Mind Optimization Part 21: Practice when it’s Easy

Your best chance to practice is when it’s easy, and this prepares you for times when it’s hard. See everyday situations where you can easily exert change, and bigger changes will follow.

This video is part twenty-one of twenty-six excerpts from a presentation hosted by SOUL Food Salon in March 2019.

You may check out the full playlist of this video series on The Art and Science on Mind Optimization here. Alternatively, you can also click here to watch the previous video and here for the next one.

Video Transcript

Well, I often tell people, “You got to practice driving in the parking lot. Practice when it’s easy.” If you decide you’re going to make your own tree, it’s much harder to make the whole tree as a whole, rather than to start with one trunk and two divides. And that’s, I think what fractals teach us about psychology, you got to practice driving in the parking lot. Too many times I have patients come tell me also that, “Big meeting, important day tomorrow. Gosh, I couldn’t fall asleep all night, I was trying to meditate and I couldn’t.” I ask them, “Have you ever meditated before?” And the answer is often no. This is again where it’s like, “You’re choosing the worst possible time to practice.” This isn’t just about practicing for meditation or practicing for hard times. But this fractal theory applies to good things as well. If you decide that you want to have more gratitude in your life, if you decide that you want to have more acceptance, less judgment, every day is an opportunity to do that.

As you walk out of here today, it’s your choice whether you decide to look at the trees around you and say, “Wow, we live in a beautiful world.” Or, “Gosh, I better get going, I got to get dinner ready.” And all of that, and you’re busy. The reality is we live in a magical, beautiful world, and it’s just a matter of stopping to appreciate it. It’s the small things that count, and I hope that you guys can understand that relationship with the fractals. I tell a lot of my patients also … As you go about life, people are always worried about politics, giant global warming, and definite real-world problems. But I’ll ask them, “What is the utility of worrying about it on that level?” More importantly, the answer becomes, “What can you do locally that matters?” This is also a fractal concept. It’s great to think about the tree, but ask yourself what on a very fundamental level matters? Because that’s where you have control.

Too many people just get lost in these big issues. This isn’t just about global politics, this is about life situations too. You decided it’s time to get on and do something with your life, “I really need a higher level degree. I need to do something.” Okay. What actionable item is there that you can do now? I often quoted Depeche Mode song, “Don’t just stand there and shout it, do something about it.” And it’s true. You need to find what can you do because you could be doing something today.

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