What do you think about before you come into the gym to train? Do you have a totally positive mindset, or are you thinking, “Ughh, I have to work out?”
I am guilty more than anyone of having negative thought patterns. Lately I’ve been reading lots of books on positive psychology and the effects have been great. Trying to look for all the positive things in my life, and not focus on the bad things have had a tremendous effect on all aspects of my life. Rewiring my brain to seek out the good things in my day has been really helpful for me to be in a better mood, having better energy and being more disciplined with good habits.
Do you think one bad thought, and then before you know it realize you’ve been thinking nothing but negativity for several minutes, or hours? As soon as you catch yourself thinking something negative, try redirecting those thoughts and thinking about something good in your life. Instead of thinking about how tired you are before you come in to train, think about how lucky you are to have the opportunity to come in and work out. Instead of thinking about how busy you are, think about how much opportunity there is here in the Silicon Valley, or how you go to one of the best schools in the country.
Our perception can make today the best day of our life, or our perception can make it be a shitty day. If you try to recognize all the good points of your day, you’re going to have more good days than bad ones, even though what actually has happened might be exactly the same.
We can’t always change our feelings, but we can control how long we feel about something. For example we can’t help but be frustrated if we get cut off when we’re driving. However, we can control how long were mad about that incident, and how we choose to react to it. We can let it ruin the rest of our drive, or we can forget about it and think about something that we’re excited about coming up in the near future. Something as simple as this can have a profound affect on our mood. You can’t change how you feel, but you can control how long you have that feeling. And why would anybody choose to not feel anything but good?
I know what you’re thinking, “This is all commonsense stuff, Aaron”. I understand that and when I first started reading these books, that’s exactly how I felt. Then I heard the phrase, “Commonsense does not mean common practice,” and realized the changes I need to start making.
Even if you’re not ready to adopt a new lifestyle of positive thinking 24/7, make your best effort every time you come in to the gym.
Feeling good feels so good. Start looking for the positive and good things that happen in your day.
Here are two really good books (both also available on Audible for those who prefer to listen) for positive mindset and creating better habits:
"The Happiness Advantage" by Shawn Achor
“The power of habit” by Charles Duhigg