Posts tagged MINDSET
A small habit exercise

I love Mondays recently. I have changed my mind about Mondays. Clean slate paradise.


Changing your mind is a very personal affair. Changing your mind about your body is a long term effort that doesn’t happen overnight.


For practice, is best to start small, with things that are (apparently) not related.


Choose a small, annoying little habit you have. You know it’s not good for you but you can’t rid of it.


(Example – I keep receipts I don’t need in my wallet. When I need to pay by cash, I can’t see the cash; I need two hands to rummage through, I then drop whatever I hold in my other hand. This makes me avoid cash payments. I have no cash right now in my wallet. But I have receipts. Annoying)


Try this:


Step 1 – Pause – right before you start, take a time out. (It’s your life after all)


Step 2 – Look at the object of your affection (the receipt, a donut, etc.) and consider if you really need it. Need it, not want it.


Step 3 –  Decide– keep it or bin it.  99% of the times I don’t really need to keep a receipt or eat a donut. Everything is digital now. My bank statement loads automatically into the accountant’s software. And those office snacks leftovers can go in the bin. The receipt can go in the bin. You are not a bin.


Step 4 – Do it – whatever you have decided, do it. If you decide to keep it, remember why it was. And see if that changes next time. Chances are, it’s always the same reason. If you know why you’re doing it, you’re winning.


Step 5 – Don’t judge yourself – just notice the why’s. The less you resist it, the clearer it gets. And that’s what we want to do here – get really clear about it.


It turns out I still pick up receipts because a) littering guilt b) tax return accuracy c) personal information on receipts paranoia.  What can I do. If I really don’t need a receipt (and that’s most of the time) I will: a) ask the person who’s offering it to me to bin it instead  - planet saved b) file it on my paperwork day, Tuesday at 10 am – software glitches covered C) shred it, on Tuesday at 10am – no one can ever send me unwanted mail and identity fraud me.


If I have a receipt in my wallet on Tuesday afternoon, I have failed.

Chances are, I will need some time with this process.


In the meantime, I can and I will get some cash out.

Tips for a better mindset

I recently went to a work induction course. I joined a new collective of people about to undertake a very stressful project, with large budgets, people they didn’t like and tight deadlines.


The people running the course did a good job, mentioning that when you get into what they calledthe ‘Inside The Box’ mood, and you act from that place, things are not going to end up well. But they didn’t’ mention how to get 'Out of the box'. So I had my own go at figuring that out and I thought I should share. ( as I do)


But first, it's worth mentioning that knowing how to get out of a negative mental state is not useful just in the office. Sport psychology techniques can make or break records, and are known be a life-saver outside of the gym too.


If you often find yourself in a headspace you don't want to be, I would suggest to cut yourself some slack first. One of the greatest athletes of all time, Roger Federer, had a very bad temper as a young tennis player.  He got many warnings for throwing his racket onto the court and lost many matches as a result of his bad mood.




As he matured on the tennis court and outside of it, he experienced that ‘when you train the body, the mind follows’. And yes, the good news is that it works both ways.


Here is my two cents on recovering from a brain cramp.


1. Stop and Breathe.

Breathing is of course underrated, because it is done for us, automatically. But if you take between 5 to 10 seconds to control the inbreath and the outbreath, the parasympathetic part of the brain switches on and begins to take over from the fight-or-flight response. Everyone from new born babies to samurais use breathing into the belly as a foundation. To be more precise, it is breating into the lower part of the abdomen. Consider the location of your belly button - aim to breath in lower with about 2 inches; we are looking for three of four deep breaths here.




2. Notice the facts

From this state, notice without judgement what is causing you stress. When you learn something new, or come across hurdles, there is no use in judging yourself as good or bad. That’s usually harsh or just pointless and brings no resolution. If you stop, the mind starts being on your side and acts like a mirror. The mind’s top use is to find patterns. Just find the pattern.


3. Take action.

No use to just look in the mirror and recognize what is holding you back. Decide what to do about it, and do it as soon as it’s kind and considerate to you and those impacted by your decisions.


Try it with a smaller issue first and work your way up to bigger problems as you make progess.

Remember that the more disciplined you are with your physical routines, the better the mindset too.


And viceversa.


A win win situation.