Alter your thinking about thinking. Sometimes sitting with a question can expand your mind without always needing to find an answer.
—Calm App Reflection
Image from Unsplash by Eugene Lagunov
A powerful question can act like a mind-altering substance. It can be a catalyst to help fire previously underused neurons and emit floods of neurotransmitters to help us think new thoughts.
Modifying our thinking on our own can be difficult. We are constantly bathing our minds with many of the same messages, 24/7. Consider relating this idea to Newton’s Law of Inertia which states:
“Every object will remain at rest or in uniform motion in a straight line unless compelled to change its state by the action of an external force.”
What are some ways you can alter your current thinking?
What are some internal and external forces that can support you to change your life for the better?
What questions can you sit with that may help you in this effort?
Your mind is like a bookshelf. You can browse the titles without opening them all.
—Calm App Reflection
Image from Unsplash by Patel Czerwinski
What’s on your mind these days?
How many open tabs, apps, and pages have some or most of your attention? How does jumping from one thing to another at the speed of thought make you feel?
When was the last time you visited an actual book store or library? What was it like to browse through the shelves at a leisurely pace?
How many books did you select and actually open to see if the contents were worth a longer look?
How would patiently browsing through the bookshelf of your mind help you be far more discerning with what you let into the library of your life?
Notice your internal playlist.
—Calm App Reflection
Image from Unsplash by Mohammad Metri
The moment we wake up it starts. Our inner voice begins and won’t stop until an undetermined time after our heads hit our pillows. If you — like many people — experience insomnia from time to time, the pause or stop button can be most elusive.
What thoughts have you been playing on repeat lately? What pivoting strategies can you apply given this awareness? How can you shift your playlist to one that soothes and serves?
What gifts in your life do you often take for granted?
—Calm App Reflection
Every moment of life is a precious gift.
Open each of these gifts slowly and mindfully so as not to miss a single one — this will help you live more fully and purposely, regardless of what you may accomplish. Don’t be surprised, however, if you accomplish a lot living this way!
What tangible and intangible gifts do your intend to offer the people in your various communities? How can putting greater thought and heartfelt intentions into your offerings? Please remember that your time might be your most special gift of all.
You may wish to explore the book, 4000 Weeks – Time Management for Mortals.
“Behind every criticism is a veiled wish.”
—Esther Perel, Belgian psychotherapist
Image from Unsplash by ahi ismail
How do you feel when you are criticized?
How often is your immediate response to defend yourself or perhaps go on the offense and attack others?
Explore a few recent interactions in which you were criticized for something you did or didn’t do.
Dig deeper into the thoughts and emotions of that person to see if there was a hidden desire or veiled wish below their barbed message. What did they secretly want that was not communicated in an acceptable way?
How might you shift your perspective and translate the harshness of their words into simple requests that would have a higher probability of acceptance?
A few books that can help your relationship skills are Fierce Conversations by Susan Scott, Crucial Conversations, and Crucial Confrontations.
Please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or reply to this post with your email address and I will be pleased to send you a copy of my one page Communication Toolbox.
”It’s not what you say out of your mouth that determines your life, it’s what you whisper to yourself that has the most power!”
—Robert Kiyosaki, American author of Rich Dad, Poor Dad
Image from Unsplash by magnet.me
Thoughts become things. In a typical day, we actually use our inner voices far more than our external ones.
We are constantly having what Susan Scott describes in her book, Fierce Conversations, as versations — which is simply a conversation with ourselves.
The power of bathing in our own thoughts is a form of leadership where we repeatedly speak about our reality and our vision for the future. This repetition carves deep grooves in our conscious and unconscious minds, which can and often do lead to behaviors that determine our lives.
Notice your inner voice whispering to you throughout the day. What is it saying?
Is this voice positive and affirming or negative and judgmental?
How can and will you use the power of versations to enhance your life?
“One small positive thought in the morning can change your whole day.”
Image from Unsplash by Sharon McCutcheon
Do you take a daily vitamin or perhaps a variety of supplements each morning to support your health?
What foods do you eat for breakfast to start your day?
How much time do you allow for yourself to feed your mind before you jump into your busy schedule?
Consider yourself a sprinter about to run the 100 meter dash in the upcoming Olympic Games. How important is it for you to be powerfully positioned in the blocks when the starting gun goes off?
How can you add one or more positive thoughts or nuggets of wisdom to your morning routine?
Consider sharing this lesson or insight with at least one person in one of your communities.
“Negative thoughts are nails.”
Image from Unsplash by travelergeek
Where do you stand on the negative to positive spectrum of thought? How do you view yourself when you listen closely to your inner voice?
Carpenters use nails all the time to fasten and hold things together. Adding an extra nail or two can make a structure even more rigid and solid. As someone who isn’t particularly handy, I often use nails to hang pictures on the wall as a way of hiding a blemish or mark.
How are you seeing the world and relating to the people in your personal and professional communities these days?
How do you judge others on this spectrum when you examine their words and actions?
Where do you see the negative thinking in your world keeping people stuck and rigid?
How would greater positivity and optimism offer greater possibilities to build a better future?
“Present fears are less than horrible imaginings.”
—William Shakespeare, MacBeth, Act 1, Scene 3
Image from NoSweatShakespeare.com
William Shakespeare’s plays, poems, and sonnets have taught the world many life lessons that are still relevant today.
Through his works, he taught that love can conquer and destroy, that people trust what they cannot see, and that human ethics are easily manipulated.
In addition to the subject of love in his numerous works, he frequently included other common characteristics of society including greed, ambition, and the focus on power.
How would you imagine Shakespeare might view our current society, given that he lived during challenging times between 1564 and 1616 in England?
What are your thoughts and feelings about your own present fears versus your own imaginings?
Consider checking out the website NoSweatShakespeare.com to explore in greater depth his significant influences on our world.
“We are the masters of our fate, the captains of our souls, because we have the power to control our thoughts.”
—Napoleon Hill, 20th Century American author of Think and Grow Rich
Image from Unsplash by Philippe Oursel
Perhaps one of the primary reasons for the rapid growth of the coaching industry is its ability to significantly increase our mindfulness and self-awareness. The phrase “Wherever you go, there you are” is poignant in that we always bring along our minds, which strongly influences and creates our worlds.
The majority of my work with clients focuses on executive leadership and business matters. Nevertheless, I’ve noticed considerable attention shifting to more personal and soulful issues and the idea of living a far more meaningful life.
If you, too, wish to dig deeper into being your own soulful captain of life, I strongly recommend the book Toward a Meaningful Life by Simon Jacobson.