A neutral mind can be even better than a positive mind, especially when you’re trying to achieve your goals.
Of course, it should go without saying that trying to be positive all of the time is not only unrealistic, but undesirable – sometimes it’s completely appropriate to be negative in certain situations when things go wrong.
But even more important than “positive” or “negative,” it’s important to approach things from a balanced perspective as much as possible.
The unavoidable truth is that life has its inevitable ups and downs. But a successful life isn’t calculated by tallying up all of our life experiences and hoping that the “ups” outweigh the “downs” by the time we reach our deathbeds.
No, life isn’t about the quantity of “ups” and “downs” at all.
What’s most important is how we navigate between those “ups” and “downs” – and that requires the ability to stay balanced, focused, and neutral even in the face of our wins and losses.
When we find ourselves in a cycle of negative thinking, it can often become very difficult to break out of it.
“Rumination” is one of the most common symptoms in depression, anxiety, and mood disorders. It’s a focused attention on the problems, distresses, and suffering in one’s life – a constant replaying of negative thoughts, feelings, and experiences.
For example, you can likely think of a time when you had a really bad day – and just as you were about to go to bed, your mind started replaying your negative experiences over and over again. Next thing you know, hours have passed by and your mind is still going. You start thinking to yourself, “When will it end? Why can’t I just fall asleep?”
This is a perfect example of what “rumination” often looks like. Once it hits us, it feels like our mind has been hijacked into a negative state and we have no choice but to sit and wait for it to run its course. We feel completely helpless.
Because rumination and negative thinking can be such a vicious cycle, it’s important to have a strategy for how to combat this negative thinking when we find ourselves in these types of mental states.
One strategy that I will share in this article is how to use the “Alphabet Game” to derail your negative thinking.
One of the biggest traps of any type of self improvement is becoming an “information junkie.”
An “information junkie” is someone who spends a lot of time reading books, watching videos, and listening to podcasts about self improvement, but they spend very little time actually putting what they learn into practice.
This is a very common problem for many people. We stuff our brains with loads of information, but then we find ourselves not knowing what to do with all of it. This is especially true in our current “information age,” where we are constantly consuming stuff on the internet and social media.
Of course, it’s a very positive thing to want to learn as much as possible and to do your own research into various topics. Overall — reading books, watching videos, and listening to podcasts is a very healthy and beneficial thing to do. Even the occasional surfing on Google and Wikipedia can be fun and informative.
But there comes a point when if you’re NOT able to apply this information to your everyday life, how useful is it really?
When it comes to self improvement, there is no single solution that is magically going to fix all of your problems.
My personal approach is to think of self improvement as building a “mental toolbox” with a wide-range of different tools, exercises, and techniques that I can choose from when necessary.
The more tools you have in your toolbox, the more options you have when you are confronted with a difficult situation.
This is very important because not every tool is going to be effective in every situation. Abraham Maslow once famously said, “If all you have is a hammer, then everything looks like a nail.”
This is a cognitive bias that is known as the “law of the hammer,” and it describes our tendency to have an over-reliance on a tool simply because it is familiar to us.
But just like you can’t build an entire house with just a hammer, you can’t build a better life with just one “mental tool.”
For this reason it’s always a good idea to diversify our toolbox and better equip ourselves for the various situations we find ourselves in life.
In this article, I’ll outline some of the most common tools in our “mental toolbox,” as well as some more advanced ones that I’ve discovered over my years studying self improvement.
Who doesn’t want to have harmonious relationships with members of their own family? As much you and your spouse love each other, obligations, children, and perhaps some family issues can result in you not being as close as you used to be. When you’re close with your family, it’s great for all members – kids grow up knowing that they’re loved, and spouses remember their love from the time when they just started dating and first fell in love. If you spend time with your family doing meaningful activities, you’ll become more open, calmer, and more self-confident than ever before. Give a try to some of these activities they will help you strengthen the family bonds and at the same time grow your self-esteem.