4-3-2-1 Mindset Mondays

Hello lovely readers and welcome back to Mindset Mondays! The only weekly post to prepare for the best and hope for the worst…

Following a 4-3-2-1 approach, it contains 4 thoughts from me (that you should ignore), 3 quotes from others (that you should read), and 2 things I’ve been reading, watching or listening to this week that have helped me grow.

As always I’ve finished with 1 joke that’s so bad, it’s good.

Let’s begin!

(As a way to give credit and to say thank you, I’ve linked back to any posts that have inspired my thoughts. I’ve linked back to any quotes I’ve found as well.)


4 x Thoughts:

1) Contacting a friend a day keeps the demons at bay.

2) I have two cycles for you. The first I like to call the Positive Cycle Of Hope. It looks like this: Hope inspires action that creates positive results that generates more hope (repeat). The second I like to call the Negative Cycle Of Hopelessness. It looks like this: Hope coupled with an inability (or unwillingness) to take action creates (99% of the time) negative results that generates feelings of despair and hopelessness (circle back to point 2 and repeat). The point I want to make? Hope must be tied to action otherwise it’s dangerous.

3) Hope is a double edged sword that cuts just as deeply the other way. Although it rewards you when expectations are met it punishes you when they’re not. Of course it’s that suffering that drives you to take action and put things right. However this is a terrible situation to be in if you can’t. (That’s worth repeating). The point I want to make? Be very careful what you hope for in life.

4) What hand the universe deals you – whether or not you have an easy life – is not something you can control. However building the strength to deal with adversity when it happens is something you can. For that reason it’s important to prepare for the worst in life. It’s equally important to believe in your capacity to deal with the worst when it happens. However I disagree with idea that one should “hope for the best.” If you hope for the best it’ll crush you when that doesn’t happen (or worse, when it gets taken away). Prepare for the worst – yes. But don’t “live in hope.” If you don’t have to hope for anything better, I suggest you live in acceptance for what is. Practise gratitude for what you have instead of focusing on what you don’t. It’s worth reiterating that hope, although it may save you, will never be what gives you peace.


3 x Quotes:

“Do not pray for an easy life; pray for the strength to endure a difficult one.”

– Bruce Lee

“Limiting one’s desires actually helps to cure one of fear. ‘Cease to hope … and you will cease to fear.’ … Widely different [as fear and hope] are, the two of them march in unison like a prisoner and the escort he is handcuffed to. Fear keeps pace with hope … both belong to a mind in suspense, to a mind in a state of anxiety through looking into the future. Both are mainly due to projecting our thoughts far ahead of us instead of adapting ourselves to the present.”

― Lucius Annaeus Seneca (Source: Letters from a Stoic)

“If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude.”

― Maya Angelou (Source: https://drericperry.wordpress.com/2021/01/05/choose-your-attitude-dont-let-it-choose-you/)

2 x Things:

1) This happiness lad podcast: Dump Your Inner Drill Sergeant with Dr Laurie Santos. In this episode, ‘Dr Laurie Santos examines why being a nasty drill sergeant to ourselves is less effective than being a kind coach; and hears from researcher and author Kristin Neff about why developing self-compassion is vital to helping us achieve our new year goals.’ Notes below:

  • Criticising bad behaviour in the past isn’t bad. It fact it’s healthy. But telling yourself you’re a bad person for making a mistake – this is where problems start. You activate the flight fight or freeze response. Except you see yourself as the threat. This serves to protect you by shutting you down. This inhibits your ability to make productive change. 
  • We need to critique ourselves but forgive ourselves. We need to look at what went wrong logically. Think about when a child makes a mistake. How you treat them and try to help and get them to learn. We need to do that for ourselves.
  • Self compassion is linked to higher grit, better relationships, more exercise, better sex… It’s so much better than beating yourself up. It’s not the weak thing to do. It’s the strong thing to do. 
  • There are good ways and bad ways to build self esteem. Telling kids to compare themselves to others. To think they are above average. – This will cause them to always compare themselves. Self esteem then becomes contingent on success. If they fail it deserts them. 
  • Self compassion isn’t dependant on success or failure. We need it when we fail. It’s not denying mistakes but accepting them. Acknowledging that you’re human.
  • Self compassion is about accepting ourselves. Paradoxically we are then more able to make positive change as a result. 
  • Mindfulness is the foundation of self compassion. You allow yourself to feel what you are without judgement. 
  • The more you can give yourself love and compassion the more you can give others the same. Being Self compassionate is not selfish! The more compassion that flows inward the more it flows outward.
  • 3 components of self compassion. 1. Mindfulness. Becoming aware. Validating our pain. 2. Remembering we aren’t alone. Everyone makes mistake. 3. Actively give yourself kindness. 

