Have you ever heard of a word “mental glasses”? Hmmm, probably not – I actually made that term up. Well, every one of us has different beliefs and views about the world around us. That different views and opinions are shaped and expressed through our “mental glasses.” As how reading glasses help us to see, “mental glasses” help us to perceive.
This is how I see it: I believe we are all born with a “mental glasses.” We all start out with clear lenses but, as we grow up and gain our own unique personal experiences and knowledge, the color of the lenses change — it can be red, blue, pastel pink, or super colorful. You get the idea.
Now, why am I talking about the “mental glasses” you may ask? Well, that’s because, in today’s posting, I wanted to share five ideas/ concepts that I came across recently, which opened my eyes to something new and helped me to view the world differently than I used to just few months ago. Basically, it made my “mental glasses” much more colorful. 🙂
CONCEPT #1 FEELINGS TOWARD MONEY
In one of Tony Robbin’s YouTube videos, he talks about how one of the reasons we aren’t financially wealthy and abundant is because we have a negative association toward money. My first reaction to this statement was ‘What?! That’s just non-sense! How can someone have a negative association? We tend to think that money will solve many, if not all, of our problems. We all want more money, isn’t it?’ so I thought.
But, this is what he explained: Although everybody wants more money, the attitude toward money isn’t that positive. For example, this is how we tend to think: to make a lot of money I have to work hard and I will have no time for pleasure, to make a lot of money I have to be smart and I’m not that smart, or making a lot of money means paying more taxes. Furthermore, according to Tony, it’s not uncommon we hear negative things about money growing up as well— money is root of all evil, money isn’t everything, or it costs too much and we just can’t afford it. His argument was this: Because of this negative mind-set, we tend to live in lack and in order to turn that around, we need to change the negative association attached to money into something positive and free ourselves from old beliefs.
That was interesting! See, I’ve always thought money was something I need and want in order to improve my life. Something that I need to work hard for, whether the process was painful or not. Numerous times I thought about making more money yet never once in my life thought about my feelings and attitude toward money and this is why Tony’s video changed my view toward money forever.
After going through the exercises presented in the video, I’ve realized that I also had negative associations toward money, which was quite surprising. I never noticed that I was one of those who always complained about money! Here’s some of my favorite sayings: everything is so damn expensive these days!, I’m not made out of gold, or with my pay, I just can’t afford that. Honestly, I even felt jealous toward financially successful people, which of course was followed by a negative comment – how can that celebrity has everything when she’s not even that bright!
The point is, these videos helped me to look closer to and be aware of my feelings toward money in a way I never did before and the good news is I can shift my focus from negativity to something positive and empowering starting today so that I can be one step closer to financial abundance.
THE TAKE AWAY: Condition your mind and emotions to be financially wealthy and abundant.
TAKE ACTION: Add specific positive/ empowering beliefs to your negative thoughts. There’s really no right or wrong answer on how to do this. All it takes is to twist the negativity to something positive. Here’s how I changed my thoughts.
Negative thought #1 Everything is so damn expensive these days!
Positive/ Empowering thought: Yes, it is and therefore, I should come up with a clear goal (desired amount) and to be more motivated to reach that goal.
Negative thought #2 I’m not made out of gold
Positive/ Empowering thought: True, I am not— I’m made out of cells, water, organs which is much more valuable than gold. I should be grateful that I’m living a healthy life.
Negative thought #3 With my pay, I just can’t afford that.
Positive/ Empowering thought: Yes, I can’t today, but that doesn’t mean this will stay true for next 5 years. This can change.
RESOURCE: Tony Robbins
CONCEPT #2 TREAT CREATIVITY LIKE YOUR BEST FRIEND
In her book ‘Big Magic,’ Elizabeth Gilbert treats creativity like a human being. See, I’ve always thought creativity is something you are born with, like people with eyelids — you either have it or not. And, for that reason, it never crossed my mind to work with and be close to creativity.
This is how Elizabeth sees creativity: Creativity travels around and flows through people and seeks for a perfect match. When it finds the perfect match, the person who can freely and bravely express creativity to the world, big magic happens. Although she didn’t specifically mention about creativity being your best friend, based on her tone, I can totally hear her talking about creativity like her best friend.
Just as you would work on the relationship with your best friend, you would have to work on the relationship with creativity. Just like any friendship, sometimes, you won’t know where your relationship will take you — what kind of journey and memories you will create will be up to you. Creativity will be there at hard times and not so hard times but one thing for sure is the more time you spend with it, you will get to know it better. And most importantly, creativity doesn’t require a permission slip. You won’t ask for a permission slip to be someone’s best friend — It just happens naturally.
THE TAKE AWAY: Creativity floats around in the universe and searches for a partner who can express it to the world. If you greet and treat creativity like your best friend, it will reward you in the same way.
- Communicate with your creativity everyday by practicing it, in any form.
- You won’t expect anything from your best friend. So, don’t expect anything from creativity but if you do get rewarded, take it gracefully.
- Like any relationship, your relationship with creativity might or might not work out. If it doesn’t, don’t despair because another one might be on its way.
RESOURCE: Elizabeth Gilbert
CONCEPT #3 PRACTICE EMOTIONAL HYGIENE
I’m a big fan of TedTalk and for many good reasons. Well, it’s short (usually the talk is about 15 minutes), you can pretty much find talks on any topic you can imagine, and you almost always learn something new. This one was no exception: In his TedTalk, a psychologist Guy Winch introduces the concept of ‘emotional hygiene’.
