Discover more from The Creators Blueprint
4 Ways to Increase Positivity
and how to stop taking things personal
Can you believe it? You did it! 🙌
You made it to week five in this five-week journey of learning about the 5 Forms of Mental Chaos.
If you’re new here, the past four weeks, we’ve covered:
4 kinds of mental chaos
4 triggers that agitate mental chaos
4 action items to mitigate mental chaos
You’ll need to see each letter above for these 😉
The final form of mental chaos is regret and how taking things personally is holding you back from happiness.
Chaos #5 - Regret
It’s essential to realize that every single, self-defined, happy person in this world has more than likely done something they regret.
Making a bad decision is just one of the unfortunate realities of being human.
It is not about the decision itself but rather about how you deal with the decision when the outcome isn’t what you expected.
It’s common for people to focus more on the result of a situation and less on what was learned from a single experience.
Being human involves objectively looking at what went wrong and where you can improve.
There’s a common thread running these five forms of mental chaos, and it can best be described as the inability to let go.
“Every man’s life lies within the present; for the past is spent and done with, and the future is uncertain.” ~ Marcus Aurelius ~
If you identify with any of these forms of mental chaos, the chances are high that you are sometimes too hard on yourself, which can block your ability to gain mental clarity.
The ability to release yourself from the burden of knowing that you could have done something differently is essential if you want to find mental clarity.
The Shift Towards Mental Clarity
Positive thinking isn’t just about making you feel happier or providing you with a more optimistic outlook.
While these two outcomes are by-products of thinking positively, there are far more benefits that can change your mental clarity.
Recent studies have shown that positive thinking is directly linked to your brain's reward system and pleasure stimulus.
This means that once your mind feels the pleasure that positive thinking or happiness provides, it will reward itself in the hope of receiving more of this type of feeling.
You see, positive thinking can have a snowball effect on the brain, and once you start thinking positively, your brain isn’t going to want you to stop.
Instead, positive thinking will entice your mind to continue to think this way so that you feel good more often (good ol’ dopamine), lol.
The manifestations of being able to think more positively about your behavior regarding your interactions with the people you encounter throughout your day include being more optimistic.
I must express. That being optimistic is not the belief that everything is always okay; no, that is complacency.
Optimism is the belief that things will get better over time.
The Brain and Optimistic Thoughts
From a more scientific perspective, positive thinking is proven to influence the growth which primarily takes place in the brain.
Specifically, positive thinking is linked to stimulating the growth of neural connections in the brain.
Even if you’re someone who doesn’t typically think positively, these connections will continue to grow, but they will grow at a faster rate when we think positively 🧠
Guys and gals, re-read that last sentence…even if you’re someone who doesn’t typically think positively, these connections will continue to grow, but they will grow at a faster rate when we think positively 🧠
This is important because as we age, our brain’s ability to develop these connections will inevitably start to slow down.
When you begin to think positively, your mind can function more efficiently for a more extended period.
Along with being able to motivate the growth of neural connections in our brain, two other benefits of positive thinking is related to output and analysis.
Thinking positively gives the mind the ability to process thoughts more quickly and to be more alert.
Along these same lines, it’s also been linked with solving complex problems in less time and more efficiently.
When our thoughts are negative, it can sometimes seem like we only think of the poor outcome regarding a particular situation.
However, when our thoughts are more positive, we are more likely to be open to experiencing a variety of results.
This allows our brains to think of broader scenarios when finding solutions to our problems.
You Are What You Think
Another way we can look at positive thinking regarding decluttering our minds is to recognize that our thoughts often lead us to action or inaction.
People who think positively can see the world as a better place, with more opportunities and where they can accomplish anything they desire.
But not everything is rainbows and butterflies Nadeem!
You’re right! I smell and see the shit too 💩
Seeing “rainbows and butterflies” is a highly developed skill over time.
On the other hand, negative thinking often leads people to believe that the world is where their current circumstances are the only ones they will ever realize.
While positive thinkers use their positive thoughts as a platform to take a leap and strive to achieve their dreams, people who think negatively will use their negative thoughts to limit what they produce, which ultimately stops them from growing.
You must remember that everything is constantly in flux.
Take time to recognize that you are continually evolving as a human.
Positive thinking is critical because people often become their thoughts.
“We are what we think. All that we are arises with our thoughts. With our thoughts we make the world.” ~ Buddha ~
Aim for Positivity
Now that you know why thinking positively is so essential for your success, it’s time to discover how you can become a more positive person.
While some people seem to be born with a greater sense of positivity, it doesn’t mean that it isn’t something that you can learn yourself.
Please understand that optimistic people aren’t always positive.
These people fully understand that being too optimistic can also negatively affect their health and mental clarity.
Instead, positive thinkers typically see the good and bad in any given situation, yet they focus on the good instead of the bad.
This is an excellent place to start when you want to try and be more optimistic.
It’s important to realize that there is a difference between someone who is blindly optimistic to the point of harm and someone who is realistic about what could go wrong and what could go right.
