I’m going to tell how I protect my mindset with my list of the “13 Things This Entrepreneur Doesn’t Do.” That title was inspired by a woman named Amy Morin, who writes books with “13 Things” in the title. As an example, one of her books is “13 Things Mentally Strong People Don’t Do”. I haven’t read her books, but I’ve heard her on the James Altucher show, which is a podcast that I really love.
It got me thinking about myself and my mindset and how I protect it. It’s taken me a long time, but I think I’m finally wise enough to know what makes me better. And, of course, what makes me worse. And because I always want to be better, I want to protect myself from the things that make me worse. Nothing is easy in life, and this hasn’t been easy for me either.
There have been many shifts and a lot of experiences that have happened to me along the way. To make it as clear as it’s ever been in my life, although I will admit that I do work on it constantly. So I thought I would share these 13 things that this entrepreneur, (meaning me – Mike Malatesta) doesn’t do to protect my mindset and my positive outlook because I thought some of it would resonate with you, and even better than resonate, maybe activate something in you that would be helpful. So here it goes.
- I don’t watch or listen to the news. I don’t watch news on TV, and I do not listen to news on the radio or in the car. Now, I used to do both of those things, a lot, like all the time. And over time, I started to discover that listening to the news wasn’t doing me any good. It was pissing me off. And it was making me angry or making me think that just because someone says something on the news, or just because something is breaking news, that it’s really important in my life. And the reality was, it wasn’t important, so I just got rid of it. And now when I hear it, if I’m at a restaurant, or I’m at the gym, and the news is on, I have a physical reaction to it, where I start cringing, and I want to get away from it as soon as possible. I can just feel it trying to penetrate my brain and get me off track. So now, I only read news. I read the local paper and I read the Wall Street Journal when I can. And I never read all of it, I skim. And I don’t get sucked into any of the stories that are just about negative things. I always try to just skip those and focus on the things that I can read and hopefully learn something. I don’t watch the news or listen to it.
- I don’t use my phone’s notifications. Notifications are everywhere. And if you’re not careful, they end up taking over your life. I used to have so many notifications on my phone because I never wanted to miss anything. You know I always wanted to be responsive. I always wanted to be in the loop. I always wanted all of these things. And finally, I just realized that all those notifications weren’t doing me any good. And so I turned almost all of them off. There are a couple that I still have. One is the water shut off at my house in case something ruptures — I want to know that so I can turn the water off. And I keep my health notification on, so it tells me how I’m making progress through the day (but it’s not annoying). The other thing that I do with my phone, is I silence it a lot. When I’m having a conversation with someone, I silence it. When I’m doing a podcast, or when I’m talking to someone on the phone, I silence it. I also turn it over or keep it in my pocket, because I do not want the phone telling me or interrupting me when I’m trying to give my full attention to someone else. I do wish you could turn the text off totally, sometimes. But I haven’t figured out how to do that. So number two, notifications — I keep almost all of them off.
- I don’t over-engage on social media. I limit it, I limit the time that I participate in it, and I limit the platforms. I am posting on a lot of platforms, but I do not engage in a lot of platforms. I’m most active on LinkedIn, but I turn off the notifications. So I’m not getting notifications from any social media, at all. As a result, I engage with it when I need to, or when I want to. And that’s it. It does not engage with me; I engage with it, and on my terms.
- I don’t play phone tag. I hate phone tag. And it seems to me that while phone tag has always been tough – now it’s super tough — it’s hard to get somebody on the phone unless you schedule it. And what drives me crazy is when you call someone, they don’t answer. Then you get on another call, and you start talking to someone, and then they call you back. And then you can’t answer and it just goes on and on. So I try to schedule all my phone calls. I want to, and I do that out of respect for the person that I want to talk to. I don’t want to bother them at a time when they’re engaged in something else, and I don’t want them doing that to me either, so I feel like it’s respectful to ask to set a calendar time. Ask, “When is a convenient time” and then put it on the calendar. Now that doesn’t work 100% of the time, but it works most of the time. And it keeps that annoying phone tag away from me and and protects my positivity that way.
- I don’t use bad curse words. I do curse every so often. When I do curse, I try to keep it clean. I try to stay as clean as I can, because there’s a lot of people now that curse – a lot. TV shows, podcasts, comedians… I guess I always feel like there’s a better way, and I know I might be wrong. Maybe I’m old fashioned that way, but I feel like I’ve cursed enough in my life. I should be able to articulate a thought a little bit better than needing to use the F-word over and over again to let somebody know that I actually do know the F-word. You know, it just doesn’t do it for me. But every so often, I do catch myself — and I regret it, if regretting something like that is a real thing. So cursing is something I avoid usually — but it is a work in progress.
- I don’t complain. I mean, I own the situation. I try to own the situation all the time. Again, that’s like the cursing; it’s kind of a work in progress. I just don’t want to complain, because I just don’t like when people complain to me – it’s really an energy zapper. I don’t want to zap my own energy, and I don’t want to zap anybody else’s, so I try to do my best to take responsibility and own the situation, even if it would be easy for me to complain about it, because I may not be technically responsible for it. I just try not to complain.
