I’m sure you’ve heard the old anecdote that you should see things from multiple perspectives, but this idea really appeared to me through a creative medium. What I mean is that I used to take a lot of photos. It was totally my “thing.” Since I took so many photos, over time I noticed something…
I started to see the world in photos.
It was the weirdest and coolest thing all at the same time. People ask you how to become a better photographer and all I could think is to take a crapload of photos of the world so that eventually you stop seeing the world and start seeing photographs. In the last year, I haven’t taken as many photos, but I have started writing more. What do you think happened? Well, seeing the world as one big gallery started drifting away. It’s still there because I snap shots from time to time, but now it has mainly drifted into something else – writing and blogging. Now, without even trying, I’ll see or experience something that I think would make a great piece of writing or an interesting blog article.
In short, the hobbies I did in my spare time eventually transformed the way I thought all the time. I wondered if you could choose how to frame your mind in general. Guess what? You totally can. Here are three suggestions for how to change your mindset and make it permanent and natural in your daily life.
1. Since we know that thinking about life through the lens of our creative pastimes can change the way we see the world, then let’s focus on changing our mindset by only using our mind. Jonathan Budd has a great video about re-framing your mind for infinite possibilities. One of my favorite things he does is ask the viewers if they make $100,000 in a year. He continues to increase the amount of money, hoping that at some point you’ll say to yourself, “no, I don’t make that much.” The point, he says, is that if you don’t make that much money, it’s because you don’t know how. I know some of us just don’t care about making a lot of money, but let’s go along with his example for now, because I think it’s easy to understand. Jonathan says that people get completely stuck by falling back on what they know and have learned in life, even if what they currently know is not enough to get them to where they want to be. Boom. How can we ever achieve our distant goals if all we do is assume that what we know is the way to do it. What if it’s not? Jonathan says that we need to tell ourselves, “I don’t know how to do it, but I know it needs to be done, so I’m going to do it anyway.” Basically, If you don’t have a fat paycheck (or dream job, house, personality, life, etc), then you don’t know how to obtain it, so stop relying on what you know. Assume you don’t know anything, except that there are infinite possibilities. Search for and follow those possibilities at all costs. Clear your mind, do your research, take the risks, and force yourself to walk down the path you want to be on instead of pretending like you already know how to get there and winding up on some back alley road back at square one.
2. Do you want to be a happier, more positive person? Frame your mind in positive ways. Keep a journal and write down three positive things that happened at the end of every day. Keep a running list of your accomplishments, big and small, to help you build confidence. Write about your positive characteristics whenever you see them come out, something like, “today I saw someone struggling to carry their groceries home and offered to help because I’m a kind, generous person.” Writing things down is a great way to help you frame your mind because it makes the actions in your life become tangible things. When we create enough tangible things, we start viewing the world based on those things. Think about it – if you’re really into name brand clothing, you’ll notice if someone you meet is wearing something off a runway or a Forever 21 knockoff. That’s because you view the world in terms of something tangible – fashion. Practice creating positive things to view the world from on a consistent basis. At first it might feel forced and that is totally normal because eventually it will feel like second nature. That’s when you’ve achieved your goal.
3. Do you know what business conferences, high school proms, and dress up days at work all have in common? They often use themes. Their themes might be something like effective communication, a masquerade ball, and pajama day, respectively, but this concept is important if we really analyze what their purpose is. We use these kinds of themes to guide the direction we want an event or organization to go. This blog even has a theme, as do most websites. We’ve learned to apply themes to our lives by picking a career that suits our needs, but this can feel pressuring and limiting at times. The key to themes is figuring out how to add them to your life on a daily (or at least weekly) basis. Essentially, we are picking the direction we want our day to head and intently focusing on it to get ourselves there. Maybe you want your daily theme to be “progress.” In every.single.thing you do all week, focus on how you can progress instead of stay stagnant, or worse, regress. Whether it be cooking dinner, doing your morning routine, or starting a new project, don’t let your mind drift into the icky depths of “I can’t do this” or “I’m not worthy for this.” If you lose sight of your theme, take a breather and recalibrate yourself. Remind yourself why you chose this “theme” for your day and refocus your mind to attain it. We stop growing when we just go through the motions; choosing a theme can help you keep your life on the path of growth you desire to walk down.
Bonus! This article from Lite Mind mentions a social experiment about framing your mind with interesting results about how simple language differences can dramatically affect our perspective. Think about how language affects your perspective and brainstorm what changes you can make to better the words you use.
Do you have other suggestions for changing your mindset? Do you practice anything like meditation or yoga to center your mind? What themes would you pick for your life these days?