3-2-1 Mindset Mondays

Hello lovely readers and welcome back to Mindset Mondays! The only weekly post that believes you should become a minimalist by giving it all your stuff…

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

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

Let’s begin!


3 x Thoughts:

1) It’s funny how giving away everything for nothing in return gives you everything you want.

2) Mental and physical health are intrinsically linked. Looking after both for the sake of each other should be your first priority every day. (Try meditation, exercise, journalling…)

3) The more shit you have, the more shit you have to worry about. Don’t aim to have lots in life. Aim to have the few things you desire the most. Then learn to get as much joy and love out of those things as you possibly can. Cut out the rest. Less really is more.


2 x Quotes:

“Youth is not a time of life; it is a state of mind; it is not a matter of rosy cheeks, red lips and supple knees; it is a matter of the will, a quality of the imagination, a vigor of the emotions; it is the freshness of the deep springs of life. Youth means a temperamental predominance of courage over timidity of the appetite, for adventure over the love of ease. This often exists in a man of sixty more than a boy of twenty. Nobody grows old merely by a number of years. We grow old by deserting our ideals. Years may wrinkle the skin, but to give up enthusiasm wrinkles the soul. Worry, fear, self-distrust bows the heart and turns the spirit back to dust. Whether sixty or sixteen, there is in every human being’s heart the lure of wonder, the unfailing child-like appetite of what’s next, and the joy of the game of living.”

  • Samuel Ullman, a Jewish poet
  • “…having an enviable career is one thing, and being a happy person is another. Creating a life that reflects your values and satisfies your soul is a rare achievement. In a culture that relentlessly promotes avarice and excess as the good life, a person happy doing his own work is usually considered an eccentric, if not a subversive. Ambition is only understood if it’s to rise to the top of some imaginary ladder of success. Someone who takes an undemanding job because it affords him the time to pursue other interests and activities is considered a flake. A person who abandons a career in order to stay home and raise children is considered not to be living up to his potential – as if a job title and salary are the sole measure of human worth. You’ll be told in a hundred ways, some subtle and some not, to keep climbing, and never be satisfied with where you are, who you are, and what you’re doing. There are a million ways to sell yourself out, and I guarantee you’ll hear about them. To invent your own life’s meaning is not easy, but it’s still allowed, and I think you’ll be happier for the trouble.”

  • Bill Watterson, the cartoonist and creator of Calvin and Hobbes

  • 1 x Thing:

    This brilliant art of manliness article: Via Negativa: Adding to Your Life By Subtracting. The article argues that the path to becoming a better person is often found by subtracting the negative from our lives. Well worth the quick read. A couple of quotes listed below:

    “Don’t ask yourself “What am I going to do to be a better man?” or “What kind of man do I want to be?” Invert those questions and ask “What am I NOT going to do to be a better man?” and “What kind of man do I NOT want to be?”

    Eliminating obvious downsides like bad habits and debt will provide a good life; eliminating good things so you can focus on the very best will lead to a truly flourishing life.


    1 x Joke:

    Have another far side comic for this week folks. Hope you enjoy!


    Thanks ladies and gentlemen. I’m here all week! As always I welcome ALL thoughts and opinions on this blog. Please let us know in the comments section below.

    One bonus question to finish: What can you subtract from your life to make it better?


    PREVIOUS MONDAY POST:

    Mindset Mondays – 15/03/21

    NOTES FROM MY JOURNAL – JUNE 2020 – On The Value Of Honesty, How To Move Like A Winner, The Ultimate Form Of Taking Responsibility and More…

    Hello lovely readers and welcome to my monthly newsletter! 

    Included is a round up of what I’ve been writing and reading, plus a collection of thoughts from my journal. 

    I hope you enjoy!


    WHAT I’VE BEEN WRITING:

    A Story For My Children About The Value Of Honesty, Love And Forgiveness

    A letter I wrote to my son, 2 years ago now, before he was born. It shares a difficult life story demonstrating why I believe honesty to be such an important value. I posted it as a reminder after finding out my gorgeous wife is pregnant with our second. Although it’s addressed to the first this letter is for both of them. I also hope the rest of you lovely readers might gain something from what was one of the hardest lessons I’ve ever had to learn…

    The Ultimate Form Of Taking Responsibility

    Inspired by the following quote: “Enthusiasm is worth 25 IQ points” from Kevin Kelly‘s viral post ‘68 Bits of Unsolicited Advice.’ As I wrote, “We don’t alway get to do what we want to or, indeed, choose what life has in store for us. But if we make out that these things are what we wanted. That the struggle we find ourself in is what was meant for us, so we can learn and grow into the resilient mother fucker we were meant to be. Well, I suspect that such an attitude might just be the ultimate form of taking responsibility for your life.”

