Is it possible to become 30% more productive with a little extra effort?
This is the possible outcome from a presentation done by Shawn Achor and if you click the link you can see what he says for yourself.
His talk is great fun to watch and I have seen it many times before but only recently experienced what he says for myself. Near the end he talks about 5 things that we can all do you raise our happiness and in turn our productivity.
- Write down 3 things each day that we are grateful for.
- Journal a positive experience from the last 24 hours each day.
- Random acts of kindness.
The power is in doing these consistently for at least 21 days so that they become habit and the results can then become part of you.
The science is there and the 5 steps can be part of our daily routine if we wish to feel the change so why did I not embrace this back when I first heard it? I believe that my conscious mind did not take this on board as I was living a different plan and following a different path. Now things have changed for me and instead of seeing change in others and thinking that I can never change I now know that change in others is proof that I can change and in doing so help as many people along the way as I can.
Why do we need to become happy?
Have you ever had a major goal which you have achieved? It may be a new job, new car, promotion, marriage, new home, etc. During the process of achieving this goal we believed it would change our lives and we could then be happy. Now after the goal has been achieved did it really change your happiness in the long term or have you now moved the goal?
We must give ourselves permission to be happy now and enjoy the journey, if we are not enjoying the process then maybe we are on the wrong journey. We have so much riding on this as it is our life, its not a dress rehearsal and it wont last forever. Waiting for a certain thing before we are happy is a perilous game and the science proves that it is slowing our productivity too.
I remember Dr Wayne Dyer saying ‘There is no way to happiness, happiness is the way’ and I now fully understand what he meant.
The Hero’s Journey
We have seen this process played out on the big screens in movies, in our own lives and the lives of others. The reluctant hero gets the call to adventure from within or outside forces and that starts the refusal to take the call. In the movies that refusal is overcome and the journey starts, it would be a short movie if the refusal won!
In our own lives the journey does not always start straight away and sometimes never. For those who do start the journey into the unknown getting as far as the trials or abyss can send them running back to the known. So it would seem that the key is getting past the abyss as nothing will be the same again after we pass this point and the journey will complete in some way.
In my opinion we can break this down into 3 things we need to overcome and if we can solve these then the journey will complete.
- Accepting the call and crossing into the unknown
- Negotiating the Road Of Trials
- Passing the Abyss – Death and Rebirth
1. If we can formulate a plan for getting past the abyss then we will take the call to adventure again and again in the future with confidence and expectation of completing the journey. In fact we will no longer find ourselves reluctant to take the call but instead looking forward to the next journey. So by overcoming 2 and 3 before we start we will have overcome problem 1.
2. The road of trials can be an unwelcoming place if we arrive there alone. Our journey could be weight loss, relationships or maybe business building they all share common threads and will always encounter trials. This is where a plan of action, mentor, desire, etc. will be called upon. Napoleon Hill and many others have given us the tools for this, we just need to use them. Each and everyone of us has the ability to overcome trials as long as we truly believe in the journey we have started and it is in line with our beliefs and authentic selves. Strength in numbers is essential here as a group of like minds are always going to be greater than the sum of their parts.
3. Passing the Abyss will require us to finally let go of our old self and embrace the new. So as before the journey has to be in line with our authentic selves and not a whim or exercise to please others. Death and Rebirth seem a little harsh in this box but in a way we are letting our old self die to make room for the new us. If we cling onto our old self then we can never complete the journey. The popular weight loss journey could be used as an example here. If we still see ourselves as an overweight person who has lost a few pounds then we will inevitably regain the weight. If we truly become a different weight in our head and accept the new reality as our future we will instinctively keep up the exercise and make healthy choices with food. Being continually on a diet is not completing the journey, it is keeping someone else in business but you have not returned to the known world much different from how you left it. This can be applied to self help gurus in all areas of life, if they are not helping you formulate the tools to complete the journey then they may be helping themselves more than you.
This is just my opinion and I’m sure you will form yours about the Hero’s Journey. It makes a great plot line for a film or book but I’m more interested in relating it to my life and those with whom I have the pleasure to meet and work with. We can all be a hero if we wish to and that is a fantastic thing!
Nature’s Greatest Miracle
We have been reading in Og Mandino’s Greatest Salesman this month that we are nature’s greatest miracle (Scroll marked IV).
