There’s a concept in the book “Think Like a Monk” by Jay Shetty that I'm going to call the “10 to 1 Rule” for the purposes of this newsletter. Jay says in the book that anytime you say something the ratio needs to be as follows:
10 positive: 1 negative
What really struck me when he spoke about it in the book was that you can actually use this rule when speaking about not only other people but yourself as well. This ratio seems utterly impossible to me and according to Jay, he thought the same when the monks at the ashram introduced it to him.
Let’s be overly optimistic however and say we can maintain this 10 to 1 rule. At the minimum, it is worth a shot. Something I learned from the book that comes from this rule is the impact negative talk and gossip have in our daily conversations. Interestingly enough, in the book, he talks about how positivity strengthens the hippocampus and he connected that positive ratio to help a part of your brain that regulates important processes in your body.
Long story short, being positive can help your brain function better and can lead to a more well-regulated and healthy body. The argument he made was more negative talk leads you to possibly get sick more due to the effect it has on the hippocampus. For me, I'm all about not getting sick as much as the last thing I want is to be unproductive for a few days up to a week.
Now not every argument needs to come from an “it makes you more or less productive” point of view but I think the impact being negative has on your life is seen clearly when you put it that way. If you feel it or not being negative and outwardly projecting negative thoughts not only hurts others but it hurts yourself.
In the book, Jay also references how in his personal life he avoided being a part of gossip by saying “I’m not sure about that” when asked of his opinion. This led to many of his relationships to change with people as he would not give in to the conversations people had all the time. When you have silence at lunch with friends, it’s extremely awkward as you would imagine.
I’d like to start approaching conversations like this from now on and I hope you will too. The next time gossip happens in a conversation you are in, do not give a direct answer or input to anything. The benefit of speaking negatively on the other person does not positively impact you, the people you are with, or the people you are talking about.
I'm also going to try to do the 10 to 1 rule on myself and not cast any negative aspersions on me being too self-helpy. It’s fun to be a walking talking piece of self-improvement propaganda.
Have an awesome week!
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✍️ Quote of the Week
”There are more things that frighten us than injure us, and we suffer more in imagination than in reality." - Seneca