Problem Solving Mode
So, how are you doing, anyway? It’s a question that comes up a lot in polite society. It’s funny how it only takes our brains a split second to reel off all the problems we’re currently facing; all the things we think we need to solve. If we could just get these out of the way, perhaps then we could say to that other person, yeah, I’m doing great, thanks! Problems or – better put – things we are currently finding challenging in our life, are always going to be there, whether we’re 24 or 84. So why is it, then, that we let them determine the quality of our state of mind so much? The answer is, that this is all that most people choose to focus on. Choosing to manage the amount of time we spend on this isn’t easy. In fact, most people spend their days thinking about how to overcome the big thing going on in their life. And then another big thing comes up, and then another. Before you know it, life seems to be a bit of a chore – a series of problems to be solved.
Stop. It’s time you reset you mind to Gratitude Mode. Resetting yourself into Gratitude Mode means resetting your focus. Problem Solving Mode is clearly an important aspect of life, but it’s not healthy to live there all the time. It always involves you looking at what needs fixing; what’s not right. Gratitude Mode is actually the opposite. It’s about taking time out in your day – whenever you notice you need it – to think about what is right. Ask yourself, what’s right in my life right now? This doesn’t come easy at first. If you’re halfway through your day and you’ve worked yourself up into a frenzy with all the things you need to fix (right now!) then this can sometimes seem impossible. For this reason, it’s good to practice this first thing in the morning. Perhaps take yourself off for a walk in the fresh air and begin by focusing on the simplest thing that you’re lucky to have in your life.
Deep Thinking About The Little Things
I always start with the basics and use the words thank you a lot. Thank you for this body that works, this air in my lungs, chocolate digestives, beer - you know, all the essentials. To deepen my gratitude, I then think about all the countless processes that had to happen for me to be able to enjoy that one thing in this moment in time. This morning I did it with a bag of Doritos! I thought about the inventor and his struggle to get this exact amazing flavour, the people who had to grow the food to make them, the drivers who had to go through the boring lorry journeys to deliver them to my local shop. And then I thought about how lucky I was even to be able to afford such a non-essential item. It sounds absurd to spend 10 minutes thinking about a pack of crisps, but gratitude-thinking is about getting away from productivity. Thinking about those crisps put me in a state of complete peace and appreciation of life… priceless!