When you think of a tool, what is the first thing that comes to mind? Most likely, it’s a hammer, screwdriver, or other physical tool. A tool, on the other hand, can be a linguistic or mental device that helps us think more effectively about something, such as a phrase, a concept, or an analogy. Physical aids may not be as efficient as these linguistic and mental aids. After all, by modifying our thinking, they can help us change our behaviors and hence our lives!
The Joy of Business, by Joy J. D. Baldridge, is a treasure trove of these skills, as well as some other important advice and ways for advancing in your career and being happier in both your personal and professional lives. There are other types of conceptual tools available, but few have the same power as the metaphor. We’ll start with one of these metaphors, which is a basic yet effective strategy for rethinking your emotions and increasing your life happiness.
To grasp the metaphor, start by envisioning four houses. Each house represents one of the four basic emotions: sadness, anger, joy, and fear, which are the foundations for all other emotions. Grief, despair, and devastation are reflected in the House of Sad; aggravation, wrath, and fury are reflected in the House of Mad; contentment, happiness, and exaltation are reflected in the House of Glad; and anxiety, panic, and terror are reflected in the House of Scared.
From day to day, hour to hour, or even minute to minute, we tend to go from one house to the next. Consider the scenario of someone misplacing something important to you, such as a family heirloom. In the House of Sadness, you can start by lamenting your loss. Then, as a result of your fury at the person who misplaced the relic, you may find yourself in the House of Madness.
Despite all of our relocations, one of the homes becomes our principal residence, where we spend the majority of our time. If you wake up nervous every morning and feel uneasy during the day, you may be living in the House of Scared.
The bad news is that most of us live in houses that are Sad, Mad, or Scared. We visit the House of Glad on occasion, although we’re more like visitors than regular residents. The good news is that if you find yourself spending too much time in one of the negative houses, there is a simple solution: leave! It is, of course, simpler to say than to accomplish.
If you’re continually sad, outraged, or afraid, remember that the emotion is only a temporary residence that you may leave behind. The Glad House is eagerly awaiting your arrival! So, how do you go about making the Glad House your permanent home? To keep the house metaphor going, you must pay your RENT! R.E.N.T. stands for Rest, Exercise, Nutrition, and Thoughts. To have a happy life, you must maintain healthy behaviors in all four of these areas.
When we mention “rest,” we’re not just talking about getting enough sleep. Rest is defined as a period of time during which you can re-energize. Regardless of how much sleep you get, you might use some additional hydration during the day. Here are two quick ways to receive it. First, take a Purple Break. To accomplish this, set a timer for 60 seconds. Close your eyes, cover them with your palm, and gently inhale and exhale. Then, counting backwards from 15 and exhaling after each number, begin at 15. Exhale at the numbers “15,” “14,” “13,” and so on.
What exactly does the term “purple break” mean? When your eyes are exposed to bright light, a protein called rhodopsin, often known as visual purple, decomposes, as the author learned from her father. This breakdown leads to fatigue. You’re giving your visual system a break from the light and allowing it to repair by covering your eyes with your hands.
The sole disadvantage of a Purple Break is that it may make people think you’re weird if you do it in public. The next technique, fortunately, can be practiced practically anywhere and at any time. A simple but efficient breathing exercise is the 4-4-6 breathing exercise. To complete a 4-4-6, simply inhale for four seconds, hold your breath for another four seconds, and exhale for six seconds.
After a few repetitions, you’ll find yourself peacefully returning to the present moment, letting go of your fears about the future and regrets about the past. It’s a stress-reduction approach that’s easy to learn, use, and adapt. You can utilize it in a variety of stressful situations where you’re feeling overwhelmed, such as when stopped in traffic, grocery shopping, or working on a project.
The best part? It’s always there for you, and it’s always free! No one, at least not yet, is charging you for the air you breathe. The letter E of the RENT you must pay to live in the House of Glad now comes into play: exercise. Don’t worry if that word sends shivers down your spine. This program will not attempt to persuade you to run a 5K on a daily basis.
