Thank you for being so enthusiastic about this year’s plan. It was wise of many of you to involve a family member or co-worker so you can help keep each other on track. That’s definitely a good idea and it will help.
So what’s first? If you’ve read me much then you know that the most important thing we can do with our consciousness is either want or appreciate. A little want is irritation, more is frustration, a lot is anger and if you hate things so much that you want to be someone else–that’s depression.
Our other choice is appreciation. A little leaves us pleased. More makes us happy and a lot makes us joyful. And at maximum manifestation our sense of self disappears and we become so huge we need nothing –in fact at that point we are so overflowing that it becomes your nature to give.
So how do we do it? I started off yesterday by saying mornings are important. In the morning all the wiring in your brain that makes you ‘you’ is just sitting there. It’s not active yet. You spent the night integrating your memories from the previous day.
Before you start wanting it to be morning, or a day off, or wanting it to be warmer or later or with someone else or somewhere else just stop, sit down with your notebook and pen, settle your thoughts and then start with Day 1:
Set an intention for your life: gratitude. Then write down at least 5 things you are grateful for. Health, love, your parents, the writers of your favourite show, a visit from a much-loved friend, whatever you like. Include what you’re grateful about in your past and what you’re grateful will happen today.
Remember, even our legs are something a lot of people in a wheelchair would love to have more than any other thing in the world and yet when was the last time someone was grateful they could walk? Likely when we were about two years old.
If you find it hard to write your list at the start then the good news is you’ll benefit more than the rest of us. Now remember–this is a practice. This should happen every workday at least, and always during your quiet time with no interruptions. No music, just the sound of the pen on the paper and the slow creation of the list.
This tells your brain what wiring to warm-up for our day and it literally makes it more likely that we’ll pay attention to the driver that let us into traffic than we will on the guy that cut us off. Doing the opposite is what makes life feel like hell.
People suffer by death of a thousand cuts. Every time we judge another person or people –or even nature or yourself– and we do this by wanting. Once we shift from wanting to the more natural appreciating our life changes. So we need to save ourselves from finishing the day hacked to bits by our thinking. Appreciate instead.
Go ahead. Start your list. And include something about yourself in there too. Something you’re grateful you can do or something you are, like healthy.
This is all supposed to happen very early in the morning so if your timezone doesn’t sync with mine, just follow one day behind and read yesterday’s today and today’s tomorrow. Do this each workday and by next year we will have successfully rewired your brain to ignore wanting in favour of gratitude.
We build billions of new body cells each day and while we keep brain cells for life, we do build close to 1500 neurons a day and that’s what we want working for us. What creates those connections is us expanding ourselves through play or education or experience. Or, we can just complain. The choice is ours. It’s just a matter of: what do we want to be good at? Because whichever things we do over the next year, our brain will be listening.
As we move through this exercise, expect it that it’ll get easier to find things for your list. By the end of the month you won’t have enough time to write out all the stuff you’ve been noticing. That’s a great sign that the rewiring is working.
It’s this easy: all we have to do is wake up, write down five things each morning that we’re genuinely grateful for and we’re done. Easy peasy. We’ve got this. As long as this is done sincerely, this absolutely will change us starting right away and that change will continue to the point where a year from now you won’t have the same mind we do now. It’s gonna be awesome.
Enjoy your day. I love you all.
A serious childhood brain injury lead Scott to spend his entire life meditating on the concepts of thought, consciousness, reality and identity. It made others as strange to him as he was to them. When he realized people were confused by their own over-thinking, Scott began teaching others to understand reality. He is currently CBC Radio Active’s Wellness Columnist, as well as a writer, speaker and mindfulness instructor based in Edmonton, AB where he still finds it strange to write about himself in the third person.