Alan Donegan: PopUp Business School Co-Founder, Entrepreneur, Financially Independent Pizza Lover, Marvel Movie fan and soon to be Script Writer
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We came here for Katie to learn Jazz piano, to go to the bars and listen to jazz and soak up the food and culture. 3 or 4 days after we arrived here, the state shut down all restaurants, bars, clubs, events, gyms etc. and the city went on lock-down.
We now have many hours on our hands and I am wondering what to do with them! What am I going to build? What am I going to learn? What am I going to create?
You can build anything...…..
This post is as much for me as it is for you. I have been unsettled by recent events and I am trying to find my motivation, energy and strength again.
Day1: Lock-down was announced. Everything was closing. We had one last meal out in a deserted restaurant. We felt unsettled by everything going on.
Day 2: I was positive and happy and felt like it was a blessing to have this time alone at home to work on my fitness, health and work projects.
Day 3: The situation hit me and I felt sad for the small businesses that had lost their income, the people that had been infected and the change being forced on the world
Day 4: I woke up with the question "What am I going to create?"
However you are feeling about the current situation or the life events that are happening to you is fine. These feelings are natural. The issue is not that you feel these things the issue is that they can tend to go on repeat in most people's heads and drag them down.
It becomes a spiral of doom as my wife, Katie, likes to call it. You read the news, think about the problems and feel bad, you feel bad for feeling bad and it spirals. Those feelings and thought loops in your head creating a downwards trajectory.
The key is to stop that downward trajectory, to interrupt the pattern and then to replace it with a more positive thought, question or focus. This post is going to be in two parts. Firstly it is about how to interrupt the patterns, stop the negative thought sand avoid the spiral of doom. Secondly it is about replacing that thought pattern with something more positive.
When one gets into a negative spirralling thought pattern it can be tough to shift and takes energy. My plan is to give you a set of tools and techniques that you can use in different situations to interrupt this pattern for long enough for you to take control of you mind and re-focus it where you want to focus.
Here are the different strategies and methods that I use. This is meant as a tool box that you can reach into and pull out the one you need most at the right time. They are not all relevant to all situations.
There are 5 ways to interrupt negative thoughts patters. Next step is to
Fill the void
Have you ever tried meditation? Tried to keep a blank mind? I find this really difficult to do. I will keep a blank mind for a few seconds and then a thought pops into my head. I see the thought, quieten my mind again and find peace and stillness again and then comes another one!
I have found is it is better for me to take control of where my mind is focusing rather than trying to remove negative thoughts. I use the tools above to interrupt my thoughts and the spiral of doom and then I change focus. The best way I have found to do this is to ask great questions and then focus on the answer.
The questions I woke up thinking about this morning is "what can I create?" I wrote a whole article about creation versus consumption and I believe now more than ever people are going to go into consumption mode trapped at home. They are going to consume increasing amounts of media, news, social media, streaming services and more. I worry about the affect this will have on people's mental health over the next month.
So I am going to urge you to think about what you can create? What can you build? What can you use this time to make real?
Because you can build anything with this time you have gained.
What are you going to create?
As you all know I love Lego. The simplicity of the bricks and the ability to put them together in endless combinations to create anything.
Around your house right now are lying all sorts of different building blocks that you could put together to create anything.
Here are some of the ideas I have had for this period:
Interrupt the pattern. Stop the negative thinking and then focus on what you can create. Then get the **** on with it...….
What are you going to create?
I would love you to take a moment right now and write three ideas of things you could create in the comments below! What are the first three things you come up with that you could create in the coming weeks?
I am not going to hold you to actually creating it. I just want to get your mind focused on creation. And your three things might inspire other people who are reading this post too!
I urge you to stop consuming and start creating!
Stay healthy and safe.
Love from Nola