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Wellbeing / Business psychology

Breakthrough thoughts: Listen to yourself

While a majority of our inner dialogue is relatively trivial, we all have breakthrough thoughts that cut through the minutiae, snap us to attention and get us to act. Now is the ideal time to take note and take action.

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During the first week in our new home, for example, our TV wasn’t working, so come the evening we resorted to good old fashioned books, Scrabble and conversation.

Once the aerial got fixed, we switched on the TV. The ads were on, and after such a quiet week it was as if an obnoxious and entirely unwelcome guest had deposited themselves on our sofa.

“That’s it.” I thought. “No more automatically watching the least worst TV. It only goes on when there’s something specific to watch.”

I reckon we’re down from three hours a day to a maximum of one. Apart from when the Test cricket was on, but that’s an exception.

The same week at the dentist, I picked up a magazine and read a story headlined TV star gets clamped!

"Do I need to know about the parking infringements of a C-list UK TV act? I’d literally rather watch the walls."

“Enough’s enough.” I said to myself. “Do I need to know about the parking infringements of a C-list UK TV act? I’d literally rather watch the walls. No more trashy mags.”

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It seems breakthrough thoughts often start with “That’s it” or “Enough’s enough.” I think mine were assisted by my move and change of scene, making me more switched on and less complacent in my surroundings.

It’s like when you go on holiday, on the first day you are acutely observant and notice the climate, the people, who’s smiling, who’s not. Then by the second day you’re acclimatised and failing to notice as much.

I think when you arrive home, too, you have a window of a day or so where you’re ripe for a few breakthrough thoughts.

“That’s it. I’m fed up of this dodgy office chair. I’m getting a new one.”

Or

“Why’s my email’s clogged with stupid questions from that client? He’s got to go.”

In January, you’re likely to be better rested and more positive and energetic than at other times of the year. This makes it a great time to listen to yourself.

What are you hearing? Let us know  your breakthrough thoughts.

Sam Leader

is a former director of Flying Solo and the co-author of Flying Solo - How to go it alone in business.

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