Life changing habits: Daily mantras

A tool I use to sort of re-calibrate so that my intentions are focused on a specific thing.

When I was looking for a job in the past I did daily mantras for at least a month then I ended up getting 3 job offers within the space of a few weeks.

I get that some people don’t believe in the power of mantras but I’m not saying it’s a magic fix. It’s more a case of what you focus on grows, it sort of becomes in sociological terms a self fulfilling prophecy. I’m a big believer that if you don’t think it’ll work then it probably won’t.

And if you don’t trust me trust Henry Ford who said ‘Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t – you’re right.’

It’s been life changing for me because the things I’ve declared have come to pass. I try and focusing on bringing more of the good stuff in and letting the stuff no longer serving me fall away and mantras help with that.

Life changing habits: Focus on yourself

Probably the most obvious life changing habit of all, yet in this society with the prominence of social media in our everyday lives it can feel almost impossible.

How do you engage with the content of strangers without getting sucked in and forgetting about you?

I find that disconnecting is key, as in closing the app or logging out.

But it is also useful to make time to ask yourself the important questions like: How does this make me feel? Or is this a valuable use of my time?

The balance between focusing on yourself and what others are doing should always heavily be tipped in your favour.

I feel much better doing hand embroidery, going for a walk or drawing than I do focusing on the lives of strangers.

It doesn’t better my life to know that you had poached eggs on avo toast for breakfast or that you just bought another pair of Manolo Blahniks.

But don’t get me wrong I enjoy that kind of content a lot but I shouldn’t be focusing on others more than myself.

The same way you could with great ease spend an hour watching YouTube videos or 30 minutes scrolling Instagram should be the same way you spend time on yourself.

Habits of your future self

If you’re not doing anything to bridge the gap between your present and future self, ask yourself ‘how do I expect to get there?’

Maybe you want to read more, wake up earlier, be more productive, write a book, start a podcast it could be anything.

But let’s take be more productive. How do you go from unproductive to productive?

I’d start with identifying the gap.

Is it procrastination, lack of commitment or focus?
What can you do to overcome that?

Trying the ‘do it now approach‘ for a month or so is a great way to combat a variety of issues. It reduces procrastination, encourages commitment and overtime will probably make you more productive.

If you don’t know about the do it now approach its fairly self explanatory but it’s origin lies in the desire to get things done instead of putting things off.

It’s replying to emails instead of flagging them, doing small tasks when they come up instead of adding them to your to do list.

If that sounds like the kind of person you want to be then challenge yourself and give it a go.

Why you shouldn’t focus on what you don’t want

In a book a read a while back it explained why we should focus on what we do want instead of what we don’t want.

It gave the example of someone telling you not to think of a purple elephant and how despite being told not to that is exactly where the mind wanders. That simple example is the same for our wants and goals. It’s the reason why the focus should be on the things that we actually wan’t.

When you spend time focusing on what you don’t wan’t your mind will give energy to those things. Your mind will visualise and think about these things which will only amplify them in your physical reality.

 

Good enough and better

When doing something new or something that you aren’t familiar with it’s easy to get caught in the anxiety loop of not being good enough.

‘I don’t want to lead this project because I’m not good enough’ or ‘I don’t want to contribute my idea because it won’t be good enough.’

But the irony is nobody is good enough out the gate. The trick is to focus on yourself, on being better than you were last year or even just yesterday.

And then bit by bit you’ll get better and better. And that will always be good enough.

Thinking of you and getting things done

Sometimes I wonder about the people that read my blog.

How old are you?

What do you do for a living?

Are you into fashion (I am!)?

What do you like about my blog?

What do you want to see more of?

Some of those questions are worth asking more than others but overall I’m not sure that I can say it’s information that I need.

It’s just my curiosity.

Sometimes when we’re working on a task or project we focus too much on things that don’t actually add to the work that we’re doing.

Granted sometimes they do add to the work but if the majority of my effort or time is going into something that is only a small part of the work overall, then I wont end up with the result that I really want.

An inconsistent tortoise

I often make comparisons between myself and others that do similar things to me or things similar to what I’d like to do.

Then the other day I read a quote by Mark Manson I think, it that was about competing with yourself and it really resonated.

It effected me differently because despite seeing (and rolling my eyes at) countless you only need to compete with yourself blah, blah blah quotes it never really clicked for me.

But the more I think about the things I’d like to do in life the more I realise how pointless it is to compete with others because I don’t want to be like them in terms of what I create. I think too much focus on competing creates space for distractions from the work, the goal, the plan.

I’ve progressed over the years, granted it’s been at an inconsistent stop and start tortoise pace but like that well known quote goes, slow progress is better than no progress.