How to develop a Positive Mindset like a Jedi

The majority of people think they know the basic actions they need to take to become a healthy person.  Start daily exercise and eat a nutritious diet. What most people don’t understand is that a negative thought process is what is going to stop them from achieving a new healthy lifestyle.  If you can’t think positive you won’t push through the difficult times ahead.

In this post we review three steps to help you have a positive attitude like a Jedi Master!

    1. Affirmations (reinforce your goals)
    2. Gratitude (puts you in a positive frame of mind)
    3. Mindfulness (allows you to be more self-aware about your thought process)
    4. (Update: I’ve started a Youtube Channel Force Within TV)

 Affirmations

6206667510_4132bdce02_z (1)Jedi Knight Luke Skywalker was up against impossible odds when he set out to destroy Emperor Palpatine.  Not only did he want to destroy this Dark Lord of the Sith, but he wanted to turn his father from the dark side back to the light.  You may find yourself in what you think is a similar situation.  Most likely you have unhealthy habits that seem impossible to overcome.  But people overcome what seem like impossible odds everyday, and you can too.  You just need to know what you want, and affirm this goal on a regular basis.

Affirmations are basically positive self-talk.  Reminding yourself, you can do something, or even better that you ‘will’ do something.  When you affirm your goals, you bring out the best in yourself, and you start accomplishing feats that you never thought possible.

When I played sports, my best coaches always reminded me that there is nothing more important then believing in myself.  And so I often have positive thoughts affirming that I can run another kilometer, and I can do another push-up.  Unfortunately many of us do the opposite.  (And I go through stages of this)  Instead of positive self-talk, we become negative, and the dreadful I CAN’T phrases are all we seem to think.  So how do you go from I CAN’T DO to I WILL DO?

The Masters of Affirmations

Napolean Hill is the author of ‘Think and Grow Rich’ a book more about success than money.  He suggests that we write down our affirmations twice a day. This consistent reminder of what we will do becomes cemented in our thoughts, and if completed correctly can help change your negative self-talk to positive.

In ‘The Five Minute Journal’ creators Alex Ikonn and UJ Ramdas suggest that affirmations are brain priming.  You write down what you want from your day, and your more likely to achieve it.

How to Get Started with Affirmations

Okay so how do you write affirmations?

  1. Decide what you want? (If you’re reading this post I’ m assuming you want a healthier life)
  2. Visualize your ideal situation (A healthier and happier you)
  3. Write a specific affirmation that links to your personal goals (I will make exercise a part of my day)
  4. Be sure to add emotion! (I will make exercise a part of my day because I want to be a good role model for my children!)

Some Examples:

I’ve come up with some example of affirmations below and you can find even more at prolificliving.com

I Mike Sweetman, will be truly happy when I stop comparing myself to others.

Giving up is too easy, and I don’t want my children to think I am a quitter.

I will become a health hero, and be a healthy role model for my family and friends.

 

 

Gratitude:

4182155275_3e6a11b350_zAnakin Skywalker fell to the dark side because he was consumed by negative thoughts.  Thoughts of failing his mother, and how he may fail his wife Padme in the future.  Although, he lived a troubled time, Anakin still had many things to be grateful for in his life.  Many of us also have challenging lives, and like Anakin focus on the negative and not enough of the positive.  So, how do you prevent your fall to the dark side? I suggest you get started with gratitude.

If affirmations are positive thoughts about goals we have, then gratitude is simply being thankful for the positive people and events we have in our lives.  Giving thanks can lift your spirits, and when you’re feeling good about life, you’re more likely to be productive.

I practice gratitude in several ways.  First, I have a one hour commute to and from work everyday.  This can really suck, but I’ve made it a habit that whenever I’m feeling depressed about the long car ride,  I look around and enjoy my view.  I give thanks that I travel against most of the traffic, not with it. I take some time (which I have lots of!), and think positive, and I always feel better!

I also have my students write gratitude journals everyday in class.  We write about a specific topic that the students themselves take turns coming up with.  Sharing our gratitude has built a since of community in the class, and hearing what others are grateful for always brightens my day.

