MMM offers you the opportunity to download ms word templates onto your computer at the start and end of your day to help you include mind management into your daily practice. It is a form of structured journaling that can help you live your life more deliberately and deal with your problems more effectively. It is a reflective exercise, no one sees your work, just a structured way to stop and think as you start and end your day.
Positive Constructive Prospecting (PCP)
Include mind management in your morning practice. Get your mind in a good place to deal constructively with your day, become who you want to become and enjoy the ride as much as is possible. You want to feel connected and inspired with a specific direction in mind to help you focus your attention on who you want to become and how you can also enjoy the process.
The MMM way to do this is by Positive, Constructive Prospecting (PCP).
Alert! Positive isn’t about avoiding the negative. If you are sad following some trauma, if bad things are happening, if your life is currently difficult, then we do not distort the negative by imposing a false positive, Big Me spin, on what is going on. Positive is about who you are being in the face of your difficulties, for example problem solving, planning, believing in yourself, generating hopefulness, and/or faith are ways of being positive in a constructive way in the face of our difficulties and our ‘negative’ emotions. Even in grief we can connect with the love we felt for the person we lost and in doing so generate positive energy.
Constructive is about trying to ensure that your thoughts and actions today are constructive.
Prospecting is about forward thinking, so that your focus is about what you are going to do about what is happening, where you are going and who you are becoming as you think what you think and do what you do today.
Step 1. Select which aspects of your potentials you want to develop today?
There are two potentials that are essential to mind management: You want to be connected and inspired as much as is possible. Without being connected and inspired, you will revert to automated thoughts and behaviour.
The rest are potentials which shape the specifics of who you want to become.
Connecting is the functional unit of Mindfulness. Our ability to connect with ourselves is essential if we want to mindfully manage our lives. Without connecting we are running on automatum. You want to connect what you are thinking, feeling and doing. You want to connect with others albeit people, animals and/or nature. You might want to connect with a God of your understanding. Or you can connect to a challenge that you plan to undertake today. Select something you want to connect to today and then, as often as you can during the day, reign in your awareness and connect. Note how hard it is to connect during the day. The difficulty in staying connected demonstrates how readily we run on automatum, so watch for unrealistic expectations, if each day you are little more connected then you are heading in the right direction.
The next part of a start-up is to try to get inspired. No matter how difficult your life is, try to find something that inspires you. You might be inspired by the very struggle you face, the challenges it brings. You might be inspired by love. Or music. Or something you plan to do. Or even by connecting with humour. A good laugh cuts through that tendency to take ourselves too seriously. Trusting the process can generate hope or optimism which can inspire you. Some kind of inspirational reading or a podcast or the like can be fabulous, just make sure it is constructive.
At the beginning of the day, if you can get yourself inspired by something it will go a long way to make today a happier day but also a more mindful and powerful day. Inspiration is the energy that runs mind management. We usually use Anxiety Relieving Objects to get a lift out of life, we attach to something that will make us feel better. In MMM we try not to do that, which means that we need to get our enjoyment and satisfaction from an internal state of being. It can be really hard sometimes but it is possible and if you put an effort into it in the mornings and you manage to get yourself inspired then you have a very good start to the day. During the day, you might notice a loss of inspiration when everything gets hard again. Most fortunately, you have the power to recharge that battery if you set your mind to it.
Now you can select any other potentials you would like to develop today. Less is more, it is a better to select one or two potentials than a number which sound good and get forgotten. If you find it useful, you might select a category rather than random potentials, so that during the day you can connect with the category rather than needing to keep in mind unrelated potentials. You might like to select more than one category for the different aspects of your anticipated day. For example who you want to be at work and who you want to be at home. Just remember to avoid unrealistic expectations. Having selected your category (or categories) delete any adjectives in that category you don’t want to focus on today, leaving the selected adjectives that you want to focus on today. Remember, less is more, select only the adjectives that you really want to focus on today and delete the rest. There is no right or wrong. Delete the remaining categories you are not including today.
Step 2. Decide which ARO’s you want to remove from your day today. Remember to avoid unrealistic expectations. It is better to select one or two significant ARO’s than a whole bunch which you forget about as you walk out the door. Delete the ARO’s you are not going to focus on today, leaving the ARO’s you want to remove from your day..
Step 3. Problem solve. Anticipate the problems you are likely to confront and write down how you would like to manage these problems today. You can do this the evening before, if time is limited. Don’t just think about it, write it down. Writing is very important in this exercise. You can be very brief in what you write, you don’t need detail or explanations, but you do need to name the problem and jot down words that describe how you want to manage the problem. Remember avoid unrealistic expectations!
Step 4. Select the power activities you want to include in your day by deleting the ones you won’t include. Less is more and remember that you want select activities that help you connect and those that help you stay inspired. Add any other power activities that you would like to include in your day that are not included in the list.
Step 5. Plan. With reference to who you want to become today, plan your day. If you want to become a doer today, consider how you will generate the energy and motivation you need to do what you want to do, for example, taking time to write about what you want to achieve and why, or visualising the outcome, or eating a healthy breakfast, or going for a run. Be creative. Spend some time writing down specifically what you plan to do today to include your power activities in your day. For example, “At lunch time I will go for a run.” Or: “I will smile at everyone I meet today.” Once again, avoid unrealistic expectations, better to do fewer then to plan to do many that go undone.
Step 6. Select your calming statement by deleting the others.
At the end of the day do a stock-take. Identify your Big Me, your Little Me and your Real Me. By taking a moment to look at who you were today, you can get an idea of whether or not you are being who you want to be and becoming who you want to become.
Remember there are no right or wrong answers, life is difficult and sometimes we need to grab whatever gets us through, this exercise is not about adding something else to judge yourself about, it is just about taking a moment to reflect on how you are handling your life and whether or not you can shift the focus in some way to empower yourself.
The format is the same as for the Start-Up, delete the items that don’t apply, leaving you with the items that describe who you were today. Then make some reflections that will help you along your way.