The following is an excerpt from my new book “The Pursuit of Passion: How to Sequence your Life for Success”. This excerpt is highlighting chapter 9 in the book entitled “Mental Health”. If you have not done so, and are considering it, I would encourage you to purchase a copy of the book for yourself here. There is so much in there that will literally change your life; and you would be supporting this website in a tangible way so that I can continue to produce the relevant content that you love:
One of the ways to avoid the calamity of a bad decision is to be able to parse through what it is that your brain is telling you that you are receiving. This is called mindfulness. Wait! Do not put the book down yet! I know sometimes mindfulness can get a bad rep for being misused and overvalued however, this is in part because subscribers to mindfulness are more so parishioners of a ‘faith’; as opposed to users of a tool.
Within the context of psychology being mindful is a type of introspection that forces you to reflect on yourself within the framework of what you are currently experiencing as opposed to projecting – emoting for the sake of survival. Mindfulness is about looking at a subjective response objectively: “why in response to that did I do this or feel that?”. You live with you more than anyone else does, the least you can do is understand what makes you tick.
Why do you personally take offense when you hear a socially derogatory term? What would make you cross the street indiscriminately at the sight of a group of black men? What made you think that someone who was not talking about you actually was? Mindfulness is having a clear and rational consensus of self. Knowing who you are is deeper than knowing what you want, it’s about knowing why you want it.
As this relates to choice, and making better decisions, mindfulness can help on multiple fronts. Over a course of time being intrinsically self-aware lends itself to the decision-making process in that for starters, you will know how to say ‘no’. At some point in your walk, ‘no’ should become your best friend. Warren Buffett once said that saying ‘no’ is the secret to success.
‘No’ will keep you out of things that you have no business being a part of in the first place. It is important that ‘no’ is your friend and that you keep its number on speed dial. It’s not enough to know ‘no’, you have to be able to say it: “Sorry, I am unavailable on that day”, “no, that does not sound like a good idea to me”, or “I can’t today maybe next time”. This is about being lord over your time.
The only true currency that we have is our attention, and our attention costs us time. The phrase “pay attention” literally means give whatever that is in front of you your focus (focus being the commodity); and in exchange, that thing in front of you, is going to give you something worth your time. Some of us are losing our minds because we are giving our attention to the wrong things.
Why are you worried about that? Why are you spending time on that? Why are you focusing on this instead of that? “Seeing the bright side” is a literal life or death prognosis, that is, being able to do so versus an inability wherein.