• James McNeil

Why simply avoiding suicidal thoughts isn't the answer...

“You can’t tell the human brain not to do something.” Simon Sinek

In a video recently released on YouTube, Simon Sinek is talking to a small group of people and he is challenged by an attendee when he says that the human brain cannot comprehend the negative.

I will admit when I first heard this, I was skeptical. “Of course it can! So many people have negative thoughts every day!”

Thankfully, this is not what Simon was referring to when he said the brain cannot comprehend the negative. He was referring to our mind’s tendency to reinforce things when we focus on the negative.

“I can’t do this.”

“I can’t understand.”

“I can’t get a job!”

I was guilty of that last one for a long time. I talked about how hard it was to find a job until my efforts in looking for a job mirrored my belief that I could not find one.

He goes on to explain how pilots avoid obstacles and skiers avoid trees. They don’t do so by focusing on the obstacles or trees. They do so by focusing on the path they’re supposed to take. When I was looking for work and complaining that I “couldn’t get a job” I was focusing on the obstacles, and sure enough I would hit them daily. After graduating with a bachelor’s degree, I was more qualified, but I was still struggling with the “can’t get a job” mentality. It wasn’t until after I ditched that mentality and started focusing on the path to finding meaningful work that I was hired.

This exact same principle applies to every part of our lives. Do you want to overcome the obstacles that lead to suicidal thoughts and ideations? Focusing on them will almost surely mean you will hit them head on.

How do you avoid them? Focus on the path. In Finding Your Personal Mission, there are steps you can take to keep yourself motivated and on the path to avoid these obstacles. Very few of the chapters actually deal with the obstacles (such as impostor syndrome, anger issues, and others). Most of the chapters you will read are focused toward helping each other stay on the path.

Go to today and pick up your own copy. While you’re at it, check out our t-shirts provided by our amazing friends at Really? Designs. And remember that your story is not over yet.

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