While I enjoy reading, listening and watching experts talk and write about mindfulness and ways to recondition my mind and habits for a deeper sense of connection and meaning in daily life, what I really love doing is developing new habits to making them effective. Taking action for daily improvement. The doing does it for me.
I am bookmarking today’s post to return to as I use it as a reference tool to upgrade my current morning and evening habits and practices to create a more present state awareness which in turn helps me become less reactive and more responsive in life.
1. Listen or read The Most Important Moment by Leo Babauta
Why: I don’t want to discount this moment right now for the one that is coming up soon. No moment is less important than any other in your life. This moment is filled with sounds, tastes, actions and elements that are your life. Just because you are waiting on line somewhere does not make it a useless moment. Make every moment count or you will end up with a pile of wasted moments that end up in the Where did all the time go? landfill at the end of your life.
2. Watch your words – your word choice determines your thought choice which determines your emotions and actions -inspired from the 21 Day Non-Complaint Challenge
This is one of the reasons why I am expanding my vocabulary Roget’s Thesaurus of Words for Intellectuals: Synonyms, Antonyms, and Related Terms Every Smart Person Should Know How to Use
3. Signed up to join the beta version of It’s Koko which was created as a solution for peer-to-peer mental health – a social network that helps you feel better. Learn more about how Koko works by listening to the Your Not So Smart Podcast interview with Robert Morris developed this brilliant app and next generation crowd-sourced problem solving tool.
Why: Because one day we will be astonished that people actually went to one single therapist to “sort out” their problems, which in my mind is a ridiculous waste of time and not an intelligent way to improvement. Collective reasoning and cognitive reframing reign supreme.
4. Develop a daily practice of Dr. Dan Siegel’s Wheel of Awareness
Why: I believe this practice is an upgrade to my daily practice of vipassana meditation. It is an active practice that focuses your attention to an inner place of clarity. It takes commitment, but so does everything that changes you for the better. Learn more about the benefits of mindsight from Dr. Daniel Siegel here
5. Practice Poverty – Tim Ferriss has a great 29-minute podcast of how he practices mindfulness including this recommendation from Lucius Annaeus Seneca Letters from a Stoic (Penguin Classics) One of my favorite pieces of advice ever. While it’s not something you have to do every day, try living for a week with the bare minimum. While Seneca advised to sleep on the kitchen floor and drink from the dog’s water bowl and discover that you are okay in the morning, Tim works it in a more civilized way. Wear the same clothes, eat a minimal diet, don’t spend any money, see what you are so afraid of to find out how strong you really are.
Why: I know I have not taken risks having worried about failing.
6. Stay more focused throughout the day. Download the Chrome extension Momentum and let Google keep you on track so you can concentrate on your goals.
Why: Too many damn distractions. Life on and off the internet is beyond fascinating, but in order to accomplish anything great, we must stay focused.
7. Invest in a 5 Minute Journal exercise each morning (another Ferriss tip) The Five Minute Journal: A Happier You in 5 Minutes a Day
I have already been writing in a gratitude journal every morning, The Five Minute Journal upgrades the experience by having me consider –
What would make today great? What I am truly grateful for each day? What I dare to challenge myself with that day, etc. Better questions lead to a more thoughtful day.
8. Learn more about the importance of practicing cognitive reframing
Why: Because beating cognitive distortions will help me think more clearly, which will hopefully have me examine my common decision making failings. Cognitive distortions are categories of automatic thinking. Some of them include always being right, blaming, disqualifying the positive, emotional reasoning, fallacy of change, filtering and cognitive biases, jumping to conclusions, labeling and mislabeling, magnification and minimization (catastrophizing), over generalization, personalization, should statements, all-or-nothing thinking, etc.
9. I am currently reading The Art of Thinking Clearly by Robert Dobelli which describes how to counter cognitive distortions with instructive good sense.
Why: Biases are the invisible air we walk through, exerting their influence outside of our conscious awareness. Read more about the dangers of cognitive biases here.
Question for you – what have you found that has made you more mindful? Please share in the comments below.