It is true that none that came before us were the same and this is empowering to me. Having spent a large part of my life trying to imitate others I can now accept that I am unique and that is a good thing. I can place my uniqueness on display and be proud of the difference.
I have always felt a need to separate myself from the herd but there has often been something on a subconscious level dragging me back, until now. Life has got a lot simpler now and I can live with my compass leading me towards my bliss, putting a compass around my neck seemed silly at first but I would be lost without it. Having a purpose in life which is not in line with the average man is ok for me as I’m proud of the difference.
We are surrounded by people attracting various things into their lives and its easy to get caught up in their race. It may be your boss, friend, relative or co-worker and they are attracting results through their thoughts and actions. You may be part of their plan to make themselves feel better or get on but is it helping you towards your bliss? I believe we can make our own way and follow our compass. If we are heading towards our own bliss then we will enjoy the ride and this will set many positive ripples into the lives of others.
I have a purpose and an opportunity to achieve it. As long as I remain true to me then I am happy with the journey. With each victory the next struggle becomes less difficult.
I am nature’s greatest miracle.
Whatever we think about grows. What we forget atrophies.
This week has been very interesting as we have been noticing ‘Kindness’ as a group and feeling the law of growth in this area together. We have been sharing our experiences with each other in the forum and as a result the impact on each of us has been exponential. The power of a mastermind group was written about by Napoleon Hill and feeling it first hand is a powerful experience.
Noticing kindness in others has been revealing as it is not only their kindness to me but also to each other that has been apparent. A lot of it would have bypassed my consciousness if it was not for this weeks exercise. I am surrounded by kind people doing kind things and that is a great thing. Kind acts towards me are naturally good for me and I have been sure to be gracious. I believe that I have noticed many more than I would have otherwise and the effect on my subconscious mind can only be for the better as a result and we all know what a healthy happy subconscious mind can achieve.
My acts of kindness have been a little harder as we were asked as a group to do two random acts of kindness each day. By a random act we mean doing something without being caught. I have tidied up in shops, given to charity boxes and slowed my car in traffic to create a gap ahead for other drivers that I have seen. These seem small but it has revealed that I have room for improvement in this. I believe that I am a kind person but to give this law of growth some fuel I will do more before the week end on Sunday. Comments in the box below will be kindly received and acted on if your creativity can help me with more random acts.
So whatever we think about grows apparently, well I can confirm this to be the case. My study may not be far reaching and stand the test of some peoples scepticism but in my mind it works. This week has been a kind week and I look forward to next week when we as a group will be applying the law of growth to topics of our own choice. My choice is ‘Decisiveness’ for next week so if we run into each other do me a favour and be decisive so I can notice it and watch it grow through the week.
Does this stuff work? Will it work for me?
I guess these were the questions that I asked myself repeatedly in the early days. I had read many books before but this course promised to be different, we were to be self directed and guided into finding the answers for ourselves. Then as if to make it more challenging we would be reading two books which both takes months to complete as they are exercises to be completed daily and repeated until the books are finished.
Well after 15 weeks I can confirm that this is working. I feel different, I react to situations differently and most importantly I am living with a purpose and enjoying the journey. It is no miracle it is simply the result of gaining and understanding of what I used to think about and understanding that I can change the bits that don’t serve me. This is an ongoing process as I don’t believe we will ever stop growing until the day life ends.
Life is a whole lot better for me and my greatest displeasure now is seeing others that are in need of help. Many of them don’t know that they are slowly self destructing with negative opinions and actions. I know that I will be able to help some but will I be able to do enough? I will continue my journey and know that I will have opportunities to share what I have learnt. As they say on aeroplanes ‘fix your own oxygen mask first, then help others’.
A short comparison that has helped me recently is to think of the mind as being like a field of fertile soil. If you plant crops in the field then they will invariably grow, if you plant deadly nightshade in the soil it will invariably grow. They soil is fertile and doesn’t mind what you plant, it will simply return to you what you plant. By planting positive thoughts that are in line with your dharma in the mind they will grow. The mind does not mind what you plant it will simply return what you plant. Our actions are a manifestation of our thoughts so if we are propagating a positive mind then how can it not take us towards our dharma?