Now I’ll admit I don’t mind some mindless scrolling through Instagram here and there. I love motivational quotes – which is not surprising in my line of work.
Plenty of these quotes are fairly straightforward but every so often I’ll come across one which really gets you thinking. And this was one of them…. “What if you woke up tomorrow with only the things you were grateful for today?”
Mmmmm this really takes conscious gratitude to a whole new level! How many everyday things do you usually take for granted? Now I like to think that I practice gratitude on a daily basis – usually on my walk to work. But I probably don’t naturally give it quite this much thought.
So it got me thinking, we are often grateful for the bigger things like health, or our loved ones, but how often are we grateful for every little detail like running water, hot showers, the house we live in, the transport that gets us to work, the lounge that we sit on to watch on, the books that we read, lights that we can switch on an off. Obviously I could go on.
Why is this worth thinking about? It’s a really useful hack to build mental fitness. The ability to control our thoughts is one of the biggest superpowers you can develop as part of your high performance plan. Without training, our brains naturally go to the negative, and complex interaction of genetic and environment interactions and correlations which determine to what extent that negativity occurs.
The good news is that we can train our brains so that it becomes more natural to think in a positive and constructive way rather than a negative and helpless way. And just like any form of training, it involves a muscle and it’s best to build up rather than go in all guns blazing doing more than what you’re built for. And telling someone who is wired to be very negative to just think more positively is like telling a couch potato to run 20kms on day 1 of training. And just like the couch potato, they may not think that getting up and walking 500m is of any use, but when you do that a few times it gets easier, then you can try mixing in some jogging for a minute in amongst your walks and in a few months, it’s highly possible that they could be running 10kms. Now once you can run 10kms, 20kms seems way more achievable.
So I love this idea of being grateful for every little thing that we have. It’s like the couch potato walking 500m – it may not seem like much but when you keep at it, the results start to add up.
When we train our brain in little increments like this, it takes much less effort to build the muscle. And it’s always good to the have muscles there for when you may need them further down the track.
Let’s face it, life doesn’t always go according to plan, so the more mental fitness you can build on the easy stuff, the easy it will be to deal with a bigger issue.
If you would like further information on how to build your mental fitness please get in touch.
If you’d like to find out more, join the conversation in our next open workshop.