You Need To Keep Your Mind In One Place At A Time


Stop thinking about home when you are at work, and work when you are at home.


By Deb Knobelman, PhD


When I went back to work after my second maternity leave, I was a mess.

I worked at a giant company. The kind that has meetings all day, every day. Which means, all the actual work that you need to do gets pushed into the cracks of your day. Or, after your work day is supposed to end.

I had two very young kids at home. I have always loved the intellectual stimulation of work, so I was happy to be back. But I also wanted to be with my kids. As I sat in meetings all day, I thought about them. I wondered what they were doing. I thought about the time I should spend with them. And then I went home. But when I was with my kids, I thought about all the work I wasn’t doing. How was I ever going to get it all done?

Like I said, I was a mess. I felt like I was failing at everything.

That phase of life is very specific. It’s tough to find your footing and get the rhythm of life when you have a new baby. But I found that as my kids got older, my mind kept doing the same thing, like a habit that I couldn’t break. Think about kids at work, think about work at home. I felt guilty and distracted all the time. Which made me even less productive at work, and short-tempered at home.

Things have changed a lot since those years. I still hear those thoughts in my head from time to time. The thoughts that wander away from the present. To thoughts about what I should be doing or someplace else I should be. But I’ve learned how to manage my thoughts a lot more since then. Here are some of the most important tools that I use, whenever I find myself back in that space.

Get rid of the guilt

Some guilt serves a purpose. It’s a way of policing our own behavior — of keeping us from doing socially or morally inappropriate things. But guilt can become addictive, in a way. According to Alex Korb, Ph.D. in his book The Upward Spiral, guilt, and shame literally activate the brain’s reward centers.

So the next time you feel guilty, ask yourself, is that guilt serving you? Is it spurring you on to do better, to be better? Or are you addicted to the feeling? Are you spinning your wheels, trapped in the mud of guilt?

If it’s the latter, find some self-compassion for yourself. Pinpoint exactly what is making you feel guilty. See if there is a should attach to that guilt. For example, I had two guilty thoughts running on autopilot in the back of my mind:

I should be with my kids.

I should be working.

But these thoughts imply that whatever I was actually doing at that moment was wrong. Instead of accepting the reality of where I was.

At that moment in time, I had young kids, and I had a full-time corporate job. I wanted both of those. Which meant sometimes I had to be at work, and sometimes I had to be at home. There was no other way. So, telling myself that it was wrong to be in either place didn’t help anything. Those thoughts kept me spinning.

Over time, I learned to redirect my thoughts. To stop thinking about what I should do. And tell myself, this is where I am. This is what I’m doing right now. There is no right or wrong. There is no perfect parent or a perfect worker. I am doing the best I can. And leave it at that.

Make a plan in advance for when the distracting thoughts come up

I am a planner by nature. But it didn’t occur to me to make a plan in advance about how to keep my mind on the task at hand. I’d never had my thoughts split in two places like that before. I spent a lot of time, in the beginning, reacting to each thought as it came up.

Peter Gollwitzer, Ph.D. is a Psychology Professor at NYU. One of his greatest research findings (in my mind) is the profound impact of what he calls “If-then” plans. (“If situation X arises, then I’ll do Y.”).

According to Gollwitzer,

Intrusive thoughts that elicit a strong affective reaction…[are] given processing priority in your mind and undermine the ability to reach your primary goal.In other words, when you have upsetting thoughts, your brain spends a lot of time focusing on them. And it undermines your ability to focus on the task at hand.

This is what keeps you from being more efficient at work when you are thinking about what’s going on at home. And keeps you from engaging at home when you are thinking about work.

His solution is to create a plan, in advance. To choose a specific thought to think ahead of time, when you start hearing that same negative voice in your head.

For example, instead of simply waiting until the inevitable thought “I should be with my kids” came up at work, I could make a plan. I could tell myself,

When I start thinking that I should be with my kids, I will remind myself: it is possible to be a good parent and also enjoy work.

I will consciously redirect my negative thought toward a specific positive one. Which will make me feel less upset, and help bring my mind back to the task at hand.

If-then plans have been shown to have several significant benefits. According to Gollwitzer (from the book Affective Determinants Of Health-Related Behaviors):

Forming implementation intentions [if-then plans] is…effective…in up-regulating mood, down-regulating distress, and… reducing clinical levels of anxiety.

So think about what your two or three “go-to” negative thoughts are. And make a plan for what to think instead. Write your chosen thoughts down on a post-it note on your desk. Put them as a reminder on your phone. And intentionally think about them when your mind wanders away from the present.

