Nibbling On Asian History & Philosophy Series Source: The Essential Teachings Of Zen Master Hakuin (1686-1769) Translated By Norman Waddell “If you want to attain mastery in the Buddha Way you must, to begin with, empty your mind of birth and death. Both samsara and nirvana exist because the mind gives rise […]
Your intuition is one of your greatest resources in decision-making. Unfortunately, however, many people find it difficult to trust their intuition. In part, it’s because most people don’t understand what intuition is. They think of it as a “gut” feeling that has nothing to do with rationality or reason. In reality, intuition and reason are […]
Many of the best insights I have gained over the years have often been counter intuitive.
For example, as I have been developing muscular strength with a rigorous weight training program, I have found that I can push more weight and complete more sets when I relax and calm myself mentally before and during each set. The calmness helps me push through the pain.
In this example, the more obvious approach (for me at least) would be to pump myself up with a bunch of deep breaths and yell out loud in aggression before my set. The calm approach is far more effective and DEFINITELY a counter intuitive solution.
In the title of this article I am suggesting another counter intuitive method when I say “embrace the anxiety” of problem solving.
You might be thinking, “why would I EVER want to embrace anxiety? I mean anxiety causes stress and stress causes health problems.”
Here’s the deal:
Have you ever sat down to write an article on a new topic that you were not comfortable with (or maybe an essay in school), read a complicated instructional manual for a new piece of furniture or attempted to learn a new piece of software on your computer that was out of your technical capacity?
If so, do you recall the sensations of frustration and anxiety that swept over you especially in the earliest phases of the task?
How did you react to the uncomfortable feelings associated with that frustration/anxiety?
If you’re anything like most people, you quickly sought relief by checking Facebook, watching Youtube, checking email, sending a text, turning the TV on, eating a snack or doing any other “comfort” activity that helped you escape the horrible feeling you had been experiencing.
What you probably did NOT realize at the time, was that this phase of anxiety is the most natural experience in the world. As your brain is working to solve the problem and perform the work in front of you, this anxious feeling is simply a by-product of the experience.
Instead of running away from the anxiety and the unpleasant feelings that come along with it, I am going to suggest you EMBRACE it instead.
Celebrate the fact that you have given yourself a tough problem and your incredible brain is busy working away. Much like the body builder learns to actually enjoy the physical pain of a difficult weight lifting set, you simply change your perception of this process from a negative experience to something positive and exciting.
And here’s the best part…
Do you recall any times in your past where you faced a deadline and you were FORCED to work through the anxiety because you had no choice?
What likely happened was after a certain period of time had elapsed, you moved from a frustrated state to a flow state and the work started pouring out of you. You went from anxiousness to excitement. All because you were patient and persistent enough to allow your brain to work the problem and give you the answers you needed for your situation.
So… the next time you sit down to build that next “whatever’, keep this lesson in mind and REFUSE to allow yourself to indulge in temporary relief. You are only prolonging the pain anyways. Put that iPhone away and stick with your problem until you get in the zone.
Then you can simply let go and let your best ideas pour out of you.
If you believe in yourself, there is little to stop you in whatever you want to accomplish. It gives you the power to push forward and to defy the odds. You will be able to handle any roadblocks that come your way. You will also brush off the naysayers. It gives you peace of mind when you stick to your self-belief.
To keep that self-belief strong, you need to define your goals. You wouldn’t expect a general to fight a war without a map. You too need a map to guide you on how to proceed. Too many people skip this step and wonder why they aren’t getting anywhere.
Goals are your guidance, but carrying through with them is only done when you believe that it’s possible. The belief is the energy you need to take action. It helps you to focus on getting your tasks complete.
You will also build confidence when you have self-belief. It’s a powerful tool as others will be attracted to that confidence. They will follow your lead, and you will help show them what is possible. When you run into any stumbling blocks (and you will), that confidence will help you see them through. You will know how to take alternative action when necessary. The people following you will respect that as well.
Several forces will try to beat you down. You may even find yourself letting it happen. You need to get centered on why you started your journey in the first place. Use affirmations to reinforce your message. Be consistent with your affirmations.
Unfortunately, many of the negative forces are going to be from your family and friends. They will see it as helping you avoid mistakes. Many people will succumb to this negative pressure and give up. One way to prevent this is to join groups of like-minded individuals. It can be related to your business, or it can be groups that focus on self-help. These organizations exist to try and push the negative forces out. It’s great to go to meetings and get encouragement from the group.
Attending these groups can sometimes lead to friendships with people where you can extend the encouragement of each other. You may even form business partnerships from these friendships. It’s good to know that you have the support of these people when these relationships form. They understand when everyone else around you doesn’t. Your self-belief will strengthen considerably from this arrangement.
Daily Prompts – Words and Images
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Today’s Word: Reference
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