Who’s ready for the new year??!
Today an average person will consume 174 newspapers worth of information. Do we really need all that mental junk in our lives? Very soon, 2020 will be over, so isn’t it time for a new you??
Look around, I mean, on the internet. Our resilience for our COVID-19 circumstances and our need for humor and connection in life are pretty evident.
We’re seeking refuge in making Instagram stories, watching YouTube videos or challenging others who don’t agree to our political views on Twitter. We’re educating ourselves on one tab and entertaining ourselves on another.
Our Behaviors are of two kinds.
Behaviors can be divided into two types. Compulsive and Avoidance. Compulsive can be our obsession with our phones and Avoidance can be our lack of interest in working for an upcoming deadline.
Whatever the behavior might be, addressing the underlying root cause for our motivation or lack of it, is important. Let’s look at strategies that can help us overhaul our unhelpful behaviors.
Ask those around you how they’re doing.
Our conversations online are linear and lack that aspect of human interaction that appeals to our cognition – body language, touch etc. Touch is anthropological. It comes to the rescue when you can’t see visible signs of trauma.
So, once a day, ask someone, “How are you?” and mean it. Chances are you might get a genuine response, because everyone is craving deep connection with others.
Tell someone, atleast once a week, that you need help.
Most often than not, you’re possibly not the first person to get into a predicament or a nightmarish situation. Ask for help and direction from mentors, friends and elders and strangers. Learn through accumulated wisdom.
And when we’re feeling like our problems are the end of the world, it’s even more important to reach out. After all, our loved ones have the right to know.
Understand that multitasking comes with a cost for task switching.
American Psychological Association puts the cost of mental juggling at 40 percent of someone’s productive time. “Throwing in a load of laundry while talking to a friend will probably work out all right. But, losing just a half second of time to task switching can make a life-or-death difference for a driver on a cell phone traveling at 30 miles per hour.”
The smartphones in our pockets are high powered machines that can multitask several processes in the background. But as humans, we are juggling many hats – work, personal life, family obligations. The call for action is to focus on one aspect of your life at any given time of the day.
Have an attitude that helps during uncertain times.
The world will always keep changing and we will always have problems. That’s the only constant in our lives. Then why not think of ourselves as problem solvers? That’s an empowering thought.
Now, let’s internalize this. “I’m down for anything. That’s just easy instead of fighting everything.” When faced with an adversity, challenge or catastrophic situation, thinking of what we can do instead of what could have been is going to be imperative.
Allow pockets of silence to boost creativity.
Did you know animals cannot plan for, decide, imagine and act on things that are not present in the room with them? But, as creatures with advanced brains, even while not acting, we can still plan, imagine and decide for future actions.
You can create massive momentum while mind wandering. There must be some area in the world of art or science or people management or sales that you are good at and that you can excel beyond your own imagination.
Upgrade your self-awareness around Tech.
Analyze yourself. Why don’t you stay on task? Is it boredom or difficulty? Is it the tedious task or is it the tempting screen that shows what’s next on Netflix?
Are you doing deep work for long durations or doing shallow work for short durations? Why not do something exciting in real life so you don’t have to reach out to your phone all the time.
Create an environment that aids positive contributions.
We use our homes and our minds as sacred spaces for our trinkets and our emotions. We gather conditionally, by creating occasions likes birthdays, holidays, travel and even garage sales. But we only discard conditionally.
Decluttering helps narrow your focus and sharpen your priorities. Start by removing any and all distracting stimuli around you. Remove apps that are the major temptations by removing easy access to them. Disable notifications for news.
Set yourself free from what’s holding you back.
Kindness energizes us when we are in its company. Compassion reduces stress and is freeing. Set yourself free from unrealistic expectations from yourself, family and society. The amount of kindness is far greater than the amount of violence the world faces. It just doesn’t make it into the news always.
When we speak and act our personal truth and values, we’re living in an authentic way. We begin to live in a “No conflict” zone, where our thoughts, words and our actions are aligned.
Build insights and work on competing goals.
By looking at how countries deal with global problems, it’s easy to gain a cultural insight into solutions. Partner, seek out and collaborate with different people who’re striving for similar goals. Seek intrinsic motivation to create, while seeking extrinsic motivation to innovate and collaborate.
Let’s say we’ve to work on building housing for low-income families. But there’s a catch, you’ll have to use sustainable and renewable forms of energy while powering the utilities. Working on such challenging goals with limited options and resources makes us mindful of a lot of aspects of problem solving that will otherwise be overlooked.
Think about leaving a remarkable footprint in your wake.
Having a purpose makes us resilient. It drives us forward when our world is shattered by violence and tragedy. Having a purpose empowers us with the courage and confidence to thrive inspite of obstacles. What’s more? Having a purpose is a sure-fire way to finding happiness.
Here’s the bottom line. You can live life on your own terms, but can’t live in a way that disrupts other people’s lives. So, play your part as a good community citizen. Allow others into your life to bring a fresh perspective. Together let’s work towards bigger problems like the effect of climate change and tech disruption on a global scale. They are big problems that need solutions which can have a massive impact.
Here’s to 2021 and a brand new YOU!!!