Mental wealth is a strong combination of growth mindset, mental fortitude and abundance mentality. Applying knowledge gleaned from action, awareness and focus, brings greater skill. Discipline is the bridge helping close the gap between your specific goal and its attainment. Mental wealth, with respect to work and life, affords a solid foundation from which we can build an intelligent future. Understanding that 95% of our recurring thoughts are subconscious and 5% are conscious it's important to pause and think deeply about the source of your current behaviours and present situation.


“Rule your mind or it will rule you.” – Horace

3 Daily Disciplines to Build Mental Wealth


1 Time Transitioning


Important because: applying time-transitioning strategies to your day makes sure you are most effectively spending your finite time. Mindlessly shifting from one perceived priority to the next detrimentally affects intelligent productivity because it depletes vital energy and mental resources, and it's avoidable. A study by Carnegie Mellon University psychologist Eyal Peer and Information Technology professor Alessandro Acquisti measured brain power lost due to expected phone call or email interruptions. They discovered that test subjects 'marshaled extra brain power to steel themselves against interruption, or perhaps the potential for interruptions served as a kind of deadline that helped them focus even better.' [1] Mental agility improves because practicing disciplined time-transitioning skills enables your mind and body to adapt more efficiently to change. The way you adjust to change, with respect to your behaviours, will become more acute and you'll grow richer in mental wealth. It's worth noting that 'a typical office worker gets only 11 minutes between each interruption, while it takes an average of 25 minutes to return to the original task after an interruption'.[2] This highlights the significant impact of disruption to our workdays.


Solution: Schedule your highest priorities with daily built-in time-transitions.*

It's important to be strict with scheduling, but flexible to any changes outside of your control.

For example:

8:30am-9:30am [Lead weekly team meeting]

9:30am-9:35am* ::: time-transition ::: Do 3 x focused inhales & exhales

9:35am-10:35am [Finalise management report]

10:35am-10:50am* ::: time-transition ::: Walk mindfully to the nearest coffee or tea place then drink slowly enjoying and thinking of your 'why'


• Accept that you'll likely get some level of distraction. Be mentally prepared for possible future distractions AND focus on sticking to your schedule.


• Use a Pomodoro-timer and technique [3] for focused and intelligent productivity (Ideal for INTJ personalities) [4]


• Do your best to enjoy your scheduled time-transitions; practice physical and environmental awareness so that you 'get out of your head', so to speak.


“Always make time for things that make you feel happy to be alive.” Anonymous


2 Psychological Safety


Important because: psychological

safety enables calculated risk-taking within groups of people. Creating a space where you feel safe and open to being vulnerable encourages positive benefits. Within progressive organisations this applies to both individuals and teams. For example, 'in Google’s fast-paced, highly demanding environment, our success hinges on the ability to take risks and be vulnerable in front of peers.' says Paul Santagata, Head of Industry at Google[5]. As a result, individual and collective mental wealth is built. Furthermore,'Barbara Fredrickson at the University of North Carolina has found that positive emotions like trust, curiosity, confidence, and inspiration broaden the mind and help us build psychological, social, and physical resources. We become more open-minded, resilient, motivated, and persistent when we feel safe. Humour increases, as does solution-finding and divergent thinking — the cognitive process underlying creativity.'[6]


Additionally, a welcome benefit of psychological safety is that it promotes net positive businesses. Here, an environment is created where bold leaders can develop future leaders with impact so that wider communities benefit positively in addition to the business; profit becomes more than simply financial. It's a good thing.


Solution: If you're an organisational leader (in your own words) consistently ask your team something along the lines of: "What consequences do you think or feel you'll receive if you make a mistake or share any errors?" This way you're opening the conversation allowing space to measure current levels of psychological safety.


• If you're a team member on a project or an individual contributor, challenge yourself to ask the aforementioned question if it hasn't already been asked. For example: "What consequences will I receive if I make a mistake or share any errors?" You may be pleasantly surprised at the answer.


• With permission, openly share actual human errors and mistakes because it will develop a culture of psychological safety among peers and throughout the organisation. Make sure the focus is on knowledge-sharing with a goal of collective learning and progress.