So, what is emotional hygiene? According to Guy, emotional hygiene is just like physical hygiene. Just as we brush our teeth everyday or put a band-aid immediately after we get a cut, it is a way to take care of our emotions in a daily basis or whenever an attention is needed.
This view was quite interesting. In his terms, we have favoritism on our body over our mind and he is right! While we run to the emergency room for a broken leg, we never run to the psychologist for a broken heart. Sadly, we never really take care of our emotions the same way.
I’ve come to realize that I also never really paid much attention to my emotions. My emotions were something that could always wait. It always got the ‘I’ll-get-to-it-when-I-get-to-it’ treatment — I clearly lacked practicing emotional hygiene.
TAKE AWAY: Let’s close the gap between physical and psychological health — spend equal amount of time and attention to both mind and body.
- Just as you wouldn’t ignore your physical injury, don’t ignore your emotional injury — perform first-aid sooner than later.
- When you feel like a failure, revive your self-esteem. Treat yourself with true compassion as you would treat your true friend who’s hurt.
- Distract rumination. When you have negative thoughts, quickly draw your attention to something else.
RESOURCE: Guy Winch
CONCEPT #4 VIEWING YOUR REMAINING LIFE AS DIAMONDS
We all know we are going to die one day; that our life will eventually come to an end. We are all aware of this, but for some reason, we easily forget the preciousness of our remaining life. How are you spending your day? Perhaps, you spend most of your days working at a job you absolutely hate, you spend most of your days feeling tired and stressed (because you are working at a job you absolutely hate), or you spend most of your days playing with your smartphone (because you are tired and stressed working at a job you absolutely hate).
How many of us truly treasure the time we have today — this very moment? How many of us are truly aware that we have limited time on earth with our loved ones. See, we all know… and I know this too, but we are not truly aware and therefore, we quickly forget. Here’s something that will never make you forget (or at least, it will be very hard to forget).
In this blog post, ‘Your Life in Weeks,’ the author said it so perfectly, I had to quote this: “… the only appropriate word to describe your weeks is precious. There are trillions upon trillions of weeks in eternity, and those are your tiny handful. Going with the “precious” theme, let’s imagine that each of your weeks is a small gem, like a 2mm, .05 carat diamond. If you multiply the volume of a .05 carat diamond by the number of weeks in 90 years (4,680), it adds up to just under a tablespoon. Looking at this spoon of diamonds, there’s one very clear question to ask: Are you making the most of your weeks?”
Who would have thought to compare our remaining weeks to a tablespoon of diamond? These words made me teary, but most importantly, made me view my remaining life in a whole new perspective.
THE TAKE AWAY: Your life is scarce – Use it wisely.
- Never settle for an OK life. Only choose the life you want to live.
- Get a life calendar– It’s a good reminder of how much time you have left.
- Make wise decision. Take action that will either make you happy today or make you happy in the future (action that makes your ‘future you’ better).
Resources: Blog – Wait but Why
CONCEPT #5 GROWTH MINDSET VS. FIXED MINDSET
Now, surprisingly this is a concept I came across when I had a conversation with my 6 year-old son. The conversation went something like this:
My son: “Mommy, my teacher said even though I face challenges and feel like I can’t solve problems, I should persevere. I shouldn’t give up because I have a growth mindset.”
Me: “Oh, interesting. So, what happens if you do give up?”
My son: “Then, that means you have a fixed mindset and you will never improve!”
Wow. I was amazed by what he was telling me (or perhaps, what he was learning from school). Truthfully, I never heard of those terms before, so I did a little research thinking okay… what is this whole growth mindset vs. fixed mindset all about? Well, apparently this concept wasn’t new. Per Google, there’s approximately 190,000 results just about this topic! So, to summarize, the point is this: Basically, there are two types of mindsets that shapes our lives. People with ‘fixed mindset’ has static mind — they avoid challenges in fear of failure. On the other hand, people with ‘growth mindset’ strive for challenges and views failures as an opportunity to learn and grow.
Besides growing, learning, and improving, I think the point is this: Your mindset determines your outcome and you are the one who has the power to determine what mindset to have at any time.
Interestingly, I had this conversation with my son when I was struggling with my new blog. At the time, I just started my blog in means of finding my passion, and the journey was quite challenging and lonely. Ever since that conversation, his response, ‘if you give up, you will never improve’ stuck to my mind. So true, I will never improve if I just give up now and most importantly, I don’t want to have a fixed mindset, so I will persevere.
THE TAKE AWAY: “Your view you adopt for yourself profoundly affects the way you lead your life” – Simply shift your view and there’s nothing you cannot achieve.
- Don’t be scared of a challenge. If you are stuck, instead of giving up, figure out a way to get un-stuck.
- Recognize that you have a choice — Nothing is really fixed (talents, abilities, intelligence, etc.). Your choice and action can change that.
- Just do it (whatever the challenge is) — Sometimes, you don’t even know your potential and how much you can grow unless you take action.
My Beautiful Son, Tyler Yim
Now it’s your turn. Do you have any ideas/ concepts that shifted your view on life? If so, I would love to hear! Please share your ideas/ concepts in the comment box below.
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Picture Credit: by Greg Rakozy (unsplash.com)