Last week I told you about how much I love to journal and listed to inspiring podcasts like 7 Good Minutes. I listen to one episode just about every morning and have been doing so since August 2019. I crave the positive messages and the motivation I get from all the remarkable leaders and speakers!
During a recent episode, I was reminded that my first reactions to things aren't necessarily the right or appropriate reactions. We've all done this. Maybe you're driving down the street when all of a sudden someone cuts you off and beats you through the yellow light, leaving you stuck now at the red light. What a jerk, right?!
Maybe. Maybe not. I do this all the time. My first reaction is always negative. I don't want it to be. In fact, if I could consciously choose my response, I would be more understanding. I might think of all the possible reasons for why this person felt the need to speed up and pass me and get through the light faster than me. I might decide that it actually has nothing to do with me at all. I might even hope nothing's wrong and send some positive vibes their way!
In the 7 Good Minutes podcast #886 "Using the Power of Positivity to Guide Your Daily Actions", Mel Robbins shares with us that we operate on a "default network" 43% of the time. It's here that we're just running on autopilot, like driving on the freeway and not remembering part of your trip. It operates on past knowledge of the world - the script we wrote for ourselves, or that our providers wrote for us at a young age.
Well that sucks! Guess I am the way that I am and that's just how it is, right?
Not even! We can be intentional. Mindfulness is the practice defined in Oxford Languages as "a mental state achieved by focusing one's awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one's feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations..." When we choose to be mindful of ourselves, we can do all sorts of new things.
Mel uses the example of teaching yourself to write with your non-dominant hand. At first, we would unconsciously pick the pen up with our dominant hand. That doesn't mean we're doomed to write only with that hand. In fact, we can learn to write clearly and comfortably with the other, but only if we choose to move the pen to the other hand.
It's going to be uncomfortable. It won't feel natural. Everything inside of us is going to tell us to stop and just go back to the way that we know.
Let's not. Let's push past it. Let's conquer our selves!
I sure hope you have a nice week ahead and remember to give yourself grace, be patient with others, and spread love always.
“Don't be pushed by problems, be led by dreams.”
- Clyde Lee Dennis
Listen to the 7 Good Minutes podcast "Using the Power of Positivity to Guide Your Daily Actions"