Day 2: 21 Day Challenge Make Today Ridiculously Amazing
One of the biggest arguments against being able to intentionally design your life is the thought that, “If it were as easy as simply “thinking” what we want then more people would have what they want. It seems logical. It seems reasonable to say, If humans could intentionally design their lives in live in joy and happiness then why isn’t everyone doing it.
Well, for starters, you don’t know who is and who isn’t living joyfully, because you can’t read minds. You observation of someone else’s life is filled with your own thoughts and judgments. I’ll be honest, I can’t imagine being happy sleeping on a dirt floor in a mud hut in the middle of the jungle. Do you think that these people aren’t happy?
The key is think.
In the western world we have developed the habit or short attention span. The average person in our society has a 6 second attention span. 6 seconds. Count it out. 1 Mississippi, 2 Mississippi, 3 Mississippi, 4 Mississippi, 5 Mississippi, 6 Mississippi. Seems about right, doesn’t it? So how much “designing” of your life do you think you will accomplish in 6 seconds. Not much.
In fact, most of your life is run on auto-pilot. Your brain is constantly analyzing and filtering out information and directing your moves and moods according to the usual route. Most of our actions are really reactions and what is a reaction? It’s a response. Ask yourself, a response to what?
Yes, of course, knowing that a hot frying pan will hurt and avoiding physical pain is good. Yes, knowing not to pet a bear or go up to a wild animal is good. The trick is to “THINK” and interrupt your default setting for the non-life threatening experiences that your brain usually discards. Imagine more. Keep Learning. Ask yourself questions then go look for answers.
Provide the evidence to your subconscious mind that these activities are life saving and life affirming and you will be allowed to keep them. But look for evidence that they don’t work, or that they are a waste of time… and they will go away. Your brain is a super computer, processing millions of pieces of data every moment. It uses your judgement when deciding what to keep and what to discard and most of the time things never even get through the gate of the subconscious but when they do, they are spilled out through our nightly dreams.
So how does the biggest argument against being able to create and design your life hold up when you pay attention to it? It holds up, if you are want something different and you start to look for evidence in the possibilities.
Evidence. You need to present your mind with evidence. It wants to believe you, but as soon as you decide to change something you will hear a small tiny voice say, “Start tomorrow” or “That will never work”. That tiny voice of descent is brains chemical addiction to the path you have been traveling, to the default, to the auto-pilot. Imagine 20 years of creating the same chemicals in your brain in response the same emotions… and suddenly, you start a new path.
I remember when I quit smoking. I just quit. I remember my Mom telling me that every moment or so I’ll want a cigarette, and as long as I get through that moment, they will start to come fewer and more far between. She was right. My body kept telling me, “Just go buy a pack, you don’t need to smoke it, just have the pack” and one night I remember it was months after I had quit, that I had a dream that was so real, I thought I had smoked a cigarette. I haven’t had a cigarette in 11 years, from the day I quit.
I forged ahead on that new path, creating new chemical reactions in my brain, and I’ll be honest, I replaced much of my habit of smoking with the habit of drinking coffee. I’m human. I heard those voices telling me, “Start tomorrow” or “Why bother?” or “Your aunt lived to be 90 and she smoked a pack a day” … it’s amazing the things our brain will do to try to hook itself up to the chemical highway created by our body.
And so, today is Day 2.
Today you will work on providing evidence that Day 1 is working. If you remember in Day one you were tasked with feeling joy, before you go to bed and immediately when you wake up. You are required to spend a few moments and find joy.
Today, you will spend a few moments each hour finding something positive. Something to be thankful for, some reason for gratitude, some idea of joy. Sounds like a lot, right? BUT it’s really only about 8 or 10 minutes spread out over your whole day. Here’s how I do it.
Step One: Create a Go To Vision
Have a moment or an idea ready that brings you joy. Something that touches as many of your senses as possible. The more senses you can activate the high the level of chemical reaction in your brain. Here’s mine:
“I am laying on the beach in the warmest day of spring, so it’s warm but not too hot. There’s a gentle breeze and I’m half under my beach umbrella and half out. I have a good book and I’m incredibly comfortable in my chair. I take a deep breath and smell the salty sea air. I hear the laughter of children mingled in the sound of the surf and the sea birds. I feel relaxed and happy. I am thankful for this moment, the sun and the ocean.”
Step Two: Make this Important
Make this the most important thing in your life. In other words, whether you are in the Doctors office, a meeting, a dinner party, a soccer game, mowing the lawn, reward yourself with a moment of joy each hour. This IS the most important thing in your life right now! Your brain is going to fight your chemical addiction to your habit of being who you have been for the last … however old you are! It’s going to tell you, “You can do this later” or “You can’t do that now” but the truth is, you don’t need to close your eyes, sit cross-legged on the floor, or even break your conversation with a co-worker, to imagine joy.
Step Three: Keep it a secret
Yup. I went there. You have to keep it a secret, because if you think YOUR brain doesn’t like change, you will find that the brains of your family, friends and co-workers likes it even less. And even well-meaning people will make comments that are designed to malign your forward movement. I’m not saying that you need to lie, I’m not suggesting that you need to hide, I am suggesting that you need to protect your positive forward movement while it’s still fragile. Protect it while you can still easily be talked out of spending time changing your life.
And that’s the end of Day 2! See you tomorrow!
Let me know how you’re doing, I LOVE to hear from you. You can comment on my Facebook page www.facebook.com/health.wellness.success or you can message me!
Thanks and have an amazing day!