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

    Thursday’s Top Tip

    “How much more harmful are the consequences of anger and grief then the circumstances that aroused them in us!”

    — MARCUS AURELIUS (MEDITATIONS)

    The simplest, most common sense piece of wisdom that the vast majority of people fuck up on a daily basis is this: Don’t make shit worse than it already is.

    For example, imagine that a global pandemic ravages the world turning life as we know it on its head (oh wait). Now imagine how much harder it would be if you spent your entire time wishing it hadn’t happened (ah shit). Wishing for a different reality (yep, fucked that one up). 

    Or imagine that you’ve lost your job. Now imagine how much harder it would be if you spent your time blaming your employer for what happened. Pissing all your savings down the drain in anger. Instead of knuckling under and coming up with a plan. Instead of first accepting the hand you’ve been dealt and then putting in the hard yards so you come out the other side stronger.

    It sounds simple, not making shit worse than it already is. However not making shit worse is about having the discipline to face your current reality as it stands. Having the discipline to first accept it.

    This is why so many people fuck up this simple common sense piece of wisdom. They don’t practise acceptance (which is hard). They don’t first come to terms with what’s happened. Instead of pausing to have a think – instead of then making a measured response – they react rashly, caving in to impulsivity instead.

    In aviation we have a saying: ‘When shit hits the fan, first sit on your hands.’ That’s not to say you should do nothing, but that you should do nothing initially. First sit on your hands and have a think so you don’t do anything stupid (like shutting down the wrong engine when you have an engine failure). To make sure you’re clear about what is happening and what your options are (Like Sully who realised they wouldn’t be able to make the runway if he turned back to LaGuardia or headed toward Teterboro).

    There’s something else we use in aviation to help us think clearly when faced with any non normal scenario. I believe it works just as well in everyday life. It’s called the CLEAR model. (If you’re interested I wrote all about it here.) It stands for the following:

    C – Clarify what the problem is. (Global pandemic has left me unemployed.)
    L – Look for information and ideas. (Search for a new job or do an online course to gain new skills.)
    E – Evaluate your options. (Apply for jobs or learn a new skill or binge watch NETFLIX.)
    A – Act on your decision. (Binge watch NETFLIX.)
    R – Review how it is working. (Enjoying NETFLIX. Will continue to watch NETFLIX until I hate myself then reluctantly look for a new job.)

    I believe this is a useful model that helps you first sit on your hands and then gain some much needed clarity before making a decision. Because that’s what you need to do. First accept what has happened and then become clear about your options.

    Hopefully this model can help you do that today.

    Previous Top Tip

    The Hopeless Nature Of Hoping

    “You must never confuse faith that you will prevail in the end — which you can never afford to lose — with the discipline to confront the most brutal facts of your current reality.”

    – Vietnam War. Admiral James Stockdale 

    Do you want to know the one reason you’re not happy right now? 

    It’s because you’re hoping for something different. 

    It’s as simple as that. 

    By wishing for something different your perception of what reality should be crashes against what is. This friction is the source of all your suffering. 

    You cannot alter reality. Only your perception of it, your acceptance of it.

    Reality is perfectly happy being the fucked up place it is because it can’t be anything else.

    It was just as fucked before you were born as it will be the day after you die. 

    Stop hoping for something different. 

    Either Act Or Accept.

    These are far better choices than hoping.

    Do you want to know why you’re in the mess that you are?

    It’s because you were sold a dummy by a society that has glorified hope. With the movies and TV shows you watch. The super hero who swoops in to save the day at the final hour. You cling to that, waiting for your knight in shining armour to save you.

    It’s true to say hope can serve as temporary relief from your current pain, but that’s about all one can say. 

    Do you know what else achieves the same? 

    Taking drugs. Drinking alcohol. Binge watching NETFLIX. 

    How have those things worked out for you in the past?

    What has hope really done for you?

    It’s another form of avoidance, of distraction. 

    What happened to your hope when coronavirus fucked up all your plans last year? What happened to your hope when governments repeatedly failed you?

    Is hope going to get us out of this mess?

    No.

    Fuck hope. 

    You’re the super hero of your own reality. You control yourself, your thoughts and the way you look at the world. 

    Fuck hope. 

    Hope is an excuse not to do what you can.

    Hope is an excuse to say these problems are beyond you, to say they are beyond all of us.

    Hope is saying all will be ok when I die and go to heaven. 

    Fuck hope. 

    Hope is what led you to hopelessness when the world didn’t live up to your expectations. 

    And let me tell you, living in hopelessness is an equally terrible place because that isn’t based in reality either. 

    Act or Accept. 

    Those are your choices.

    I’ll say one more thing before I wrap up.

    Giving up hope isn’t about being overly pessimistic – it’s about coming back to reality and seeing it for what it is. 

    Hopelessness is being overly pessimistic.

    If you have clothes on your back, food on the table and a roof over your head. If you can breathe…!

    I’d say there is more right with you than not.

    The best things in life haven’t changed because you lost your job or your wife left you.

    Taking a shit or having a wank is just as wonderful with zero dollars in the bank as it is with billions (sorry, I meant feeling the cool breeze on your skin or listening to the birds chirping in the morning – yeah those things too).

    Will this message inspire you in some way?

    Who knows.

    All I can do is my best to reinforce the narratives that help me and see if it helps others.

    Maybe it will, maybe it won’t.

    Either way, I’m not holding onto any hope.


    (Thanks for reading ladies and gentlemen. I hope (ha) you enjoyed it. I’ll let you in on a little secret. Sometimes I take an extreme position on a topic simply to challenge myself (and you) to think differently, even if I don’t agree with the argument. Do I really think that hope is such a terrible emotion? No, of course not. Hope is a very important emotion designed to inspire action. But here is what I did take from this post – hope must be tied to action otherwise it’s dangerous. Hoping for things out of your control (as I learnt the hard way this past year) is truly awful for your mental health. Hope only for yourself, for the things that you can control. And then take action to make it so. For everything else you can’t control – I suggest you practise acceptance instead. With that said I’m curious what your thoughts are on the topic of hope? As always I welcome ALL comments and opinions. Wishing you well, AP2 🙏)

    ***

    You can see find more of AP2’s nonsensical world views and poor self-help advice here at: https://pointlessoverthinking.com

    Tuesday’s Top Tip

    Is life really so bad?

    Is life really so fucked up?

    Ok, yes, it is quite fucked up.

    Still.

    Is it not also rather pleasant?

    Is it not also incredibly beautiful?

    Is it not also extremely miraculous?

    When you stop regurgitating the bullshit narratives fed to you by society over and over again in your mind.

    When you consider that we live in one of the freest, safest and richest periods in human history.

    When you simply put down your phone and look.

    Do we not, in fact, have a great deal more to be grateful for given the odds of our very existence are so infinitesimally small?

    You know the answer to this question of course.

    The problem is you keep forgetting don’t you?

    Which is why you’ve got to keep reminding yourself of how truly fortunate you really are.

    It’s why you have to practise gratitude every opportunity you can.

    It’s why you have to make being thankful a way of life.

    Previous Top Tip