I recently read a lot, and when I say a lot, I mean a LOT of books about mind management, how to stop worrying and start living and quite frankly, journeys to a more successful, happier life. On reflection, one of the most powerful books I read was without a doubt, The Chimp Paradox, written by Prof. Steve Peters.
Now, I am not saying everything about the Chimp Paradox is how you should choose to leave your life as it is quite a difficult concept to grasp and I really struggled to get to grips with the idea but it was one of them baby steps, like filling a gap, that really helped me kickstart my journey (and for those of you wondering why I started to kickstart my wellbeing revolution, I was faced with a situation where I was losing something I never wanted to lose and I am so grateful for the wake up call it gave me but more of this to come).
Basically, the Chimp Paradox. It suggests that your brain is made of 3 components: The Chimp, The Human and The Computer. The Chimp is your emotional self, The Human is your logical self and The Computer is sort of the conducts of life that you choose to live by and follow day-to-day, sort of like a hard wiring.
To put all this into perspective, the example I like to use is road rage. We’ve all been in a situation where someone hasn’t indicated or they’ve cut you off or someone has just made a very questionable driving decisions which has left us all feeling quite angry. The chimp inside of you (your emotions), first of all, throws a tantrum. “What an idiot”, or, “That’s outrageous”, or, “That’s completely set my day off on the wrong foot.” are all impulse reactions from your emotional, unruly chimp. Your human (your logical self), then tries to battle the chimp by telling the chimp that, “It’s okay, that person was clearly in a rush, we don’t need to let this get to us, let’s just get on with our day.” However, the chimp is much stronger than your human, and a battle persists in your mind between your human and your chimp trying to console each other and come to a reasonable way in how we should react to the current inconvenience we have been faced with.
BUT… now this is the exciting part and when your computer really comes to life. If your chimp had first look into your computer and seen that written on your stone of life was for example, Not everyone thinks the same as me and that’s okay, or life isn’t fair, or everyone makes mistakes and that is completely fine, then your chimp wouldn’t have had the initial outburst of frustration and anger which left everyone feeling exhausted, putting a negative spin on your outlook for that day before the day had even truly begun.
I could relate to this situation completely – my chimp was well and truly in control of all the decisions I had made, my human was trying to fight my chimp which was inevitably never going to achieve anything successful so I delved into my computer.
You heard me, I wiped my computer clean. Got a new hard drive, rewired everything and set up a new stone of life.
Now this stone of life concept sounds fantasized and difficult to understand but it is truly so simple and something I encourage anyone to do if they are really feeling like they find the negative in EVERY LITTLE THING.
So, your stone of life. This very stone is split into your truths of life, your values of life and your overriding message of life above everything else. When I looked at what my stone of life was, I actually couldn’t think of anything on there. There was nothing engraved on that poor little stone so I got to work and I came up with these…
Truths of Life:
- Things come and go
- Life is never fair
- Not everyone thinks the same as me
- My emotions are never a logical response
- I’m bound to make mistakes
- What other people think about you really doesn’t matter
- Worrying is completely useless and achieves nothing
Values of Life:
- Always be true to yourself
- Accept change and the ability to grow and learn with open arms
- Never judge
- Be honest and open up to people
- Appreciation is a key principle for happiness
- Be enthusiastic and live life on my terms ( I like to call this fire, or sass, whatever suits)
- Be confident
- Always persevere and share what you believe in
Critical Stone of Life:
- Find joy in life, share it with others.
- Comfort is progresses worst enemy.
- Everything has a positive before a negative.
After rewiring my computer, I’ve now found my chimp starting to lose control and my human taking over. It’s an extremely difficult concept to grasp, I still struggle, as I said, I’m bound to make mistakes and get it wrong. But that is what this is all about – learning to change your life and encouraging a wellbeing revolution. If it helps, write your stone of life up on a big piece of paper, read it as many times a day as you want until it is embedded in your mind and can naturally be applied to every situation you face in your life.
You need to remember – this change won’t happen over night. It is a long process re wiring negativity that has been in your hard drive for yearrrrsss. Like overcoming a stupid computer virus because you clicked on a pop up ad for free coffee (we’ve all been there). Eventually, your computer gets over the virus and returns to functioning as normal. That’s how you need to think of your computer – a re wiring, not a new model.
All my love,
The Wellbeing Revolution – written for those who wish to live a life full of happiness, mindfulness, self-love, confidence, fulfilment, meaning and the courage to accept yourself.
- https://www.amazon.co.uk/Chimp-Para… – only £5.99 a copy, you’d be stupid not to.