Bad Day? STOP. Here’s how to reboot your brain.
To achieve goals in life, love, fitness, business, leadership, and to find opportunity and victory in past bumps and bruises, I’ve created “Brain Games” to play on myself. They work like a “Brain Reboot” – re-setting it to function best. These games have turned my life around, helped me to achieve goals in life and in being a better version of myself. The games change nothing in the real world, and change everything in mine.
Maybe they will work for you, too.
Try these simple techniques for turning around a – – let’s call it a bad day – -for now.
(1) THE LUCKY LINE GAME
DO THIS: If you think you are having a bad day, stop whatever you’re doing for a few moments. Pause to think.
THINK about the LUCKY LINE: Imagine all the people in the world lined up from the luckiest to the unluckiest. Pause for a moment to visualize them waiting in the lucky line. Visualize the line stretching out over grassy hills, across beaches, down tree lined streets on a sunny day. Visualize the people waiting in the Lucky Line, shifting their weight, crossing their arms, scratching their heads, waiting. Then cast your eyes first up to the luckiest, then down the line to consider the people at the wrong end of the Lucky Line, people who can’t feed their children, caught in war zones, maybe in Somalia where arms and legs get chopped off for someone’s sport, and the rest of their lives can’t even scratch their own itchy nose. Unimaginable- but try. You are only imagining the horrors that too many are living. Try to be them for a moment.
Now, back to you. What was it that you imagined was a problem? Really?
We all know that getting life into perspective inevitably leads to gratitude, which changes everything. But it’s not always easy be grateful for things we’ve come to take as given, because we’ve known no other way.
This “Lucky Line” technique even helped me when I was having trouble readjusting after an assault. I stopped by a beach, looked at the azure sea and sunny cloudless blue sky, and felt only hurt. I calmed down to imagine the Lucky Line. It brought my focus back to the present and the beauty around me. Soon enough instead of hurting, my thoughts turned to the fact that I was fine – only my ego was bruised for putting myself in the wrong situation, trusting the wrong person.
Yeah- life is not fair. And we should thank our lucky stars that life is unfair, because we are certainly on the good end of the lucky line. If you can read this, you can read, have opportunity- that’s lucky. If you are reading this on an electronic device, if you are safe and well fed, you are one of the lucky ones- not matter what else is happening and who might have more, we are luckier than most.
MORE “REBOOT BRAIN GAMES”:
(2) WORD EXCHANGE. Try to stop using the word ‘problem’ substituting instead the word ‘challenge.’
The subconscious has no sense of humor. The subconscious hears and absorbs every word you say to yourself and to the world. Problems are weighty. Challenges invigorate our resolve. Problems are “Poor me” and challenges and “I’m gonna show the world!” Change the negative words you say even to yourself. The change to yourself is astonishing.
(3) ALTERNATE NARRATIVE
BACK TO THE “BAD” DAY? If you think you are having that ‘bad day’ we discussed earlier (what shall we call it now?), or you’re in a situation, like a traffic jam, trouble paying bills, annoying co-workers; try these words for perspective.
“This isn’t my first choice of how to spend the day, but if this is my worst problem, I’m truly blessed.”
-or these words if you’re impatient in a traffic jam, someone is blocking your path in the market, stuck in the airport, etc-
“Waiting for this is not going to substantively change my life.”
Practice this in unimportant situations, so that you develop a ‘spiritual muscle memory’ and patience comes more naturally. For example if someone is blocking the supermarket aisle deciding between Grape Nuts and Granola, repeat again to yourself how the extra 15 seconds won’t change your life. Sometimes the person will move on without noticing you. If they do realize they blocked you and begin to apologize- smile and tell them not to worry- to take their time. You will observe a tiny, beautiful, ripple of kindness go from you to them.
HOW DO YOUR TINY ACTS OF KINDNESS RESONATE? We’ll never really know, but maybe that guy blocking the aisle just lost his job, and maybe your moment of patience means he won’t go home and yell at his wife, and maybe the wife won’t hit the kids, and maybe the kid won’t kick the cat, and maybe the cat won’t scratch your kid, and maybe nothing comes back to you so quickly, but it all comes back.
The day after my 21st birthday I went to London for 5 days and accidentally stayed 6 years (story for another day). Some people were extraordinarily kind to me. Those people, without exception, told me that when they visited the USA, Americans were incredibly kind to them, and this was their way of giving back. You don’t have to believe in god, past lives, or karma to see how kindness resonates.
(4) START IN YOUR CORE: The effects of this next idea on everyday life is shocking. This is one of the core thoughts which changed my core being.
Being good doesn’t begin with your actions. It begins in the core of your hear