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Graham D Brown - author of the guide
WHAT IS THIS?
HOW TO BE LESS STRESSED
I added this section into the guide because it stress is intrinsically linked to work and lifestyle and it’s something we all could use some help with right?
THE DAILY HABIT OF MEDITATION
In Tools of Titans, Tim Ferriss says that meditation or some form of mindfulness is the one habit that 80% of his guests interviewed for the book shared on a daily basis. There is plenty of evidence out there how meditation helps us “rewire our brain” for happiness:
I admit I struggle with meditation. I meditate and then my mind wanders, as it does with most people. The practise is about bringing it back to the center, and observing your breath. I find my mind is hyperactive and it makes meditation a real battle, even after many years of trying.
Here are a couple of apps regularly recommended for meditation:
Headspace – Headspace is the most popular paid meditation app. I think it’s the best option, because it takes a lot of the complexity out of meditation and gives you a simple step-by-step entry point. They have a 10-day free trial, then you can upgrade for $12.95 a month.
Insight Timer – Insight Timer is a free alternative to Headspace. It has a larger variety of guided meditations (at the cost of being more confusing), and includes a simple unguided functionality.
I have included meditation though because most people swear by the results and maybe it’s something I will master in time. Before I dismiss it I will say that I have been using this following app and it’s working out pretty well for me. Unlike a guided meditation, it’s an app that guides your breathing through sound rather than voice. So far, so good:
Prana Breath – there are in-app purchases but the free version works just fine.
When it comes to meditation, however, I admit that I am at my most meditative state when I am suffering on a tough climb on the bike or swimming in the pool or cutting vegetables for dinner. Perhaps that’s my form of meditation. Maybe purists will prove me wrong.
THE DAILY HABIT OF GRATITUDE
I’ve started practising as a daily habit recently and it works.
For the longest time, I avoided practising gratitude because I had images in my head of American Family Thanksgiving or humble brags. But, it gratitude doesn’t have to be any of these. Using my Habits Tracker, I make sure I spend a couple of minutes a day practising gratitude.
What are the 10 things I’m grateful for?
Here’s my list from today:
- I’m grateful I get the chance to make a difference, and do Epic Shit
- I’m grateful to have money
- I’m grateful to have time to live and choose my own schedule
- I’m grateful to live in a peaceful country with a superfast (1 Gbps), reliable internet connection (if you’ve ever experience going without for some time, you know this is oxygen!)
- I’m grateful for my health
- I’m grateful to be able to work with inspiring people like Erik and Michael
- I’m grateful for Ironman triathlon and all the cool people I get to meet on that journey
- I’m grateful for our travel experiences as a family and all the future ones that will come our way
- I’m grateful to not have to commute to work everyday and see the worst of humanity
- I’m grateful for my wife – she lets me do what I want and always believed in me
- I’m grateful for my son – he’s a great kid, low maintenance and being with him has taught me a lot
My list changes every day. I don’t normally write it down, I just go through my gratitudes in my head and then I’m done.
Now, there’s a very good reason why you should do this too… and it’s the missing part of gratitude that meant I never “got it”, thinking it was just some kind of religious ritual that had no meaning in my life.
When we practise gratitude we train our brain to think abundantly.
When Formula 1 racing car drivers train at speed, their mentors teach them how to deal with a crash. Now our instinct when we’re careering off the road at 300kmh+ is to look at that looming wall we’re going to splat into. F1 drivers learn to unlearn their instincts. Rather than look at the wall, they teach them to look at the road. It’s only by looking at the road can a driver avoid disaster and bring the car back round.
It’s the same with our daily life. You might not be facing impending crisis, but you might be focusing your attention on a similar wall:
- running out of time
- running out of money
- problems holding you back from doing something
When you focus your energy on these issues you also train your brain to think in terms of scarcity. A scarce brain becomes defensive and fearful. Your mode changes to protecting what you could lose rather than what you could gain.
Gratitude: it’s a simple act but highly effective. It could change your life.