“We are deeply sensitive to one another's presence”― Bonnie Badenoch


3 Rewarding Relationships


Important because: rewarding relationships incentivises bringing people together like social glue and keeping them in a good space. Humans can connect authentically, in the present, with presence. 'The benefits of social connections and good mental health are numerous. Proven links include lower rates of anxiety and depression, higher self-esteem, greater empathy, and more trusting and cooperative relationships. Strong, healthy relationships can also help to strengthen your immune system, help you recover from disease, and may even lengthen your life.'[7] Once we start prioritising human relationships, organisations will start to experience a multitude of benefits; cohesive team-working, stronger networking, better health, commercial growth and increased energy.


Solution: Schedule regular lunch dates with colleagues and friends that you would not usually connect with. With repetition you'll start to reinforce socially positive behaviours and visually inspire others to do the same; leadership starts with you.


• Within organisations adopt an incentive system that rewards people for getting out of their comfort zone with respect to initiating social relationships. For example, offer say 15-20 minutes extra free time to encourage social bonding


• For individuals: reward yourself with a coffee or small gift if you assertively introduce yourself to a new person.


• Offer to buy someone new a coffee with a simple goal of initiating a reciprocal and friendly social relationship. See what happens in future.


“There’s only one thing more precious than our time and that’s who we spend it on.” Leo Christopher

With a strong focus on the following daily disciplines of Time Transitioning, Psychological Safety and Rewarding relationships you will start to build mental wealth for the long-term. It's important to be consistent in your actions because behaviours become habitual and seamless by nature. The rewards to organisations, individuals and wider communities are unbounded.


Thank you for your valuable time.


Written by Adam Bowcutt



References / Sources

[1] New York Times, Brain, Interrupted by Bob Sullivan and Hugh Thompson

[2] New York Times, Brain, Interrupted by Bob Sullivan and Hugh Thompson

[3] Xnforce, Stronger Mental Health & Powerful Productivity: Pomodoro Technique Vs. Deep Work by Adam Bowcutt

[4] NERIS Analytics, 16 Personalities

[5] Harvard Business Review, High-Performing Teams Need Psychological Safety. Here’s How to Create It, by Laura Delizonna

[6] Harvard Business Review, High-Performing Teams Need Psychological Safety. Here’s How to Create It, by Laura Delizonna

[7] Better health Victoria, Strong relationships, strong health: Department of Health & Human Services, State Government of Victoria, Australia

Updated: Sep 23


Building mental wealth is critical to long-term well-being, mental health and intelligent productivity.


Mental wealth is a powerful combination of growth mindset, mental fortitude and abundance mentality. With consistent action, awareness and focus you'll begin building a solid foundation of mental wealth. It is important to develop skills that maintain its steady growth, because your life, and those dependent on your purposeful actions and courageous leadership, depend on it.


"All life is an experiment. The more experiments you make the better" - Ralph Waldo Emerson

1 Lively Listening


Important because: Listening is arguably one of the most important skills with respect to building mental wealth because it offers a powerful base to launch off. By developing aptitude in active and lively listening, growing acute awareness of our immediate surroundings is inevitable. Ideally our environment, both external and internal, must collaborate so that the context of meaningful conversations, what you're thinking and saying, is in agreement. Antagonism here often disrupts conversational flow because our inner voice and outer voice are conflicted. Of course, depending on the depth of relationship between you and whom your conversation partner is, varying levels of formality are expected. What's key is genuineness, because people nowadays can spot a 'fake' a mile away. Being respectful and saying what you're thinking is a nuanced skill in itself. By practicing lively listening in real-time and by being fully present, mutual respect, and most importantly, trust, is built. 'Active listening is all about building rapport, understanding, and trust.' [1] Remember communication is a two-way exchange.


Solution: 'Next time you meet someone, take a moment to check what colour their eyes are. Why? The reason is that the two seconds it takes to do this allows time for you to really look into the other person's eyes. By checking to see what colour their eyes

are, you've focused purely on them. They will sense this. They will automatically feel your focus and attention' [2]


• Can you remember the eye colour of the last person you chatted with? If you're speaking with and listening to one person, briefly check what colour their eyes are.


• If you're contributing to a group discussion, focus on one person per idea so that they feel listened to and not simply a number in a crowd. For example, if you're addressing a question on a specific topic.


• Clarify comprehension: For example, say: "So that I'm fully understanding you, what you're saying is ........ Is that right?"


