Archive | February, 2014

21 Days- In Reflection

1 Feb

Feb 1st, a full 37 days since my first blog and starting this adventure of enhancing my compassion and gratitude. I wanted to take a bit of time to reflect on how it all went, what I thought of this grand plan to rewire my brain into a more positive outlook.

The short version: The 21 Days of Compassion made me a more positive person.

I still maintain a list (less official) on my phone when I come across a new thought or experience that I’m grateful for. I’m more motivated at work (after the initial back to office slump). I take pictures now! I used to not take pictures, like the John Mayor song 3X5: “didn’t have a camera by my side this time hopping I would see the world with both my eyes.” In reality I think I was missing out by not capturing those happy memories and moments of awe. My disposition, I’ve come to admit, is such that while I have good experiences they get lost in the negative waves of hindsight.

The long version: The 21 Days of Compassion made me a more positive person. And I will continue to have to find ways to maintain this positivity.

There have also been a few lessons along the way about myself:

  • Hard work is mistaken for innate talent: In the past couple months various TED Talks about grit, leadership and happiness have illuminated that I emphasize the need for natural abilities over hard word. And I use this as a crutch and excuse. In the process of celebrating success we turn the story into a myth of the innate. And I do this! Research, for example shows that it’s not charismatic people who become leaders but taking on roles of leadership leads to charisma. I’m not sure why this example resonated so well (maybe because I had so squarely fallen in the former camp) but it did. We all have what it takes.
  • Argue in the Now: I have some not so bueno habits. For example, I’m not good about brushing my teeth at night– my parents never instilled it as a child and now as a grown woman I get lazy. Through my 21 days I realized in the moments when I was dragging my feet, my best argument was one that was bout the now. Not “I’ll regret this tomorrow” or “This will make me happy in the morning” but “I will feel satisfied now, as soon as I finish brushing my teeth.” Translating my long-term desires into short-term gains has been very powerful. And my lessons in gratitude show there is often something nice in the now to focus on. Look at those dots connecting!
  • My Life, Myself, and Others: I’ve decided to expand this project, not so much in the formal blog but in day to day. I’m going to create a board to list things I’m grateful for in my life, in myself and in others (especially my relationship). AND I want to keep writing. These are two things I need to mash together. Writing brings me clarity and keeps me thinking more positive. Lists are the short little versions of my other way long and drawn out thoughts. I

On that note- I’m spending a wonderful weekend in a cabin with some old friends and soon to be new friends! Resolution #2 and #9 (talk to strangers & focus on the moment).