Allow yourself

“worry time”One other action that I found very helpful was to block off time. Sometimes my distracting thoughts would take on a more specific shape. Thoughts like, what will I do if my kid doesn’t get into that preschool?

Often those thoughts aren’t productive, but it’s hard to completely get rid of them. They can be very distracting.

So instead, I’d block off “worry time.” Instead of thinking about preschool at the same time as working on a presentation, I’d make a plan. I’d tell myself, I need to focus on this presentation for 25 minutes. I will write down all my worries on a piece of paper. And then in 25 minutes, I can think about my worries for 5 or 10 minutes. I will write down anything else that comes up in that time. And if I need to, I will think about it again during the next work break.

Telling myself that the worrisome thoughts were “allowed” was very freeing. And knowing that I had a specific time to think about them helped me focus on the meeting or presentation. But the reverse would work as well. I knew that I was “allowed” from 3–3:45pm on a Sunday afternoon to catch up on email. So I’d spend less time worrying about work while I was with my kids. Because I knew that I had a plan. I could focus on one thing at a time.

There is no perfect level of attention either at work or at home. But if we let go of guilt, make a plan for what to think, and block off “worry time”. We will all get better at focusing on work when we’re at work, and home when we’re at home. More focus means we are more present. Which means less time working on one thing. Or better connection with our loved ones at home.

We could all use a little more mindfulness and intention. But remember, all you can do is your best, at any given moment. Let go of the rest.


This article was first published at www.medium.com


You Need To Keep Your Mind In One Place At A Time


Stop thinking about home when you are at work, and work when you are at home.


By Deb Knobelman, PhD


When I went back to work after my second maternity leave, I was a mess.

I worked at a giant company. The kind that has meetings all day, every day. Which means, all the actual work that you need to do gets pushed into the cracks of your day. Or, after your work day is supposed to end.

I had two very young kids at home. I have always loved the intellectual stimulation of work, so I was happy to be back. But I also wanted to be with my kids. As I sat in meetings all day, I thought about them. I wondered what they were doing. I thought about the time I should spend with them. And then I went home. But when I was with my kids, I thought about all the work I wasn’t doing. How was I ever going to get it all done?

Like I said, I was a mess. I felt like I was failing at everything.

That phase of life is very specific. It’s tough to find your footing and get the rhythm of life when you have a new baby. But I found that as my kids got older, my mind kept doing the same thing, like a habit that I couldn’t break. Think about kids at work, think about work at home. I felt guilty and distracted all the time. Which made me even less productive at work, and short-tempered at home.

Things have changed a lot since those years. I still hear those thoughts in my head from time to time. The thoughts that wander away from the present. To thoughts about what I should be doing or someplace else I should be. But I’ve learned how to manage my thoughts a lot more since then. Here are some of the most important tools that I use, whenever I find myself back in that space.

Get rid of the guilt

Some guilt serves a purpose. It’s a way of policing our own behavior — of keeping us from doing socially or morally inappropriate things. But guilt can become addictive, in a way. According to Alex Korb, Ph.D. in his book The Upward Spiral, guilt, and shame literally activate the brain’s reward centers.

So the next time you feel guilty, ask yourself, is that guilt serving you? Is it spurring you on to do better, to be better? Or are you addicted to the feeling? Are you spinning your wheels, trapped in the mud of guilt?

If it’s the latter, find some self-compassion for yourself. Pinpoint exactly what is making you feel guilty. See if there is a should attach to that guilt. For example, I had two guilty thoughts running on autopilot in the back of my mind:

I should be with my kids.

I should be working.

But these thoughts imply that whatever I was actually doing at that moment was wrong. Instead of accepting the reality of where I was.

At that moment in time, I had young kids, and I had a full-time corporate job. I wanted both of those. Which meant sometimes I had to be at work, and sometimes I had to be at home. There was no other way. So, telling myself that it was wrong to be in either place didn’t help anything. Those thoughts kept me spinning.

Over time, I learned to redirect my thoughts. To stop thinking about what I should do. And tell myself, this is where I am. This is what I’m doing right now. There is no right or wrong. There is no perfect parent or a perfect worker. I am doing the best I can. And leave it at that.

Make a plan in advance for when the distracting thoughts come up

I am a planner by nature. But it didn’t occur to me to make a plan in advance about how to keep my mind on the task at hand. I’d never had my thoughts split in two places like that before. I spent a lot of time, in the beginning, reacting to each thought as it came up.

Peter Gollwitzer, Ph.D. is a Psychology Professor at NYU. One of his greatest research findings (in my mind) is the profound impact of what he calls “If-then” plans. (“If situation X arises, then I’ll do Y.”).