 Commanders of Gratitude

Gratitude Works! authored by Doctor Robert A. Emmons is a great place to learn more about gratitude, although a lot can be learn from his Youtube videos as well.  He suggests that gratitude highlights the positive aspects of our lives, and those around us that contribute to help make our lives positive.

Gratitude is also part of  ‘The Five Minute Journal‘.  The Journal includes a ‘how to’ section that suggests being thankful daily makes you more self-aware, and makes you more open to change.  These are two things you’ll need, if you want to be successful on your journey to a healthier lifestyle.

The best way to get started being grateful:

  1. I always tell my students to think about people and experiences, not possessions.
  2. If you struggle to come up with ideas, think about events that will allow you to spend quality time with friends and family.  Holidays and even just the weekend.
  3. You don’t always need to write your ideas down.  You could include photos, or tickets to events.
  4. And you don’t need to write down all the details, but be specific.

Examples:

I appreciate that, despite my long drive,  I get to go home and spend time with my family each night. Seeing my girls run to the door to greet me is an amazing feeling! (I got to admit writing this down made me feel great!)

There are many things I am thankful for today, but I am specifically thankful for my colleague John for helping to motivate my students to finish there latest art project.

Mindfulness793008715_2baf3a3944_z

Trapped in the past thinking about what had happened to his mother, and consumed with what would happen to Padme in the future Anakin spent very little time in the present reflecting on his out of control emotions.  Many of us today are in a similar state of being, allowing negative thoughts from the past to drag us down, or always stuck in the future thinking about what you need to accomplish.  All to often we do not practice mindfulness.

Both affirmations and gratitude journaling I have been practicing for some time, but mindfulness is relatively new concept introduced to me by councilor and Yoga instructor Justini over at Yoga Quest.  So what exactly is Mindfulness? Doctor Jon Kabat-Zinn suggests that being mindful is when you are self-aware of how you are feeling in the present moment without being judgmental.

But how is being mindful going to help you with your healthy lifestyle transformation?

  • Being mindful can help you reflect on what unhealthy habits you have in your life, and how to break the cycle of those poor habits.
  • For example being more self-aware can allow you to realize when you are thinking negatively, and change your thought process, so you can successfully push through a difficult time.
  • In addition, being more self-aware will enable you to develop healthier habits to deal with stress, anxiety, and even overcome procrastination.  All because you are more in the moment.

Andy Puddicombe is one of the leading experts on mindfulness, and he is on a mission to help people find ten minutes everyday to meditate in a relaxing and modern way.  Basically, he suggests meditation is for everyone, and doesn’t mean you need to be seated cross legged on the floor sniffing incense. It’s straightforward and it can help prevent problems before they arise.

Realistic ways to get started with Mindfulness:

1) Meditation or just thinking about nothing as Andy Puddicombe suggests can help you become more mindful.  Over time you will be able to focus more, and be more self-aware.

2) I would also suggest that by writing down your affirmations and thoughts of gratitude you are developing the habit of being mindful.

The video below is a great way to get yourself started with meditation and only takes a couple of minutes, and as mentioned before “The 5 minute Journal” is a great way to get you started with your affirmations and gratitude.

Thinking Like a Jedi:

Obi Wan Kenobi is a wise Jedi Master that we could learn a great deal from.  Determined, gracious, and a mind focused in the present, Obi Wan is the ideal Jedi Knight.  I hope you will take the time to improve your positive thought process, because I believe it is the important part of developing a healthy lifestyle.  If you don’t have the right mindset, your simple not going to be successful long term.

Thanks for reading and hopefully you now understand what it takes to start thinking positive like a Jedi Knight. If you have any questions please email me via the contact form or leave a comment below!

Mike Sweetman

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Flickr Images: 1) Stars and trees – Tony Hall 2) Luke and Vader – JD Hancock 3) Lego Anakin – Pascal 4) Vader – Offical Star Wars Flickr

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