The goal is to change your answer to what you cannot control. To grow so strongly on the inside that nothing on the outside can affect your inner well-being without your conscious state.
"Tough times don't work – tough people do." Repeat it for yourself as often as you need in the days and weeks ahead, as the world gradually comes to grips with the harsh reality of COVID-19.
There is a saying in Tibetan philosophy: "Tragedy should be used as a force." My grandmother always repeated this line to me when I was growing up. Every time I dealt with some kind of unexpected struggle, she graciously reminded me that it helped me grow as long as I was willing to open my mind to it. Over the years I have learned how right she was and how relevant her wisdom is to all of us right now.
Remind yourself that the mind is our biggest battlefield. It is the place where the strongest conflict exists. And with COVID-19 capturing so much of our current attention, we now need more than ever to stay in control.
In the game of life we all get one unique set of unexpected limitations and variables in playing field The question is: How will you respond to the hand you have received? You can either focus on the lack of it or give yourself the opportunity to play the game on a f sensible and resourceful way and make the best of all results when it arises, even when it is heartbreaking and difficult to accept.
Obviously with the COVID-19 virus spreading fast all over the world right now we are facing a tough reality. We are in an uncertain moment in time due to a seemingly historic event. And although human life is the main problem, it is also wise to consider what impact it may have on your mental health – to mentally and emotionally prepare yourself.
Thinking Better in Tough Times
Thinking better is about learning to respond effectively. When you cannot control what is happening in the world around you, you must challenge yourself to control how you react to what is happening. Because that's where your power is!
Of course, this is much easier said than done for all of us.
So let's practice together.
We can do difficult things!
We can make better choices …
We can choose how we spend our time in the coming days and weeks. We can choose gratitude and grace. We can choose who we hang out with – and perhaps more importantly, who we do not (social distancing). We can choose to love and appreciate the people in our lives for exactly who they are. We can also choose to love and appreciate ourselves. We can choose how to respond to life's surprises and struggles (COVID-19 is one of them), and whether we will see them as curses or opportunities for personal growth.
And perhaps most important of all: choosing to think better about our current circumstances and letting go of what we cannot control so that we can consciously make the best of what lies ahead.
When we think better, we live better and peace becomes us.
Let's not just try to "be positive" right now. Let's not try to fake it. Instead, let us simply open our minds to the unknown before us. Here's how:
1. Lighten the instant resistance.
(Note: This is an excerpt from our New York Times bestseller, "Getting Back to Happy.")
You may be surprised how often you subconsciously resist life
If you evaluate your body and your posture right now, I bet you can find some kind of tension. For me it is often in my neck, but sometimes it is in the back and shoulders.
Where does this excitement come from? We resist something – maybe we are annoyed by someone, frustrated with life, overwhelmed by all our obligations or just bored. And our mental resistance creates tension in our bodies and unhappiness in our lives. That is why Marc and I often recommend this simple strategy to our course students who are struggling to rid themselves of their resistance and tension:
- Look up the tension in your body right now.
- Notice what you are resisting and tense up – it may be a situation or person you are dealing with or avoiding.
- Relax the tense area of the body – deep breathing and a quick stretch often help.
- Face the same situation or person, but with a relaxed body and soul.
Repeat this practice as often as needed today. Meet the day with less excitement and more presence. Change your way of being from struggle and resistance to peace and acceptance.
2nd Find your beginner's mind.
(Note: This is an excerpt from the latest edition of "1,000 Little Things".)
Imagine you had a ripe, juicy mandarin sitting at the table in front of you. You pick it up eagerly, take a bite and start tasting it.
You already know how a ripe, juicy tangerine should taste, and so when this is a bit tarter than expected, you make a face, feel a sense of disappointment and swallow it, feel deceived by the experience you expected.
Or maybe the tangerine tastes perfectly normal – nothing special at all. So you swallow it without even pausing to appreciate its taste as you move on to the next unworthy bite and the next.
In the first scenario, the tangerine released you because it did not meet your expectations. In the second, it was too common because it met your expectations for a T.
Do you see the irony here?
It is either not good or not good enough. There are so many of us who live our lives. . . unfortunately and without success. That is why so many of us feel disappointed, disappointed and unharmed by almost everything.
Because nothing really meets our expectations.
Now imagine you are trying this instead: remove your expectations of how the tangerine "should" taste. You don't know, and you don't expect to know, because you haven't even tried it yet. Instead, you are really curious, impartial and open to a variety of flavors. You taste it and you really pay attention. You notice the juiciness, the structure of the mass, at the same time tangy, tart and sweet flavors swirling around your tongue and all other complex sensations that arise in your consciousness as you chew. You did not know how this tangerine would taste, but now you realize that it is different from the rest and it is remarkable in its way. It's a whole new experience – a valuable experience – because you've never tasted this tangerine before.
Mindfulness experts often refer to this as "beginner's mind," but it is really only the result of a mindless free of unnecessary, suffocating expectations.
Of course, the tangerine can be replaced with just about anything in your life: every event, every situation, every relationship, every person, every thought at all that comes into your mind. If you approach any of these with expectations of "how it should be" or "how it must be" to be good enough for you, they will almost always disappoint you in some way, or be too ordinary and exciting to even remember. And you will just move on to the next disappointment or unworthy life experience, and the next, and the next, and so on and so on, until you have lived the vast majority of your life stuck in an endless cycle of experiences you barely like or barely even notice. .
A moment of opportunity for us
The summary is that every conceivable situation has hidden beauty in it if we are willing to open up to it. For example, we have previously discovered opportunities for us to appreciate life more, to appreciate the lives of those we have lost and to appreciate the priceless time, even when Marc and I have passed the death of loved ones. we had with our loved ones.
We do our best to embody this thinking in all the difficult life situations we encounter. When we get sick it is a chance for us to rest. When any unpredictable event – such as COVID-19 – postpones one of our business projects, we spend more time with the family. When our son, Mac, throws a mood attack, we see that he expresses himself, claims his individuality and that he is human.
We choose to find beauty even when buried under fights and pain. And you can do the same in the days and weeks ahead.
Again we can practice together.
This is really a moment for us.
The floor is yours …
Leave a comment below and let us know:
Which point above resonated the most?
Anything else to share about COVID-19 or your current circumstances?
Marc and I would love to hear from YOU. 🙂
In addition, our podcast, THINK BETTER, LIVE BETTER (yes, it shares the title of our annual live event) can be used as a tool to keep your mind grounded while you are social distance, etc. You can listen to the entire first season – 30 episodes – on your favorite podcast player right now (M&A on Apple Podcasts, Spotify and Google Podcasts).