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Switching mindsets

white knight
Community Champion
Community Champion

We read so many examples in these pages about lack of motivation. Depression, stress, worthlessness and so on, all reasons that we feel lethargic, in a rut, motionless.

I dont know where this came from, my technique of "reverse switching" as I call it, but I guess its my drive for the end result.

Example. I've purchased paint and brushes to paint our house. I'm watching TV. its ideal weather but I cant be bothered starting the paint project. As soon as I say to myself "I cant be bothered painting today"...I immediately do the opposite!! I rise off the chair and withing 4-5 minutes I have paint on a wall.

Once that occurs, I feel better than sitting on the chair so the mental effort of doing something I dont want to do only lasts 4 minutes. The enjoyment is direct progress (paint on the wall) followed by a great feeling a wall is completed.

However if I drove myself to paint one coat on the whole house with a second coat needed, it would be too long before I'd feel any sense of achievement. Hence two coats on one wall first. Stand back and admire. By the time one coat on one wall is finished a second coat can be applied.

You can see why mentally it becomes a snowball effect.

Once finished I pack the paint away. Then a while later I noticed a small wooden fence hasnt been painted..."oh, I forgot that...I'll do it another time"...bang! Its a negative thought, I'll do it now! The switch effect is used automatically again. Simply not allowing my own mindset of the "easy road" to take hold.

Professional athletes do this. A swimmer swims 100 laps of a pool, as he/she is on that last lap, switch effect means "I'll do an extra 10 laps now".

There is one proviso, one potential problem, those extra baby steps can over extend you, cause more tiredness and be counter productive. Take breaks.

On building sites for example you'll never have tradespersons work all day without breaks. The reason is they would work less effectively with less quantity and quality of work at the end of the day.

So try the switch effect, a total u-turn with tasks. Take rest periods always aware of using the switch effect regularly.

The "switch effect"isnt easy, its a learned thing...a thing that shines with habit. So expect yourself to be challenged...by yourself!. But it can be an great addition to the positive snowball you'll develop that can change your life around.

Let me know if you do this already or if you have tried it.

Tony WK

42 Replies 42

I do understand the level of difficulty Mrs Dools.

We have no other option but to try.

Tony WK

Hey White Knight,

I managed to lasso "Determination" and "Motivation" today! I managed to make it to my massage on time, encouraged myself to go for a walk in a park even though it felt like it was minus 10 degrees and then had a chat with some ladies in the craft group while I tried to knit.

Returned home and forced myself out the door before I had a chance to get comfortable and had another 20 minute walk.

Home again and those jolly letters were glaring at me, so I managed to answer one of them. That was a huge achievement for me.

Tomorrow afternoon I have an appointment with the lady who is encouraging me to find employment thanks to our friends at Centrelink who will not accept another medical certificate from my G.P.

Hopefully she will have already caught a hold of "Motivation" for me and will explain how this all works.

I'm also hoping my eyes won't leak too much during the appointment like they did last time! Guess that is what tissues are for! (Or in the case of niece when she was about 3, she used the bottom of my skirt! I don't think the employment lady would appreciate that too much!)

Cheers from Mrs. D.

Mrs D

I'm so proud. You did it!

Tony WK

Hi Tony WK and All,

Yesterday in the Op Shop I found a book amongst the donations I was sorting called " Live More Of Your Life, The Wellness Way. It is from the 1990's and is called a "Life.Be in it." book. I started to read it in bed last night and was soon nodding off!

The little I did read sounded interesting and helpful. I will sit at the table some time over the weekend and read more of it underlining helpful bits.

I do know there is so much more I can do to help myself, I need to find a way to tell my brain and body that is what I am going to do and then do it!

You are right Tony, I do need to switch my mindset, I need to work on how to change the controls to make that happen!

I'm going to be out all day today so while I am driving around I can think about ways to put more helpful ways of living into practice. Not always an easy thing to do when your depression makes you feel like it is time to give up and all your muscles feel like they are yelling at you causing painful fibromyalgia.

One step at a time right?

Cheers Tony and All, from Mrs. D.

Tony, there was a segment on ABC radio a few afternoons ago about changing mindsets and about current react changes into it. It was very interesting. I thought how topical this thread was.



Hi quirky

I missed it. Am on holidays in Queensland currently and we dont listen to the radio.

No doubt there will be people thst think about similar topics. My threads and answers are from my own thoughts. Ive read only maybe 6 books in my life. I havent got the patience to read.

Mrs D. As individuals we all have different motivational ways that work. For me if I plan a walk the next day having short term memory issues means I'll forget. So I place my runners outside the back door to remind me.

Writing things down doesnt help I forget to read it.

Many years ago I decided to walk 10km a day. Initially I drove 5km in my car so I knew where to turn around. I then walked the 5km and because I was 5km from home I had no choice but to walk back!

Had I walked 10 times around my block that was one kilometers long I would weakened after 3 km and walked indoors.

I realised I was fooling my brain to believing I was walking only 5km but then had to walk home making it 10.

Doesnt make sense

Tony WK

Hi Tony, I do hope it's warmer up there and you are both having a great adventure.

You are so gifted with your knowledge,Thankyou so much for the time you put in here for everyone.

today and most I find that I am switching my mindsets so very quickly,like I fight myself keep thinking everything is stuffed and what's the point doing things.

Eg clean the kitchen,what for it will just get messy again,

do some gardening,what for no one cares

talk to family member,just turns to

Do house renos ,no one happy

so I just keep plodding along thinking wtf for


Hi later

Thanks for your post.

Many things in life are a balance. Get the balance wrong and its a downhill boring ordeal.

Eg. Our once a year holiday caravanning Vic to Qld has hurdles. Being pensioners there are financial constraints, car and van preparation, we have clothes washing and finding water, dump points and so on. At the end of the day the trip itself must be worth all these hurdles or it isnt worth our while.

Same with the home challenges we face. One can put 6 hours in a garden and no one notices any difference. Depending on your family members some family structures can be tedious. So here are some ideas to counter feeling negative about things.

When doing gardening set aside some time to change one area radically. If there us great change eg a large bush is removed, you will feel a big change has occured fir some time. Big impact, big satisfaction

Cook several meals at one time (we use a slow cooker). Freeze them. Twice a week dont cook just reheat. And once a week take away. Then youve halved the days you need to clean the kitchen.

Delegate. We tire ourselves by doing more than our fair share. Ask someone to put the rubbish out or clean the kitchen.

If you take these small steps slowly the balance of chores and recreation swings around. I did all this in 1990. I worked 3 jobs so my then wi d e could remain a stay at home mum. But she was lazy. I delegated chores for her (not in a bissy way) and eventually got one night off a week to play volleyball. That sport rejuvenated me and kept me fit and gave me social interaction.

It isnt that easy. But small changes can tip the balance of a life mundane to a life worth living.

And thanks for your appreciation.

Later, you can google:

Topic: the balance of your life- beyondblue

Tony WK

I have had a gut full of this bs!

I am not sitting around waiting for some magic to strike me lucky.


Ready set get up and GO



Let us know how you went.

I find that when I think about the process of a task it hindets me. I just keep moving as much as I can.

Tony WK