2) This BBC article: Why You’re More Creative In Coffee Shops. I’ve always felt like I do my best work when I take the time to leave the house and go to a cafe. This research shows why.

“It’s analogous to going to the gym for a workout,” says Sunkee Lee, assistant professor of organisational theory and strategy at Carnegie Mellon University’s Tepper School of Business in Pennsylvania. “One of the biggest things about coffee shops is the social-facilitation effect: you go there, you see other people working and it puts you in a mood where you just naturally start working as well. Just observing them can motivate you to work harder.”


1 x Joke:

My son has started making a den behind the curtains in his room at night time.

The other night he asked me to join him inside.

While looking up at the stars he asked, “Daddy, where is the moon?”

I replied, “I think it’s hiding behind the clouds sweetheart. But I’m sure if we listen very carefully we can hear it.”

(Silence)

“Do you hear it?” I said. “Listen, Listen, shhhhhhhh…”

(Silence)

At this point I blew a huge raspberry.

My son laughed hysterically, “haha the moon fart fart!”

I smiled while replying, “Yes it did. The question is, which moon?”

And with that we quickly exited the den…


Thanks ladies and gentlemen. I’m here all week! I sincerely hope you all have a great week ahead. As always I welcome ALL thoughts and opinions on this blog. Please let us know below.

One bonus question to finish:

What is worrying you most today? What can you do about it? What can’t you do about it?


PREVIOUS MONDAY POST:

Mindset Mondays – 18/01/21

17 thoughts on “4-3-2-1 Mindset Mondays

  • Happy Monday!

    You can always count on Maya Angelou for profound insights. Also liked Bruce Lee’s quote. And your comments about self compassion is especially resonant these days. I think there are many who can and need to hear that message.

    Take care!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Apologies for the hope hope. I am running late for an errand. I meant I liked the discussion on hope. I truly believe hope is a friend who undermines the present.
      There. Now I feel better about my grammar and I won’t hope I haven’t made another error. I simply won’t look.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Thanks Barb. Stoic philosophy is timeless. And don’t worry about the hope hope. I personally loved the hope hope. It made me smile smile. (I joke joke). Seriously though – thank you so much for taking the time to share your thoughts. I really like that thought. “Hope is a friend who undermines the present.” I sincerely hope you have a wonderful week ahead 🙏

        Like

  • It’s that hope is useless unless fueled by action. Maybe it’s from this train of thought that bore the word, “God helps those who help themselves”. You can’t just sit around and hope to pay your bills you need to take action, work

    Liked by 1 person

    • On the Coffee shop, gym speculation, environment does pose a huge effect on someones behavior and therefore their habits. James Clear on his book Atomic habits (love this book btw) says, to master your habits one of the things you need to change is your environment. He goes on to give an experiment. In a cafeteria most people went for soda verses water which is the more healthy choice. Doing a study they realise that water was placed out of site. So what they did is they placed a few water bottles at the end of the food isle and on tables spread out all around the cafeteria hall. In a week more water was consumed than soda. Infact it was a 180° flip. Just because they changed a few things in the environment.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Environment change is underrated I agree. Can make a huge difference to our habits and wellbeing. ESP regarding the use of our smartphones – leaving them in another room so we can focus on work or other tasks we have to be – or to simply be more present. Makes a big difference.

        Like

  • Those two things you’ve been reading really hit the feels. Honest and useful things to take with us as we go into the future. Learn from our mistakes but let us not admonish ourselves for them. We are human so we will err, but we are also one of the most adaptable beings on the planet, let us not forget that!

    And that quote from Maya Angelou, whoooooooooeeeeeeeeeeee! Life is too short to stay angry, or frustrated, or annoyed, or scared of something. If we can master the art of changing our attitude when we can’t change the things that are causing it, we’ll be well on the way to living a fulfilling life. For me, one of the big changes has been how I process sports teams I follow losing games. It sucks, it hurts a bit, but it doesn’t affect the ability I have to write my stories, or make my music. So I choose not to let it affect me doing those things.

    Thanks again for taking the time to share these useful things. Peace to you!

    Liked by 1 person

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