Finding this balance is incredibly important, especially if you tend to have more negative thoughts than positive ones.
Rather than going all out and trying to be as optimistic as possible, it would be better for you to learn how to recognize both the good and the bad in a particular situation before you consciously focus on the positive aspects of the problem at hand.
Volunteer Your Time
When you can discern the difference between being blindly optimistic and being realistic, you can start to look at ways to become more positive.
An excellent way to do this is through volunteerism.
You can volunteer your time in a variety of ways.
I’m not going to expand on this here. You are a Philo; you know what to do!
Write Down What You’re Grateful For
If volunteering your time in your community isn’t something you enjoy, you can become more positive by keeping a gratitude journal.
Every night before you go to bed or when you first wake up in the morning, spend some time writing down everything that you are grateful for in your life.
It takes 5 minutes. There’s an excellent journal for this called The Gratitude Journal.
Just Be Kind
Being kind is literally among the easiest things you can do, and everyone can do it.
No one is exempt.
Maybe you’ve heard that “it’s better to give than to receive.”
And while it’s true that giving can be its own reward, new research suggests that there may be another benefit to acts of kindness: it can improve our physical health.
In a recent study, scientists found that people who performed regular acts of kindness had lower levels of inflammation, a critical factor in many chronic diseases.
Inflammation is the body’s natural response to injury or infection, but when it becomes chronic, it can contribute to various health problems, including heart disease, arthritis, and Alzheimer’s disease.
And it’s not just the recipient of kindness who benefits; the giver also does.
The act of being kind releases oxytocin, a hormone associated with happiness, stress relief, and increased bonding.
Not only can kindness make someone else feel good, but it can also make you feel good as well.
You have the power to change how you think at any point and time.
Trigger #4 - Taking Things Personally
It's easy to take things personally.
Someone says something hurtful, or they don't acknowledge you in a way that you feel is deserved, and BOOM! 👊 We take it right to the heart. ❤️🩹
It feels like a direct attack on our character, doesn't it?
We take it personally.
And then we get angry and defensive, and the whole situation snowballs out of control.
We say something stupid, lose our composure, then, later on, regret our behavior.
But here's the thing: taking things personally is almost always a bad idea.
It's one of the quickest ways to ruin a relationship, whether it's with a friend, family member, or co-worker.
And it's also one of the quickest ways to ruin your own peace of mind.
When you take things personally, you're giving away your power.
You're letting someone else control your emotions.
Next time something happens, that would normally make you take something personally, stop and ask yourself:
Is this really about me?
Or is this about them?
Chances are, it's not about you. And even if it is, does getting upset really do any good?
Or would it be better just to let it go?
“Letting go is necessary, and sometimes heart-wrenching can be a gateway to genuine transformation.” ~ Phil Jackson ~
The Stoics called this the “art of acquiescence,” the giving up and the assenting of whatever things are so that they can be what they are to become.
3 Ways to Stop Taking Things Personally
There are things you can do to stop taking things personally.
First, remember that other people's actions are not about you.
They may be acting out of their own pain or insecurity, or they may simply be having a bad day.
Second, try to separate your opinion of yourself from other people's opinions of you. Remember that you are the only one who knows what is truly going on inside of you, so don't let someone else's opinion define you.
Finally, practice compassion and forgive yourself when you make mistakes.
We all screw up sometimes, but it's important to learn from our mistakes and move on.
If you can do these things, you will start to see that taking things personally is not necessary or helpful, and that life is much more fun when you let go of this unnecessary burden.
Next week I’m going to talk about 8 forms of positive thinking, and I’m going to break each of them down week over week.
TL;DR (too long didn’t read)
Aim for positivity
Volunteer your time
Be kind, practice this!
Write what you are grateful for
Remember that other people's actions are not about you
Separate your opinion of yourself from other people's opinions of you
Practice compassion and forgive yourself when you make mistakes
Weighing the good and bad of our personal choices is one of the main things that prevents us from happiness. However, if we can stop takings things personally, we can then experience more joy. And finally, regret keeps us stuck in the past and can prevent us from moving forward. If we want to be happy, we need to let go of both taking things too personally and regretting our past decisions.
From my dear friend and mentor Matt Gottesman
May you exhibit grace in your building, peace in your becoming, worth in your value, and love in who you already are
Have grace in building... pieces take time
Have peace in becoming... evolving is about consistent learning, unlearning, relearning
Know your worth... honor it, respect it, utilize it
Love who you already are... love you like you love friends. The one yourself dictates all others
It would mean the world to me If you shared this with someone you know that may benefit or even better if you copied this letter link and put it in your Instagram story or Facebook feed!
**See below - Philo assignment, past letters, and free workshops coming up*
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Philo Assignment 📄
What choice are you going to make today that will help you move closer to happiness? I would love to hear from you on social. Tag me in your story or post, and let’s connect @nadeem.alhasan - Nadeem Al-Hasan
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