Using Mindfulness To Thrive

Tools To Thrive Series

Thrive tool of mindfulness.It’s a hot topic these days:  Mindfulness.

It has been touted as a stress reliever.  But it is far more than that (although it does relieve stress).  Mindfulness is really an awareness your experience.  In other words, instead of lost in thought or distracted, you are experiencing the world and you in it.

When you are mindful, you are more engaged with others.  You taste the food you are eating.  You feel the environment around you.

And you are not as lost in thought.  Do remember that your emotional state is a derivative of your thoughts (NOT your experience of your environment).

Stress is really about fear.  Fear comes from thoughts.  Not the experience, but your thoughts and interpretations of the experience.  Reconnecting with the experience disengages the thoughts.

Give it a try.  I give 3 simple mindfulness exercises in the podcast below.

Tools of Thriving Series
Introduction
Thought Awareness
Only Control What You Can

The Responsibility Formula
The Perspective Shift
Your Built-In Importance Indicator
The Importance Matrix
The Appreciation Approach
A Thriving Breath
Systemize Your Life

Systemize Your Life

Tools To Thrive Series

Systemize Your LifeGoals are great.  Except they give you no path to get there.  And goals can interfere with your happiness.  If you can’t get there, you feel frustrated.  Once you do get there, you can feel let down, not sure what to do next.

But you need goals, right?

Well, they are a starting point.

But what if you put “systems” in place to move you toward your goal?

Some people believe they need habits that move them forward.  But habits are formed through systems you create to move you forward toward some goal.

Want to write a book?  Don’t focus on the book every day.  Focus on writing every day.  Set aside 15 minutes, maybe an hour, and write.  Or decide to write 500 words per day.  That is your system.  Follow it, and soon you have a book.  But then there is a system that moves you forward, past the goal.

Make sense?

Listen to this week’s podcast for more info on “systeming” your life.

 

Tools of Thriving Series
Introduction
Thought Awareness
Only Control What You Can

The Responsibility Formula
The Perspective Shift
Your Built-In Importance Indicator
The Importance Matrix
The Appreciation Approach
A Thriving Breath

A Thriving Breath

Tools To Thrive Series

Using your breathing as a way to thrive and be healthy.It happens automatically.  You don’t even think about it.  Unless you choose to notice it — or even change it.  And it’s a good thing it happens automatically.  Otherwise, you would not last long.

Breathing.

Even if you don’t ever think about it, your breathing will keep oxygen coming into your body and carbon dioxide going out of your body. In and out.  All day long.

No big deal, right?

Wrong.

HOW you breathe determines whether your body acts as if there is a threat or whether your body assumes everything is alright.  One way causes stress.  The other way creates calm.

One way is how you likely breathe on a regular basis — and especially when there is a perceived threat or stressful situation.  The other way allows you to calm yourself down, increase your oxygen supply, and shift away from fear/stress.

Ready to shift to a thriving breath?  Listen below

Tools of Thriving Series
Introduction
Thought Awareness
Only Control What You Can

The Responsibility Formula
The Perspective Shift
Your Built-In Importance Indicator
The Importance Matrix
The Appreciation Approach

The Appreciation Approach

Tools to Thrive Series

The Appreciation ApproachYour brain is really only capable of being in one of two modes:  fear/threat or love/appreciation. Unfortunately, the fear/threat mode is pretty much the default and automatic.

Fortunately, changing to manual and shifting to love/appreciation is not complicated.

More than that, there is plenty of research to point to the specific benefits of that shift:

  • Better emotional health,
  • Higher pain tolerance,
  • Higher sociability,
  • Greater life satisfaction,
  • More sleep,
  • More exercise,
  • etc., etc., etc.

There really isn’t much of a downside to gratitude and appreciation.  It just requires a shift in habits to get there.

Got 10 minutes or so per day, just for the next month?  YOU can build your appreciation/gratitude  toolkit and add it to your Thriving Toolbox.

Tools of Thriving Series
Introduction
Thought Awareness
Only Control What You Can

The Responsibility Formula
The Perspective Shift
Your Built-In Importance Indicator
The Importance Matrix

The Importance Matrix

Tools To Thrive Series

The Importance MatrixDo you find yourself chasing after all of those “urgent” tasks, only to discover that they really don’t matter?

President Dwight Eisenhower said, “I have to kinds of problems.  The urgent and the important.  The urgent are not important and the important are never urgent.”

