Command your brain to work for you!

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Whether your dreams and goals are big or small, the key to achieving your goals is having your mind work for you! How many times have you thought about doing something but your thoughts have held you back? It’s time to change that.

The first step for you to have your brain and it’s thoughts work for you funnily enough is precisely that, the First Step.
You will already be thinking about what it is that you want to achieve, no matter how big or small, now act on it. Think of the first easiest most obvious step you can take in the right direction to get you on track to success. If you’re wanting to become fitter and healthier, research your local gyms or start analysing your current habits and begin to consider how you can alter them for the better. If you’re wanting to go on more dates and want to meet someone new, research dating websites, apps or go out and put yourself into social situations that will enhance your chances! Just take the First Step.

Now by being told that all you have to do at first is take the first step, you may be thinking that it’s obvious and somewhat patronising. However, there is actual science behind this. Neuroscientists have actually proven that just by taking any initial step to achieve your goal, you actually command your brain to then keep a look out for anything relevant in your life that can help you along the way. As you take more and more progressive steps your brain begins to listen out for and seek helpful material in life that will benefit you, this could be in a conversation, the title of a book, an advertisement, anything that is relevant to your goals! So before thinking your way out of it and allowing your ambition to intimidate you, take that step and begin the pursuit.

Taking the First Step has a similar effect on the brain as your finger jabbing away at people’s faces on a smartphone camera before you take a picture. When you do this your phone begins to actively look for faces to focus on before taking the photo for optimum results, your brain is the same. As you think about your goals and what you aspire to achieve, along with an active step towards those goals you command your brain to actively search out helpful ‘faces’ to add to your life photo. As you continue stepping a little at a time towards those goals your brain continues to actively seek out helpful material. Take that step whatever it may be.

Another key component to goal achievement is your Beliefs. To fully realise your beliefs I would once again, recommend mindful practice and meditation. Allowing yourself time for reflection and to be in the moment with your thoughts is key. This is also the key component to change your beliefs.
Your beliefs are very similar to the components within a computer. To optimize its performance you can simply swap out its inner working parts to improve it’s memory, graphics and storage space. To enable you to progress forward towards those goals you need to swap out your initial negative beliefs, if you have any.
Reflect on those negative beliefs, explore them and find their flaws. Think of what you want to achieve, the realistic steps you can take to get their and believe you can. By believing you can and finding evidence that you can in the steps you can take, you alter your beliefs to then work for you and not against you.
By taking this time of reflection away from the real world, you allow your brain time to explore what your reality actually is. The chances are when regularly putting this into practice, you will see that your reality seems far more straight forward, your problems are simplified, as are the solutions and the same goes for your goals and active steps towards them.

Another very useful tool is Mantras. Mantras are short sentences or phrases that you say to yourself when alone. Taking the time out to do this provides time again similar to taking your First Step, to command your brain to work for you. Your mantra doesn’t need to be long-winded, it just needs to be specific to your goal and used often. For example if your goal was to improve your physical fitness yours could be something along the lines of:

“I feel fitter, I feel healthier and I look great”

Whilst repeating your mantra to yourself in-vision how you would be making yourself feel fitter, feel healthier and looking great. In this case it could be working out in the gym, going for runs regularly or attending local fitness classes and boot camps. This makes those actions become imbedded within your mind, these are the actions that you have to carry out to achieve the feeling you express within your mantra. Your brain is once again commanded to keep a look out for anything of benefit to you to help you along the way, whether that be in a Facebook Ad you scroll past, a blog post, a book or anything!

Take one step at a time and your brain will follow.

‘The Altruism Revolution’ and why you should explore ‘Altruism’

Altruism – disinterested and selfless concern for the well-being of others.

Before discovering this documentary on Amazon Prime I had no idea what Altruism was or what the Altruism movement or ‘revolution’ was. As you read above, Altruism is the disinterested and selfless concern for the well-being of others. It is common belief that humans are naturally programmed to progress by being selfish in a world where ‘dog-eat-dog’ is the believed motto of success; This documentary explains why and how humans are wired to actually feel empathy, cooperate and work to help one another when it matters.

If you are interested in Neuroscience, Psychology, Sociology, evolution or Mindfulness I strongly recommend giving it a watch as it is fascinating. I personally watched it because I have become increasingly interested and fascinated by psychology in particular recently, I have also been growingly curious on the concept and practice of Mindfulness so the series as well as its five-star review seemed appealing to me.

The documentary explores the ways in which scientists, psychologists and other field experts are experimenting and researching the way in which humans are wired to help one another and feel empathy, as opposed to the previous theories where it was believed that humans embraced a more ‘dog-eat-dog’ approach to life and success. They begin by experimenting on babies and children then move on to apes to see results from beings that won’t or are least likely to have any other form of motive to their actions.
The documentary then delves into how this natural instinct of empathy and helping one another could be implemented into day-to-day life, showing that meditation and mindfulness practices help bring people forward into a new age of helpful, empathizing and cooperative nature. It shows current studies, experiments and real implementation of this in areas such as primary education in troubled neighbourhoods and high stress jobs where it is essential that all of these traits exist for the future of our children and for a better functioning society.

