3 Other Habits of Mind Maestros (365 Days of Spirited Living – DAY 221)
“Goals are the fuel in the furnace of achievement.”
— Brian Tracy
The mind can be a play ground or a ground for productivity. It is all in how you choose to use the power that resides in your brain. Developing a positive relationship with your mind is critical to creating a life that you enjoy and that make you feel fulfilled. The direction of your life depends largely on the condition of your mind. Setting in place daily mind habits can help you to set a standard for your life that includes less distraction and more productivity.
Here are three habits of people who master their minds to produce a wonderful life:
1. Learn to let a lot of stuff go.
One of the most dangerous things you can do to your mind is worry about a lot of small things. Sweating the small stuff all the time actually causes those tiny things to expand in to much bigger things — not in reality, but in our minds. Dwelling on things that are beyond our range of control only contributes to increased depression and anxiety. Sometimes things are important, but not as important as other things and the best way to “do” those things is to let it go.
Professional coach, Marc Chernoff, tells us to focus on what can be changed in our own lives instead of what we can’t change. “Realize that not everything in life is meant to be modified or perfectly understood,” he said. “Live, let go, learn what you can and don’t waste energy worrying about the things you can’t change.”
2. Spend at least a half hour each day reading.
Reading offers the human mind an escape from the current environment. Remember it is only temporary; escapes don’t last forever. Sooner or later, you’ll have to re-enter the real world and re-engage with your daily duties and surroundings. Research shows that reading, however, keeps our brain sharp, helps us to retain more information, decrease stress, and ease depression.
But don’t be too quick to get those fingers flying across your Kindle or other reading device. According to Ferris Jabr’s article titled, “The Reading Brain in the Digital Age: Why Paper Still Beats Screens” reading on paper still has some advantages. “Whether they realize it or not,” Jabr writes, “people often approach computers and tablets with a state of mind less conducive to learning than the one they bring to paper.”
3. Keep the big picture in front of you.
To keep your mind open to new ideas, you have to have something meaningful that you’re looking to achieve. If you only look at each little piece of a 1000 piece puzzle, you could quickly get discouraged and allow your mind to ruminate on all the should have and would have beens. But goals act as motivators that give you a higher purpose and supply you with energy to make progress. The big picture in front of you will excite the neurons in your brain so that it becomes nearly impossible to get down on your failures when you’re imagining your success.
According to Anna Kegler at RJ Metrics, when we set a goal, our brain processes a shift in identity. “Setting a goal has a powerful effect on how we see ourselves as people,” she said. “When you set a goal, you are shifting your self-identity in a very real way. Why does this happen? Because the human brain can’t tell the difference between what we want and what we have.”
“Living without an aim is like sailing without a compass.”
— John Ruskin