Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Paying attention

An wonderfully inspiring teacher and friend, Kathy McKenzie taught me once that ‘what you pay attention to you get more of’.

If are constantly thinking about why we like avoiding healthy activities and about reasons for preferring other pursuits which might not be supporting good heathl….then we’re very likely to listen to ourselves.


With the mass media and marketing bombarding us with negative messages designed to pull down and weaken our state of mind, its no surprise that an unsuspecting person might have an unhelpful mindset or lack of confidence in their own strength of character and resilience. So it is good to know that a strong mindset and resilient character and counteract and challenge the messages we receive from advertisements, from some unscrupulous sales people and from the mass media. And as a result a positive and resilient mindset can keep us feeling ‘realistically optimistic’.

Kathy also taught me that ‘what you pay attention to determines what you miss’.

So if you spend a lot more time thinking about what you enjoy about health and wellness – you will start to forget all the things that use to put you off it! If you can learn to practice and pay attention to the thoughts you know improve your resourcefulness and confidence and self belief in a realistic and balanced way – you will be too busy to be affected by the ‘sneaky – sniper’ marketing campaigns of unscrupulous marketing organisations.

So to maintain any sort of lifestyle change, it can be really useful to :

Firstly – Gain awareness. Get an understanding of your belief and confidence in you own health and wellbeing

Secondly – Practice activities that increase self belief develop your confidence and improve creativity and resourcefulness. This is the core to gaining more belief around your ability to improve your health and wellbeing.


In his book Lifes is so good, when George Benson was asked whether he believed the glass was half full or half empty he replied….its neither Richard, the glass is ok, just as it is!

Its important to point out here that a realistically optimistic mentality or ‘winning mentality’ is a very personal thing. Some people like to jump up and down excitedly and become quite animated, others like to reinforce positive affirmations…..and you can do that if you like those sorts of things…or if that does not suit your personality you don’t have to do that at all. Remember you can do what ever you choose.

So if you prefer, you can simply ‘relax’ and with a confident knowing smile and a relaxed and easy manner agree that you believe in your own ability. You have to right to bring out the best in yourself. Nobody can take that away from you.

All the best athletes talk about the importance of training belief and consistently working on maintaining their confidence. Economists are constantly referring to the importance of confidence in the economy. Any good magician will tell you that the key to success of any show is all in the mind!! And with your health and wellbeing you only have to convince yourself. But sometimes people forget that it is their thoughts that determine confidence.

If you imagine that you are enjoying the benefits of an activity…then you are allowing the possibility of enjoyment to happen but if you tell yourself that it will be a horrible experience right from the start, you are limiting your options very quickly!

‘imagination is more powerful than knowledge’ Albert Einstein

There are many many different ways to change the way you think about health and wellbeing. The follow activities represent but a drop in the ocean…..

When legendary blues musician BB King wrote the lyrics ‘I did what I did before Love came to town’. He explained in a show that I watched that long before all the fame and the money and the devoted fans he had - his love of music, his belief in what he was doing the hard work and long hours of practice.

Be kind to your mind, and your mind will be kind to you!

Believe in yourself and yourself will believe it too!

Have you ever heard of the 21 day rule?

Although its very easy to change our thoughts and mindset, it takes the body a few weeks to adapt to the new stimulus – there is a transition period where your body has to grow new neurons in your brain, change receptor function in the periphery and adapt to the complexities of differing hormone levels throughout your body. This transition period is currently believed by some that if you perform a new habit repeatedly for 21 days, it will become permanent!

Personally I just use this rule as a reminder that the body can take some time to catch up to the mind. So if your new habits and healthy activities seem strange at first, it’s a good thing! It means you are learning something new – so stick with it!

Fortunately, we can learn to use new mobile phones or computer programs, or we can learn to play musical instruments any time we want, or we can learn to drive a new car with different controls, or maybe we can even learn other new skills like George Dawson, author of ‘life is so good’, who learned to read at the age of 98!

We can do these things because as humans we are able learn to change the way we act, and we are able learn to change the way we think.

Change is happening everywhere. Global warming is changing the weather patterns, on top of this the seasons have always changed from year to year. Every day the billions of cells in our body grow and develop and change slightly, and every 365 days we have a completely new set of cells. Our relationships with friends, colleagues and family are also constantly changing and evolving. They conversations you have with you parents or your siblings now are quite different from the conversations you had with them 5 or 10 or 15 years ago.

Change is not only possible, Its inevitable - Milton Erickson

No comments: