What I Know Now After Journalling 3,000 positive entries By Mark Kelly
In April 2013 I started a positive journal. I got the idea from a Ted Talk by Matt Cutts called Try Something New For 30 Days. In entry 1 I wrote down a list of things that made me happy, enjoyed doing and was grateful for. The next day I typed up 3 things that were positive that happened the day before. As I write this blog post I have journaled over 3,000 positive things that have happened in my life. The positive things I journal about range from really small micro wins such as found a matching pair of socks and in other cases really big wins such as the birth of my sons. Below I have a list of some of the positive things that I have journaled about through the years. A lot of people say that I have a very positive view of the world and I am in a good mood the vast majority of the day. I don’t think this is by accident, it’s something I really work on and I have found by having dedicated time to myself to focus on my thoughts it really helps.
By focusing on being consistent with my morning ritual I have built up momentum and trained myself to have a positive mindset. I have kept a positive journal since April 2013 but a few things have compounded my positive outlook on life and I know these things to be true.
After attending a Tony Robbins seminar in January he gave me the gift of 3 techniques that take no longer than 15 minutes to complete. I like them so much that I usually spend about 30 minutes completing the techniques. I believe the term Tony uses is called Priming (below are the techniques)
I have done them without fail consistently since January the 8th and they took me to the next level of having a positive mindset. I then added one more to the list and my mood went from feeling good to feeling incredible, feeling so good some days I wanted to cry with sheer joy.
That one thing I added to my daily ritual was doing a small good deed for a person every day. I started off small, dropping old clothes to the Simon Community, buying coffee, socks, toothbrush and toothpaste for homeless people. I then started to ask homeless people their name and spent some time drinking coffee I purchased with them. I found spending a few moments with the person had a big impact on me and I like to think brightened up their day in a small way. My outlook on life changed. I then shared some of the experiences with my colleagues in my office and asked them to do one good deed for a colleague per day during the week, the catch was you couldn’t tell them who it was from until the end of the week.
The results 40 + people doing random acts of kindness from making people lunches, a compliment jar, two team members washed another colleagues car at lunchtime. I got the reaction on film it was priceless. My personal favourite was the whole office pitching in four Euro to replace a colleagues bike after it was stolen. That one combined good deed was extra special as it was a collective effort.
Below are some things I know now / do since completing the journal.
My morning ritual to get me in a positive state
- Think about 10 things that were positive that happen yesterday
- Think about 10 things you are grateful for
- Visualise 5 things you want to bring into your life
- Think about a time you really laughed and think back to every moment of that feeling
- Cycle to work after dropping my son to creche
- First thing I do once I get into work is write down 3 positive things that happened the day before
- Shake everyone’s hand in the office
Things to guarantee to put me in a good mood
- Exercise 30 minutes after getting up for a minimum of 20 minutes and you will have endorphins kicking in till 12pm
- Exercise with loud music you like and you will feel even better
- Dance to your favourite song (I’m a bad dancer so this itself is a funny thing) afterwards and you will feel amazing
- Perform a nice deed for someone every day expecting nothing in return — GAME CHANGER
- Think about a sliding doors moment where something really positive happened to you purely by chance and the positive consequences that occurred because of it.
Get yourself into a positive mindset in 30 seconds
If I want to supercharge my morning I think about a time when I was in a great mood and reenact how I felt at the time. For example when Robbie Brady scored a goal at the Euros. I jumped up and down the house and screamed with joy, (what made this even better was my two infant sons copied my behaviour), when I want to get back into that state I do the same actions. Works 100% of the time.
Excellent Ted Talks
- Simon Sinek — how great leaders inspire action — “People dont buy what you do they buy why you do it”. Love this line.
- Derek Sivers — how to start a movement — I tried this out on Tuesday — I looked up in the sky outside our office by myself for 1 minute. Then at 1-minute intervals several of my colleagues joined me and replicated it. The results over 20 people stopped and looked into the sky. The second person is the leader.
- Jeremy Heimans — What new power looks like — In 2011, the Indian social activist Anna Hazare used missed calls to pressure the Indian parliament to pass a long-delayed anti-corruption bill.
- Matt Cutts — Try something new for 30 days — It’s how I got started !
Great TV To Watch in No order (April 2013 — Sept 2016)
- Wolf Hall
- House of Cards
- Breaking Bad
- Boardwalk Empire
- Game of Thrones
- Silicon Valley
- Better Caul Saul
- Walking Dead Season 1 & 2
- Mad Men & Making A Murderer
Excellent Books to read
- The One Thing
- The One Minute Manager
- Open Andre Agassi
- Rich Dad Poor Dad
- Chicken Soup for the Soul
- Napoleon Hill
Inspirational stories / get you pumped / feel good
- Christian the Lion — Inspirational story
- Just Do It — (Watch the whole thing will get you in a positive mindset)
- I am Champion — Guaranteed to get you pumped
What I learned from Drinking Alcohol
The first drink is the nicest after that it goes downhill and not worth doing it
The small steps matter when you are not in a good mood
Get up and do little things when you are not feeling good. Such as having a shower or making breakfast and clean one small part of your room these small things make a big difference to your mood or ability to improve your mood.
If you want to be excellent at Sales
Go the extra mile for the client — An example i have done in the past was collect candidates from the airport, bring them apartment viewing, lending them money, meeting up for regular lunches with them to make sure they felt comfortable and settled in. People don’t expect this but it matters.
If Anxious about a big meeting
Think of the people in a funny costume
Conflict situations or disagreements.
Confront straight away explain how you feel and what you want to do to fix the situation. If you are not being treated right make sure to let them know this.
Marital Advice I have learned
- Do things together — e.g. clean the house together
- Go for a walk together
- Watch a mini — series together
- Solve a problem together, share that problem so you both work towards that problem
- Have shared goals and work towards them together
- Share in detail your day
- Seek to understand not to just reply
- There are some foods that make you feel like crap — usually foods with high sugars
- Find out which foods these are and cut them out
- Food impacts my anxiety levels, especially before I go to sleep
- I cut out chocolate, after the 2 weeks of headaches I felt calm and in general a lot better
- Food impacts your mindset.
- Running after 20 minutes is a great feeling — i would strongly recommend this to people
- Cycling is good as less impact on your joints — after i cycle home i sweat away my concerns out
Give yourself 30 minutes to focus on getting your head in the right space. If you don’t have this time, get up earlier and give yourself this time
Don’t over do it
- Looking back over the years, its the days i tried to do too much was when i got headaches and this knocked me back for days — be consistent
- When you over do it nobody thanks you for it and your body defo doesnt thank you for it
- Less is more — you do your best work when you focus on specific things and the most important things
Have dinner with friends
Meeting up with friends and going for dinner with people makes you feel good and in the moment.
Fitness get some professional advice if you want to get fitter and take action with the exercise and nutrition plan they give you.
I am going to continue to write in my positive journal and spot the trends every 90 days. I have learned alot and made lots of mistakes along the way, I hope you find the above helpful.
Have you ever tried journalling?
Is there anything I left out in this post?