“Change can be frightening, and the temptation is often to resist it. But change almost always provides opportunities – to learn new things, to rethink tired processes, and to improve the way we work.”
What if A didn’t necessarily need to precede B…or what if there was a way to get to Z by circumventing the linear alphabetic song.
In other words, we often set up rules in our minds as to “the way things need to go” in order to get from A to Z. And, by establishing such rules — consciously or (for the most part) unconsciously — we create a reality. Change becomes prescribed to take place a certain way.
We often can’t imagine a result we’re committed to having in our life, our career, our business, our relationships simply showing up. That’s what’s called “magical thinking,” and we all know we have to work for it.
So says the industrial mindset, and we can all agree that simply saying it or waiting for it doesn’t have it appear.
And yet, somewhere within that rigid and calculated “truth”, if there were the slightest crack of radical possibility that things may not be so fixed as how we see them, what might have a chance to happen outside the rules?
There are philosophies that say the results that come to us are not so much a function of what we are doing as who we are BEING: the general outward expression of our most deeply held truths.
There are yet other philosophies which tell us that it is the thoughts that we hold predominate in our conscious mind which attract to us our experience. Plus, we all know that those thoughts we hold in our SUB-conscious mind are huge factors or culprits in our life, depending on what we’re attracting.
Let’s not throw out our earnest-strategy babies with the bathwater. Coming up with our plans and directions to pursue are healthy and give us confidence (e.g., “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail”).
Yet, perhaps there’s value in making room for unexpected and unforeseen fortuitous factors to creep in.
Here are a few thoughts to consider:
Pick an area of your life where you’d like to see results you’re currently not experiencing.
Is it in the area of relationship? Maybe dating? Or how about the area of career?
Look to see what “rules” you’ve created about the way things need to go in order to have that result.
For example, I need to be on 4 dating sites and go out with 3 first dates each week. Or, I need to get my resume in perfect shape and then start looking for openings by reviewing online job boards.
Just look beneath your assumptions and outline the steps and processes you believe must take place for it to happen.
Begin to ask yourself some simple questions that take you outside of those rules.
What if I were to get a call today from a friend who wanted me to meet someone? What if I actually looked around me today and created some casual conversations? What if I were to hear about a new company or meet a new person who turned me onto to a new opportunity?
Seems simple, but we don’t often just allow ourselves to ponder what it would feel like if what we seek were simply to come.
Allow yourself to keep doing what you think you need to do, yet allow yourself also to expect the unexpected.
Simply seeing how our rules have blocked us into a reality that must seemingly go a certain way can allow the unforeseen and unexpected to arise.
Here’s the big question: what do you have to lose by simply pondering some what ifs outside of your rules?
“Alice laughed. ‘There’s no use trying,’ she said: ‘one can’t believe impossible things.’
‘I daresay you haven’t had much practice,’ said the Queen. ‘When I was your age, I always did it for half-an-hour a day. Why, sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.'”
-Lewis Carroll, Alice Through the Looking Glass
In today’s world, technology is always at our fingertips. From smartphones and iPads to laptops and smartwatches, technology is almost never more than a finger tap away. Unfortunately, with all of this technology at our fingertips, we are spending less and less time actively engaging our brain. We play mindless games on our phone or watch mindless TV before bed, we aren’t working out our brains nearly as much as we used to.
On Monday, a study was published in the JAMA Neurology Journal reinforcing the importance of doing activities to stimulate your brain. It was found that even after the age of 70, taking part in simple activities like playing games, socializing, and using the internet can help prevent mental decline.
Not to say that in your 40s and 50s you are suffering from extreme mental decline, but the phrase “use it or lose it” comes to mind.
The other day I realized that I grab my phone first thing each morning and check it each night before bed. I’m completely tied to it. And what am I doing when I grab it at 5:45 each morning? I’m scrolling through Facebook or Pinterest. I’m playing mindless games through different apps. I’m scanning my emails. The problem is, I’m not using my brain. And even worse, I’m not really enjoying playing the games or scrolling through social media, I’m just doing it to wake my brain up.
So I decided to make a change, I deleted all of my mindless games and replaced them with apps specifically created to give your brain a workout. Now, at this point, I’ve only been using the apps for 3 days, so I can’t claim any astounding results. However, I know that I’m working on different skills and that the “games” are created to get my brain to work in different ways.
I downloaded a bunch of different apps to try out, but so far there are two that are really standing out to me. Today, I want to share these apps with you, in case you wanted a to make a mini brain workout part of your daily routine!
Lumosity is a website as well as an app (although I am currently solely enjoying their
app). When you make a profile, the first thing they have you do is take a “Fit Test” to see where you already fall. After you complete your test, they create daily tasks for you to give your brain a workout! Right now I’m unlocking new games each day to help me with my attention, flexibility, memory, speed, and problem-solving skills. With the free version, you get 3 new games each day to play. The more you play, the better your scores get and the more of a workout your brain gets! If you want to unlock more games (beyond the ones you get each day) you can always pick up a pro membership for as low as $3.75/month.
Peak is an app that also gives your brain a workout through games that help you with different skills like focus, problem-solving, coordination, memory, and mental agility. Each day they give you more games to play and keep detailed track of your brain score in the above categories and more. The downside is that you can’t play your daily games an unlimited amount of times without a membership. The good news is that it is cheaper than Lumosity with subscriptions as low as $2.92/month. Also, they have family plans so you can help everyone in your family keep their mind sharp (and compare progress if you’re competitive like me)!
If you are even thinking that you might be interested in giving your brain a workout, then go ahead and download one (or both) of these apps. They both have free versions, and who doesn’t want to improve their mental skills? After all, use it or lose it!