You’ve probably heard of the K.I.S.S. formula at some point. However, calling yourself stupid (the last S in the expression) does little to help you move forward with anything effectively. So, try our adjustment to the formula: Keep It Simple and Skillful. Do you notice a difference in the visceral effect this version has on you?
Words carry impact. And the way humans think words translates into how you tend to respond. Take for example, something you’ve repeatedly attempted to do but have been unsuccessful. There’s a good likelihood that if you attempt this thing or situation again, you’ll remind yourself of how you’ve failed at it previously. Unless you’re an exception, you’ll likely convince yourself of defeat before you even attempt the action. This can be an exhausting approach to trying new things. It’s a self-limiting belief that stops you before you’ve started.
As a constant meaning-making machine, the mind maintains a state of complexity. This mechanism can complicate the simplest of situations. As the expression goes: “we can make mountains of molehills,” but we can also “make molehills out of mountains.” Either mental tendency can distort reality. When you take actions from a distorted perspective, you’re more likely to make missteps.
Keeping it simple and skillful means focusing on words that are positive and encouraging. Your body is always listening to what your internal thoughts and externally spoken words are. And the body responds accordingly. In other words, the body can match what you are thinking. So, beware of how you assess circumstances.
Expressions like “this traffic is going to cause me a stroke” would be more skillful as “I am calm and am at ease in traffic.” But at least altering your thoughts and words to “Traffic is inconvenient, but I can handle it” will cause a better mental and physical countenance. We encourage you to monitor your word choices for the next week and notice how you are affected.