During one of the podcasts, Tim Ferris mentioned about having a positive frame of mind when viewing how things in your life. He bought about this point by pointing out to a common phenomenon which happens when you begin noticing more of certain things ever since you have started thinking about it. Imagine you decide to buy a ‘Toyota Innova’ for your family and then suddenly you begin to notice a lot of ‘Toyota Innova’ when on road and it feels as though there is a sudden jump in number them on the road. It is not that your wanting to buy the vehicle has caused a sudden increase in the number of Innova’s on the road. It is just that your mind which has started to see and observe the details in the cars to discover that there are more Innova’s on the road. The mind starts to focus on the type of car which you want to buy and then begins to notice all the cars on the road. This concept is called ‘Frame of Mind’ and is something which happens all the time. The mind tends to focus its attention on a few topics more than the others and this is what defines your frame of mind.
Why do we have a Frame of mind?
The human mind works with 100s of pieces of every day and the brain does not want to process all the pieces of information. To make it simpler for the brain to process it decides to choose on topics which it wants to focus and ignores the rest. A very good example of this is what happens in case you start looking to buy a car. Before buying your mind is ignoring all the cars on the road but the moment you have decided to buy one it becomes aware of it and you suddenly begin noticing all the cars and specifically it focusses on the models which you are looking to buy. This is thus a mechanism adopted by the mind to simply focus its attention on things which matter and ignore the rest.
Setting a positive frame of mind
Given that the mind notices and directs its attention on what is in focus we need to be careful in setting up the frame of mind. If you choose to focus your mind on the negative aspects and problems in your life it means you are opening a Pandora’s box. The mind will start seeing more of negative things in your life and it will become a downward spiral. The other aspect is by nature we are more tuned to look at what could go wrong because of the human nature which is basically tuned by the primal survival instinct. This means that most people are tuned to look at the negative frame of things as this is how humans were wired 1000s of years back This wiring made sense back then because humans had to guard themselves against the danger present in nature. But these are not relevant in modern life, so we need to find hacks to see the good things in life. One of the good hacks is to create a small jar or box into which you add all the positive stuff which happened with you as a chit every day. The very act of taking the effort to write it down signals to the mind to move its frame of mind to a positive one. Also, every time you are faced with something negative in your life you can then open up one of the chits and read about the good things which happened in the past. In addition, you can avoid actions/ people/things who cause you to slip into a negative frame of mind. One of the main reasons why I avoid news is that most news is negative. There may be several ways into which one can start to see the positive things but my idea is the sensitize folks on this concept of frame of mind and how it impacts what we look for in our life. Seeing and focussing attention on the positive stuff makes our mind to notice and appreciate the good things.