What do you do when you get hungry?
Do you eat something? That is the typical reaction. When your car runs out of gas, you refill it. When you get tired, you sleep. When you get horny, you… uh… let’s keep that one to yourself.
The bottom line is, most things give you a warning when they need you to do something. Your stomach growls or sends hunger pangs. Your car gauge tells you it’s low on fuel or, when really low, it gives you the “you’re about to be stranded on the side of the road” low-fuel ding. Your body yawns and your eyes get heavy when you need rest.
No signal Provided
The problem is there is no such obvious signal when your brain needs positive inputs. Yet, they are as important, or more important, as eating, sleeping, and being able to get to where you need to go.
If you want to be physically healthy, you need to feed your body nutrient rich foods. If you want to be emotionally healthy, you need to feed your mind constructive inputs.
Though there isn’t one that is widely recognized as a signal of the need for positive inputs, there actually is an easy way to know when you should intake constructive inputs immediately. That signal is a negative or unconstructive emotion. So any time you feel doubtful, fearful, frustrated, sad, angry, overwhelmed or unmotivated, that would be a great time to shift your emotions using constructive inputs.
Being proactive and using them even when you are not feeling bad is ideal, but knowing they are there to encourage you when you do need them is going to be very useful.
What is a constructive input?
It is anything that can be useful or positive to your emotional health. These include, but are not limited to, things that make you feel confident, excited to work toward your goals, happy, or empowered, and things that teach you something beneficial to these same ends.
It’s as vital to plan, into your schedule, time for constructive and positive inputs as it is to have time for eating and sleeping. You may think that sounds like an overstatement, but I assure you, it isn’t. Without a good emotional state, reaching for success and fulfillment is like reaching for a stale donut on a shelf three feet above your reach. Even if you find a way to knock it off the shelf and into your lap, it still won’t be satisfying.
What Do I Do With These Inputs?
To improve or maintain your positive emotional well-being, you must consistently consume constructive inputs. Below is a list I compiled by asking many successful and happy people what they use consistently to keep themselves on the right path mentally. The resources are so abundant, and most are free, so the only thing that could stop you is you.
Choose the ones you want to begin with, and put them in your schedule. Do them consistently. When you are ready to change it up or add to it, come back to this list and pick new ones.
The amount of time you spend with positive inputs each day or week is totally dependent on what you need in order to be in your best mental state and be getting the information you need to build any skills you are developing. Only you can determine the right amount of time to allot for you. If unsure, pick any amount of time you are sure is do-able. Don’t overcommit so that you end up not doing any of it to avoid overwhelm. Pick an amount you can definitely commit to. Once it is a positive habit that doesn’t take a lot of extra effort to do, you can add more time to your constructive inputs. Keep repeating that cycle until you are feeding your brain an amount each week that you feel is optimal for you.
Resources & Ways to Feed Your brain.
- Self Improvement Books. Here are a few of my personal favorites: The Last Lecture, The Happiness Advantage, The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership, The 15 Invaluable Laws of Growth, How to Win Friends & Influence People, The Five Love Languages, The Rhythm of Life, The Power of Habit, The Top Five Regrets of the Dying, and Rich Dad Poor Dad. And so many others!
- TED.com – TED talks videos
- SUCCESS Magazine
- The Miracle Morning – book and/or Facebook community
- Personal Development Blogs such as Tony Robbins, Tiny Buddha, Life Hack, Change Your Thoughts, Mind Body Green, Addicted 2 Success and so many more. Search any topic and find multiple blogs to read. Bookmark the ones you resonate with.
- Quiet Reflection
- Conversations with positive people
- Other people sending you positive inputs via email or text
- Quotes – BrainyQuote.com, GreatMindsQuotes, InspireUs, Amiee’s Pin It Page
- Listening to great music
- Viewing great art
- Verbalizing scripted prayers
- Darren Hardy’s Daily Mentoring
- Inspire Me Today website
- Affirmations – LouiseHay.com, DailyAffirmations.com, 101 Powerful Affirmations on FB for examples.
- Positive YouTube channels – examples: Marie Forleo, Brendon Burchard, Tony Robbins, my favorite FUN, ADVENTUROUS, INSPIRING Videos
- Daily Motivator website
- Daily Om website
- Daily Love website
- A list you created of your past accomplishments – things you feel good about when you think about them.
- A list of memories that make you laugh or joyous. You can review it and instantly feel better.
This is a list in progress.
I want to know what positive and constructive inputs YOU use to motivate, train, inspire, and/or empower yourself. Please add them in the comments or shoot me a message at CONTACT in the menu bar and I will add them. You never know, yours could be the perfect input for someone else.