16 Jun Champion Choices: Reflection
Champion Choices: Reflection
Follow effective action with quiet reflection. The quiet reflection creates even more effective action. ~Peter Drucker
When I’m bringing up reflection here, I do so on a couple levels:
• an image seen in a mirror or shiny surface: your personal or professional brand.
• thought or consideration.
Two weeks ago we wrapped up our Champion Choices series with In-Game Focus and insight from America’s Cup sailing champions Oracle Team USA. We wish Team USA good luck and fair winds as they race this Saturday in Bermuda! They will race against Emirates Team New Zealand. In fact, we were out on the water next to them when both teams capsized while Chicago hosted the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series last June. So, they have recovered well in the last year to reach the championship level again: They are the only two teams left sailing for the America’s Cup trophy.
Retaining champion form 24 seven isn’t easy. We all have our spills and moments of weakness. (Mine is cheesecake – especially Italian cheesecake on a leisure sail.) You could play an excuse card for your less than stellar performance. Or chew on this: It takes only a few minutes a day to build the mental muscle needed to reach your highest potential.
Yes, mental strength is like a muscle and can be worked out. Lifting weights each a day would only take a few minutes of your time, but doing it consistently would help you build lean muscle.
So it goes with your mental prowess. You can train your brain to manage emotions, be productive and think differently, and reflect. With consistent exercise, you’ll build mental strength.
Here are three exercises that will help you build mental muscle in five minutes of reflection:
1. Be mindful.
How can you stay strong when you’re obsessing over something that happened last week? Or while you’re predicting horrible things are going to happen this week?
Mindfulness is about being in the moment. Observe your thoughts and feelings from a distance, without judging them good or bad. Instead of letting your life pass you by, live in the moment and be open to experience.
Mindfulness has a multitude of benefits, including reduced stress and a more compassionate inner dialogue.
Take a minute and tune in to what’s going on around you. Hear that?
Look around the room. What do you notice?
Do a quick scan of your body and pay attention to how it feels.
You will increase your ability to focus with regular practice. Focus does not come naturally in our multi-tasking world. Take a breath and time to enjoy each moment. You’ll be less distracted by yesterday’s headaches and future fears.
2. Reflect on 3 things you’re grateful for.
Gratitude is good for us and those around us. Sure, it isn’t always our automatic response and we often take the good things in our lives for granted. We can consciously learn to get into the habit of being grateful.
Gratitude brings the good to the surface, and raises our overall life satisfaction.
Here’s why it works:
We naturally focus on what goes wrong in our lives, often replaying things on a mental loop. We’re quick to notice petite problems, yet we rarely spend any time at all dwelling on the good things. People and things that brought us relief, or a smile or laugh are often glossed over or forgotten.
This action is simple but incredibly powerful. It’s about taking the time to notice the good things and people in our lives and garnering more from them.
Voila, an example of good things, with observations:
I’m grateful that I could talk with Simonetta today to celebrate each other’s success and new business ideas. She makes me smile. She helps inspired me to write new things for Future Entrepreneurs. I also enjoy practicing my Italian.
What are 3 things that are you grateful for?
I often say, “wherever you are on your journey, believe it’s worth the trip!” I promise you that it feels better to believe in yourself than to doubt – or quit. Now’s the time to act “as if.”
Maybe it’s tempting to wait until you feel extra motivated to make a change. Waiting until you feel great about yourself before applying for a promotion, or waiting until you feel happy to invite your friends out for a night on the town could stall progress. Psychology Today studies show that you should behave like the person you want to become. When you change your behavior, your thoughts and your emotions will follow.
Feeling down? You might look at the floor, hunch your shoulders and sigh. Doing so keeps you in a depressive state. (Still, excellent work on being mindful to know how you feel now!)
Take a breath. Hold your head up high. Sit up straight and smile…and you’ll feel better already.
Ask yourself, how can I act confident? Acting like a confident person, even when you’re filled with self-doubt, helps you feel surer of yourself. And research shows acting confident even increases other people’s confidence in you.
Ask yourself: what would a strong person do? Then, act as if you feel strong already. And you’ll get there. You must adapt to the lifestyle you hope for. How does it feel to have reached a goal?
You must act as if you’re already there to even start your journey towards your success!
It’s all about your mindset.
These exercises have helped to refine your brand as well. The things you are grateful for are also most likely priorities. Keep them close. Think about how they help define who you are now and who you want to become.
Reflect on that.
Thanks for reading! We believe in you and welcome your comments below.
Cheers and fair winds,
Author, Branding Expert, Producer
http://www.akashagarnier.com for The Wishwall Foundation
[The photo here is from a recent trip to LA. I had been out on the Pacific sailing with friends and we were driving from Marina del Rey to a Santa Monica rooftop. The goal was to catch sunset and celebrate my recent promotion on a brand ambassador projects. The LA traffic picked up and the sun was on its way down. Instead of stressing out, I took some photos. I especially like this one with the reflection off the hood and windshield. #Nofilter, all Cali shine. Yes, the sky was still gorgeous when we reached the top. It will be when you reach the top too.]