In various stages of our lives, we encounter moments when joy seems hard to come by.
The other night, I found myself reflecting on the content I chose to share online. A thought-provoking realization dawned on me. I couldn’t help but question the prevalence of presenting a curated highlight reel of our lives. Even those with substantial followings seemed to be engaged in a delicate dance of presenting their struggles, a performance that sometimes left me questioning the authenticity of their shared hardships. I am just as guilty of sharing the joyous moments only. In the midst of these musings, my mind gravitated toward how resonating Trevor Mowad’s compelling theory on the power of neutral thinking is for me.
Traditional notion suggests the existence of two modes of thinking—negative and positive. However, a third, more pragmatic stance known as ‘neutral thinking’ has emerged. This approach, characterized by judgment-free thinking, proves particularly effective in navigating crises and high-pressure scenarios, offering a high-performance strategy.
Neutral thinking has become a guiding light for me these last few months. It advocates for a balanced approach, steering clear of extremes like unstoppable positivity or dwelling solely on the negative. This philosophy resonates with me, serving as a reminder that life is woven with both light and shadow.
Below are my tips on how to be neutral at home and at the office:
As a working parent managing the kids’ schedules, my marriage, my job, and my health, incorporating neutral thinking into your daily routine can significantly enhance your experience.
Neutral thinking proves especially beneficial for working parents, providing a pathway not just to survive but to thrive amidst such responsibilities. The key lies in concentrating on each task individually while acknowledging your existing ability to accomplish them.
Rather than framing your thoughts in a way that feels overwhelming, such as “I have to…”
- Get the kids ready for school.
- Prepare myself for work.
- Drop the kids off.
- Complete my proposal before the 11 a.m. meeting.
- Respond to 100 emails.
- Send my husband the list for the grocery store for dinner ingredients.
- Pick up the kids.
- Cook dinner.
- Get the kids to bed.
Attempting to contemplate all of these simultaneously can lead to feeling overwhelmed. Neutral thinking encourages a focus on one task at a time, helping to prevent this sense of being inundated.
Think about it like this:
I am packing my daughter’s lunch, which takes 30 seconds. After that, I’ll take a break to catch my breath. After that, I’ll get breakfast ready for the kids. And then what can I delegate out, or what can wait for a day that I have more energy to accomplish?
Neutral in the workplace:
I have a morning full of meetings, and today is a hard day where I am more short of breath. Any tips?
Focus only on each meeting and which ones I’m presenting in. Ask for help where applicable. When you complete each call, take a mini break, then come back refreshed to be present in the next call. You have awesome teammates who are more than willing to help carry the weight of your workload so you can show up as present and part of the team. Do what you can to contribute and maintain your work performance and discard the rest. We all have to deal with not feeling well sometimes, but if we keep showing up and meet the demands of the workday, then those bad days can’t stand in the way.
While I’ve always been a proponent of authenticity and shunning the notion of constant positive thinking, the book “Getting to Neutral” offered a unique perspective that made me feel truly understood. It celebrated the complexity of human emotions, acknowledging that life is not a perpetual sunshine-filled journey. Embracing this philosophy, I’ve chosen a nuanced approach to my social sharing.
I’m not an advocate for the constant projection of positivity, as life is multifaceted, and embracing its complexities is essential. Instead, my choice in social sharing revolves around celebrating genuine moments of joy intertwined with education and sharing noteworthy events, news, and happenings that resonate with me and, hopefully, my audience. Let’s not forget all the marketing nuggets I can get in your hands that are simple to implement.
By sharing a blend of joy and meaningful content, I aim to contribute to a digital space that reflects the richness and diversity of human experience. It’s not about painting an idealized portrait but rather about fostering connections through shared moments of authenticity. In doing so, I aim to inspire a more balanced and genuine narrative on life as an entrepreneur in the often meticulously curated world of online sharing.
Is there a neutral operating strategy that can enhance my participation in business and life?
A valuable approach involves actively taking notes and staying engaged, even if certain aspects seem unrelated to your specific role. Consider how each element aligns with your and/or the company’s mission, and then explore potential contributions from your life/department. It’s crucial to recognize that, especially if you aspire to grow in both life and business. The sooner you gain this understanding, the quicker you can contribute valuable ideas.
Embracing neutral thinking not only elevates your performance in both professional and personal spheres but also has the potential to transform your entire life. The key lies in learning to let go.
Trevor has two books: It Takes What It Takes: How to Think Neutrally and Gain Control of Your Life and Getting to Neutral. Both books can be ordered here.
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