Not just for yogis, mantras are a free and easy way to manage thoughts, improve productivity and achieve positive physical and mental welfare.
The sound of mantra literally drowns out the negative voices in our heads. When the negative thoughts are addressed, the mind has room for positive thoughts.
Pretty groovy, huh?
However, I had a difficult time finding mantras that resonated with me personally. I found many to be too fluffy or superfluous, or downright boring. They didn’t stick, and as a result, I knew I was selling my potential short.
What did work for me were curating mantras that were a bit shocking, but super easy to digest, remember and refer back to.
Here are a few non-traditional mantras that I have found to be helpful in approaching traditional business and personal relationships.
“If You’re Going to Eat Shit, Don’t Nibble”
Go big or go home.
It really comes down to this — when you find yourself needing to make a tough decision, don’t drag it out to avoid the pain.
Only once you understand the pain, can you truly treat the symptom.
Or on a super positive note, why sell yourself short on potential greatness?
The beauty of certainty is that you have all of the answers needed to be able to move forward. No open-ended hypotheticals. A down payment for a happier future, if you will.
There is so much opportunity for growth in knowing vs leaving things unanswered or as open-ended hypotheses. If you half-ass something, you may find yourself caught up in the “what if I … “ or “I should’ve said …” in the back of your brain.
“As painful as it might be, I knew that we had to get into the broader market in order to understand it well enough to build the right product. Paradoxically, the only way to do that was to ship and try to sell the wrong product. We would fall on our faces, but we would learn fast and do what was needed to survive.”
You don’t know, what you don’t know, you know?
It’s better to rip the band-aid off and work through the pain, than to prolong it and deal with the pain later. By knowing faster, you can come up with quicker solutions.
Go all in on your life. Be bold in your actions. Be decisive with your word.
If you’re going to eat shit – take a big ‘ole bite.
“Pouring salt in your sugar won’t make mine any sweeter” –
Your success does not have to come at someone else’s expense.
You don’t rise up by putting other people down.
And as much as it may feel fun to hate all over your <nemesis, ex bf, high school rival, etc>, consider they aren’t even thinking of you. Seriously. Those wedding day pictures you spent an hour shit talking – didn’t take a second of happiness away from their day, and ate into your extremely limited Saturday morning “me time.”
It happens in the office, too.
Have something negative to say about a coworker or client? As much as it might feel good for the second, take a second to pause and think about why you’re frustrated. Is it with the person or the situation? And most importantly, are you directly involved and worth getting your proverbially panties in a twist?
Really, the only thing that complaining does is show that you’re not in control.
If you’re frustrated with the situation – consider how you can take chicken shit and turn it into a chicken salad:
How did you get there?
What would you do differently?
How could you avoid it in the future?
If you find yourself at the short end of the stick and not really able to effect any of the above, try to shift your approach – what is the learning here? If you were the boss, how would you have handled the situation differently?
You can be tough on issues, but gentle on people.
Ask yourself honestly, “Would I be reacting the same way if this person wasn’t involved?”
This means, attack the problem (not the person).
Be specific and use examples for reference – share words like, “When you <blank>, I feel <defensive, undermined, disrespected>” vs “You are a bully” or “She’s a robotic insensitive bitch.” At the end of the day – its true – you don’t know what someone may be going through. Sometimes, people may not even be aware of how their reactions come across, and giving them the benefit of the doubt can take a huge weight off your shoulders.
If you’re frustrated with the person, “classic Sheila being Sheila” – take a second to pause.
Consider this – it isn’t personal. Sheila’s response has nothing to do with you. Perhaps it is all about her and something larger she is going through.
Even if you’re on your best behavior, you still might find yourself a bit stuck. Here are some great additional resources:
- Well and Good – Help! I have a miserable boss (what do I do?)
- US News – Money – How to Deal With a Co-Worker Who’s Rude to You
- Forbes – Social Deception: Managing Social Media Jealousy
“You can’t control the ocean – but you can learn how to surf the waves.”
Here’s the thing, there will always be conflict or items beyond your control. Always.
Hit every red light on the way to work
(when you’re already running late)?
Is it like, 10,000 spoons when all you need is a knife?
Stuck in a job you hate?
You can’t always control how other people act/situations, but you can control how you respond. Life can come at us fast, and we often react without thinking.
Maybe you loathe the requirements of the position, but the job allows you the financial freedom to travel often or finally buy that tiny home you’ve been visualizing for the past three years (or simply pays the bills). You can either change your scenery, or change your perspective. Both scenarios, you are totally in control!
So how can you deal with the discomfort?
“Whenever I feel resistance bubble up inside, (which happens pretty much every time I do something I’ve never done before), I consciously choose to feel it and move through it instead of letting it stop me in my tracks. It’s just like lifting weights at the gym – you can’t get stronger without consciously deciding to lean into resistance and discomfort over and over again.”
Here are 3 additional tips on how to respond vs react, so you can create winning results and lasting relationships:
- Zen Habits – Learn to Respond, Not React
- Psychology Today – React vs Respond – What’s the Difference
- inc.com – How to Respond vs. React
“You can’t put the toothpaste back in the tube”
You can’t unring a bell.
And you certainly can’t take back something you’ve said.
One of my long-time mentors once affectionately referred to someone as an “early hater and late adopter.” Which was funny and stuck. However, that was how I always thought of “Ted,” some grumpy man sipping on hater-ade for breakfast with a side of hater-tots.
It got to the point, where I wouldn’t share any new programs or concepts with Ted because I was afraid he’d shoot them down – based on the “war stories” I heard from colleagues. Then when he’d catch wind, he’d bring down the house – and what felt like to me – shutting down every good idea I had.
However, I learned that he reacted in this way because he wasn’t part of the process. Ted had wonderful ideas and very valid considerations. Perhaps if he was brought in earlier to the process, (sure many ideas may never get off the ground), but his pragmatic view and questions, would answer a lot of questions upfront and set us all up ultimately for better success!
Turns out Ted wasn’t a hater of new ideas (at all) – he hated wasted time, money or resources. So we were all on the same page and shared the same goal! Same positive intent.
Most importantly – the words you use have weight. How you speak to yourself and others has a lasting impact.
If you feel yourself getting ready to say something hurtful – is it because you’re hurting or you want to inflict hurt?
Hopefully you found these non traditional mantras helpful in how you can approach your traditional business and personal relationships.
Do you have any mantras that work for you? Would love to hear more in the comments section!