Hello fine readers and welcome to my Motivational Mondays Post – a weekly newsletter that attempts to rewrite the narrative Mondays are the most depressing day of the week. (Or at least start it off in a slightly better fashion.)
Following a 4:3:2:1 approach, it contains 4 brilliant thoughts from me, 3 admittedly better quotes from others, and 2 things I’ve been reading and/or listening to this week that have made me grow.
As always I’ve finished with 1 something silly to hopefully make you all smile.
Love to all X
(To my 2 regular readers: you’ll notice I’m playing around with the title to see what works best to attract more readers. If you have any ideas about a good title for this weekly post please do leave them in the comments at the bottom. I’d be grateful for your suggestions.)
4 x Brilliant Thoughts From Me:
Why it’s helpful to think you’re not a good person: A good person implies something black or white. You either are or you aren’t. This fixes your mindset. You believe you’re a good person and go at lengths to avoid being proven otherwise. You also become defensive about that belief. You feel threatened whenever this comes into question and so avoid the very conversations you need to hear so you may become a better person. We should drop the notion of what we think it means to be a good person. The way I look there is no such thing. You’re either trying to be a better person or you’re not. Don’t try to be a “good person.” Just try to be better one.
We are nothing if not all those who came before us. We will be nothing if we don’t act for those who come after. A better tomorrow has to be the spirit by which we all live.
Just remember when you think you hold the moral high ground, that even Hitler thought he was doing the right thing.
A deliberately easy life makes us unhappy because it makes us bad at dealing with life’s inevitable difficulties, however small. Conversely a deliberately difficult life makes us happy because it builds emotional resilience. It also teaches us appreciate and enjoy the everyday most take for granted.
3 x Admittedly Better Quotes From Others:
“You can’t go back and change the beginning, but you can start where you are and change the ending.” – C.S. Lewis
“Thinking is difficult, that’s why most people judge.” ― C.G. Jung
“The fact that we are connected through space and time shows that life is a unitary phenomenon, no matter how we express that fact.” – the great evolutionary biologist Lynn Margulis
2 x Things I’ve Been Listening to &/Or Reading This Week:
1 – This brilliant Happiness Lab podcast episode: How to Be a Better Ally with Dr. Laurie Santos. In this final episode of season 2, Dr Laurie Santos examines why we are often so reluctant to act against the bigotry and injustice we claim to be against, and ‘how we can match our moral beliefs with concrete action.’ (Featuring James Barr and Dan Hudson, co-hosts of the podcast ‘A Gay and a Non-Gay.’)
MY PERSONAL NOTES AND QUOTES:
- Why do well intentioned people who believe in the good often do nothing? How can we deal with these parts of psychology so we can overcome our insecurities over acting?
- Any comment however awkward is better than silence.
- Beliefs do nothing by themselves.
- You’re meant to feel awkward – if you’re standing up for marginalised groups of people and you’re afraid of getting for saying the wrong things. Maybe feeling awkward- putting yourselves in those awkward positions and having those awkward conversations means you’re doing the right thing.
- We need to accept we are not good people yet. We need to aim for being slightly better (slightly less horrible) human beings.
- It’s actually a higher standard. By never assuming you are good you are always looking for how you can be better. By admitting you’re not a good person you can understand where your blind spots are and work on fixing them.
- When you’re in a fixed mindset and you make a mistake research shows we actually shut down and withdraw from the mistake. It’s a state of non learning. This is because we don’t believe we can change or get better. We are who we are so why bother trying to learn and change.
- To become better allies we need to switch to having a growth mindset.
- Simple three letter word for developing growth mindset: YET
- I’m not a good person yet but I can be if I put in some work.
- Reminding ourselves of our capacity for growth can have a profound effect on our willingness to engage in difficult social situations. To own up to our mistakes and our motivation to become better people. It helps us break through the discomforts that come with trying to be an ally.
- It’s morally wrong to leave the burden to speak out with only the marginalised groups. Science shows that it’s more effective when some one whose not from the marginalised group points out bigotry.
- We have far more influence than we realise. A study found that a white person speaking out against racism was looked at more positively than a black persons using the exact same words. The recipient also showed more willingness to apologise and make amends if it was a white person who had spoken out against them.
- We need to use our white privilege to end white privilege.
- If I’ve learnt one thing from BLM movement its that silence means death.
- Not everyone has to or can be on the front line but everyone needs to get off the sidelines.
- If Nelson Mandela -A political prisoner of one of the most racist regimes of the second half of the 20th century – can become its leader, than anything and everything is possible.
2 – This New York Times Article titled, ‘Nature Deficit Disorder’ Is Really a Thing about how children’s behaviour may suffer from lack of access to outdoor space, a problem heightened by the pandemic. The following quotes are taken from the article:
“Ironically, the 2020 coronavirus pandemic, as tragic as it is, has dramatically increased public awareness of the deep human need for nature connection, and is adding a greater sense of urgency to the movement to connect children, families and communities to nature,” – Richard Louv, author of “Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children from Nature-Deficit Disorder.”
Ming Kuo, Ph.D., an associate professor at the University of Illinois who studies urban greening, said parents, like Shore, have described how their children are “completely different” when they have access to green space. Dr. Kuo’s research has shown that access to green space decreases aggression and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder symptoms, and boosts the immune system. But she also was quick to point out an unequal access to green spaces across socioeconomic and racial lines.
1 x Silly Thing To Make You Smile:
I went to see a Physio this week about a recurring back problem I’ve been having.
He asked me to take my top off and stand directly opposite him so he could examine any imbalances.
Comparing my triceps he commented, “You’re seriously right handed.”
We were in ear shot of a couple of good looking ladies working out in their gym.
I tried to think of something witty to say.
“Let’s not jump to any conclusions about why that is,” I replied.
While smirking I continued, “I hold my boy with that arm.”
The physio laughed.
The girls did not…
Till next week,
Have a Happy Fucking Monday Everybody!
P.S. Don’t forget to exercise your silly muscle this week!
One Bonus question for you all:
What do you like to hold in your arm?