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Mastering the Art of Mindset

Many Filipinos dream of having their own business. This leads them to quit their 9 to 5 jobs. We also have a family-centric culture—family above all else. With these, we fail to understand the true potential of our mindset. We give up on pursuing our dream or passion. Sometimes, we are too afraid to fail so we don’t even bother.

Here’s the story of two monggo seeds. 

Two seeds lay side by side in the fertile soil.

The first seed said, “I want to grow! I want to send my roots deep into the soil beneath me, and thrust my sprouts through the earth’s crust above me. I want to unfurl my tender buds like banners to announce the arrival of spring. I want to feel the warmth of the sun on my face and the blessing of the morning dew on my petals!”

flowers, sowing, growth

And so she grew…

On the other hand, the second seed said, “Hmmm… If I send my roots into the ground below, I don’t know what I will encounter in the dark. If I push my way through the hard soil above me Imay damage my delicate sprouts, what if I let my buds open and a snail tries to eat them? And if I was to open my blossoms, a small child may pull me from the ground. No, it is much better for me to wait until it is safe.”

And so she waited…

Then, one day…

A yard hen scratching around in the early spring ground for food found the waiting seed and promptly ate it.

What is the moral of the story?

Those who dream big and think positively will grow and prosper. Those who think negatively and refuse to risk will get swallowed up by life.

If you believe that you can’t get out of your current circumstance in life, you subconsciously work for that to happen. But if you believe that something good will happen, you can make success a reality.

Here are some tips in mastering your mindset.

harmony, relax, rock

Accept that problems are inevitable.

Most of us negatively react to problems, especially when they take us by surprise. You suddenly get a flat tire on your way to work. This unexpected event can make you feel like the day is ruined. However, realize that you almost always have some kind of problem when you travel to work. They’re usually so small that you don’t notice them. There might be extra traffic or you might have forgotten something at home. Your phone might not have enough power. Even a rogue red light can interfere with your travel.

Problems are a given. Only the intensity of the problem is a variable. If you can learn to accept problems as a normal, regular, and completely unavoidable part of life, you’ll have taken your first step toward handling them with more grace and objective understanding.

Steel yourself to first impressions.

Our first impressions often define our reactions to new situations. In order to start seeing problems as opportunities, you have to avoid making first impressions altogether (which is easier said than done).

Let’s take the flat tire incident earlier. Your first impression might be, “I’m going to be late!” or“This is going to be a pain!” or “This is going to cost me!” These first impressions immediately illustrate the problem in a negative light, rather than what it is—a neutral situation. Prevent yourself from forming these immediate thoughts by simply thinking of the problem itself: “I have a flat tire.”

Practice this on small-scale problems, like spilling a drink, and work your way up. It’s our instinct to form first impressions, especially in urgent or problematic situations, so you’ll be fighting against nature on this one.

Distance yourself from the problem.

Once that initial reaction has passed, you can focus on distancing yourself from the problem. e often have a highly self-centered view on the world, leading us to think of all the bad ways a problem could affect us. But if you think of the problem as a separate entity, unrelated to you, you’ll do a better job of tempering your emotions and thinking about the problem objectively.One helpful strategy to do this is to describe the problem as if it were happening to a friend: Bob has a flat tire. He needs to pull off to the side of the road and either put on a spare or call a towing company.” This helps you avoid the ego-centric emotional reactions that typically arise.

Take 100% responsibility for your life.

Event plus response equals outcome (E+R=O). We may have the same event—having a flat tire, but our responses will be different. One response is to pull over and change tires. Another is to call a towing company. Another is to swear and get mad. Thus, the outcome will be different.

Learn to objectively evaluate the threats and consequences.

Isolate the real threats and consequences of a problem from exaggerated or imaginary ones. This will help you shift your focus from seeing the problem as a burden or as a destructive force to seeing the problem as a neutral force, which allows you to take action. Whenever you face a problem, make a list of all the significant negative consequences it will have. A comprehensive list will illustrate that your problem is not as destructive as it seemed on the surface. Our brains are wired to imagine worst-case scenarios and exaggerate potential threats so we can overprepare rather than under-prepare. In the modern world, this evolutionary programming is less helpful.

Sometimes, the problem is what we make of it. Always be prepared to think of possible solutions and apply critical and creative thinking. Let’s not think of the end of the world and say, “woe is me…” There is always a solution.

Ignore reactions. Focus on improvements.

Train your brain to think of your response to a given problem as an improvement, rather than blind reaction.

In the flat tire incident, it’s easy to think, “I have a flat tire. Now I have to fix it.” This is a direct reaction to the situation. Instead, try to think of current and future improvements:“I have a flat tire. This will give me a chance to use my spare.”
“I have a flat tire. I should buy tire sealant to have on hand in case this happens again.”
Over time, you’ll gradually start seeing problems as opportunities for potential improvements.Again, as with any mental shift, start with small scenarios and gradually work your way to larger ones.

joy, freedom, release

Dreams are just dreamt until we make an effort to make it a reality. Always remember that you have to:

1. Believe.

Firmly hold on to it, because there are a lot of challenges that come in your way. It will not be an easy fight.

2.Take actions daily.

Make daily progress, rather than just daydreaming and wishing for things to go just fine.

3. Make a timeframe.

Every goal should be time-bound. Without a timeframe, it will take you forever for you to reach that goal.

4.Dream bigger.

There’s no dream that can’t be fulfilled as long as you are disciplined and consistent.Always make sure to pray that God would help you in everything you do. Without Him,we are nothing.

5. Ignore the naysayers.

One rotten apple can spoil the whole barrel. In life, the same thing applies. Take 100%responsibility for your life. Take control of your response. Avoid the negative.

6. Share your dream.

The more you share your dreams with others, the more people can help you achieve them.

How many of us go through life refusing to attempt something new and challenging because of our mindset? Your attempt may fail, but never fail to make an attempt. And remember, a setback is a step to a greater comeback.

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