As I was watching the documentary I started to think about how this could be such a massive step into a brighter future for mankind.
As you know anti-bullying campaigns have existed in schools and workplaces for years, it wouldn’t have always been this way. This would have been thought up, researched and implemented for optimum results, allowing for learning to take place more efficiently and for the workplace to be a more positive and cooperative environment.
What if Altruism eventually became just as mainstream and widespread?

If and when (I think personally) this happens, we will be entering into a new society which could potentially cooperate more, empathise with one another better and deal with our own individual problems and others’ problems better allowing mankind to progress profoundly. In my opinion, If this is taught regularly and correctly in schools and workplaces it genuinely could revolutionise the way in which we think and work as a  species.

If you’re interested in watching the documentary I will provide a link below, I cannot recommend it enough.

https://amzn.to/2UBbxpN

 

Bettering yourself through Reading

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We all know that from a young age we’re taught in one way or another in the early years of education that we should be reading to improve our basic reading and writing skills along with our capacity to take in information. The benefits of reading increase furthermore as we grow older too.

Reading allows you to relax and become invested in a story that is different from your own, maybe one you could never experience in your lifetime or one that you’re just curious about. It also allows you to see different parts of life from many different perspectives, allowing you to make sound judgements of past and present events. This skill is then transferable to everyday life, by using an array of skills just through reading you are training your mind to think in a higher gear for whatever else life throws at you.

It’s not just the skills gained through the act of reading that are gained however. When you read informative books, such books as those filed under the genre of ‘self help’ you will learn a wealth of knowledge, skills and essentially tools for life. You may be thinking however; “I don’t need help, my life is fine”.
I wasn’t in need of help when I began reading these types of books either, I just thought the worst result of me reading this book is that I don’t learn anything. This has not been the case. I have read a number of ‘self help’ books and I have learnt a great deal from dealing with life’s problems when they arise with CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy) techniques, to learning how to best judge new and present people in life for what their true intentions are whether that be good or bad.

The wealth of knowledge through books is endless, especially nowadays where we live in a time where we can order a book and get it next day or even download a book instantly online to a smart device. By gaining this knowledge we acquire skills and therefore we improve ourselves significantly, we can look at this a little deeper however.
I read an interesting fact which was “You are an average of the top 5 people you socialise with”. Going by this logic, you are an accumulation of your top 5 friends’ personality traits and you convey that to the outside world, this is I’m assuming due to the information and the feelings you receive through communicating with these people. Communicating with people is literally just the transferal of information to one another, therefore by reading regularly from genres and topics of a wide variety we receive information and feelings the same way we would from someone talking to us (quite literally if we’re talking about an audiobook or podcast). So if you’re not too keen on the idea of being an average of your top 5 people; educate yourself and expand your skills in other ways.

The ease of reading in the modern age can’t be exaggerated enough either. You literally don’t even have to read anymore! If you’re on the move you can play an audiobook in the car or on the train eliminating the need for you to even look at a page or screen so really, there’s no excuse!

 

If you’re interested in some of the subjects I mentioned in this post these are two of the books I was referring to:

 

The Power of… Boredom

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The thought of being ‘bored’ is something that a lot of people will feel strongly against, the idea that you have nothing to do and nothing to think about is often associated with being a negative feeling. Some people also feel very negative about boredom due to problems they’re facing in their lives, meaning boredom allows their brain to wander over to those negative problems and emotions that are present in their lives.

Boredom can however be used to your advantage, no matter who you are and what is going on in your life. In an age where being bored is near impossible due to all of the distractions and devices we now have in our lives it could actually be difficult to imagine being bored for some people. However, to ensure you can you will need to set aside all forms of electronics such as phones and laptops, take off a smart watch if you wear one and don’t allow them to distract you. Then you have that time to be ‘bored’.

Why would I want to be bored?

That is probably the question that’s arising to anyone reading this, I get it. The reason you want to be what people call ‘bored’ is because that time where you have no distractions can be used as a huge advantage to your life.
Linking back to my previous post, if you have goals in life (which of course you should have!) this allows some recalibration time where you direct all of your thoughts towards what progress you are making towards those goals. Thinking about how much you have progressed, what your next step forward will be and setting up your plan of action to best attack the time you have into forming the future you want. Allow yourself to be completely ‘bored’, sit still, either eyes open looking out on the scenery around you or closed taking in all your thoughts. Your mind will wander but you can always just accept it’s happened and dial your thoughts back to what it is you want to be thinking your way through.

This ‘boredom’ doesn’t just have to be used to focus on your goals either. If you are facing some adversity in your life and you’re being faced with problems, this is perfect reflection time again for you to process what is happening rather than distracting yourself from those problems. Thinking about what has actually happened, asking yourself what is the best way to deal with this problem? Can this problem actually be dealt with? If not, you can think about the most positive way to move forward from this issue and accept what has happened.

I believe that this is valuable time to have. Mental health problems are rising or at least they seem to be far more common than they used to be and part of this I believe is due to the fact the majority of people face adversity and problems in their lives but they don’t have the time to reflect and process the emotions that come along with it. Instead they are distracted from them through the modern rush of work and social networking where everything is quick and instant, therefore providing instant distractions and also instant problems in some cases. By taking this time to reflect and recalibrate you allow your mind to return to a calm state and to actually process what’s going on in that moment, allowing you to progress and grow as an individual.

“Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards.”
–  Søren Kierkegaard