Set your Mind’s GPS

Did you ever set your GPS wrong? I know I have. It takes a little while, but I eventually figure out that something is wrong with the directions I am given. But if you set your mind’s GPS wrong, it can take much longer to notice.

If you are unhappy about the path of your life, you need to re-program your mind’s GPS. A simple way to do that is by saying affirmations. An affirmation is a compelling sentence that describes how you feel after reaching your goal. One of mine has been “I am happy and proud that I won the Best Speaker award.”

Design an affirmation and say it to yourself every day. You will find that it directs your mind to seek a way to reach the goal your affirmation describes. And yes, I did win the award I was looking for 😉

Focus on the Action

You control the effort, not the results. If you want to change your life, you can take action today. There is no guarantee where your actions take you – your environment, other people and chance all play a part, too.

That is why the focus of your daily review before bed should be on the action you took today, not the results you experienced.

Stop Speaking While You Think

Do you, like, use too many, like, filler words? Sitting in a coffee shop in New York a few weeks back, I noticed that every fifth word in New York English is “like.”

Research shows that people who use more filler words are considered less intelligent, and their arguments are considered weaker. So it’s a good idea to get rid of your filler words. Here is an exercise: Record yourself on your phone speaking on any topic for one minute. Listen to the recording and count how many filler words you use per minute. Like, uh, ah, um, er, well. If you use more than one, you should improve.

Now record yourself again for one minute, this time making an effort to simply say nothing when you need to think. Pause and think instead of just babbling a filler word. People who pause while speaking are considered more intelligent. Listen to your recording and count your filler words. Hopefully, you have fewer. Also, notice that a pause of one second – the time normally filled with a useless word – is not a problem at all for the listener.

Play the Minimalism Game with Me

You have too much stuff. The average American household contains 300,000 items plus whatever is in their storage unit. You might think that having too much stuff is harmless, but it isn’t. Every item you own is taking up a little working memory in your brain. Each item has to be stored, repaired, charged, cleaned.

If you want to make a change in your life, getting rid of some stuff is a good place to start. If you are up to the challenge, join me for a 30-day challenge invented by The Minimalists. The rules are simple: The first day you get rid of one item. You can throw it away, recycle it, sell it, or give it away. On the second day, you get rid of two items. On the third day, three items. You don’t have to do the math in your head – if you stick with the challenge for all 30 days, you’ll end up 465 items lighter. Who’s with me?

People and Material

“In war, three-quarters turns on personal character and relations; the balance of manpower and materials counts only for the remaining quarter.” Napoleon said that in 1808, and it applies equally in Ukraine today.

It also applies in other human endeavors. You can see organizations performing well with antiquated IT systems, and organizations making a mess of their customer service even though they have the latest and greatest cloud services. Simply rolling out new technology without considering people, organization, and processes will not improve your organization.

Compliment Someone

Did you compliment anyone today? I’m not talking about your colleagues’ looks – don’t enter that minefield. But remember to appreciate your co-workers and team members when they do good work.

Complimenting other people is an under-utilized superpower. It costs nothing and makes both you and the receiver feel better. Today is #WorldComplimentDay. Be part of the movement 😉

How Much Time do you Have?

You never know when it’s your time. Last year, a woman in Canada awoke to a loud noise in the middle of the night. Jumping out of bed, she turned on the light and saw a hole in her ceiling right above the bed. And on the bed was a 3-pound meteorite that had punched right through her roof, missing her head by inches.

It is exceedingly rare for people to get killed by space rocks. But disease and mundane accidents also strike without warning. Make sure you use every day well. How will you have improved your life or the world at the end of today?

Celebrate Success

Here in Denmark, we are celebrating our Oscar for “Best Foreign Movie” today. Well, most of us didn’t really contribute anything, but we can all enjoy Thomas Winterberg’s success with “Another Round.”

You can also celebrate other people’s success. It’s easy to celebrate when your favorite sports team wins, but it can be harder to feel happy that someone else got the promotion that you think you deserved. However, feeling resentful of other people’s success simply drains you of energy and makes it less likely that you will succeed in your next endeavor. Make a point of celebrating successes – other people’s as well as your own.