One of the pillars of mindfulness meditation is based on non-striving. An attitude that helps us disconnect our energy & emotions to the outcome of a task at hand or a pursuit. What it means is that the only thing worth striving for is to be in the moment. Like in a meditative state, you seek to stay calm and reach the highest point of being; the non-striving approach shifts your focus from the result to the action.
The idea is not to abandon your desires and goals in life. On the contrary, it is about you pushing that boulder up the hill and not looking at the peak of the mountain but have your eyes on the rock while using your energy to push it forward. Recognizing that you and your diligent efforts are good enough, no matter the outcome.
Nike’s slogan “Just do it!” is the perfect example of a mental state that has set a goal, is fully immersed in the performance, and is not controlled by the result. To give you a clear image of how to practice a non-striving attitude is to partner your goals to your intentions. Let’s say you have set a goal to complete a project at work by a particular time. Now, if you integrate your goal to expand your knowledge and nurture your team, then the stress will be reduced, challenges will be seen as opportunities, and the exchange of ideas and support will be welcomed. The reason is that intentions within you set the tone to move towards your goals and life in general. Once you are clear about your intentions, the focus on the course of action will drive you to do your best without anxiety or stressing over the unknown future.
Non-striving takes patience and a non-judging mindset. Every day choose an activity to loosen the grip to an outcome. For example, you go for a walk every day to lose 10 pounds. The goal is clear; now add the intention to enjoy the scenery and greet everyone you meet along the way. Pay close attention to your body and emotions when tension arises every time you think about your goal, and when you let go of the outcome. The exercise will cultivate the strength to detach and learn the non-doing attitude.
On the final note, the ability to stay focused is the driver to reach your goals. Never allow the feeling of worry or the uncertainty of an outcome derails you from materializing your dreams.
Developing an attitude to accept things as they are, makes life less complicated. Challenges and pains happen and how we shape our relationship with them is important. The process of healing or to find solutions starts with accepting reality. Indeed is not about tolerance or denial but the willingness to see things as they are. When you have pain, the feeling is real. You will not remain passive to the sensation, you feel it, and you do something about it.
We tend to abandon a distressing aspect of a situation and cling to nicer ones or withdraw from a tedious experience or look the other way to our conduct. This kind of attitude suggests that we refuse to see reality because we obviously do stumble upon dire circumstances or infuriating individuals. That being so, we cannot walk away or ignore every time there is an irritant. Acceptance is to acknowledge your emotions and not to avoid but to explore.
Changing the habit of non-acceptance
Let the sensations come and go
Do not take things personally
Acceptance is not choosing over your preference
Let go of control; not everything is what we imagine nor what we believe
Do not react to the unwanted situation
Take your focus away from what you agree or disagree
Recognize that flaws do exist in life, in people, and your doings and point of views
Detach yourself from distressing thought by not giving too much weight to it
Create a supportive slogan for yourself to accept things as they are in challenging moments
Ultimately, by allowing things to be as they are and staying neutral, you will learn to cultivate an acceptance attitude to reduce your anger, remain calm, and eventually find solutions. Remind yourself that the sensations that you feel are magnified. Just like in a horror movie, the knife is on the kitchen counter, but it does not mean that you will be stabbed with it. Being mindful is to know that you don’t have to solve everything nor to change it at once.
The more difficult the victory, the greater the happiness in winning.
Almost invariably, sports’ psychological skills can positively be translated into the business or personal world if adopted with conviction. In many common instances, such as being under pressure, challenged, receiving a reward, or being in a competition, top sports people’s mental skills can be applied as a driving force for professional or personal development.
It appears that the ability to perform exceptionally under pressure is a learned and acquired skill. (Hallett & Hoffman, 2014). A fair amount of learning techniques are available to apply; however, transferring those principles only works if a set of attitudes are cultivated. Top athletes have a rigorous daily routine to overcome physical challenges and to master their sport. Besides working on physical skills, they address their mental approach. In short, to cope with whatever we encounter and optimize our capabilities, here are seven strategies and techniques that will help us transform our performance to reach ideal results:
Stay focused. Your start does not determine how you’re going to finish.
The mental focus in sports is to sharpen on things that will contribute to completing your tasks. Whether it is ripping a dive to bending a soccer ball, all efforts aim to perfect the exercise productively. The same process applies to professional or self-growth. Focusing on thoughts and actions instrumental in reaching your goal fades unproductive worries and builds up confidence.