• Be generous in using open-ended questions to encourage others to speak freely. Once they do, make sure you're genuinely curious about what they're saying. We can certainly learn more if we are willing to truly listen to others. Absorb this rich source of information and once you pause for thought ask yourself "why are they saying this right now?"


"The most important thing in communication is hearing what isn't said" - Peter Drucker

• In preparation for improving lively listening skills for the long-term, listen deeply to yourself. ''It’s essential that you observe the tone you use in your internal dialogue. Adopt the type of tone that a loved one would use if they were reassuring you.' [3]



2 Lifelong Learning


Important because: You don't know what you don't know. This is logical right? 'By learning something new we build confidence because our understanding deepens' [4] and with deeper understanding comes greater competence. Once you commit to lifelong learning you become unbounded; with knowledge and wisdom (applied knowledge) you are creating your personal reality, whatever you choose to become now and into the future. Essentially, you can change your personality (personal reality), benefitting yourself and those you influence. Additionally you'll build strength and be more effective at processing information, which means your ability to acquire, and apply, new skills will improve. Your mental wealth will definitely grow because your span of control will widen, meaning you're less likely to feel incapable. Being skilful is empowering. You'll learn to lead yourself, in turn lead others and be of significant service to others and the wider community. It's a great thing.


Solution: Adopt a growth mindset so that you learn to become intrinsically motivated to learn for the sake of learning. To start to adopt a growth mindset when facing any problem, start saying "I don't know how to do this yet." Yet is the most important word here because humans have an ability to learn almost anything [5]


Read more! Pick up a book and start reading now. Set a timer for five minutes and practice reading non-stop without distraction. Focus on absorbing the words and key messages. Reading regularly helps your brain retain new knowledge. Surely that's worth five minutes a day?


• Choose a new hobby to learn. It can be absolutely anything. A few examples for you: Skateboarding, Gardening, Cooking, Jogging, Investing, Volunteering, Writing, Dancing, Languages, Meditation etc. Most importantly, start, and make sure you apply a growth mindset because you will get better with practice. (A list of 50 hobbies for more inspiration HERE)


• Get a mentor or coach. Specifically one that has deep experience and measurable results in the area you want to learn. You'll save valuable time and energy because being mentored or coached enables a direct approach to learning compared to being self-taught. There are benefits to teaching yourself new skills, although it could be a wiser choice to seek expert guidance, especially in the early stages.


“Research shows that you begin learning in the womb and go right on learning until the moment you pass on. Your brain has a capacity for learning that is virtually limitless, which makes every human a potential genius.” – Michael J. Gelb


3 Consistent Creativity


Important because: Practicing consistent creativity shifts our thinking and behaviours from consuming to creating. The benefits of developing this valuable skill are two-fold in helping develop mental wealth; first, a consistently creative mindset adds value because instead of depleting value by using it, you're creating it for others to use. Second, creativity reduces stress, anxiety and depression. 'The average person has about 60,000 thoughts in a day. A creative act such as crafting can help focus the mind, and has even been compared to meditation due to its calming effects on the brain and body. Even just gardening or sewing releases dopamine, a natural anti-depressant'.[6] Instead of sporadic creativity what's most important is consistency because over time, with a disciplined approach, you'll gain refined skills in your chosen creative pursuit. Purposeful productivity is intelligent creativity and is fun too, you're more likely to repeat enjoyable habits because they're fun. An associated benefit is increased mental and physiological energy.


Solution: Take a hot shower,'the absolute isolation of our morning shower makes an excellent incubator for ideas.'[7]

• Make sure you write down your fresh ideas as soon as you think of them, this way you're more likely to execute on them because you've shifted them into a state of reality instead of just a passing thought.


• Schedule regular day-dreaming sessions into your busy day. 'When the researchers compared the results, they found that the participants who reported more frequent daydreaming scored higher on intellectual and creative ability and had "more efficient" brain systems as measured by the MRI, compared with those who said they daydreamed less often and had "less efficient" brains' [8]




"The future belongs to those who learn more skills and combine them in creative ways" - Robert Greene

In summary three important skills to develop mental wealth are lively listening, lifelong learning and consistent creativity. Honing these skills takes time although the desired results will certainly be worth your patience. Have fun practising the suggested solutions including momentary eye-contact, regular reading and taking a hot showers and you'll be closer to being mentally wealthy for the long-term.


