There’s been no shortage of articles and mentions recently about staying on top of your mental game, but one more sure couldn’t hurt.
In a past life, I used to work in the bicycle industry. Part of my job was attending coach-led training camps. In a nutshell, I would travel from Wisconsin to California a bunch of times between January and March and spend anywhere from 2 to 4 hours a day riding through wine country or some other incredible vista along with 50 people who had actually paid to be a part of this experience. Not a bad gig, huh?
On one particular trip, I don’t even remember where I was riding, but I know that we were about 3 1/2 hours into our day. We were riding at a painfully slow pace, somewhere between 12 to 13mph (for reference, my group rides average just shy of 20mph and pro racers ride at almost 30mph) . I found myself right next to the head coach who looked at me and asked, “Hey Robb, how are you doing?” I distinctly remember looking him dead in the eye and responding, “I know it’s February and I am not in Wisconsin, but this sucks! I’m so bored!”
What came out if his mouth next was something that will stick with me forever.
“Today is a big day of making deposits. Yes, I know the pace is super slow, but eventually you’re going to be in a situation where it’s race day, or event day, or you are gonna be out with your friends and in order for you to go as hard as you want to, you’re going to have to make some massive physical withdrawals from your body. Days like this, while slow and boring, are exactly what you need to make the kind of aerobic deposits in your body’s bank account so that you have “money to spend” when you really need to.”
I think this concept really hits home as a relates to staying on top of your brain’s “bank account”. In the current climate, there are all kinds of withdrawals being made. The news, your self-talk, your neighbor losing his or her job, social distancing, the Internet, “life”. Unfortunately, these things treat us like auto-pay and we are not actually consciously taking the money out.
Because of this disconnect, it’s imperative that you are making daily deposits into your mental bank account so that you can offset the withdrawals that are being taken out automatically.
What are Deposits? Here’s a couple examples:
Celebrating making a killer pot of coffee
A new mantra or mindset (“It’s Time to Make the Donuts!”)
Re-Connecting with your core values, purpose, vision and goals
Dropping an unsolicited compliment on your family
Going for a walk
Going for a bike ride
Calling your old neighbor to say hi
Buying a new desk lamp
Patching the old hole in the wall
You get the picture. You don’t have to save the world with your efforts. Simply do something that brings you joy or allows you to see the joy in a situation. After all, even a penny can generate compound interest.
What mental deposits can you start making today?