Be in the Zone
“The zone is a state of mind which is marked by a sense of calmness. In addition, there is a heightened sense of awareness and focus. Actions seem effortless and there is an increased belief that your dreams or goals can become achievable and real. In addition, there is also a sense of deep enjoyment when the person is in this unique, special and magical state of being.” –Dr. Jay Granat, Sports Psychologist
Training and preparation are not enough to find flow. Other techniques, such as meditation and conscious visualization, reinforce the efforts. How we apply these mechanisms is up to the individual’s inclinations. Some people tap into the past rewarding experience and re-energize the emotions they felt. End-results motivate others.
A good example is when Steve Jobs asked Larry Kenyon to cut Macintosh’s boot time by famously saying: “If it could save a person’s life, would you find a way to shave ten seconds off the boot time?” The time was cut down to 28 seconds! Consciously slipping into the unconscious to keep the flow allows you to stay in the zone and use your skills to the utmost.
How to use our feelings to become more resilient and build up our emotional Intelligence? Here are a few tips:
1- Identify your negative emotions – Once you are aware and have labeled your feelings, refrain from reacting immediately, and withdraw yourself from the situation. Do not make assumptions or decisions. Include empathy in your response.
2- Evaluate your behaviors and thoughts. Objectively – Question your intentions, motives, reactions, communications, whether you are rational or fair. Overall look into yourself from a bird’s eye view. Self-examination brings out humility, which is a requisite to build emotional Intelligence.
3- Communicate clearly – Conveying your thoughts with clarity and in a socially acceptable way is one of the components of Emotional Intelligence. Be an active listener, have an appropriate tone, mind your body language, eye contact, be respectful, and have a confident and friendly attitude, which are essential to reducing good communication errors.
4- Stress management – Introduce strategies to help you cope with stress and burnouts. The best ways to reduce the impact of stress and fatigue are to exercise, splash water on your face, go out in nature, learn and practice relaxation techniques, most importantly, be positive and confident.
5- Practice empathy – every day, try a random act of kindness, look at a situation from another perspective, make no judgment
A winner’s mentality has perseverance, builds on good habits, and takes action. It learns from criticism, and it does not allow situations and people to define the individual. A winning mindset sees challenges as an opportunity and focuses on things that it can control. It is grateful, looks for solutions, is curious, flexible, and optimistic.
Write down your skills and talents and scan through your knowledge-based, technical skills as well as your traits. Identify your core competencies and re-examine them by taking into account their relevancy, competitiveness, and application. Hone your skills and make use of them unapologetically.
Obstacles don’t have to stop you. If you run into a wall, don’t turn around and give up. Figure out how to climb it, go through it or work around it.
Self-encouragement is to believe that you can overcome challenges and focus on what you have accomplished. Therefore develop a system to boost up your self-confidence to face adversity and obstacles. Through affirmations to rewarding yourself, it puts an effective mechanism in place to build yourself up instead of tearing yourself down.
Everyone has a brand! The impressions, we leave behind, are combinations of how we have reflected our traits and presented ourselves. Done correctly, it serves as a compass for personal development, establishes credibility and is instrumental to our success. Personal branding starts with the ability to outline your skills, intellect, strengths and style. It gives you a clear focus using your best elements and what sets you apart. Once defined, you will be able to shape your brand voice.
The very first step is to pen down:
Who you are! You can use simple terms to define your attributes, such as:
cheerful, confident, culturally curious, witty,….
What is your mission another word your brand promise? An example would be:
“I have a positive outlook, I bring passion and creativity to my work and I am in my element when I help others,…
Define guidelines by thinking of what is your brand and what is not:
Bohemian not conventional; lighthearted not poker-faced; compassionate not indifferent,..
Write 5 words that best describe your core values & guiding principles. The essential qualities that you live by and they create value and connection. Such as:
Aspirational, spirited, caring, loyal, honest,…
The exercise gives you a solid foundation to create a coherent brand voice that holds together all your efforts and communication through any medium, to establish your brand.
Now, bringing the brand voice to life has a clear path. Your social media engagements, your style, your interactions are all guided by a set of references that articulates your personality.
Featured image: artwork by Metis Atash – Crystal Buddas Sculptures