Written by Adam Bowcutt Author of Confide & Work is Mental


If you're interested to learn more please go ahead and visit adambowcutt.com.au or Xnforce.com


Feel free to also read: 3 Ways to Build Mental Wealth



[Sources & References]

[1] Psych Central: Become a Better Listener By John M. Grohol, Psy.D.

[2] Confide: the new psychology of confidence: how to power up after experiencing depression by Adam Bowcutt. Xlibris Publishing

[3] Psychology Today, The Power of Your Internal Dialogue by Jill P. Weber Ph.D.

[4] Rebuild Stronger Confidence and Increase Energy by Author Adam Bowcutt

[5] Confide: the new psychology of confidence: how to power up after experiencing depression by Adam Bowcutt. Xlibris Publishing p.77

[6] Forbes: Here's How Creativity Actually Improves Your Health by Ashley Stahl

[7] Fast Company: 7 Surprising Facts About Creativity, According To Science by John Paul Titlow

[8] Live Science: Do You Daydream? You May Be Smarter and More Creative Than Your Peers by Samantha Mathewson






  • Adam Bowcutt

What is mental wealth & why is it important to build?


Mental wealth is a powerful combination of growth mindset, mental fortitude and abundance mentality. Did you know that 95% of our recurring thoughts are subconscious and 5% are conscious? Think about that for a moment. Whenever we hear the word wealth what normally springs to mind is financial. Wealth in the monetary sense is certainly important although what is arguably most important is Mental Wealth because it is the foundation that everything else is built upon.


"Your mindset matters. It affects everything - from the business and investment decisions you make, to the way you raise your children, to your stress levels and overall well-being". - Peter Diamandis

3 Ways to Build Mental Wealth


1 ACTION


Important because: taking action, 'moving your body and changing your physiology can have awesome effects on your mind and mindset, because it builds momentum' [1] Momentum is inextricably linked to motivation. A study based on psychological momentum theory found that 'only a small force of inspiration would be needed to ease the difficulty associated with initiating an academic task.' [2] It is important to be opportunistic in taking action, no matter how little inspiration you feel. Even if today you're not inspired at all, how about using the 5 second rule? [3] Simply count down from five seconds and immediately start your task before you reach zero. This way you'll be less inclined to procrastinate because your brain won't have time to ponder excuses. I use this to do the dreaded laundry which I hate doing! Like clockwork, it works every time. What's most effective is that the simple action of doing the laundry builds psychological momentum towards the next task, and so on. Taking action is definitely the first step towards building mental wealth.


Solution: Take any small step first, this is most critical. For example, taking immediate action and making your bed as soon as you wake up in the morning. This first task sets you up for the next action and task of the day by building momentum. Move your body-move obviously, voluntarily, energetically. Start small, for example:


• One-minute walk

• Five star jumps

• Ten minute swim

• Thirty second run


and... Action!


"Wealth flows from energy and ideas". William Feather

2 AWARENESS


Important because: awareness improves your ability to analyse and evaluate environments and scenarios. This helps to build mental wealth because all your senses are engaging in the present moment so that you can confidently navigate reality. You'll become adept at creating and fine-tuning important connections and relatedness between ideas and people. Essentially, observing your actions at a higher-level of thinking.


'Zen Buddhist monks show an extraordinary synchronization of brain waves known as gamma synchrony—a pattern increasingly associated with robust brain function and the synthesis of activity that we call the mind.' [4] This is possible due to many years of meditation practice. Like long-term dedication working out at the gym yields strong muscles, these master meditators grew measurably stronger in mental capacity, certainly resulting in heightened awareness. Zen Buddhist monks built abundant mental wealth.


In the past I was linear in my thinking and limited in my perspective, in that I would see problems in terms of their effects and consequences in the same day. I was egocentric and short-sighted in approach and awareness. Now, benefitting from focused time, reflection, life experiences and applying new knowledge, I am practicing exponential thinking and experiencing greater awareness. Instead of thinking in terms of days and weeks, I am now improving my awareness of the importance of thinking, meta-thinking (thinking about thinking) and projecting my thoughts into the future in say thirty-two, sixty-four and one-hundred and twenty-eight years time. This shifts my perspective so that my awareness and mental faculties are constantly being stretched.


