You know sometimes when you go to church or you hear a particular message and you think ‘oh my gosh, they’re talking right to me?’ That’s what happened to me on Saturday. I attended an all day training that was absolutely amazing. I took 68 pages of notes. Granted, my writing is kind of big and my notebook is about 5 x 8, but still that’s a lot of notes! I’m sharing this because I feel I that it applies to every area of my life and maybe can benefit you as well. A good portion of this is material that I have heard before, and maybe you have too. If so there is a reason – because it’s right/good/something worth remembering. Repetition is our friend!
Mindset (from the training of Puya Ghandian)
There’s no point in planting a seed if you’ve got dirty soil. If your mindset is not where it needs to be then you’re not going to have the results that you want.
Puya’s journey into personal development started at age 17 when he was working as a bagger at a grocery store and a woman gave him a copy of the book The Slight Edge as his tip. (Side note – if you haven’t read this book, please take the time to do so! It’s a common sense approach to how to make every area of your life work better.)
A………………..B When getting from point A to point B, the gap in between is 80% psychology and 20% mechanics. Are you being your number one cheerleader or your number one critic? You also have to have focus and clarity. You have to know where you are and you have to know where you were going. Similar to a GPS you can’t just know that you want to go somewhere vague and expect to get there. You’re also not going to successfully arrive if you don’t know where you’re starting from.
Set SMART goals. How many times have you heard that one? Yeah, me too. Now how many SMART goals do you really have, right now, written down? None? Yeah me too. I have some vague ideas in my head and a few goals written on scraps of paper, but nothing that I refer to daily. There is also something to be said for reading your goals aloud on a daily basis. Some people use different words to describe them, but the overall meaning is the same:
When your mindset becomes congruent with where you want to go that’s when success happens. Where focus goes energy flows. How many times have you thought that you lack confidence or are disorganized or procrastinate? Would you agree that that is not always the case? So maybe 95% of the time those things apply to you? If so, focus on the 5% of the time that they don’t. Reinforcing the negative thoughts in your head keeps them real. If I constantly think that I’m a failure or I can’t lose weight, I’m right and will continue to be fail and be fat! It has been said that we have 90,000 thoughts per day and 60,000 of those are repeats from the day before (Puya quoting Jenni Byrd-Grier). What we tell ourselves matters.
The importance of language – I actually read this somewhere fairly recently and started trying it myself. It is funny how just a simple tweak in the word you use, even when you’re talking to yourself, can make a difference. Like using “have to” versus “get to”. For example, “I have to go to grocery store.” That makes it feel like an obligation, but if you really stop and think about it aren’t you grateful that you have access to food? And that you have the money to buy it? The same applies to, “I always have to pick up after my family.” there are many people who would love to have a family to care for, and things that need picking up. I know that we’re all going to have days and moments where it’s frustrating and feels like there’s a lot of things that we HAVE to do. But really, don’t you have a choice in just about everything you do? You may not like the consequences of not doing something, but you still have a choice. Focusing on why you “have to” do something can help bring you back to an attitude of gratitude. The same can apply to words in many different situations. Such as someone asking how your day is going or how you are. There is a different emotion that is evoked when you say, “good” versus “outstanding”.
How you do the how’s – one of the things that the author of The Slight Edge, Jeff Olson, always says is, “It’s not the hows, it’s how you do the hows.” I never really understood that and actually thought it had something to do with the system or approach or tool you were using. The “how you do the hows” refers to your mindset while you are doing whatever you are doing. Maybe that was clear to you from the beginning but that was a big a-ha for me. Thanks to Puya for making it more clear to me.
A positive spin on a negative world
What it boils down to is we live in a negative world and we are hard-wired to focus on what is negative more than what is positive. But that doesn’t mean it’s hopeless! Just like someone with a predisposition to heart disease or alcoholism can take steps to avoid or lessen their own health issues, we can take steps to combat negativity.
- Surround yourself with people who want to be happy. That may seem like a no-brainer; doesn’t everyone want to be happy? In my experience, no. Some people thrive on negativity and that’s okay I guess – for them, not for me. Yes, bad things happen. A lot of it I don’t understand. I do however have faith that even when something feels so wrong, there is a greater plan and something positive can come out of every situation.
- Start with gratitude. Even in the worst of circumstances, look for even the smallest thing to be thankful for. Right now my husband has a cough left over from a bout of illness. We’ve been to the doctor, he is fine, he just has this lingering cough. And it’s annoying! The selfish part of me focuses on the fact that it’s annoying to hear, the loving wife part of me knows that it’s worse for him and feels bad. The grateful part of me is thankful that he was sick but now is better overall and that we have the ability to get him checked out when we have concerns.
- Spend at least 10 minutes per day (ideally more) reading or listening to some sort of personal development. Reading just 10 pages of a good book per day can lead to 12+ books read per year! I love fiction too, but the time I spend on personal development is having a much bigger impact on my life. And when I find myself getting down or lacking focus, I can almost always trace it back to slacking in this area. Find a podcast or YouTube video and play it while you are getting ready in the morning or when making dinner or when driving. I like the Live Happy podcast. Today I am also listening to Mel Robbins – she is very real and down to earth.
Today I will write down 3 SMART goals. I plan to read them out loud daily.