Over a coffee this morning with a builder during a break in construction, he told me a story about his grandfather and his grandfather’s mates. He said they were sitting around having a cup of tea one day when they started reminiscing about Harley Davidsons. All of these guys at one point in their lives had owned a Harley. His comment was, “As they started talking about their Harleys, their trips, their adventures and the bikes themselves, I could see the years stripping away. They just seemed younger.”
In this week’s Mojo Radio Show we interview comedian Ella James. Ella talks about how she found some old journals containing love notes from her first ever boyfriend some years back. She talks about how wonderful it felt to read these letters. Well now there is scientific evidence to demonstrate that age could be more of a mindset than anything else. Ellen Langer who is the longest serving professor of psychology at Harvard, reportedly conducted an experiment where she took a group of 75 year old men away for a week, immersing them in an environment of their youth, surrounding them with music, magazines, tv shows, food, wall art, and sport that had them reminiscing about the good old days. Results showed that every measurement such as dexterity, grip strengh, hearing, vision, flexibility, memory and cognition improved during those 5 days away, when these old men were immersed into a fairly intense psychological intervention, taking them back to a time when they were youthful.
There’s a lot of science to back up the fact that age has a lot to do with our mindset. This post is just to encourage you to pull out your vinyl records, take a moment to go back through your photo albums, read your old diaries and journals, ring an old friend or if you can handle it, head to a school reunion. Take time to reflect, reconnect and immerse yourself in a time 10, 15, 20 or 30 years ago. It’s good for the soul, your creative spirit, your relationships and your health.
What difference could 15 minutes make to your day, your week or your month? It’s been said that the first 15 mins of any day determines the quality of the rest of that day. If it’s frantic and messy with no routine and no structure, one may assume with confidence that’s how the rest of your day will end up.
When investigating the morning rituals or routines of the successful people in any endeavour, they have traditionally built a routine around waking up and getting into the day. Whether it be gratitude journalling, recording ideas, reading inspirational quotes, doing yoga, pilates, stretching, walking the dog, running, swimming or having a cup of tea while reading a magazine, that first 15 minutes sets up the tone for your day.
So how you do you make 15 minutes work for you? Make sure the first 15 minutes of your day has a routine, a ritual that best represents the rest of your day. Create, dream, ponder, engage with nature, read, whatever it may be, but think about and plan your first 15 minutes of the day the night prior.
15 mintues is also extremely valuable throughout the rest of your day. Get to your meetings 15 minutes early and use that time to sit, ponder, preapare and visualise the outcome. Don’t spend that 15 minutes checking your status or scrolling through social media. If you’re going to the gym, get there 15 minutes early, fill your water bottle, stretch and organise your session. If you’re going to a meeting, arrive 15 minutes early and go over the agenda and the outcomes you want so that you maximise your time.
15 minutes can make a massive difference so your day, your week, your month – if you learn to use it wisely.