Mindfulness Playfulness Willfulness
January 30, 2016

Mindfulness Playfulness Willfulness

Mindfulness, Playfulness & Willfulness: Working with thousands of clients over the years that I have been doing it, I’ve realized that there are only really three states of mind that we should be focusing on, three states of mind that we should commit to and cultivate in our lives. And the first state of mind is something that a lot of people have heard of, which is just mindfulness. And the ancient eastern art of being mindful, of living in the present moment, of connecting with people in a very real way, of making ourselves happy and understanding who we are. You know, it’s starting to spread across the world and you’ve got mindfulness-based stress relief. You’ve got many different books and CDs and apps, and it’s all there for people to practice.

A lot of people don’t understand why we should practice mindfulness. It’s not just about stopping or slowing down even though that’s a massive benefit to being mindful. It’s actually about self-discovery, and for me, it’s the first foundation by which we can start to build our beautiful house or our beautiful lives.

Understanding who we are, and going inside and delving deeper into who we are is by following the principles of mindfulness, and understanding our true value in this world. To tap into our true resources, the resources we were born with. We were born innovators, We were born creators. We were born free to do whatever it is that we want in this world. We get shackled by the constraints of society. We get shackled by the teacher who had told us that we weren’t good enough when we were 12, and we get shackled by our environment. But mindfulness allows us to go beyond all of that, and go deep into who we are to discover the values and the resources that we bring into this world. So practicing mindfulness every day or in every moment is very, very profound, has a massive impact on our lives. But for me, it’s just that first level of that foundation.

The second stage which I talk to people about on a daily basis is the playfulness stage. So we’ve got mindfulness, we’ve got playfulness. Why then should we be playful? Why should we focus on this area? For me, this is the discovery, the curiosity of what is it that makes me truly happy in this world. You know, many people that come and see me, they’re overworked, they’re over-stressed. Where are they focusing? They’re focusing on their job. They’re focusing on their families happiness. They’re focusing on their partners happiness. They’re focusing on the bank manager and all the problems that are weighing them down.

What I ask people to do is to measure their daily success on one simple metric. How much fun can you have each day? How happy can you make yourself in the moment? Sometimes I ask people to write fun on the back of their hands just to remind themselves of this simple fact. We have to start to discover all the things that used to make us happy when we were children. You know, I use to love to draw when I was a kid. And why am I not drawing now? Why am I not being creative? Why? Because I am sacrificing my happiness for all of these things outside of me that are supposed to make me happy. I’m too busy ticking all the boxes of the job, of the car, the bills, the family. All of these things are supposed to make me happy. People sit in the chair when I’m speaking to them and they’re not happy. They’re missing something.

The second level of playfulness is key for our again, our self-discovery, but also just to give ourselves the fuel that we need in this world to fulfill our true potential. We all deserve to be happy, right? Happiness actually makes us perform better then, in all the other areas of our lives, which brings me onto the third level.

And the third level, the foundation is willfulness. This is a concept that was told to me by a client of mine actually, the idea of being willful. You know, using that strong will, that intellect. The part of the brain that separates us from other species, from the animal kingdom is that we have this strong intellect. We can be aware of the fact that we are conscious. You know, we are aware of the aware of the aware of the fact that we are conscious, and we have this strong intellect. But for me, the best metaphor to describe our will is to describe it like a loaded gun. We develop this loaded gun throughout our lives. We’re not born with it. And we wheel this gun, we wheel that intellect, you know, and it’s a dangerous weapon. Sometimes we do damage to other people. Sometimes we do damage to ourselves. We’re actually not trained on how to use that part of the brain without these two first levels of that foundation, or it can be a very dangerous element of who we are. We do ourselves damage. We do our partners. We do people around us damage, and we can’t connect with the world in a very meaningful way. But understanding mindfulness, practicing every single day. Understanding what it is that truly makes us happy in this world and start fulfilling those basic human needs, but then we can truly start to wheel that gun. We can start to use that gun to defend ourselves or to kind of feel safe and secure within ourselves, to let go of all those insecurities and worries.

So mindfulness, playfulness, and willfulness, it’s a layered experiential approach to coaching, and that’s what we do here at the Performance Lounge. We are emotional coaches and we take people through this transformative stage process. It is a wonderful experience and it’s wonderful to see people go through that change. It’s massively rewarding for me and my partners when we see it every single day, and we are privileged to sit there and watch this journey for people. Change happens quickly for people, and once they commit to that change and once we start focusing on the things that actually truly make us happy, then it all becomes easy and we can unlock our true potential in this world.

Interested in how we can help you cultivate these practices? Book your free 15 minute Meet Your Therapist session now to find out more.

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