Wanting to constantly improve yourself is a great mindset except when it keeps you from enjoying your life. The need to always improve, to never stand still and only to be happy once you are the best can backfire. Do you have an activity in your life that you are happy with as it is? One that doesn’t need to be improved although you know exactly what the flaws are? What about a relationship? Growth mindset is a wonderful thing. Just make sure that you are not forgetting to enjoy and savour what you have. Otherwise we are running away from the fruits of our labour.
Tomorrow we will talk about something you get for free.
In my family we get old. So for the next 80 years I will keep writing and editors will reject me. People will reject me who are not even born yet. But like in a big cosmic tennis match, for every rejection I get, I will send out another piece of work.
-Elizabeth Gilbert, author of Big Magic and Eat, Pray, Love
That’s the spirit. Not for everything. Not all the time. But for the few things in life we cannot not do.
Our overall mood and energy level is not always directly related to how well we can perform a certain task such as playing tennis, solving Excel math or talking to a patient. Of course it’s generally helpful to be rested and feel energetic but whatever faculty we need to carry out the task can totally have a mind of its own. Just because I slept well doesn’t mean I can ace a negotiation. Just because I lack energy doesn’t mean I will do a bad job. This isn’t a license to chronically deprive yourself from things that are necessary for a healthy life like sleep, movement or good food. It just means that we shouldn’t mentally give up on something unless we have tried it.
If you are working on a long-term goal, anything at all, chances are that something you have been doing successfully for weeks or months suddenly doesn’t bring you the same success. Seth Godin calls this the dip. It’s a milestone although not a particularly enjoyable one. Nevertheless take a moment to be proud to have reached the plateau. Even if you don’t know right now how to keep on succeeding you kept long enough at it for it to even hit a plateau. That’s like getting to the second base on Mount Everest: still an achievement in itself.
The world, especially the business world, creates a lot of problems because people confuse expenses with investments. Expenses are meant to be cut to the minimum. Investments need to be taken care of and grown.
Sleep is an investment not an expense.
People are investments too.
What have you tried to optimize and reduce which actually should be taken care of and grown.
In movies, books and plays we suspend our belief in pursuit of a different understanding. We know that the actor on stage is not really smoking a cigarette but we are willing to believe she is so the story can move along. We understand that sometimes by believing something we know is not true we can discover something else that is. Isn’t it fascinating that on a stage every character can pretend they are doing something which they are not actually doing, yet how the characters react and the moral of the story are exactly the same as real people in real situations?
Moving from a pessimistic to a more optimistic or from a fixed to a growth mindset is often a challenge for people because it requires a suspension in belief, something that we willingly grant the entertainment industry but not real life. Yes reality is not a movie, book or play (although some say it actually is): but pretending it is can lead to insight and change which are still 100% real.
What’s in it for you if you question your thinking patterns and try to change the climate of your mind? Why go through the effort?
Even if you failed miserably at every sport you ever tried you can be an athlete. For some reason our society defines athleticism within the confines of the body but you can choose to adopt the athlete’s mindset for anything you want. The world could definitely do with more kindness ninjas or marathon lovers (interpret this however you like). The athlete’s mindset is about dedication, endurance and ongoing development. In psychology lingo it’s called mastery.
Every once in a while I love looking at pictures of space. Even the tiniest stars are so much bigger than whatever is bothering me. It’s extremely likely that whatever the problem is today you will not remember in three months.
The most valuable thing to come out of science are not the individual findings: it’s the attitude of experimentation. When something unexpected happens it’s a data point, simply something that tells the scientist, that a particular hypothesis did not work. Failure is not failure but simply information that is used to design the next experiment.
You have heard of SMART goals? Specific, measurable, actionable, realistic
The whole point you engage in exercises like gratitude journalling, listing three good things or committing planned acts of kindness is that you want to feel happier. Sometimes that works but what if it does not?
In school the sight of the red pen scribbles teaches us, that if we don’t get something right the first time we have failed. It’s an unhelpful thought, especially if we ever hope to do work that is truly challenging or create anything from art to a zoo. read more …
One of the biggest challenges of changing your mental climate is the fact that you have backed up your beliefs with years of evidence. Telling you to change your beliefs is a bit like telling a detective read more …
Whether thoughts are negative or positive is only on aspect in evaluating how helpful or dangerous a thought is to you right now.
Genes sound so trustworthy. You can’t argue with a discovered gene. It’s just so sciency. Which is precisely why we like to read about them. Largely we know what’s good for us but we don’t do it. So we feel bad. That is until a gene is discovered. A gene that will explain to the world exactly,
Humans compare things all the time. If the comparison turns out in our favour we feel good, if it doesn’t we need to do something to explain it away. One of the most popular ways of explaining other people’s success away is by
Some thoughts take up residence in our brain like little mice: we don’t see them but only feel their presence and encounter read more …
When stripped of all judgment and hurt failure to do or achieve something is read more …