HOW TO MASTER JEDI MIND CONTROL

buddha what we think

Over the last couple of years I have become fascinated with the idea that everything in your life is a result of what goes on in your mind.

If there are two twins that are the exact same in every way, except that one is relentlessly positive and the other is endlessly negative, their lives would be completely different.

They could encounter the exact same scenarios and obstacles but they would perceive them in different ways. The positive person would see them as a chance to grow, and the negative person would see them as evidence that you can never succeed.

With this in mind I am convinced that learning to skew your mind towards the positive and the useful is the best way to completely transform your life.

Here are the three steps to learning to control your mind like a Jedi.

1) Observe your thoughts.

In order to start controlling the endless chatter in your mind you first have to get rid of the idea that you are your thoughts.

We tend to think that the chatter in our mind is who we are and that is it, but that is just a part of who you are. You are your whole body from top to bottom and your entire subconscious, not just your conscious thoughts.

Now what you need to do is to step back from your thoughts and observe them. Start keeping track of when you are thinking negatively. The next time you find yourself upset, step back for a second and think “Wow, I have a lot of negative thoughts right now.”

Doing this will help you catch yourself in these useless reflexive thought cycles. Nothing good comes from beating yourself up or feeling sorry for yourself so the more you start to catch yourself, the quicker you can implement my next step.

2) Cancel your negative thoughts.

Now that you are starting to keep an eye on what you are thinking instead of just letting the chatter go on, you can start to pull yourself out of these habitual thought patterns.

Your brain doesn’t like using a lot of energy, so if you are a person who naturally reacts negatively, your mind will jump to that first because it is easy. Doing something outside of the norm requires conscious effort, something your brain would rather avoid.
Yeah, thanks evolution, we really appreciate that…

My favourite way to pull myself out of my bad habitual thought cycles is to use an “interrupt mantra.”

An interrupt mantra is something that you start repeating over and over once you realize that you are in one of these cycles. It will replace your useless thoughts with the exact opposite and more useful thoughts.

If you are someone who has problems with procrastination, once you realize that you are thinking “Man, I hate doing this work, I just want to relax and watch some Netflix” you have to switch to your interrupt mantra. It could be something like “I am energized and ready to take on anything. I’ll conquer this project with ease and energy to spare.”

Repeat that as many times in a row as you have to and after a while of canceling your negative thoughts, your mind will start to reflexively jump to the positive and more useful thoughts.

It only makes sense that your procrastination will naturally shrink when your reflexive thoughts are that of being energized and ready to conquer the obstacles ahead of you.

Interrupt mantras can work for any negative thoughts. If you have negative thoughts about your confidence interrupt them with “I am an amazing and confident person. I am going to start giving myself the credit I deserve.”

If you have problems with willpower interrupt those thoughts by saying “I have tons of willpower to spare. I am a strong person who can beat any temptation with ease.”

Rinse and repeat as many times as needed whether it be ten, twenty, or thirty times in a row.

3) Meditation.

This step isn’t required, but it will make the whole process ten times easier. When I started meditating I didn’t realize just how impactful it would be. I also didn’t realize how many of my favourite celebrities and great thinkers meditated.

Everyone from Arnold Schwarzenegger, to Katy Perry, to Oprah Winfrey and more credit meditation as a key part of their success and ability to stay balanced.

We could discuss meditation for hours, the spiritual aspects, the physical effects it has on the brain over time or even just the calming effect it can create instantly. But for now there is one plus side to meditation that I want to share with you.

It allows you to step back from your thoughts.

With the type of meditation I do the point is to focus on your breath so intensely that your thoughts cease. Now, during meditation you are sure to have thoughts pop into your head. In this case you just allow them to surface without analyzing them, and then get back to focusing on your breathing. If you get an itch on your leg, you feel it, but then immediately bring your attention back to your breath.

This will train you to be able to have a thought or emotion surface without allowing it to pull you into its rabbit hole. This way when something happens in your daily life that aggravates you, instead of stewing over it for hours and ruining your whole day you can step back and say “is this really a useful thing to focus on? Do these thought patterns improve my life in any way shape or form, or do they just serve to steal energy and happiness from me?”

Armed with this ability to step back and question these reflexive thoughts, you can truly start to control your mind and use it for your own self improvement.

A quote that has been repeated by many of the great minds of the world, and is very close to my heart is: “The mind is a wonderful servant, but a terrible master.”

This quote perfectly explains the two different relationships you can have with your mind.

Either you control it, or it controls you. The decision is yours.


With love
Steven Farquharson, 2HelpfulGuys

Pour Out Your Soul, Fill The Void

I’m not going to lie, I’ve been depressed in the past. I’ve looked in the mirror without being able to understand the person looking back at me.

What do you want? What makes you happy? Why do you feel this void inside regardless of how things appear on the outside?

During these slumps I spent most of my time sleeping, eating out of boredom, devouring whole seasons of shows and consuming whatever I could to satisfy the feeling, or lack there of, inside me.
I felt unfulfilled and useless.

