their small comfort zone, when the real answers lied outside their comfort zone in the areas where their limited mind actively prohibited them from looking.

The lesson of the story is: Before we look into strategy, competitors or products, we must look inside our own mind first. The limitations of our consciousness limits how good and creative we can be with the rest.

Let’s explode our lives and business by imploding our mind.

The Author is a CEO and Founder of a coaching and consultant company Feynline Oy