According to Gollwitzer,

Intrusive thoughts that elicit a strong affective reaction…[are] given processing priority in your mind and undermine the ability to reach your primary goal.In other words, when you have upsetting thoughts, your brain spends a lot of time focusing on them. And it undermines your ability to focus on the task at hand.

This is what keeps you from being more efficient at work when you are thinking about what’s going on at home. And keeps you from engaging at home when you are thinking about work.

His solution is to create a plan, in advance. To choose a specific thought to think ahead of time, when you start hearing that same negative voice in your head.

For example, instead of simply waiting until the inevitable thought “I should be with my kids” came up at work, I could make a plan. I could tell myself,

When I start thinking that I should be with my kids, I will remind myself: it is possible to be a good parent and also enjoy work.

I will consciously redirect my negative thought toward a specific positive one. Which will make me feel less upset, and help bring my mind back to the task at hand.

If-then plans have been shown to have several significant benefits. According to Gollwitzer (from the book Affective Determinants Of Health-Related Behaviors):

Forming implementation intentions [if-then plans] is…effective…in up-regulating mood, down-regulating distress, and… reducing clinical levels of anxiety.

So think about what your two or three “go-to” negative thoughts are. And make a plan for what to think instead. Write your chosen thoughts down on a post-it note on your desk. Put them as a reminder on your phone. And intentionally think about them when your mind wanders away from the present.

Allow yourself

“worry time”One other action that I found very helpful was to block off time. Sometimes my distracting thoughts would take on a more specific shape. Thoughts like, what will I do if my kid doesn’t get into that preschool?

Often those thoughts aren’t productive, but it’s hard to completely get rid of them. They can be very distracting.

So instead, I’d block off “worry time.” Instead of thinking about preschool at the same time as working on a presentation, I’d make a plan. I’d tell myself, I need to focus on this presentation for 25 minutes. I will write down all my worries on a piece of paper. And then in 25 minutes, I can think about my worries for 5 or 10 minutes. I will write down anything else that comes up in that time. And if I need to, I will think about it again during the next work break.

Telling myself that the worrisome thoughts were “allowed” was very freeing. And knowing that I had a specific time to think about them helped me focus on the meeting or presentation. But the reverse would work as well. I knew that I was “allowed” from 3–3:45pm on a Sunday afternoon to catch up on email. So I’d spend less time worrying about work while I was with my kids. Because I knew that I had a plan. I could focus on one thing at a time.

There is no perfect level of attention either at work or at home. But if we let go of guilt, make a plan for what to think, and block off “worry time”. We will all get better at focusing on work when we’re at work, and home when we’re at home. More focus means we are more present. Which means less time working on one thing. Or better connection with our loved ones at home.

We could all use a little more mindfulness and intention. But remember, all you can do is your best, at any given moment. Let go of the rest.


This article was first published at www.medium.com


7 Things That Can Destroy The Life Of Any Young Man


By Danceville


There are many things that can destroy the life of a young man, hurt their destiny, stop their growth, slow their progress or block their advancement in life.All young men should know this things and avoid them.

1. Living Without Purpose And Vision

A friend of mine once said, “Guys of nowadays love Television buh don’t have Vision “.This is nothing buh the truth.Most guys don’t have vision, aspiration or even a plan for tomorrow.You can’t be the best in any trade if you don’t have anything you’re pursuing.

2. Alcohol And Drug

The use of alcohol and drug is another way young men ruin their lives.When a young man is exposed to drug and alcohol at a very tender age, the effects goes beyond what they ever expect in life, as they easily get inducted into the dark world of crime.

3. Wrong Association

The company a young man walks with, will ultimately determine what he will become.Choose your friends wisely.Some friends are multipliers while some are destroyers.A wise man once said “Show me your friends and I can accurately predict your future.The company you keep determines your accomplishments.

4. Crime

Wrong association and information, leads to drugs and alcohol usage.The resultant effects are crime, gang fights, cultism, armed robbery murder etc. At the end, the law catches up with those young ones and helps them waste many years in the college for stubborn and foolish prison yards.

5. Sexual Immoralities

Lust, fornication, pornography, rape, masturbation etc are all sexual immoralities and serves as a media the devil uses to destroy the life of young men.Don’t expose yourself to them, don’t company with those that are involved in it because it will end up destroying you.

6. Laziness

Hatred of work, oversleeping, indolent lifestyle is dangerous to the life of any single man.A man, I mean a real man should be bold enough to work, he must be a man of the field, planting and harvesting for his future.When a man is a lover of his bed, lazy and lukewarm, there’s no way he will not serve his mates and live in abject poverty and penury throughout is lifetime.

Last buh not the least..