I still feel this way sometimes but I’ve learned how to push through it with one simple question that I ask myself every morning.

Do I want to be a consumer, or a producer?

Logically, if you feel an emptiness inside you, you are missing something that will make you feel complete again. I learned that this isn’t the case.

Instead of taking things in I started to pour everything out of myself. I poured out my heart, my emotions, my soul into my writing. It made me feel something that I hadn’t felt in a long time…

Producing pride.

Downward spirals and never ending consumption will lead to guilt. It’s a cycle. You’re empty so you try to distract or satisfy yourself with movies, video games or food but it doesn’t change anything and the more you consume, the more guilty and empty you feel.

Pouring out what you have left in you into something, anything, can make you proud again. You have something to look forward to instead of just passing the time.

It doesn’t have to be art.

You can start a business, volunteer to help build homes for people or even just create deeper connections with the people around you. As long as you are producing something that allows you to look forward and feel like you are useful.

Think of anything you can put into the world today and start on it. Happiness is more about where you are going than where you are now.

I’m not saying it’s wrong to take things in.

You just have to find a balance. Someone who spends all day being creative and working is bound to burn out eventually. That can be just as bad.

I feel that most people are unbalanced right now. As a society we have lost a lot of creativity and self-esteem. We think that we don’t have anything of value to add to the world, but imagine if people tried to live up to their full potential.

Imagine if they stopped trying to fill the void with material possessions, or distract themselves from it with movies, games and Facebook.

Writing in this blog and creating deeper connections with the people around me has helped me so much. I feel like I have something to offer the world again and although I go into slumps sometimes, I can pull myself out much quicker.

Maybe the void is meant to push you forward. I don’t know if I will ever be completely happy, but if I was, would I continue to push on?

I’ll probably never have to find out because the void is a part of me, and for now, I’ll pour out my soul from it.

With love,
Steven Farquharson, 2HelpfulGuys

How To Push Through Obstacles

When I moved out of my parents house this year, it was a scary process. My end goal was to live on my own and start to manage my own life, but every step of the way I faced obstacles I didn’t anticipate.

It had to be in our budget, it had to allow pets and it had to be close enough to all three of our work places.

After painstaking efforts to find somewhere that met all the criteria we had to gather all of our information and convince the landlords that we were the best tenants.

Finally we got the place and moved in, I thought it was all sunshine from there.

But boy was I wrong.

We had trouble getting the internet working, paying bills for the first time, figuring out groceries and a hundred other obstacles. To this day at least one house related obstacle pops up per week.

Right now, here at 2HelpfulGuys, we are in the middle of writing a book. I can already imagine the hundreds of hurdles that we are going to have to conquer.

Nothing you do will ever come without an obstacle or two so here are my tips to help you push through them and accomplish your goals.

Obstacles are a part of life.

The first thing that will help you push through these pesky obstacles is realizing that obstacles are unavoidable.

They are going to pop up, you can’t stop it. Even if you anticipate as many obstacles as you can, you are still going to run into a few nasty surprises along the way.

For your own sanity, it’s best that you become friends with obstacles.

Use obstacles to help you improve.

By definition an obstacle will help you improve and grow. If you didn’t need to grow to get past the obstacle, then it wouldn’t be an obstacle. It would just be another walk in the park.

When you realize that every obstacle matures your abilities and your drive, you will begin to become excited to face them.

Relish the opportunity to conquer something. It will only lead to more victories.

Break down your obstacles.

When you first encounter an obstacle it is almost always daunting. When you see a mountain from far away you think to yourself “It must be impossible to climb to the top! Look how high it is!”

But when you get closer you start to see the individual paths you can hike. You see it broken down into details that are easier to conquer one by one.

Do this with every obstacle you face. Break it down into small bite size pieces and start chewing.

Never give up.

Some people say Edison tried up to ten thousand different prototypes for the light bulb. Even though the first nine thousand nine hundred and ninety-nine didn’t work, he refuse to say that he ever failed.

“I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”
-Thomas Edison

This is the way you need to think. Every time you try something that doesn’t work you are getting closer to finding what does work.

I’ve learned that nothing you try will ever work the first time. Or maybe you’re lucky and you can get a hole in one.
I never can.

Learning to be okay with being wrong is the most important skill you will ever gain.

Keep being wrong until you find what is right. Just make sure you don’t give up.

As always, I’ll see you next Friday.

With Love,
Steven Farquharson, 2HelpfulGuys

3 WAYS TO CONNECT WITH PEOPLE MORE

A lot of people feel alone. They feel like they don’t have a connection to those around them.

I know how that feels. When I was younger I spent a lot of time in and out of hospitals, I didn’t get a whole lot of practice socializing with people my own age.

Spending most of my time with doctors, nurses and my mom made me feel alienated when it came time to engage with others at my school.

But there was an upside.

Doctors and nurses are some of the most caring people you will ever meet. They are intelligent, polite and empathetic. Every time I was in their care I felt appreciated and important. They were family to me.

I’ve wondered what made my connection with these people so deep and profound. I can still picture the faces and emotions associated with so many of the beautiful people I met at different hospitals.

Here are three conversational habits I internalized that helped me foster a deep connection with those around me.

Make eye contact and listen intently.

My doctor would walk into the room and greet my mother. He would then make his way over to me, bend down to my eye level, look me right in the eyes and give me a firm handshake.

The entire time we talked he would keep eye contact with me. I felt like he absorbed every single word I said. His focus never drifted from me, it made me feel like I mattered.

Too often we have conversations that we aren’t fully invested in. When someone is talking we take that as an opportunity to think about what we are going to say next instead of paying attention to what the other person is saying.

“Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.
-Stephen R. Covey

Worse yet, we might take the chance to check our phones, think about our day and zone out the other person completely.

Don’t waste the time talking to someone if you aren’t going to listen as well.

Cater the conversation to the other person.

The nurses and doctors would always ask about me.

“How are you feeling? How was your day? What are you thinking about?”

We all know that one person who will tell the same story to everyone they see in a given day and make every conversation about themselves. Maybe they bought a new phone and now they’ll show it to everyone. Maybe they didn’t get a lot of sleep and now that will be their topic of the day.

They somehow seem to direct every conversation to themselves.

Guess what. Not only is this terribly self important, but it’s also boring. Do you really want to have the same conversation about your new phone ten times in one day?

When you start wondering how other people are and what is going through their mind, you get a lot more out of your conversations. More variety, more connection, more perspectives.

If you have something nice to say, say it!

My mom would always tell me “Steven, if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.”

That is fine and dandy, I can agree with that.

But that isn’t my main concern. In this day and age compliments are rare. I hear friends tell me “Wow, that girl has nice eyes.” but they never actually tell the girl.

What if that compliment would have made her day?

She might be having a horrible morning. She might be feeling down in the dumps after a bad break up. One compliment can change a persons entire mood.

I live my life by the motto “If you have something nice to say, say it!” I want to point out every single piece of good that I see in the people around me.

When you give someone a compliment they like you more, and their connection with you deepens. A compliment may not change their life, but it might change their life for that moment. Isn’t that good enough?

So, I hope that these tips will help you foster a deeper connection with everyone around you. It is one of the most noble goals you can pursue.

I’ll never get to thank the people I met that have made such a deep impact on me, but I hope to leave the same impact on those around me.

As always, I’ll see you next Friday.

With love,
Steven Farquharson, 2HelpfulGuys

Replace your have with a want.

I have to write this article.

Don’t get me wrong, I love writing, but I have deadlines and sometimes I’m caught in a rush.

I completely forgot that I had to write an article for Friday instead of Sunday from now on.

So I add it to my ‘have to do’ list.

But that list can be scary.

I have to do my Spanish lesson, I have to meditate, I have to come up with my ten ideas today, I have to write a 2HelpfulGuys video, I have to go to the gym, I have to, I have to, I have to…

When I get into this mode of thinking it’s no wonder I become stressed.

I enjoy doing all of these things. They are the kind of activities I want to be doing for the rest of my life.

So why do I feel this immense pressure when I think about them?

Change your language to change your life.

A while ago a wrote an article about replacing the word should with the word could. That way you see things more as opportunities instead of obligations.

Since then I’ve been contemplating the language I use in my self talk. What am I saying to myself and how is it affecting the way I perceive my daily life?

I realized that this whole time I have been saying “I have to” and it has been giving all of my actions an overtone of pressure and responsibility.

Where did all the fun go!?

I worry that one day I’ll accomplish everything I want but I will be wandering around the streets grabbing people and yelling “where did all the fun go!? Do you ever have fun? Why do I hate my life!?”

That probably won’t happen, but I still can’t help feeling the pressure of a long “Have to do” list.

Replace your “Have to” with a “Want to.”

If these are all things that I enjoy doing, then why do I think about them using the same words as when I have to go to work? Or when I have to clean the toilets in my house?

Toilets are disgusting, but I love meditation.

From now on I am going to put in big bold letters at the top of my to-do list “Today I want to…”

That way, I’ll always subconsciously know that these things are my passions. They are what keeps me balanced. They are what brings joy and progression into my life.

I don’t have to do these things.
I want to.

This is my plea to you.

Watch your words, they dictate how you perceive your world.

Don’t say you have to play with your kids. Say you want to.

Don’t say you have to take your mother out for coffee, say you want to.

When you want to do something it feels like a choice, and one that you enjoy. When you have to do something it makes you feel as if you are at the whim of outside forces.

Sometimes you do ‘have’ to do things.

That’s fine. We all need to do things we don’t enjoy.

But save that language for your chores, not for the things that move you forward in life.

And not for the things that make life worth living.

I had to wanted to write this article today.

And I enjoyed every minute of it.

As always, I’ll see you next Sunday Friday.