Quickie: Treat Your Mind Like Your Body

Brain Workout

“Quickies” are short but satisfying bursts of wisdom in under two minutes. 

Everyone understands two simple rules of the human body:

  1. Eating healthy food is better than eating junk food.
  2. Eating too much of anything can make you sick.

We don’t always follow these rules, but we all understand them. If you eat poorly, your body feels awful. If you eat too much, your body has a built-in “off” switch that tells you when it’s going to puke.

You cannot make yourself obese in one sitting. But, if you ignore the body’s signals and eat a little bit more over and over again, your body will drastically change.

Just like your body, your mind can be reshaped for better or worse.

Unfortunately, your mind doesn’t have a built-in “off” switch to tell you when it’s going to puke. And if you keep feeding it the wrong stuff, it could end up looking like this:

Your mind fed poorly

Too many mental Hot Pockets.

To have the mind you want, you need to feed it the right stuff.  But, similar to the body, reshaping your mind takes time and discipline.

The more fast food you eat, the more you crave it.  Similarly, if you click on articles that make you fearful or angry, social media will feed you more of the same. A year ago, I was depressed because I didn’t control what went into my brain. My mind was a slave to the facebook newsfeed.

So I stopped. Like a chocoholic quitting Snickers bars, I simply cut it out of my diet. But you can’t just cut out the bad stuff; you have to put in the good stuff too.  

I wanted a mind focused on joy and gratitude, so rather than start my day ingesting whatever the newsfeed gave me, I made a conscious choice to listen to podcasts that gave my mind exactly what it needed (The School of Greatness is one of my favorites).

I’m not going to tell you to what kind of mind to have, I’m only suggesting that you become conscious of what you’re feeding it. Whatever you feed your mind (and how often) is going to determine its “shape.”

Step one is knowing the kind of mind you want to build. Step two is feeding it the right stuff.

Your mind fed well

Once you get your mind in shape, you can treat it to a mental ice cream cone now and then.

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