- I don’t blame others. It’s sort of the same as not complaining, along the same vein. I take responsibility for everything that happens to me. And even when it would be easy for me not to take responsibility for it, I take it now. Am I 100%? Do I make mistakes on that? Sure I do, because it’s really easy to attribute a bad situation to someone else, and I’m not immune to those feelings. And there’s a lot of blame around me all the time from other people. So it can be hard, but I do my best to take responsibility and not blame.
- I don’t yell. Unless someone is going to get hurt, I don’t yell. I don’t have a great voice for yelling, either, which probably has something to do with it. But I always feel like people who are yelling are trying to make noise to make a point – because their argument may not be that great. And it kind of gets back to the news, when you watch the news, or you watch these shows on cable, these supposedly discussion shows, even sports commentators, everyone is talking over the other. As if the louder you are, evidently, the smarter you are. And I just don’t buy it. I also don’t think people like to be around people who yell. I think people like to be around people who are calm and steady, because calm and steady may or may not win the race, but it feels good while you’re doing it. So yelling is something I stay away from.
- I don’t gossip. I don’t gossip, because who cares? I don’t care. Again, it’s something easy to probably get sucked into, if you’re not thinking about not wanting to do it. But gossip doesn’t help anybody. Most of the time, it is just someone’s uninformed opinion being passed on as a fact. And I just don’t have time for that, and I don’t think anybody cares. So I don’t gossip.
- I don’t leave myself open. I block time. I block time to do nothing. So in other words, I don’t leave myself open to whatever happens all the time. If I want to do something, I make sure that I put it on the calendar and I block out time so that I can’t be interrupted. And I can’t blame it on somebody else for getting me off course. Maybe doing nothing sounds like it’s a waste of time, but I don’t think so. I feel like sometimes when I’m doing nothing, I am making such dramatic progress, because I’m just giving my brain a chance to pay attention to whatever I’m thinking about, as opposed to paying attention to whatever someone else wants me to be thinking about at that moment.
- I don’t talk crap about people. I used to. I hear a lot of people talk crap about other people, and ultimately, I just decided that talking crap about other people doesn’t make me a better person. I feel like people do that a lot of times because they think it gives them status. If they talk negatively about someone else, somehow that bestows a bit of status on them, and I think just the opposite. I think that if you’re going to make time to talk crap about somebody else, that is telling me that you don’t think that highly of yourself; you want to put somebody else down in order to lift yourself up. And I just say – why don’t you just lift yourself up and save the time?
- I don’t hold grudges. For a lot of my lifetime, I have held grudges. And I think I did it because I felt slighted or I felt beaten or I felt like someone screwed me and I wanted revenge. I wanted to do things to them to make them pay for how they were making me feel. I wasted a tremendous amount of energy holding grudges against people. I could have used that energy in a much more productive way. And so, about five years ago, I went and I actually addressed the grudges that I had still. My grudges were still with people that I thought “had wronged me.” They had probably forgotten about how they wronged me, and yet here I was still thinking that I owed them revenge or I was not willing to let them off the hook. So I went to those people and I didn’t say, “Hey, by the way, I’m here to bury the hatchet on a grudge.” Instead, I just approached them, again, as a person, and asked to meet with them and talk with them. I didn’t talk about the grudge at all. I just tried to establish a new relationship with them – that was much different than the one that I’ve had with them in the past. It was a new way for me to say “You know what, maybe I got off on the wrong foot with this person. Maybe they are a much different person than I’ve been thinking they were all this time. And vice versa, maybe I’m a much different person than I was. And I just had to give myself permission to let those grudges go. And, boy, what a great feeling. What a great feeling to get rid of grudges. Today, I have no grudges. I do have people that I don’t particularly care for, sure. Are there are people that don’t particularly care for me? Of course, but that’s just life. It’s not something that’s keeping me up. It’s not something that’s draining my energy or attention. It’s just the way it is. So grudges are gone, finally,
- I don’t interact with people winding down. I do everything I can to be around people who are winding up in life, and stay away from those who are winding down. So what is winding up? I believe “winding up” means people who get up every day looking to accomplish something more than they accomplished yesterday. And I don’t say that as like there’s a pressure or a contest or anything like that. There’s just an energy around people who are looking for that. And people who are winding down, I think, are the opposite. They are hoping that today is as good as yesterday, or they’re thinking that they don’t have any more todays that are better than their yesterdays, and I don’t want that around me, I don’t want that in my mind. I don’t want that impacting how I think. I don’t want to play that game. So I want to be around people who are winding up.
Those are the 13 things that this entrepreneur doesn’t do, to protect my mindset and my positive outlook. I hope some of those 13 things have been helpful for you. Maybe you’re doing some of those 13. Maybe you’re doing all of those 13. Maybe you’re doing all of that and more – better than I am. If you have something that you’re doing that’s super-effective to protect your mindset and to perpetuate and expand your positive outlook, let me know. I would love to know, and I would love to share it with the world. Thanks, and have a wonderful day!
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