On the contrary, it’s about knowing that establishing ambitious fitness goals like these might backfire. That’s because achieving them necessitates a great deal of forethought and commitment. For example, you’ll need to work out how to squeeze that 5K run into your hectic schedule – possibly by sleeping in your running gear and running first thing in the morning.
When such high levels of planning and dedication are necessary, though, you’re more likely to fall out of the ambitious workout habit you’re trying to form. Then you’ll feel bad and unmotivated, which may cause you to abandon the project altogether.
Begin with little actions to overcome your lack of dedication. You can practically do this by using the stairs instead of the elevator at work, or by parking your car further away from the office’s front door. You might perhaps follow in the footsteps of the author’s father. Today, sprint from your mailbox to the mailbox of your next-door neighbor. Tomorrow, sprint to the mailbox that is two mailboxes away from yours. The following day, sprint to the third mailbox, and so on. Small steps like these add up; the author’s father was running in a marathon within a year!
Another simple answer to the problem of planning is to embrace spontaneity! Do you have a few minutes to spare? Do 20 push-ups or 25 jumping jacks as a warm-up. Do you have some spare time? Grab your phone and go to YouTube to find your next fitness video. The number of free online video options for yoga, cardio, kickboxing, and weightlifting goes on and on, and they’re all available for free anywhere you go!
You’ll want to fuel your new exercise routines with the correct nutrition, which is represented by the letter N in your RENT. Here’s some even more straightforward advice to follow. To begin, re-energize yourself by increasing your protein intake, which provides a more sustained source of energy than carbohydrates.
Second, avoid sugar to safeguard your health. You undoubtedly already know that sugar is harmful for your health, but did you realize that it is unhealthy in 76 distinct ways? Nutrient imbalances and inadequacies, unfavorable behavioral changes, physiological impairments, and an elevated risk of disease are the four categories. These include high cholesterol, difficulties concentrating, rapid aging, and emphysema, to name just a few of the negative consequences of sugar use. So the next time you’re seeking a snack, pass on the sweets and opt for some protein-rich nuts!
Last but not least, we arrive at the final letter of the RENT acronym: T, which stands for thoughts. This is, without a doubt, the most significant part of the RENT we must pay to live in the House of Glad. After all, you won’t be able to cover the first three parts of your RENT if you don’t think about rest, exercise, and diet in a healthy way. They’re a requirement for everything else to work out.
Our thoughts, in general, shape our behaviors, thus they’re important in all aspects of our personal and professional lives. Our behaviors will mirror our ideas, so the more positive our thoughts are, the more positive our behaviors will be. Poor ideas, on the other hand, tend to lead to negative behaviour.
Consider two salespeople who are faced with the identical problem — cold-calling an important individual with a business proposal, for example. If the first person says to himself, “I can’t do it” or “it’s impossible,” he’ll probably give up before even trying. But if the other person believes in herself and her chances of success, she’ll take a chance – and who knows? She might be able to close the deal!
As these instances show, the language we choose to speak to ourselves is quite important. Negative self-talk results in negative ideas and behaviors, whilst positive self-talk results in the opposite. This truth can be used to your benefit if you use a variety of positive self-talk tactics while avoiding negative self-talk behaviors.
For example, many of us, like the salesperson in our previous example, frequently tell ourselves, “I can’t do this” and “I can’t do that.” Simply adding a few phrases to this negative self-talk cycle can turn it around: “I can’t do this, and I can’t do that, but what can I do?” Instead of encouraging you to give up on a problem, your words now motivate you to find a solution!
If you’re still stuck, remember this phrase: “Salt the hay; find the road!” “You can bring a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink,” as the old saying goes. That may be true, however you can make the horse thirsty by putting salt in his hay! To put it another way, there are often indirect, creative answers to your problems; all you have to do is keep looking!
Check out my related post: Why is embracing change important for businesses?