I recently gave a talk at Google’s NYC office on Intuition and Creativity. Developing intuition is a practice, much like mastering a musical instrument, so I was a bit surprised by the following question that several participants brought up: is there a tool that I could demonstrate and teach in under 10 minutes that would instantly make them mega intuitive?
This question is easy to blow off:
– A coach can’t explain to you in under 10 minutes how to run at Olympic speed, so that you could instantly do it
– A music teacher can’t give you a tool in under 10 minutes that will make you play Chopin with feeling, without you investing hours of practice
– A language instructor can’t teach you under 10 minutes how to get perfect French pronunciation, unless you immerge yourself in the language, listen and practice.
Yet, there’s something to be said for getting a sharp, useful tool in your hands that can give you capacity to make an instant shift. So, today, I’ll give you a tool called “3 things” that you can master under 10 minutes, use any time, and it is guaranteed to shift your mood to a more positive state. It is a universal tool that can be used by anyone regardless of age (tried and tested on our then-2-year-old, and our 70+ year old friend), regardless of the starting mood, and independent on any other factors in your life.
“3 things” tool goes like this: whenever you want to shift the way you feel into a more positive mode, list 3 things you’re thankful for in your current situation. ANYTHING goes. Be honest and genuine with yourself, though. That’s it. “3 things” may seem like a useless and even artificial thing to do, especially when things are not going well at all, and when these problems seem serious. What the tool does for you, though, is shifts your attention. Attention is the key to what happens in our lives, because whatever you place your attention on tends to expand. If you want more good things, focus on the good things. If you want to feel more competent, focus on what you Know. If you want to feel loved, focus on people and places where you already feel loved, not where you feel left out. If you want to feel secure, place your attention on situations in which you already feel secure. And give thanks.
Please, try it now (yes, right now as you’re reading). Off the top of your head, name three things in your life you’re thankful for. Anything. Don’t worry about “big” things, you can start with small ones. Don’t worry about relevance. Just start. For example:
– Hot water
– Indoor plumbing
– A call from a friend
– A clean shirt
– A good meal
– An umbrella when it rained
– A seat on the train
– Good timing of a particular situation
– An interesting article
Anything goes. Try it.
Do you notice an internal shift?
As you place your attention on things that are working in your life, you are giving your mind a sense of direction: to find and create more things that are working. Use the “3 things” tool whenever you catch yourself feeling upset, unhappy, or even simply grumpy, and watch your mood shift.
Another idea for experimenting with this tool is use it at the dinner table. If you have dinner with your family this evening, suggest a quick blitz: “Let’s go around the table, and everyone says 3 things you’re thankful for. Anything goes. No suggesting ideas to each other, no editing, no commenting, no making fun of each other.” Since you know how it goes, start first, and feel free to mix meaningful things (like “I’m thankful that we’re actually eating and talking together”) with seemingly every-day things (“I’m thankful that my train was on time today”).
We started this in our house when our youngest was just 2 years old. At first, we gave him a turn for “saying thankles” (as he called it) just to amuse him, but we quickly found out how much he had on his mind. He would surprise us by saying without prompting things like “I’m thankful for babushka”, “I’m thankful for yogurt”, “I’m thankful that mama sings me songs”… We would often be surprised by each other as we said “thankless” for what happened at school or at work, things about which we would otherwise would not have find out.
“3 things” is a mood-shifter. “I’m not in the mood” is precisely the mood in which you need “3 things” most.
I’m thankful for the stunning beauty of the autumn that I see out of the window.
I’m thankful for being given the opportunity to teach a workshop at the NY Open Center that I dreamed about teaching for years.
I’m thankful that you’re reading this.
Have a peaceful, relaxing Thanksgiving!
Are you struggling with completing a Performance Evaluation at work? I know now is the time to hand these forms in. If you’re struggling, if you find it difficult to find the right words, if you don’t know what to write, even though you’ve done a lot, or not sure how to phrase all the amazing things that you’ve done, I would love to help you out. Please, email me if you would like to:
– dramatically cut the time that you’re spending on filling out your Performance Evaluation form
– have an end result that reflects your great work and you’re proud to show to your manager
– have your manager be impressed and relieved, seeing how well your work is described in writing making his/her job of reviewing your performance much easier.
Would you like my help with this? I worked in corporate HR for years. This work is my forte, and I love it, so together, we can turn a painful Performance Evaluation experience into a fun, seamless exercise that delivers an outstanding result. Send a quick email to me at Alina@MindTerraincoaching.com with “Performance Evaluation Miracle”, and we’ll make it happen. We’ll set aside 30-60 minutes via phone or Skype, and by the end of our session, your form will be completed.
Map Out Your Year
(Special limited-time invitation to create a clear, inspiring vision and a follow-through plan for 2016)
Let’s set aside 2 hours, and work together to:
- Chart your physical, intellectual, and spiritual vision for 2016
- Map out meaningful signs, milestones, resources and contingency plans
- Discuss how to energetically align yourself with your vision (not in a woo-woo way, but in terms of what you say and do, and how these things fit with your destination, much like choosing the right outfit to match the dress code of your destination).
You will get a copy of session notes and a road map, to keep reminding you throughout 2016 where you are going, how to get there, and why you care about this journey so much, so that you could stay motivated.
It is my goal to help 50 people to create this unique, practical-yet-magical map before February 1, 2016. Would you like to save your spot? Please, email me at Alina@MindTerrainCoaching.com with “Map Out Your Year Question”, and I’ll help. If you’re ready to start, or if you want to get this 2-hour session as a gift, please, purchase it below: