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Cognitive Aikido Therapy

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Why Give a Damn: Nearly all successful people will tell you that mindset is everything. Here are a few practical ways stay centered and balanced amidst the chaos of entrepreneurship


Rafe Furst is an entrepreneur, investor and advisor. The startups in his portfolio have generated over $1 billion in revenue. He’s been featured in the New York Times Magazine, WIRED.com and Shake The World. What people want to talk to him most about, though, is the year he spent in an RV with his best friend, drinking beer and attending sporting events.

My life has changed for the better by making the choice to practice three cognitive skills that I’d like to share with you.

 

 1. Eliminating “Should”
Whenever I catch myself saying to someone “you should do…”, I remember how it feels when people tell me what I “should” do. Then, I try to find a way to make my point without telling them what to do. For instance, instead of “you should talk to so and so” I might say “when I had a similar problem, I talked to so and so and that made all the difference”. It’s not what you say, but how you say it.

 

Black Belt: Try eliminating “should” entirely from your vocabulary, even when applied to yourself.

 

2. Replace “No” with “Yes! And…”
This one comes from an improv class I took once. Here’s the move:
  • Them: “I’d really like to talk to you about my brilliant idea to create better widgets”
  • Me: “That would be fine once my schedule clears up after my big deadline. Check back with me in 3 weeks and we’ll schedule a 10 minute call to see if I can help you somehow.” Always keep your mind and opportunities as open as possible.
3. What if it is possible?
Our human brains evolved in a time of scarcity. In those times, it was more important to eliminate uncertainty than to go exploring. Unknown paths could lead to danger. However, in the information/creative economy we live in today, that self-preservation instinct can become our biggest roadblock to success.

 

Always remain clear with yourself that mental exploration is just that — exploration, not commitment to action. What’s wrong with “going there” from time to time? After all, what if it is possible to live forever…?

 

A Burning Question:
What do your cognitive workouts look like? Sharing the thoughts or practices that keep you sharp can be helpful to others and serve as a great reminder to yourself!

Rafe Furst has written 6 articles for UNREASONABLE.is

  • strakaJA01

    I literally just read “The Power of Language” article! I completely agree @nick ahrens! It really is all about how you say something! You can make the nastiest of words sound nice with just the way you say them. Rafe, thank you for the tips! I will definitely use them! You are very right with your explanation of saying “should”. I think I say “should” too much in my life. I will pay more attention to it now. Do you have any techniques for remembering these 3 tips?

  • Kyle Schiedemeyer

    I couldn’t agree more with this article! This applies to me directly as an athlete. Mental strength on the football field is just as important as physical strength. If you are going against a team that is bigger, faster and stronger than you and before the game you convince yourself you’re going to lose anyways, you will. I am a firm believer in mental strength and mental training. I agree with you when you say, perception is everything because it is. You can control how you look at life, stay mentally strong and you will be a whole lot happier in life, and many more opportunities are going to present themselves. Thanks for sharing this information, great article!

  • Alexandra Helena Marie Nicolof

    This is an article that I should review frequently. Mindset is everything when it comes to accomplishments. It’s simple to fall into the pattern of saying “no” when we are stressed or feel like there isn’t much wiggle room in our schedule. I find myself guilty of telling myself “no,” when I become swamped with studies and work, so I’d like to take a gamble at what it’d be like to replace with a simple “yes!”

  • laurenkraft

    Thank you for sharing this article. I was curious as soon as I saw this articles’ title. I thought to myself what this could be about. I am happy I read this. I needed a pick me up and this sure helped. I liked that you shared these three simple skills. Yes I said simple, something so easy as to not saying no and by simply making time for someone could change your mood and theirs as well. it’s the little things in life. I will for sure try some of these skills. Especially the stop saying no one. What do you do when someone comes a second time around with an idea and you absolutely have no time. Do you still give them the chance?

  • Jessica Mendoza

    Love this article! it was short and straight to the point. These three cognitive skills can be life changing if I follow them. I am going to review this article frequently. This applies to my everyday life as a student and an athlete. Mind set is key when it comes to both things. My biggest problem out of all three of these skills is saying “should”. I say should WAY to much when I know I should. Saying should is comparable to second guessing myself. Thank you for writing this article! I am thankful that you explained these skills so that it can help me to use them in my every day life.

  • pinsolera

    Thank you for posting this article. I totally agree with the three points in this article because without being positive and constantly pushing yourself to be better, an individual will remain stagnant and become frustrated, or possibly quit. For those like me who are trying to do better in life, especially in sports and being an entrepreneur, this is article is for you.

  • Jansscor16

    This is a very good article, your advice is fantastic and something to think about. I saw a video (not sure when or where), but the gentleman tried not to have a schedule. When someone asked to set up a meeting, the gentleman always said “well what about now?”. That way if another person was to need him during the scheduled time he would have made, he would have been busy. Now he is open and available to help me. This of course may not work in all situations, but I thought it was something very cool and a different way to say “yes”. These are great points that we can pass on by doing them ourselves. I hope to put these into practice!!

  • http://parisinmadison.blogspot.com/ Amanda O.

    This is such a good read! Thank you so much for sharing. I really like the first and second point. The way one delivers a message comes far more important than what was said in the message. I completely agree with everything said in this article. In my opinion, the first two points are some of the ways to effective and efficient communication. Thank you for sharing!

  • pinsolera

    Exactly, definitely agreed. Also, I believe that the first two points eliminate any excuses for not getting something done. If it is truly important, someone will eliminate “should”, no, and if to get matters taken care of.

  • treehugger90

    I agree eliminating should us a good idea because I catch myself using the word should too. It also sounds so much better when you don’t tell a person they should do something because then sometimes that specific person that’s saying they should do something, looks like a smart ass. I know I probably come off that way sometimes. I think eliminating should is a great suggestion!