By Mark Pitstick, MA, DC
Eleven powerful keys to shine up your mind so it serves you well—even in the most challenging of times.
Your mind is a wonderful tool if it is calm and aware. The term “mind” is used differently by various disciplines. I define “mind” as a bridge between your body—including your brain—and your soul/timeless essence. Your mind contains your unique attributes: your personality, likes and dislikes, memories and other characteristics.
Regarding when you die, you’ve likely heard the saying, “You can’t take it with you.” That’s true for material possessions and your body, but not for your mind. When you pass on, you do take your mind with you. That’s why some people experience life as heavenly or hellish, whether on Earth or in the hereafter. As such, wise people take time to fine-tune their minds so they always can enjoy a magnificent experience.
Here are 11 basic but powerful keys to shine up your mind so it serves you well—even in the most challenging of times.
1. Use a pro and con list whenever faced with difficult decisions. List the advantages and disadvantages of each decision and notice which list is longer. Prioritize the items and see which ones are most important to you. Viewing your options in black and white often clarifies decision-making.
2. Future tripping, a simple visualization technique, helps you through tough times. Imagine ahead 1, 5, 10, or more years and see yourself being successful and happy. Picture reaching your goals in spite of or even because of the difficulties you presently face. Remind yourself that most major stressors are time-limited, so enjoy your visions of a brighter tomorrow.
3. The 80/10/10 Rule states that 100 percent success all the time is impossible. Unrealistically high expectations can set you up for failure and self-criticism. In most cases, things will go smoothly 80 percent of the time and fairly well another 10 percent. The other 10 percent are events governed by Murphy’s Law. So if you’re reaching your goals 80 percent of the time with gusts of 90 percent, that’s great. Whenever things get rough, mentally remind yourself “80/10/10.”
4. Appreciate what you have and give thanks for it. Happiness is being content with what you have and, at the same time, growing toward even greater heights. So, yes, set your goals and never stop improving, but remember that happiness lies in the journey and in reaching the destination.
Also, remember that the grass always seems greener on the other side of the fence. Some people waste their lives chasing the carrot dangling in front of them: a new car, bigger home, more attractive partner, and so on. They don’t realize that lasting happiness does not come from ego boosts or material objects.
None of this, by the way, is a justification for mediocrity or putting up with a chronically unhappy situation.
5. Count your blessings rather than focusing on the negative. We all have so much to be thankful for. I learned this lesson at college when I was going bald. I envied a thick-haired student who was walking on the other side of a short concrete wall. As he passed the wall, however, I saw that he had only one leg. It reminded me of the saying, “I complained about having no shoes until I met a man with no feet.”
6. Don’t take life too seriously. Humor and laughter are important for psychological and physical balance. Research shows an increased immune response, decreased anxiety, and reduced muscular tension with hearty laughter. Since prevention is the best approach, take time to regularly enjoy humor from comedians, movies and everyday life.
7. Motivational books and tapes keep the heart and mind focused more positively. With a steady input of higher thought, you can look at the bright side more consistently. Enrich your life with the works of positive and enthusiastic individuals. By the way, the word “enthusiasm” comes from two root words meaning “filled with God.” Over the years, I’ve particularly benefited from inspirational teachings by Richard Bach, Wayne Dyer, Denis Waitley, Og Mandino, Richard Carlson, Stephen Covey, David Schwartz, Charles “Tremendous” Jones, Zig Ziglar and others.
8. Take it easy on the material things. More is not always better. The stress in your life is directly proportional to the number of electronic and gasoline-powered objects you own. Keeping up with the Joneses can keep you overworked, stressed out, and broke. Slick advertisements by big businesses influence you to buy things that you don’t need and you can’t afford.
9. Form a Master Mind group. Find several people who are seriously working on themselves in body, mind and spirit. Meet once or twice a month to discuss plans for improving every area of your life. Stay focused and positive; don’t let it become a complaining session or social hour. Your master-mind allies can provide valuable feedback, support and networking.
10. Enjoy the present moment. Present time consciousness means living one day and one moment at a time. An old Sanskrit maxim says: “Look well to this day, for yesterday is but a dream; and tomorrow is only a vision. But today well-lived makes every yesterday a dream of happiness and every tomorrow a vision of hope.”
The word happiness comes from the root word meaning “to happen.” Happiness comes from a life of action—fully living the present moment and being in harmony with the great way of life.
Living in the present moment includes recognizing that each action takes you down one fork of a crossroads. Don’t look back too much. An occasional analysis of the past reveals trends and lessons. For the most part, however, don’t relive past decisions and second-guess yourself. Live in the present moment and stay alert for new possibilities.
11. Simplify. Energy blocks and stagnation occur when your life, office and home, are too cluttered. Clear out the accumulated junk and notice how your life feels lighter and more flowing. Excellent books are available on the Eastern art of feng shui and simplifying every aspect of your life.
Use these keys to assist experiencing the greatest life you envisioned: a wonderful life of fulfilling opportunities for service, adventure, growth and enjoyment.
Mark Pitstick, MA, DC is an author, master’s clinical psychologist, holistic chiropractic physician, frequent media guest, and webinar/workshop facilitator. He directs The SoulPhone Foundation and founded Greater Reality Living Groups. Dr. Pitstick can help you know and show—no matter what is happening to or around you— that your earthly experience is a totally safe, meaningful, and magnificent adventure amidst forever. Visit http://www.SoulProof.com for free articles, newsletters and radio interviews with top consciousness experts.