mental growth

How Presence, Not Presents, Changed My Life

Often times, we are shrouded in our own thoughts and stuck with an inability to move forward. I’ve felt this at times and feel it’s especially present when writing or speaking when you seem to be at a loss for words. You consider many factors before you plot your next move thinking maybe I should change the tonality in my voice or maybe I should write in a more professional tone or you know what, maybe I should remain silent until someone else brings up another topic.

Self-doubt is not thinking you are lesser than people, but being stuck in what to do next, whether that’s personally, professionally, or socially. It’s what I attribute in part to the rise of our lives becoming more and more digital and online based. We see the flawless pictures others post and the rich and lavish lifestyles some adhere to and wonder what exactly we’re doing that’s so different than those individuals.

One step of realizing this is understanding your fixations. Just like tobacco and alcohol, addiction cannot be noted quickly by ones own self, but rather can be from others around you. The desire to take a puff or another swig is a tick. This doesn’t mean you’re addicted, but rather your mind is at ease when you’re able to partake in it. One of the ticks I realized I had was my phone. I am all about self-improvement but found my eyes straining just from the amount of time I spent on my phone. Our world is digital now and our focus is on the things that provide us a safety net from reality. It’s so easy to scroll through Instagram and then reach your last point and go to the next platform. The cyclical nature of this is calming because it doesn’t require thinking. Unfortunately, this is just as addictive as any of the things listed above. It’s a heightened sense of dopamine that injects into your mind providing happiness short term.

Now I won’t say stop looking at your phone or delete the apps that cause you to stare for hours on end because that’d be foolish. I want you to keep enjoying your life and everything you do. Rather, what I want for you is to be cognizant of when your fully invested and present in a situation. Oblivious to distraction or personal issues and being involved in what is actively going on around you.

Once I slowly started making this shift, I realized that being invested in the moment and fully submerging myself into every situation gave me a sense of a much more profound feeling of joy. I implore you to be present in every moment and although at first it can be taxing on yourself and exhausting to not look at your phone or fall victim to your tick, in the long run it will make friendships stronger, memories far fonder, and life a whole lot more interesting.

Wishing you all an amazing day and as always,

 

“There is no such things as strangers, just friends we’ve yet to meet.”

Brant

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3 Aspects of Life That Have Changed Since Training My Brain

I am in a constant state of reinventing myself and wanting to become a better version of what I envision my future self may be. When studying memory and the ways in which you can better your memory, I’ve found fads that seemingly take too much time or inadvertently distract me from the goings on in my life. My desire to strengthen my mental aptitude stemmed from the understanding that mentally you can conquer anything you set your mind to. Although you may have physical impairments or deficiencies, your mind can still be taught to grow and strengthen itself.

With this in mind, I sought to find a way to improve both my cognitive thinking and my overall memory. I wanted to find something that was both simplistic in nature and not too time demanding.

Enter the Pythagoras Memory Technique.

This technique is most famously associated with Pythagoras; the creator of my favorite high school math formula, the Pythagorean Theorem. Outside of his vast geometric knowledge and study, he prided himself on the preservation of thought in what is now called memory. His study of memory took years and years of trials and tribulations and testing and re-testing, but luckily for you and me, I have the opportunity to put a life’s worth of work into a compact format.

Now into the good stuff..

The original application Pythagoras adopted was through a series of memory recollection immediately upon awakening. He sought to remember everything he did in the day before in a chronological order attempting to not miss anything. He quickly realized how much he forgot throughout his day and thus did this daily in attempts to strengthen his memory.

Enough about him however, let’s talk about me. I quickly realized that although I am a morning person, my mornings are rushed. I am either in a haze from my alarm going off or rushing to get out of bed to begin my day. So the idea of recollection in a hurry didn’t seem appealing to me. Rather, I adopted this process as I was falling asleep and/or preparing for bed.

My first three to five days that I began this process, I quickly realized I could barely even remember what I had eaten throughout the day much less conversations I held with others. I thought I was doomed with the little progress I had seen, but it was as if something clicked after my first week.

I quickly realized that I was looking forward to recapping my day as I prepped for bed and was becoming better and better at remembering many little aspects of my days. I noticed outside of the excitement that I had to recall my day, three really important things happened additionally.

  1. Deep Sleep. I kid you not it was like brain exhaustion that knocked me out within minutes and kept me asleep through the night.
  2. I noticed my short-term memory was vastly improved. My recollection of names of those who I had just met or retention of quick information was much faster in comparison to times past.
  3. I became aptly aware of my immediate surroundings and was more immersed in experiencing my own life than ever before. I noticed I began to look for ways in which to describe situations and picking up on subtleties that I could better recollect.

 

This has been one experiment that I’ve taken much pride in and I want you to share the same feelings I have when accomplishing something so small, but so important. Try this out and give it some time for success. Let me know how it goes and how your life improves!

 

Wishing you a wonderful day and as always

“There is no such things as strangers, just friends we’ve yet to meet.”

Brant

Crack Open Your True Potential

I recently read a novel by a man named Simon Sinek called Start With Why. Sinek, who I most famously knew as the man from this video on millennials in the workforce spoke with such certainty that I found his message eerily true in many ways. I found it to be intellectually stimulating and thought provoking so it was with that in mind that I wanted to read more into him. I listened to his audiobook as I flew to and from Chicago and he discusses why every person or business that has been successful has started with asking why. I enjoyed his analysis but spent time thinking introspectively about whether it was right or wrong. Sinek makes valid points as to why is important, but does not cover, to me, the most important detail.

 

You must start with your what.

Your purpose, your motive, your desire, your perceived life.

You have to first formulate what you want from your life, whether that be through monetary means, your relationship, your career, or just personal satisfaction and happiness. If you cannot answer WHAT you want, then you will be unable to move forward with why you want to do it. More often than not, I see peers around me caught up in a period of dissatisfaction because they are not living the way they want to.

This phenomenon is what I call mental stagnation.

You are quick to blame outside influences or environmental circumstances because it is easiest to blame or put fault on others, but rather, in reality you are just unsure of what you want. You have the opportunity and ability to make individual choices but are paralyzed because you do not know what to look for.

 

It isn’t about the perfect choice, it’s about making a choice.

I cannot dictate what you want from your life whether I like it or not. You alone have the answer to that question and the beauty is your answer doesn’t have to be right. Your life is highly fluid and will be ever changing in what you want, but it is imperative that you decide because without it, you are leading a life that is directed by a compass that doesn’t work.

You must find your north star and work towards that point even if the north star changes position, you still have your what that you are chasing and pursuing. You must understand that your life is not a dead end and your choices just lead you to other opportunities or shifts in your mindset. If one road closes, then seek another road to get to your north star.

 

Your north star is not the same as your moms.

In this thing called life, we don’t have universal maps that people can follow along with to create their own perfect life. Nobody has mapped out the perfect way for every individual and you shouldn’t think of it in this fashion. It is not about your parents, your peers, the Instagram pages with a million plus followers, your significant other, or anyone else. Moreover, it’s not even about what you think you should be wanting or what you used to desire.

It is about what you want for yourself at this exact moment.

Think it. Create it. Execute.

 

 

“There is no such things as strangers, just friends we’ve yet to meet.”

Brant A. Wickersham