7. Love Of Money

Love of money is a great destroyer of many young men nowadays.Some even results in rituals, that later end up their lives soon.Don’t think without money, you can’t reach that place you desired to be.. And always remember, Vanity Upon Vanity, All Is Vanity.

NB

This thread is meant for everybody.The way young men is destroying their lives in this Society, is appalling.Are you guilty of any of these? Please it isn’t too late to make a CHANGE…

I drop my pen at this Juncture.

Feel free to add yours.

Please share this post among your friends..

You might just SAVE A SOUL..


Written And Compiled By
DanceVille


Please help me to give this thread a wider coverage.A soul might be save through this post.


If your Childhood Sucked – It’s Time to Stop Blaming Your Parents!


By Craig Harper


Dear Parent Blamer,

Firstly let me say, stop it.


It’s pathetic and pointless. And for the rest of us innocent bystanders… very annoying.

To be completely honest, we’re sick of your whining, your complaining, your anger, your victim mentality and your inability to see that your current attitude (not some historical event) is your biggest problem. We’re also sick of you blaming your (current) bad behaviour on your parents. What’s standing between you and success right now is YOU. Not your folks, not your history… you. And the fact that you think THEY have sabotaged your life and are somehow responsible for your (current) stupid behaviours and less-than-desirable outcomes, wreaks of denial, immaturity and delusion.

Yes, we all get that your childhood, or parts thereof, sucked – welcome to the world’s largest club.

We also get that your old man was periodically a completely insensitive, uncommunicative at times. Sadly, that’s what (many) fathers do. And yep, we know that your mother was a selfish cow that time when you were in the eighth (and ninth and tenth) grade; it happens.

Okay, let’s be honest and blunt… some parents are crap. And yes, many of us have been hurt – physically, emotionally and/or psychologically – by our parents. I am not suggesting that you deny your past, but I am suggesting that you don’t live there. It’ll kill you. In ten different ways. Some people have been inhabiting the seventies and eighties and re-visiting their childhood for the last few decades.

No matter how much you think your parents deserve your anger, vitriol and resentment, I’m telling you (1) it serves no positive purpose (2) it will hurt you more than them (3) stop being a big, immature, stupid baby and (4) you and only you, are responsible for your current reality – no matter what your parents have or haven’t done to you, or for you.

Even though you may have a very good ‘reason’ to be eternally pissed at your folks, I’m saying let it go anyway. Move on. And it’s not about what they do or don’t deserve; it’s about what you deserve. If you want to destroy your potential, your enthusiasm, your optimism and your hope, then become a chronic Parent Blamer. Hang on to that hurt, no matter what!

Or you could let me save you some serious time and pain and just believe me when I tell you that being a Parent Blamer is a pointless, destructive, pathetic waste of your potential and emotional energy. And if you’re not careful, a waste of your life. It will destroy you from the inside out. It’s true; some people will die angry, bitter, resentful and tortured souls because they never found a way to let go of the self-perpetuated – yep, read that clearly, self-perpetuated – misery. When you’re still desperately holding on to emotional crap from years ago, it’s YOU that’s the problem. When you’re twenty five, thirty five or fifty five and you’re still thinking, talking and behaving like a teenager who’s mad at their parents, you need a big reality check.

The only thing you can change about the past, is how you let it affect you now.

You may wanna read that again.

Over the years I have worked with people who have blamed their parents for everything from their poor communication skills, dysfunctional relationships, destructive habits and violent behaviours, to their fat body and poor eating habits. What!!! Do you not have a brain in your head? Are you incapable of independent thought? Can you not make your own decisions, choose your own behaviours and be responsible for your own existence? Surely you feed yourself these days? Surely you have some control over what comes out of your mouth? And surely you can choose to do, be and create different in your world.

Perhaps your parents taught you how not to be?

Let me say that I totally understand that your parents weren’t always what they should or could have been for you as a child (caring, supportive, forgiving, understanding, loving, available, guiding, honest). You have my sympathy and understanding but you’re not alone. You’re in a very large majority. The problem with parents is that they’re flawed and that whole ‘being human’ thing kind of gets in the way of parental perfection. If only parents were cyborgs.

Today’s article is the result of an inordinate amount of recent conversations I’ve had with people who are hell-bent on blaming their parents for every aspect of their own miserable and dysfunctional existence. Sometimes the vitriol, the anger, the resentment and dare I say, the absolute hatred, that people hang on to (for decades) amazes and saddens me.

The parental blame game is a slippery slope of self-pity, self-destruction and futility that’s played by far too many people to their own detriment. It’s a game you’re advised to avoid.

Hope this letter finds you well,

Craig.


This article was first published at www.lifehack.org