I was thinking earlier today, how long does it take to change your mindset?
What prompted this thought was having had a less than positive start to my day and the viewpoint that I should not allow this to have an adverse effect on my entire day!
I'd hoped for some positive stuff to happen in the morning, but for one reason or another, it didn't. I'd popped over to see some relatives, which was great, but, feeling a little unwelcome, too soon found myself on the journey home.
On that journey home, I had the feeling that the day was a disaster. But then I remembered I am always telling people it is how you respond that dictates how stuff works out.
I realised I was feeling a bit sorry for myself. I was feeling a bit down.
Well, I was determined not to let it affect my entire day!
I resolved that on the journey home I was going to change my mindset.
So, in answer to how long it takes to change your mindset, my answer today is 8 miles / 15 minutes.
"How so?" You ask.
That's how far / long it is from where I used to live to where I live now. The distance between my past and my future!
I resolved that during that journey I would stop feeling sorry for myself, take positive action, and ensure that my day was not a failure. The failure was, after all, only in my mind! It was only me making my day bad.
By changing from a negative to a positive mindset I would go from a dreadful day to a good day, if not perhaps a wonderful day!
Yes, I had, for a few minutes in the morning, been reduced to tears. But surely that was just me dwelling on the past and what was but can no longer be?
You cannot change the past. As Sherlock Holmes once said, "it is, as it is!" There's nothing can be done about it so don't dwell on it.
On the flipside, there is little you can do about the future either. Yes, you may believe you can influence the future, and I guess you can position yourself for likely eventualities. But, the only time you can do anything about it is NOW!
I have a saying I picked up somewhere - believe in the future by creating it first.
In other words, yes, you can have a vision of the future but you must do stuff now, today, to make stuff happen.
Back to the original question about changing your mindset.
I seem to recall Tom Peters saying in his early book 'In Search of Excellence' that if you wanted to become a world class waiter didn't leave it until tomorrow to start, you start now.
So, although I said it took 8 miles / 15 minutes for me to change my mindset, it changed the moment I made the decision to change it.
The distance/time element is just a convenient planning tool. It gives me a clear delineation between one world and another. Between one set of criteria and another. An area of relatively clear space when I can stop thinking about what is behind me and focus instead on what is ahead of me.
It's a little like travelling for a holiday. There is a point in your journey when you stop thinking about whether you shut the windows, turned off the gas, locked the door...... and start instead to think about what your new holiday home is going to be like. You leave one mindset behind and begin, instead, to adopt the new mindset.
Although we may ascribe a distance/time analogy it takes place in a moment. One tiny period when your mind switches from one dominant mindset to another.
My point here is, by all means, set some constraints where you will make that change. Between home and work, between two locations, between two events, whatever fits for you. But remember you are simply making an excuse to delay because you must make that change instantly, at a given point in time. It does not happen over a period. You are simply making excuses to put off changing your outlook.
Don't delay, there is no better time than now.
This very moment.
In everything you face each day, take the time to consider how you have or are reacting.
Is that response positive?
Or is that response having a negative effect on you and your life?
If the latter then do please stop, take a moment to think, consider what a positive outcome would be, and adopt a positive response.
Taking greater control of your mindset will have a significantly positive effect on everything in your life.
But, most of all, believe yourself!