Inside of two minutes, you can provoke mindfulness, a meditative state, or anxiety. You do it simply focusing your thoughts. Most of us do anxiety, rage, irritation, frustration, disappointment, and fear pretty reliably. Maybe you have the land speed record on those.
The terrible truth is, what you believe is “natural,” is not. How you respond to situations or life itself is simply a manifestation of personal choices. The scientific evidence is pretty overwhelming on this now. How you feel is a choice – your choice.
How big of an “aha!” moment is that for you? When I learned this, I thought: “Wow. How I feel is a choice? How I ignite my neurochemistry in response to my thoughts or a situation is a choice? I’m feeling a little Spock-like right now.”
When I got over the sci-fi shiver of it, my next “aha!” was: what power! If I chose my feelings – even rehearse them much less spend time cleaning out my internal environment, it’s easy to control my behavior. And, my behavior forms other people’s opinions of me and how I am doing. That is the essence of the power of personal branding.
We each control our own reality, or at least our impression of reality. It’s as if you have a virtual reality helmet on all day and the controllers are well, under your control. You select what you see. And, you select how you feel about it. That is, if you make such choices consciously.
Given that individual or collective perception is largely what we call reality, this choice means you are inventing or at least collaborating with the environment all day long. And, that collaboration results in at least one of two thoughts and a whole set of feelings:
- Wow! It’s a great day to be me. Feeling happy and relaxed.
- Gee. What a terrible day to be me. Feeling angry and anxious.
It’s a bit of shock and maybe even a little embarrassing to consider the implications of the two-minute transformation.
You suffer or you are serene. Your choice.
It’s kind of like being offered coffee or tea. Your choice.
Of course, given the spectrum of human emotions and a lifetime of practicing the neurological pathways that lead to misery or mindfulness (among a host of other states you might regularly be in): this finding might cause you to doubt yourself.
Who would choose to be anxious? Angry? Irritated?
Who would choose to be serene? Laid back? So “om” that the covers are too heavy to lift and hence I can’t get myself out of bed and to work?
Of course, you are probably not the Dalai Lama or another master of spiritual practice. Events occur that “naturally” ignite a raft of negative feeling states included the dreadful anxiety most of us have from time to time.
It’s the meditation and mindfulness exercise that we have to do with intention. The question is will you make the choice? Will you take two minutes at various points in your day – or at any point in your day – to change your reality?
Are you willing to be in control of how you feel, and how you act? The best personal brands do.
As a side note: I wonder if they have Starbucks Italian Roast in Keurig cups in heaven? Maybe that is heaven, because I just bought the machine and had a hellish time trying to find that roast. Oops! Time to focus on my breathing.