It’s What You Do ‘Most’ of The Time That Counts
In my last post I asked the question: Why do people struggle to do what is best for them?
And I think a major contributing factor maybe found in a simple, one word answer…time.
How can we frame our own unique situation to best seek what we need to change rather than being either mis-directed, and or distracted?
I’ve mentioned before that I’m a firm believer that to constantly improve ones life-trajectory requires a simple, yet challenging, but profoundly powerful two-pronged approach.
1. To improve one’s thinking (find your philosophy) – engage in activities that supports reflection, improved internal narrative, proactively reduce stress, and self-provide daily opportunities of quietude to actually seek and look at what areas of your physical and mental wellbeing can be challenged aka improved. Seek and research philosophy, or a spiritual or religious teacher or framework that resonates and inspires you.
2. To actively-protect one’s ability to think optimally (self-discipline: be kind to yourself) – seek, pursue and engage in lifestyle choices (most of the time) that maintains, supports and enhances your capacity for clear, calmer thinking (what you spoon, fork and pour down your mouth, optimal sleep, exercise, muscle mass, limit distractions such as alcohol, toxic individuals & information etc)
This approach probably only really works if you A) agree that it’s what goes through ones head determines ones habits, choices and resilience, and B) we’re realistic; we understand that successfully doing A & B (most of the time) doesn’t inoculate you against ‘life’ chucking shit at you…simply doing A & B will help you get over, under, or through the challenging life-obstacles that we deliberately create for ourselves, as well as the problems and hurdles that seem to come out of nowhere.
So, as I move forward with these articles, my aim is to simply ‘pitch’ some ideas that may, or may not, resonate with you.
My M.O. is really only to encourage not only better thinking, but to also stimulate some self-reflection that may motivate further self-analysis on how one make some simple but profound choices that will lead to a lifestyle that ultimately protect ones thinking.
The reality is if you want to improve any facet of your life, whether it’s to become fitter, stronger, leaner, healthier, wealthier or calmer, it’s not only going to require better thinking, but being disciplined in your day to day to ensure you brain works best for you…period
Trust that makes…
What lies behind you and what lies in front of you, pales in comparison to what lies inside of you
– R. Waldo Emerson
Better Thinking – Strategies To Think More Effectively (Intro)
One of the weirder aspects to that lump of fat between our ears called the brain is how inconsistent, frustratingly inconsistent, it can be in terms of the quality of it’s output.
We find ourselves on occasion being remarkably capable of great insight, reflection, creativity and emotional stability; other times, some times, most of the times for many, what seems to be free-flowing through our brain can feel damn hostile, uncooperative, coercive & addicted to distraction.
Our futureself is dependant on our minds functioning at their peak, right here & right now (most of time).
It’s when our thinking is predominantly occupied in the past or the future is where we become helplessly consumed and react with life choices that not only have little bearing on what is important, but sadly, life choices that are just downright detrimental to ones physical and mental health.
Generally we can often think that there’s not much we can do to control or influence the quality of our thoughts. We can often see & seek good thinking in mystical, religious or spiritual terms: an epiphany, a ‘sign’, an alignment, or gift from an outside force that we (may) seem helpless to steer or regulate – not saying that this doesn’t happen, but there’s a hell lot we can do and learn, right now, to vastly improve our chances of having good thoughts…again speaking realistically here…most of the time.
We can do this by not only living better (as in Point B above – adulting yourself through disciplined lifestyle choices aka doing what is best for you most of the time), but by also paying closer attention to how our minds operate, as much as we can, everyday – and practicing mental manoeuvres solely designed to tease out our best-thinking.
This offers a few challenges and we should not be surprised that we are so unpractised in this area. Modern society and our education systems pretty much operate on a narrow view on what productive thinking involves – we can tend to not only be directed towards facts & formulas and obsessing about passing exams, but with the onslaught of social media and similar platforms we can tend to rely upon & lean into reeling off quotes, being influenced by memes, soundbites and consuming endless opinions.
Productive, effective, reflective actionable pragmatic thinking isn’t about ‘working hard’ per say, it’s learning to identify, protect, nurture and grow our fleeting, tentative periods of insight.
[Ref: How To Think More Effectively – School of Life]
To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment
– R. Waldo Emerson
Why would we want to think better?
Why do we need to protect our thinking?
To achieve you health goals, to lose weight, to improve the quality of your choices, to improve your habits, to recognise, curb and better manage self-sabotaging, compulsive & impulsive behaviours, to improve your lean muscle mass, improve your sleep, your longevity and age optimally…to become more self-aware
…all of these things, plus virtually everything else, is determined by the thoughts in our head, and the subsequent behaviours and habits that make up the majority of our day.
If we want to ‘feel better’ (fitter, stronger, leaner, healthier, wealthier & calmer…) then we need to think better.
If we want to ‘think better’ (calmer, improved internal narrative & choices, less-stressed, self-kindness, more self-aware…) then we need be disciplined in how we physically take care of ourselves (our sleep, our food & consumption choices, movement, strength etc)
The fact is what we think and what we do are not mutually exclusive…so if there are parts of your life you find are lagging, then take some time to audit not only your habits, but also the thinking that is generating those habits.
The only person you are destined to become is the person you decide to be.
– R. Waldo Emerson