The coincidence in reading a book about parenting is learning more about yourself. Well, it makes sense right? We raise our children from the same blueprint from which we were raised. The perfect explanation for the saying, “the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.” It also offers some explanation to multigenerational challenges and adversity. What if the opportunity for recovery and resilience was directly linked to our mindset? Let’s ponder the idea for a moment with a common example.
We wake up still feeling tired, and therefore resist the start of the day. We may even resent the day, because of how overwhelmingly exhausted we feel. Think then about how we choose our outfit, what we eat for breakfast, what we listen to during our commute, how we interact or perhaps avoid interacting with others, and the list goes on. We are more likely to choose something to wear based on comfort rather than presentation. We are more likely to grab something quick to eat, which most likely contains more sugar and comes from processed ingredients and may even come from a fast-food restaurant or vending machine, rather than a home-prepared meal filled with fiber and protein. We may zone out during our commute with or without the radio on, instead of intentionally putting on music, or a motivational Ted Talk to stimulate inspiration and motivation. And because we are focused on feeling so lousy, we nonverbally project that to anyone who crosses our path. So naturally when people ask us how we are doing, we respond by complaining further reinforcing negative feelings. Think about how your body feels heavier, as if you are literally dragging yourself through the day. And now, repeat this day over and over again. Can you relate to the description of this example? The negativity drives more negativity.
Now let’s use the same example to portray a positive mindset. We wake up feeling tired, but grateful for the full day and evening the previous day. In fact, just thinking about the memories, brings a smile to your face. Even though there is obvious fatigue, we stretch our bodies which begins to invigorate our muscles. We think about the activities we have to look forward to in our day, and feel excited. We get dressed and spend time grooming ourselves, which triggers a feeling of pride in ourselves. We think about breakfast, and even if we don’t have the time to prepare an elaborate meal, we are more apt to grab a piece of fruit and a cheese stick or a piece of whole grain toast with almond butter. On our way to work we are alert and thinking about our daily activities in a positive light. And when we interact with our family or the doorman in our building or the secretary at work, we greet them with a smile and a good morning. Your body feels lighter, and there is pep in your step. Here, the positivity cultivates more positivity.
Both scenarios begin with feeling tired. We don’t know what triggered the exhaustion in the first example, but the description insinuates it is something negative. However, it may have been a result of a full day and evening the previous day, but the mindset prevents the person from feeing a sense of gratitude over the experience.
What an amazing difference between these examples? Which one most closely relates to you? We all have control over our choices, and it is a choice which mindset we want to embody.
Until the next time,