THINKING BUSINESS
a blog by Chris Barrow

Back to work

I wonder what mood you are in this week

  1. OMG – here we go again, back in the hamster wheel;

  2. Wow – bring it on, let’s make 2015 a Christmas and New Year to celebrate.

Was your August Bank Holiday evening tinged with regret at the fact that the alarm clock will become your daily companion again, looking backwards at your time “off” with sweet sorrow? Or did you celebrate a summer of refreshment, re-charge and re-connection – then look forward to a final 4 months of accumulating progress towards a fantastic year end? Covey taught us that “between stimulus and response there is choice”. We choose our mood and our attitude. I’m willing to bet that you can quickly construct a list of reasons why your life is a pain in the neck right now. The situations, things and relationships that you are tolerating and which are making you less happy. I’m told there is an old Hebrew proverb that if our lists of problems were posted on a wall and we were free to read everyone’s, we would choose to take our own back every time. Equally, I bet you have a list of reasons why you love your life. The situations, things and relationships that make you feel better about yourself. Funny how that second list gets less of an airing? We all carry both lists around with us and choose which to memorise, recite internally and share with our tribes. Over the years I’ve noticed that there are times when you have to focus on the “good” list to maintain a mood of self-confidence. The CBT people encourage us to write down a list of three positive achievements at the start or end of a day (from the previous 24 hours) and keep that list handy for 28 consecutive days, suggesting that this mild brainwashing will lift our spirit. I’ve done that more than once, sometimes shared the lists on social media daily – and have to report the benefits are palpable. So, whatever your mood, I’m going to suggest a little self-improvement exercise for you. From today – write down each day your three best achievements – and remember that anything goes – “closed that big sale” to “walked the dog”, to “fleetingly saw the bottom of my email in-box” – no matter how small – every achievement counts. Keep the list handy and review at the end of every 7 days. After 28 days, read the whole list – and decide whether you still need the brainwashing. I’m laying a bet that you won’t.

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