Sometimes, the urgent things ARE important.  They probably get done right then and there.  But then the urgent (but not important) tend to crowd out the important (but not urgent).  For example, those meetings and tasks at work that you take on can seem urgent.  But they might not be important.  On the other hand, relationships with a spouse or children can get pushed to the side because they are not urgent.  Yet they are important.

The sad part is when the important (but not urgent) get shuffled off to the side for so long that they become no longer important.  Broken relationships, hurting spouses — they drift away.

The Eisenhower Box is named for President Eisenhower.  It is a powerful tool in your Thriving Toolbox, as you work to get priorities clarified.

Listen in to learn how to use it in your life.

Tools of Thriving Series
Introduction
Thought Awareness
Only Control What You Can

The Responsibility Formula
The Perspective Shift
Your Built-In Importance Indicator

Your Built-In Importance Indicator

Tools To Thrive Series

Your Built-In Importance IndicatorWouldn’t it be nice if you had a built-in detector that let you know when something is important?  Kind of like a treasure detector to point out when to pay attention and dig in?

Guess what?

You do!

But you probably aren’t using it the way it was designed.  Most people aren’t.  In fact, most people use this indicator as an Avoidance Indicator — using it to AVOID things, even important things.

Used correctly, this built-in indicator will help you decide what is important and what is trivial.  It will also guide your choices.  Used incorrectly, and it will keep you stuck, small, and missing opportunities.

Ready to learn how to use it?  Listen below. . .

 

Tools of Thriving Series
Introduction
Thought Awareness
Only Control What You Can

The Responsibility Formula
The Perspective Shift

The Perspective Shift

Tools To Thrive Series

Shift Your PerspectiveAs I ran through the woods, I could only see the trees and path right in front of me.  I had no idea how far up the mountain I had climbed.  I had no idea about the turns in the trail ahead.  And I couldn’t even see very far back, given all the twists.  My vision was only the few yards ahead.

Sometimes, life is like that.  We are so close to something, we lose perspective.  We can only see the next little period of time.  Which means that some things seem bigger than they are, and some things seem insignificant, but prove important.

Fortunately, one tool in your Thrive Toolbox is the capacity of changing perspectives when you want.

This week, to equip you, I want to provide you with 4 perspective shifts you can use.  Then, you can see the forest, even when the trees are right in front.

Tools of Thriving Series
Introduction
Thought Awareness
Only Control What You Can

The Responsibility Formula

The Responsibility Formula

Tools To Thrive Series

Being 100% Responsible:  The Responsibility Formula

E + R = O

It’s one of my favorite formulas.  And it isn’t even math!

Well, it kinda is.  It is the Responsibility Formula Dr. Robert Resnick developed, and Jack Canfield popularized.

And it is powerful.

Like most formulas, all the parts must be present.

Many times, people assume that what happens around them determines what happens to them.  They miss a piece of the formula.

Sometimes, people assume they have full control of life, that they can choose their path, without outside interference.  They also miss a piece of the formula.

Master this formula and you will have a grasp on responsibility in your life — and how to work the formula in your favor.

Tools of Thriving Series
Introduction
Thought Awareness
Only Control What You Can

Only Control What You Can

Tools To Thrive Series

Control what you can.Isn’t it interesting how much time people spend trying to control what they can’t control, and how little time we spend trying to control what we can control?

Imagine what would happen if we could flip that.  What if we spent our time trying to control what we CAN control.  And what if we released the rest?

There are really only 3 things that you can truly control.  After that, you are wasting your time and energy.  And you will likely frustrate yourself and others.

This week, as we add another tool to the toolbox, let’s look at the 3 A’s you can control.

Tools of Thriving Series
Introduction
Thought Awareness

How To Accept AND Excel

How to accept what is and start growing toward what could be.In my latest book, Thrive Principles, one of my strategies is Accepting What Is.  Which has caused some readers to wonder how that fits into my ideas about constantly growing and changing.

They are not mutually opposed.  Accepting What Is creates a beginning point, a starting line.  From there, you can move toward who you want to be.  You can build a life of meaning and purpose.

Many people struggle with where they are.  But where we are is just that, our current spot.  Not a permanent place, but a starting point.

This week, I discuss how to both Accept What Is AND plot a growth course to become the person you want to be.  Make your impact with both sides of the equation.