If Mindset is the Battlefield,
We Need Swords, and Shields.
Bookmark this page, and please share it. Negativity in our political systems and media is at an all-time high, and if we don’t consciously work to overcome it, it holds us back.
Why this is so important
The quality of our thoughts determines the quality of our reality.
The research on how many thoughts our brains think per day is conflicted. Most people cite 50,000 – 70,000 thoughts per day, although the sources of that research are sketchy. Dr. ER Watkins is a professor of psychology and has studied constructive versus destructive thoughts for over a decade. The modest estimates are that 70% of our thoughts are negative, or unhelpful. In psychology there’s a concept of the Negativity Bias
Paul Rozin, phD is a professor of psychology at the University of Pennsylvania, and faculty member of Martin Seligman’s famous Master of Applied Positive Psychology program. Rozin proposed 4 elements of the Negativity Bias, which says that in the absence of information our brain is more likely to fill the gaps with negative information. Our bias toward negativity is thought to have evolutional roots as protection from threats or predators. One of the 4 elements is Negativity Dominance, which is the “tendency for the combination of positive and negative instances to skew towards an overall more negative interpretation.”
A minimum of 70% of the thoughts we think reinforce the reality we’re in, and actively work to prevent the possibility we crave.
Our ability to discern helpful versus unhelpful thoughts is the battlefield of life. We need to tidy up our mental and emotional environment to give success a fighting chance.
Here are 7 go-to processes, resources, or practices I use regularly, and recommend to my coaching clients.
1. Getting Your Own Attention: 4-7-8 Breathing
2. Hemi-Sync Music + Binaural Beats
Time: 15 minutes to select or purchase, 30 min to curate in your phone, and as much as you want to listen throughout your day.
Binaural Beats refer to a series of waves played in the right, and left ear. They are slightly offset, so when they are heard simultaneously through headphones, the brain produces a beating effect, or third sound. They’ve taken off in recent years, and you can find thousands of examples on YouTube and Spotify.
These subsonic waves take your mind into an integrated, meditative state by aligning the left and right hemispheres. The most common waves are Beta, Alpha, Delta, and Theta. Personally, I prefer Alpha and Theta waves to access the subconscious mind, without putting myself to sleep. These make a phenomenal soundtrack to physical activity.
Note: You are not recommended to listen to binaural music while driving.
Hemi-Sync was the pioneer in the space, and has released hundreds of albums designed to achieve specific, desired mind states. I’ve been listening to their stuff for years, and a few are my all-time most listened-to tracks in my iTunes library. Hemi-Sync is produced by The Monroe Institute, who’s founder (Dr. Robert Monroe) has documented out-of-body experiences since the the 50s.
Recommended: Create a “priming” playlist of music that elevates your vibe, and vision. Hemi-Sync hires masterful ambient composers that cover many genres of music. You can now hear a few of my favorites on Spotify.
- Illumination for Peak Performance. “Bliss” is a near perfect 9-min mile while running. We listened to it on repeat during the natural births of our 3 kids.
- Indigo for Quantum Focus. I’ve found this great for writing, journaling, and visioning. It stays on repeat when I’m designing my year.
- JS Epperson is a favorite Binaural/Meditative music artist. His artist page on Spotify is the best place to sample binaural music.
- Learn more about how Hemi-Sync technology works, and its benefits.
- Hemi-Sync playlist on Spotify
3. The Ultimate Gratitude Practice: 10 & 10
Time: 10 minutes to write, and another 7-10 min to practice each day.
Gratitude is so powerful because it pulls us out of petty complaints, or justified resentments. Thank God, we can’t be simultaneously grateful and pissed off at the same time. Gratitude redirects our thoughts to what we’ve already manifested, and bathes them in deep reverence. It’s one thing to say “I’m grateful for my comfy house”. It’s a deeper experience to write out why you’re so grateful, read it back, and embody the feelings associated with how truly blessed you are.
I discovered this practice in Matthew Ferry’s excellent little book: Creating Sales Velocity, which is a badass manifestation book to help you align your products and services with your clients. The book is a short, 2-hr listen on Audible.
10 & 10 Gratitude Practice
Step 1. On 1 sheet of lined paper, list 10 separate things you love about your life. Some big, some small.
Step 2. Just beneath, list another 10 things you will accomplish in life.
Step 3. As often as you can, meditate, or quiet the mind for a few minutes. Then….
Step 4. Review each item at the top of the list slowly, trying to feel into your deep gratitude for each.
Step 5. Carry those loving, grateful vibes with you into the bottom half of the list.
Try to experience each of those as if you’ve already accomplished them.
Remember: Someday, these will be the things you’re grateful for having accomplished.
4. Focus Wheels
Time: 7 minutes to write. 2 min to reread.
Another powerful way to quickly elevate your vibe, and release resistance around a specific topic is to create a focus wheel. The concept was introduced by Abraham-Hicks. It works because it requires roughly 7-minutes of focus, and writing. There’s a deep connection to the subconscious mind with writing exercises, which makes it a hands-on, active process.
No one can release our negative thoughts for us. The focus wheel empowers us to choose better feeling thoughts that attract more better feeling thoughts. This creates an upward spiral as you work around the 12 sections of the wheel, so by the time you’re complete, you are thinking and feeling in vibrational alignment with what you want.
Rather than beat yourself up over thinking crappy thoughts, or working to release them, you start with what is true for you now. You move beyond negative interpretations and start with facts based in truth. Once you’re on the wheel, it takes about :17 seconds to identify the next better feeling thought, and you’re on your way.
I’ve shared the 4-min overview below with just about every client over the years. I take ZERO responsibility for this guy’s crazy sexy voice. He’s clearly practiced it. 🙂 This is the best depiction of how the “merry-go-round” works, and how to make it work for you. I keep a small stack of printed Focus Wheel templates on my desk, or in my laptop case.
I recently used this to close 7 clients in 1 week. They were already in the pipeline, but the focus wheel removed any lingering resistance from my vibe.
Pro-tip: Write an focus wheel that feels amazing, then record your voice reading it. Use a free-recording software like Audacity to overlay your voice onto Binaural music (#2 above). Listen to THAT molotov cocktail of elevated vibes while you run, commute, or sit in nature.
Focus Wheel Overview
5. Simplify + Amplify Worksheet
This completed worksheet is laminated in the front of my projects binder, which travels with me everywhere. It’s an alignment exercise I developed for my coaching clients, who tend to be entrepreneurs, or executive leaders in organizations. These are people who juggle many competing priorities, and who are used to getting the important stuff done.
There’s power in writing simple commitments that keep building upon one another. It’s designed to be a clear reminder of what matters most, especially as we lose focus throughout the year.
A lesson that stuck with me from corporate life, is that effective curriculum design requires time to make things simple. This exercise took months to develop, and more to pair down into a single, elegant sheet.
- Download the Simplify + Amplify process here.
- Creating a daily meditation practice deepens the focus and commitment to our projects.
6. The Lens Statement
Lens Statements need to be both inspirational (resonant with who we are today), and aspirational (resonant with our compelling future).
The craziest, high-vibe sequence I’ve found for a morning self-care routine is:
1 – Meditation, first thing. (Soul non-negotiable)
2 – Family/Partner connection (Family non-negotiable)
3 – Lens Statement while Running or exercise (Soul: Vitality integration)
4 – Shower and download priorities for the day: (Yes, No, Ask process)
7. Before You Fall Asleep…
5 Minutes Before You Fall Asleep
What are some of your favorites?