Navigating Through Life with a Beginner’s Mind

Photo by Ben Mullins

Staying humble about what we think we know might sound unnatural and it definitely can be challenging, considering that we are spending our lives trying to prove ourselves from a young age, but it’s a must. Why? A flexible way of thinking allows us to welcome new information with an open mind. It helps us grow and it helps us adjust.

If you ever worked on a project and found it challenging to adjust to change or to update the plan, then you have an idea as to what the ‘always right’ mind is capable of. A beginner’s mind does the opposite. It allows us to receive new information assuming that the information we already hold might not be the truest representation of the current reality. Our mind has a tendency of staying stuck in the past. Accepting reality as ever-changing is a way of staying present. When we are open to learn, nothing will surprise us.

The Sky Can Be as Blue as We Make It

Photo by Annie Spratt

‘Today is going to be a great day’ prepares our brain to capture and amplify all the events that would make a great day. Instead focusing on someone being rather rude, focus on the person who treated you well. Instead of thinking of the time you’ve let slide and putting yourself down for it, focus on what you’ve achieved.

A clear blue sky can only stay up if we follow through with processes of seeing the bright side of things, focusing on solutions rather than problems, being kind and well-intended.

What turns a grey-blue sky into a clear blue sky for you? Is it spending quality time, increased productivity, giving and receiving? I’d love to hear from you!

The Three Words to Live Without

Photo by Alexander Andrews

Perception creates reality and the words we use represent what’s within us. It’s all a fairly straightforward manufacturing system starting with the raw product – the inner self – and finishing with the polished reality we adhere to.

The choice of words when expressing emotions shifts realities. The way Tony Robbins expresses it, words are molds in which we pour what’s within us. We all have a limited number of molds – hate, anger, sadness, under the weather-ness – that we use to express our feelings. An exercise I found useful is:

1. Find top three words that don’t serve you. Those words that, when used, distort your reality in a negative way. The molds that were broken to begin with.

2. Can you think of better words to replace them with? Maybe made-up words?

3. Stick to using the new words for a month

Eg. I feel like crap ->> I feel like creple (from the French crepe – pancake)

The point is making different neuro-connections and not adding weight to negative emotions by labelling them in a way that amplifies them. What are your three words?

Positive Self-Talk

Photo by Jamie Brown

You know all those negative thoughts racing through your mind? It’s time to put a stop to that. Particularly in the current climate where The Negative is feeding so many industries that are inflicting pain on us, it’s time to stop.

Replacing the negative self-talk with kindness doesn’t happen through the switch of a button, but it is possible. It firstly takes identifying that thought – I’m in trouble, I can’t make it, this is too much etc and then replacing the thought with it’s positive spin. This needs to happen repeatedly before coming close to an automatic reflex.

Every positive thought that we put into the universe and we help ourselves with is progress. When we are constantly told to be anxious, get angry and harm ourselves just through being stresses, we need to step away and rebuild our reality. Panic harms our ability to react rationally and it eliminates chemicals that damage our body. Let’s check in with ourselves and now more than ever practice positive self-talk.

How to Break Through the Idea Stage

Photo by Jorge Saavedra

Breaking the idea stage doesn’t take much. It takes sharing. Sharing your thoughts and intentions with others in good faith. Trusting that through other people your idea will be complete.

When looking for a solution to an issue that you have it’s natural to assume that others might go through the same situation. But assumptions are not the equivalent to the reality.

Feedback nurtures growth. Challenging someone’s beliefs is just as important as acceptance. Dare to share your ideas and you will notice more depth and insight. You will access the Universal Knowledge.

Smartphone Dependency & Our Wellbeing Don’t Go Well Together

Even before having a Twitter account I engaged in debates over the effects that social media has on our behavior. Topics such as social isolation, bullying and harassment on one side and engagement, interaction, self-growth, networking on the other side were thrown around the table.

Did I ever wonder at that point about the role that technology plays and not just about the role of social media? Not at all.

A recent study led by researcher Matthew Lapierre from the University of Arizona looked at smartphone dependency and its connection to depression. The study revealed that it becomes problematic when people are using smartphones to replace or escape living their non-virtual existence.

Extreme reliance on our device, anxiety if we get separated from it for even a moment or two, are signs of later depression and loneliness. What can we do?

Exercise:

Live without your smartphone for 12 hours (sleeping doesn’t count).

  1. Let your loved ones know that you will be out of reach for 12 hours.
  2. Turn off the device or put it away, on silent.
  3. Live. Walk. Breath. Carry on with your day.
  4. Keep a journal of the experience.
  5. At the end of the 12 hours after feasting in the use of technology, read what you’ve wrote.
  6. How does that make you feel?

“If depression and loneliness lead to smartphone dependency, we could reduce dependency by adjusting people’s mental health, but if smartphone dependency (precedes depression and loneliness), which is what we found, we can reduce smartphone dependency to maintain or improve wellbeing.”

Communication Master’s Student Pengfei Zhao, Study Co-Authored

Resources:

Which comes first: Smartphone dependency or depression? by Matthew Lapierre. Pengfei Zhao and Benjamin Custer