I’ve been #ThinkingEveryDayInMay, taking a minute to consider things more thoroughly then I normally would. While most of my thoughts don’t need to be shared here, I have a few unrelated observations and insights that may be useful.
Negative Thoughts Can Become Habits
Our thinking has patterns, and these eventually become what I call Thought Habits. These are super useful if they are having a positive effect for you. However, if the opposite is true, your negative thinking could hold you back. If a negative thinking style has become a habit, you may not even realize you are doing it. Here is a quick reference on types of Problematic Thinking. The good news: changing your Thought Habits is not only possible, it’s doable.
Research in brain science (called Neuroplasticity) explains that you can literally change how your brain operates by the things you do. I’ve always understood it takes about three weeks to embed a new habit, but you can begin to see positive change in as little as 7 days. The trick is to be aware of the change you are making and to stick with. Don’t give up at day 8 because you saw improvement. Consider that to be reinforcement that you can change and keep going!
Perfect Isn’t Always Necessary
I know, in some instances, I can be a bit of a control freak. I recognize this and I’m working on limiting my control freak needs to when they are really necessary. I’ve recently been thinking that part of that control freak behavior is the expectation that things should be “right”, “done correctly”, “as close to perfect as possible”, or “representing me in the best light possible”. There are many others, but you get the idea.
In general, I still agree with those sentiments, I want to produce quality work and the best effort I can. But I’ve been thinking about whether perfect is a necessary expectation or simply a self-limiting belief. I can envision cases for both. The part that I continue to think on, and that I invite you to consider, is finding the right mix of realistic and perfect. I’m using this quote as my guide while I ponder what the balance point is for me:
“I do the best job I can and then let the results be what they will.”
– Rob Lowe from Stories I Only Tell My Friends: An Autobiography
Timing is Important
A few times this week I’ve bumped into something and recognized myself either thinking or even saying to someone, “Oh that’s good. I need to think about that some more.” And then I continued what I was doing. Later, remembering I had some juicy tidbit to contemplate, I would try to come back to it. Note the word TRY. In all but one case I could not recall what it was I wanted to come back to. #Fail.
This is exactly the reason why Maple is an anytime anywhere tool. These little gems come to you at inconvenient moments and then, if you are like me, they get lost. My lesson learned is, even if it feels odd, capture that Thought in Maple as soon as you can and set a Reminder to return to it. I’m not suggesting you Maple and drive at the same time. But as soon as it’s safe, stop to jot a quick Thought to come back to later.
Thinking Time is You Time
One last observation, the whole idea of thinking deeply is both exciting and odd to me. On the one hand I think all the time, why should I be looking for additional opportunities to think? On the other hand, a lot of time what I am thinking about is not stuff that contributes to my life’s journey or immediate goals or overall happiness. Its about stuff that needs doing or is happening.
Those are perfectly fine things to be thinking about. But, this month’s thinking challenge is about taking those thoughts one step further and considering your Self as part of that. For example, considering how what is taking place is meaningful to me, in my day to day life, as a small business owner, as a Maple user, etc.
Deeper Thinking is about internalizing ideas by thoroughly considering them and their impact on You. Taking time for this kind of thinking is making time for Self, and we all deserve a bit more of that.
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