How to Have a Good Day - Deepstash

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How to Have a Good Day

How to Have a Good Day

by Caroline Webb

The Two-System Brain

  • Your deliberate system is responsible for sophisticated functions such as reasoning, self-control, and forward-thinking. It excels in handling anything unfamiliar, complex, or abstract. But it has limited capacity and gets tired quickly. 
  • Your automatic syste...

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You’re constantly moving along a discover-defend axis in your daily life, as your brain scans for threats to defend against and rewards to seek out and discover.

  • In defensive mode, you become less smart and flexible, as your brain devotes some of its scarce mental ener...

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  • The way you treat your body has a direct, immediate impact on your brain’s performance, affecting both its cognitive and emotional functions. 
  • Your brain’s deliberate system performs far better when you’ve had enough sleep, some aerobic exerc...

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CARL JUNG

"Until you make the unconscious conscious, it will direct your life and you will call it fate."

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We can tweak our perceptions by being more deliberate in our perceptual filters.

We can do this by looking at things from three angles:

  1. Aim. Think about your aim as you meet people and as you work on your activities. Ask yourself: “What really matters?”

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Approach Goals And Avoidance Goals

There are two types of goals:

  1. Approach Goals: doing more of something good
  2. Avoidance Goals: doing less of something bad

Approach goals are better than avoidance goals as they encourage higher performance.

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  • Make sure your goals are about doing desirable things, or doing more of them, rather than avoiding bad things happening. If they’re negative in tone, turn them around. 
  • Find a personal why. Can you articulate why the goal matters to you or how it wil...

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STEPHEN COVEY

"The main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing."

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  • Group together similar tasks (e.g., email, calls, and reading), so you’re not constantly switching from one mental mode to another. 
  • Decide on the best time of day to tackle each batch of tasks. Create longer blocks of uninterrupted time for your mos...

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Planning Deliberate Downtime

Your brain’s deliberate system needs regular breaks to keep it fully functional. When tired, we are more likely to make poorer decisions.

Allow your brain a chance to step back and consolidate the experience. Plan for breaks between “zones” in your day. Re...

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Caroline Webb

"In all the empirical studies on psychological well-being, one thing emerges as a reliable foundation for happiness: the quality of our relationships."

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If you disagree on something:

  • Articulate the other person’s perspective as if you truly believe it.
  • Identify what you both agree on.
  • Isolate the real disagreement; explore how you could both be right.
  • Decide what you can do based on what you agree on. 

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Assume “Good person, Bad Circumstances”

People are often good but their circumstances can change how they come out.

Get clear on the “true facts”: what you know for sure. Then assume that the other person has good intent, and imagine the circumstances that could be causing his or her behavior.

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Use one or more of these three techniques next time you want to provide input or challenge someone’s ideas: 

  •  “What I like(d) about that is…” and “What would make me like it even more is…” 
  •  “Yes, and…” (rather than “Yes, but…”). 
  •  “What would need to be true to make th...

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JOHN MAYNARD KEYNES

"The difficulty lies not in the new ideas, but in escaping from the old ones."

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Having an existing solution in mind makes it harder for us to see a radically different but better way to solve our problem.

So if what we want is new thinking, we need to help our brains get out of a rut, to stimulate lots of new connections.

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The brain’s deliberate system likes to take shortcuts. Take note of when that is happening. 

Signs of your brain taking shortcuts are statements like “It’s obviously right [or obviously wrong].” “I recently heard XYZ…therefore…” “Everyone agrees.” “I understand it—so I like it!” “Let’s ...

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To Think As Clearly As Possible...

  • Think about something positive before getting into the tough stuff. 
  • Break a complex task down into its constituent parts, step by step, to allow you to focus on one thing at a time and reduce the load on your brain. 
  • Imagine parts of...

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Getting a message through to other people can be hard because other people’s automatic system gets in the way.

Provide a reward or a dose of intrigue as you communicate. The human brain craves new things.

Experiment with different mediums for your information

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  • When you want people to do something for you, give them a brief reason
  • Make it easier for people to choose by providing them with mental shortcuts. Ask yourself: “How can I make it easier for people to solve a particular problem?”
  • You can a...

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Knowing How To Reboot Your Energy

For a complete and happy day, you need to focus on your energy and reboot it when needed.

Know thyself by identifying where the typical energy highs and lows occur. Plan for the triggers and events around the highs and lows.

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