    Move Like A Turtle, Move Like A Winner

    Been experimenting a little on the blog this month. This is one example of a short post I had a bit of fun with.

    An Apology To My Heart

    Another short/experimental post inspired by my struggle with depression in the past.

    People As Mirrors

    A post inspired by my reading of Peace Is Every Step: The Path of Mindfulness in Everyday Life by Thich Nhat Hanh. In it I explore the idea of viewing people as mirrors and how that can help us reflect the best in each other.

    What Does It Take To Find Inner Peace?

    Another short ramble from yours truly.

    Happy F***ing Mondays

    A new weekly newsletter I’ve started putting together in an attempt to rewrite the narrative that Mondays are the most depressing day of the week. It contains 3 thoughts from me, 3 quotes from others and 3 things I’ve been reading, watching and/or listening to during the week. It finishes with something silly to hopefully make you lovely readers smile. 

    Happy F***ing Mondays – 29/06/20

    Happy F***ing Mondays – 22/06/20

    Happy F***ing Mondays – 15/06/20

    Happy F***ing Mondays – 08/06/20


    WHAT I’VE BEEN READING:

    Peace Is Every Step: The Path of Mindfulness in Everyday Life by Thich Nhat Hanh

    Peace is Every Step is a beautifully written book on the power of living mindfully, being fully engaged with the present moment. Whether sitting at traffic lights, eating, sitting, or washing the dishes, Nhat Hanh demonstrates that peace and happiness is available to us at any time. He provides exercises to increase our awareness of our own body and mind through conscious breathing, which can bring immediate joy and peace. It’s the second time I’ve read this book. I’m currently in the process of turning my notes into the subject of a future favourite toilet book post. Stay tuned!

    This BBC article: A letter to our newborn American daughter.

    Written by a foreign correspondent living in New York for his newborn daughter in the wake of George Floyd’s killing. It resonated with me for a number of reasons, in particular when thinking about the future our children will inherit from us. As he summarised, “It’s not your job to fix the world’s problems for us, it’s our urgent responsibility to fix them for you.” I hope we can all heed this message.


    RANDOM THOUGHTS FROM MY JOURNAL:

    Why parenting is good for you: You become comfortable covered in piss and shit. 

    Every human mind should come with a warning label: Easily Infected With Bullshit 

    When thinking in terms of being right you’ve lost. When thinking in terms of trying to be better you’re a winner. This is true regardless of the outcome. 

    Forcing your views on others doesn’t make them right. 

    Let’s not say we don’t believe in god because of science and then only choose to acknowledge the science that suits us. The truth is what matters, not your beliefs.

    People reflect the world that surrounds them. They often act like mirrors. If the world stops paying attention to them they lose interest in it. If it treats them harshly they act out in anger. Pay attention to all those you encounter. They deserve it. Treat all with love and compassion. They need it. We all do.

    Forget to-do lists. Make a get to-do list instead. 

    The change the world needs from you is for you to change. Not for you to change the world. 

    What if instead of asking our children, ‘What do you want to do when you’re older?’, we asked, ‘How do you want to help the world when you’re older?’.

    The arguments you have in your head are pointless if you only have them with yourself. Speak up or let go.

    There is a lesson for us in acceptance every time it rains. 

    Sometimes you can stand in the rain, and be bathed in sunlight all the same. 

    Laughing at someone else shows your own insecurity. Conversely laughing at yourself demonstrates confidence. 

    Isn’t it funny how the most judgemental people are also the ones least capable of laughing at themselves?

    One of the best ways to honour life is to love your own. 

    A good time is worth far more than any material possession. 

    What happened in the past no longer matters because it’s already done. What matters is that we make amends for our past in the present moment for the future world. 

