Mindful Monday Mornings

Start every week on the right foot with a concentrated dose of actionable mindfulness you can bring with you into the week.

Here's a recent example of an MMM to give you an idea of what they're like.

Mindful Monday Mornings

As my mind started to wander, I noticed my fingers go through a familiar pattern:
  1. [Command + T] —> Opens a new tab on my browser
  2. [“Fa”] —> Automatically populates Facebook.com in my browser.

You might be guessing what happens next. Getting distracted for 20 minutes looking at Facebook?

Not this time! 🙂

In that moment, I became aware that I was on the verge of succumbing to an impulse, and stopped myself in my tracks.

“High five, Patrick. Another OTCY success!” I thought to myself.

What’s that? You’re not familiar with OTCY’s?

That’s okay, because I made up the acronym. 😉

Opportunities to Catch Yourself

OTCY’s are Opportunities to Catch Yourself.

You might not like to acknowledge it, but humans are impulsive.

Staying focused isn't a question of "Will I experience impulsive thoughts each day?" It’s more a question of "How many of those impulsive thoughts will I go along with?"

OTCY’s (Or maybe I should say O’s TCY?) exist between the experience of an impulsive thought, and when you follow-through with the impulsive action.

For example...

  • After you reach for your phone, but before you open any apps
  • After you experience a thought, but before you say it out loud
  • After you open the freezer, but before you’ve eaten an ice cream treat

In each of those moments, you have the opportunity to catch yourself red-handed, and come back to doing what you were intending to do.

Put it into Practice

Living with intention means doing the things that you want to do most. Impulses and distractions don’t meet that bar.

Pay attention to your OTCY's this week:

  1. Notice when you start to follow an impulsive thought
  2. Pause to “catch yourself” in this moment
  3. Consider if this impulse is a priority to follow. What will make your future self proud?
  4. Proceed with intention, knowing you’re spending your time on what’s most important.

There’s no need to get upset if you find yourself acting impulsively. Having noticed the impulse, you have the opportunity to come back to presence, and proceed with intention.

Want to get really good at this?

Practicing meditation is a reliable way to boost your OTCY power.

In meditation, it’s a given that your mind will wander. The OTCY in meditation is noticing when your mind has wandered, so you can bring yourself back to the object of awareness. The heart of the practice is noticing the wandering mind, and coming back to mindfulness.

With a bit of awareness, you’ll notice OTCY’s all throughout your day.

Here’s to an intentional week,

In Case You Missed It...

The latest article from the Mindful Ambition blog, featuring one of my favorite frameworks of all time: WOOP: The Scientifically Validated Dream-Realization Exercise.

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