Another practice of Personal Mastery is to maintain a positive mindset. With this mindset we can see the best in others and ourselves. For me, I use a positive mindset as a filter to direct my thoughts, actions, and behaviors toward a positive and productive end result.
I have always believed in the importance of remaining positive, no matter what life has thrown at me. But I’d like to be clear, being positive is not about being fake or phony. It’s not about interacting and behaving one way with one group of people and another way with the next. Being positive is having hope and faith about the present as well as the future. It’s about looking for learning opportunities in failures, it’s about being centered with who I am, it’s about being a change advocate, and it’s about taking positive action with my life.
- Don’t watch national news! Read what you need to stay up on current events.
- Exercise regularly – 30 minutes a day is best.
- Smile! It actually releases dopamine in your brain.
- Have a good belly laugh at least daily – it helps to have someone in your life that can give you a daily dose of comedy. I’m extra lucky because for me it’s my husband. 🙂
- Get enough sleep each day.
- Practice gratitude – we don’t do this nearly enough in our hustle bustle lives.
- Speak positively of others and yourself.
- Continue to learn and grow. Life is not a destination…it’s a journey!
I’m currently reading a book titled: Rethinking Positive Thinking – Inside the New Science of Motivation by Gabriele Oettingen. She wants to clarify that it’s not just about having a positive mindset, it’s about taking wishful thinking through a process and creating the steps that will help you reach your dream. She states her steps can help to make you happier and healthier, lead to stronger personal and professional relationships, and even improve your performance at work. Cool! Sign me up for that!
Oettingen introduces the idea of mental contrasting. Mental contrasting is a way to focus on your dreams by visualizing and putting plans in place to identify, understand the root of and to eliminate the obstacles that stand in the way of successfully reaching goals and thus obtain your dream.
I bet you are wondering why I titled this post WOOP There it is! It’s because in Oettingen’s book she uses an acronym called WOOP which stands for:
Wish – identify specifically your wish or dream
Outcome – picture the best outcome of obtaining your wish
Obstacle – understand deeply what’s in the way of achieving the wish
Plan – using the “if this then that” method to identify obstacles and then create the action and/or behaviors to overcome the obstacle.
“It isn’t enough to sit and dream; we have to take action and make sacrifices. Our dreams may be realizable, but they come down to challenges that require engagement and action.” – Gabriele Oettingen.
What I appreciate is her approach, it can help many people get from dreaming to doing. She shows how to punch through the obstacles and put actionable plans into place to overcome the reasons we have not taken action on our dream.
“There are plenty of difficult obstacles in your path. Don’t allow yourself to become one of them.” – Ralph Marston.