Solution: Stop what you're doing right now and see if you can observe your thoughts. With practice you'll build greater awareness and your mental agility will be tested and in time, strengthened.


• Meditate for nine seconds by focusing only on your breathing:

  1. Inhale for three seconds

  2. Hold for three seconds

  3. Exhale for three seconds

For more awareness do less.

"I believe everyone should have a broad picture of how the universe operates and our place in it. It is a basic human desire. And it also puts our worries in perspective". Stephen Hawking

For beginner meditation awareness perhaps take a look at 1 Giant Mind App


3 FOCUS


Important because: increasing focus means you are allocating finite mental resources to specific goals, and by doing so, acuity of mind develops; you become mentally sharper. Effectiveness of brain function is less likely diluted because 'where focus goes, energy flows'. [5] Did you know that 'in the average adult human, the brain represents about 2% of the body weight. Remarkably, despite its relatively small size, the brain accounts for about 20% of the oxygen and, hence, calories consumed by the body' [6] The human brain is an absolutely amazing and fascinating organ and processing machine, capable of seemingly immeasurable processing power. Once we focus on how its power is utilised, mental wealth is built upon a foundation that strengthens with sustained and intelligent focus. What is your current focus? Is it truly the best use of your mental fortitude?


Just a few years ago I'd incessantly divide my time between multiple projects and I really thought it was a good thing! In my mind getting lots done, in fact quite the opposite. By trying to do too many things at once I'd fail miserably at all, because I was diluting my focus. Learning from my mistake, dedicated to progress, and an obsession with improving my personal mental health, I realised how unsustainable my behaviour was. Continuing blindly, burnout would be imminent, and I definitely did not want to get clinical burnout and any irreparable physical and mental damage accompanying it. By practising how to focus, my productivity and output improved massively. Most importantly my focus was now on tasks that, once completed, resulted in genuinely nourishing my whole being. Instead of a human just doing I became a human being. It's important to make sure that whatever you decide to focus your invaluable time and energy on that it is congruent with your core values. If you don't, you may begin to harbour resentment for whomever set you the task, and believe me, self-hate is the most toxic and damaging of emotions that serves no-one. We all have choices, choose wisely and you'll build mental wealth.

Solution: Set up and start your days, weeks, months and years with the end in mind. Begin with who you want to become in the future and reverse-engineer backwards from that date. Of course, flexibility is key, although most important is your specific choice of focus.


• Focus on tasks that yield the best results connected to your values.


For example: If two of your values are fitness and consistency, after making your bed in the morning put your workout shoes on (that you've set down by your bed the previous night ) and go to the gym every Monday, Wednesday and Friday.


• Follow One Course Until Successful (F.O.C.U.S) Once you dedicate your focused energy, with respect to your values, it's highly likely you'll be successful in your endeavours because instead of diluting energy you are concentrating it towards a specific end goal.


"The greatness of a man is not in how much wealth he acquires, but in his integrity and his ability to affect those around him positively." - Bob Marley

If you need help identifying core values here is a List of Core Values [7]

Adam Bowcutt



With a powerful collaboration between action, awareness and focus you will certainly begin to build mental wealth and the strongest foundations of growth, fortitude and abundance. With great respect to building long-term authentic confidence, mental health and ultimately higher level skills to navigate reality now and into the future.


If you'd like to learn more about what we do please visit www.xnforce.com or www.adambowcutt.com.au


Adam Bowcutt

Author

::: CONFIDE Collective :::




Glossary:

Growth Mindset Embracing challenges and learns from criticism

Mental Fortitude Emotional and mental strength despite adversity

Abundance Mentality Recognizing unlimited possibilities (opposite to scarcity mentality)


[Sources]

[1] Confide : the new psychology of confidence : how to power up after experiencing depression / Bowcutt, Adam, Xlibris

[2] Psychological Momentum and Inertia: Toward a Model of Academic Motivation

[3] The Five Elements of the Five Second Rule by Mel Robbins

[4] Zen Gamma, Scientific American

[5] Robbins Research International Inc. by Tony Robbins

[6] Appraising the brain's energy budget, PNAS Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of The United States of America

[7] Core values list by Carnegie Mellon University


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