We are not okay with chaos and chance. It’s human nature to seek out patterns everywhere. Knowing what’s going to happen, or at least being pretty sure of it can be the difference between happy and having a total meltdown for most of us.
We are the worlds most sophisticated pattern machine. You/Me/We are calculating patterns and predictions at an evolved rate! Especially as life speeds up and digital technology becomes more ingrained in our everyday journey.
The structure is everything to us even when it means creating one (a pattern) where it doesn’t exist. Realistically and philosophically it can be useful and detrimental. Our freedom of choice and education, coupled with street smarts is all we have to calculate these choices.
Freedom of Choice: You’re in a burning building and receive a phone call telling you to “stay put for safety reasons.” You can see this situation is out of everyone’s control and leave anyways. You live while the group you were just with is now gone forever.
Education: during a business retreat in Maui, one of your colleagues starts drowning! A powerful man nearby drags him out of the ocean and onto the dry, hot beach. You remember your training as a child from CPR swim class and begin giving him mouth-to-mouth. Within seconds he spits up the ocean water, and you have saved his life!
Street Smarts: You’ve been preparing for months and have gone through five different interview meetings for a job that will change your life. The phone rings and the woman on the other end explains someone else has received the position and thank you. Instead of going into a deep depression, you move forward effortlessly to the next endeavor. Your reaction to defeating news is much better than someone who hasn’t had experienced negative situations. You haven’t led a sheltered life and find a great job within a week of hearing the bad news. You’re now celebrating!
The experience behind these 3 assets that we all can grow is essential to separating fact from adverse pattern recognition.
When we see, think, or feel things because of a pattern stuck on a loop, we can begin to live an unimportant life. Everything becomes ordinary, stale, and boring.
A stagnant and discontent emotion is the red flag telling you that your brain is stuck on a pattern loop. Replaying a habit, to create structure, to reinforce comfort. Comfort can be the demise of your dreams because our great endeavors do not live on comfort; they thrive on change!
While humans strive for excellence, our brain is trying to be the “overlord” searching for patterns to keep you in a specific structure. Driving the ship, so you don’t have to because your exhausted and need a rest from the stresses of life. It fears change and thrives on routine even if the routine is not good for us. BUT, our soul urges us in other directions that feel exciting and scary as fuck at the same time!
What are ways you can shake things up in your life, and how can you prepare for the inevitable feelings of fear?
Having a plan for those moments of regret that you know are illusions will be the difference in your success OR FAILURE. Remember, your brain needs structure/patterns to compute better, and having a plan for all those heart-aching moments will feed your monster. Give it something good to work with!
One of my favorite ways of knowing how to react on bad days is to recall in detail what my perfect days look, feel, and taste like! What am I wearing, and how does my home look? How do I think and is it because I’m doing something? What is that something? And my favorite, what am I eating and drinking? The hardest part about this exercise is making it a new habit because if you’re like me, then you don’t feel like doing shit on those bad days! Hiding under the covers binge watching Game of Thrones always enters my mind. During this battle of what to do next, I ALWAYS try to do the total opposite of what I think I have to do. If I want to sleep, I walk. If I want to eat a burger, I have a salad. If I want to work, I play. It’s a fun and longtime favorite “game” of children actually. It’s one of the best habits, and for some reason, we grow up believing we must forget such childish things because it is not responsible or mature. Your inner child knows a lot! Trust in her. She wants the world for you, and it’s probably been a long time since you’ve listened to her advice. Give her a chance.
The best part of this exercise is the total empowerment of making every decision. Being in charge of your brain is thrilling!
Being able to change the channel in your mind when you want is exactly how successful people live. It’s the answer to your problems big and small, and it’s a lost art.
I Remember this time my grandmother blew everything off for me. She acted like my parent’s divorce wasn’t even happening! I thought she didn’t understand the severity of the situation. But really, she was putting into action the creative exercise of doing the opposite and remembering what makes life better.
The people you look up to and admire know this stuff and have spent their entire life, making this habit an automatic reaction.
If you’re at the beginning of consciously changing your brain, it’s going to take years to get the results you’re looking for. There’s a myth out there that you can improve or develop new habits in 21 days. That’s false on so many levels. If I were you and wanted to make intentional positive changes that will last, I would begin right away! The key is to practice not to expect. Have fun with your failures and keep going at it until you have your dream results. I know from experience how long and disappointing significant change can be. I’ve failed so many times in a row that I almost gave up on some of the best life-altering heart popping unicorn rainbows in my life… sobriety.
Remember it’s normal for it not to work out the first few times. Sometimes it’s a matter of figuring out your unique perspective and process in how to do it your own way. Because no amount of words, money, or encouragement can give you what you’re looking for. Only you can figure it out. That’s why it so damn hard! But once you get through it, it’s a mere memory, and you’re happy and moving onto the next thing. (It’s never-ending so get used to it!)
Each time you’re able to practice this invaluable life tool of playing the opposite game, you WILL feel the results and SEE the fruits of your new choices. Better choices.
Sometimes chaos is goodness in disguise of something we are afraid of. It’s difficult to admit our fear but dangerous NOT TO acknowledge it inwardly. It’s even more critical when we do nothing about it. So many of us know what wrong but do zero about it. Be your own hero, and get changing! Don’t let the emotions and patterns in your life kill your dreams.