    Don’t allow the world to make you “normal.” You’re better than that. Trying to be “normal” like everyone else requires far too much effort anyway. Your natural self is far more interesting. Let him/her free instead.

    If you want to be an expert at something it’s best never to consider yourself one. That way you’ll always be open to learning and growing. 

    Why we need to give ourselves real problems – if you don’t have any real problems your mind will create them. Those problems – the ones created by the mind. They’re the hardest to solve. Give yourself real problems – to help others and the world at large – and your mind won’t be concerned with creating problems for itself. 

    A good person implies something black or white. You either are or you aren’t. This fixes your mindset. You belief 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 any sort of discussion or activity that might call that into question. You avoid the very conversations you need to hear so you may become a better person.

    There’s always light at the end of a tunnel. Remember that when it’s at its darkest. 

    The Ultimate Form Of Taking Responsibility

    I read a quote the other day that said, “Enthusiasm is worth 25 IQ points.”

    It got me thinking about my attitude towards work in the past. 

    It’s easy to see how limiting the story in my head has been when I’ve shown up to work and told myself things like, I’m not going to enjoy this. 

    How I dragged my heels when wishing, I didn’t have to fly with that particular captain. 

    How I made everything so much harder than it needed to be because the narrative I repeated was so heavily rooted in what was happening to me

    How I had to fly through the night again. 

    How I had to fly with the difficult captain. 

    How I got the crappy rest…

    What happens when you complain about having to do something?

    You suffer twice.

    Once in imagination and then again when you have do it.

    What’s the tendency of someone who complains about something beforehand?

    They point the finger and blame others. 

    This makes things worse because it puts yourself in a position of not wanting to learn. It closes your mind. It puts you in a fixed mindset.

    One golden rule for life that forces you to take responsibility:

    GIVE UP BLAMING AND GIVE UP COMPLAINING!

    (FYI constructive criticism isn’t the same as complaining. One offers a solution the other is simply a judgment.)

    Easier said than done of course…

    So what if we looked at this from the angle of adopting an attitude rather than giving one up?

    What if, instead of trying to give up blaming and complaining, we said to ourselves, this week I’m going to show up with as much enthusiasm as I can muster?

    Instead of trying to catch yourself out for being negative, instead of beating yourself up for acting like a child, you simply set the intention to go about whatever it is you have to do (whether that’s work, doing taxes or washing the dishes) with an attitude of ‘fuck yes.’

    After all, if it’s something you have to do, why wouldn’t you make the most of it? Why wouldn’t you try to see how much you can squeeze from that bastard lemon!

    Let me go back to the quote I mentioned at the beginning.

    Enthusiasm is worth 25 IQ points. 

    Of course the idea of gaining 25 IQ points, which is a lot, isn’t meant to taken literally, but it gets the point across succinctly.

    If you show up with enthusiasm. If you turn a reluctant yes into a fuck yes the benefits can’t be understated.

    Just this week I had a simulator that signed on at 11pm and finished at 3am followed by a flight that signed on at 6am just two days later. Not exactly the roster I would have chosen for myself but you know what – I didn’t let myself complain about it – I just got on with it.

    In fact I told myself I was gonna be the keenest motherfucker on the flight deck.

    I reminded myself of my loving motives for doing what I do – that I was there to help others and to be part of something bigger than me.

    I reminded myself that enthusiasm is worth 25 IQ points.

    How do you think I performed?

    I can tell you I’ve done much worse.

    I’m sure you can relate.

    Think about a time when you’ve arrived somewhere you really wanted to be – in which you really wanted to learn something.

    How did it go?

    I’m guessing pretty fucking well.

    Conversely remember those times when you wanted to be somewhere else – when you simply wanted to be at home although you couldn’t.

    Did that attitude help?

    I’m guessing not.

    We don’t alway get to do what we want to or, indeed, choose what life has in store for us. But if we make out that these things are what we wanted. That the struggle we find ourself in is what was meant for us, so we can learn and grow into the resilient mother fucker we were meant to be. Well, I suspect that such an attitude might just be the ultimate form of taking responsibility for your life.


    SOURCES:

    The quote is from Kevin Kelly‘s viral post ‘68 Bits of Unsolicited Advice‘ that he wrote on his 68th birthday. Can highly recommend reading!