• Adam Bowcutt

3 Important Skills to Develop Mental Wealth

Updated: Mar 4

Building mental wealth is critical to long-term well-being, mental health and intelligent productivity.

Mental wealth is a powerful combination of growth mindset, mental fortitude and abundance mentality. With consistent action, awareness and focus you'll begin building a solid foundation of mental wealth. It is important to develop skills that maintain its steady growth, because your life, and those dependent on your purposeful actions and courageous leadership, depend on it.

"All life is an experiment. The more experiments you make the better" - Ralph Waldo Emerson

1 Lively Listening

Important because: Listening is arguably one of the most important skills with respect to building mental wealth because it offers a powerful base to launch off. By developing aptitude in active and lively listening, growing acute awareness of our immediate surroundings is inevitable. Ideally our environment, both external and internal, must collaborate so that the context of meaningful conversations, what you're thinking and saying, is in agreement. Antagonism here often disrupts conversational flow because our inner voice and outer voice are conflicted. Of course, depending on the depth of relationship between you and whom your conversation partner is, varying levels of formality are expected. What's key is genuineness, because people nowadays can spot a 'fake' a mile away. Being respectful and saying what you're thinking is a nuanced skill in itself. By practicing lively listening in real-time and by being fully present, mutual respect, and most importantly, trust, is built. 'Active listening is all about building rapport, understanding, and trust.' [1] Remember communication is a two-way exchange.

Solution: 'Next time you meet someone, take a moment to check what colour their eyes are. Why? The reason is that the two seconds it takes to do this allows time for you to really look into the other person's eyes. By checking to see what colour their eyes

are, you've focused purely on them. They will sense this. They will automatically feel your focus and attention' [2]

• Can you remember the eye colour of the last person you chatted with? If you're speaking with and listening to one person, briefly check what colour their eyes are.

• If you're contributing to a group discussion, focus on one person per idea so that they feel listened to and not simply a number in a crowd. For example, if you're addressing a question on a specific topic.

• Clarify comprehension: For example, say: "So that I'm fully understanding you, what you're saying is ........ Is that right?"

• Be generous in using open-ended questions to encourage others to speak freely. Once they do, make sure you're genuinely curious about what they're saying. We can certainly learn more if we are willing to truly listen to others. Absorb this rich source of information and once you pause for thought ask yourself "why are they saying this right now?"

"The most important thing in communication is hearing what isn't said" - Peter Drucker

• In preparation for improving lively listening skills for the long-term, listen deeply to yourself. ''It’s essential that you observe the tone you use in your internal dialogue. Adopt the type of tone that a loved one would use if they were reassuring you.' [3]

2 Lifelong Learning

Important because: You don't know what you don't know. This is logical right? 'By learning something new we build confidence because our understanding deepens' [4] and with deeper understanding comes greater competence. Once you commit to lifelong learning you become unbounded; with knowledge and wisdom (applied knowledge) you are creating your personal reality, whatever you choose to become now and into the future. Essentially, you can change your personality (personal reality), benefitting yourself and those you influence. Additionally you'll build strength and be more effective at processing information, which means your ability to acquire, and apply, new skills will improve. Your mental wealth will definitely grow because your span of control will widen, meaning you're less likely to feel incapable. Being skilful is empowering. You'll learn to lead yourself, in turn lead others and be of significant service to others and the wider community. It's a great thing.

Solution: Adopt a growth mindset so that you learn to become intrinsically motivated to learn for the sake of learning. To start to adopt a growth mindset when facing any problem, start saying "I don't know how to do this yet." Yet is the most important word here because humans have an ability to learn almost anything [5]

Read more! Pick up a book and start reading now. Set a timer for five minutes and practice reading non-stop without distraction. Focus on absorbing the words and key messages. Reading regularly helps your brain retain new knowledge. Surely that's worth five minutes a day?

• Choose a new hobby to learn. It can be absolutely anything. A few examples for you: Skateboarding, Gardening, Cooking, Jogging, Investing, Volunteering, Writing, Dancing, Languages, Meditation etc. Most importantly, start, and make sure you apply a growth mindset because you will get better with practice. (A list of 50 hobbies for more inspiration HERE)

• Get a mentor or coach. Specifically one that has deep experience and measurable results in the area you want to learn. You'll save valuable time and energy because being mentored or coached enables a direct approach to learning compared to being self-taught. There are benefits to teaching yourself new skills, although it could be a wiser choice to seek expert guidance, especially in the early stages.

“Research shows that you begin learning in the womb and go right on learning until the moment you pass on. Your brain has a capacity for learning that is virtually limitless, which makes every human a potential genius.” – Michael J. Gelb

3 Consistent Creativity

Important because: Practicing consistent creativity shifts our thinking and behaviours from consuming to creating. The benefits of developing this valuable skill are two-fold in helping develop mental wealth; first, a consistently creative mindset adds value because instead of depleting value by using it, you're creating it for others to use. Second, creativity reduces stress, anxiety and depression. 'The average person has about 60,000 thoughts in a day. A creative act such as crafting can help focus the mind, and has even been compared to meditation due to its calming effects on the brain and body. Even just gardening or sewing releases dopamine, a natural anti-depressant'.[6] Instead of sporadic creativity what's most important is consistency because over time, with a disciplined approach, you'll gain refined skills in your chosen creative pursuit. Purposeful productivity is intelligent creativity and is fun too, you're more likely to repeat enjoyable habits because they're fun. An associated benefit is increased mental and physiological energy.

Solution: Take a hot shower,'the absolute isolation of our morning shower makes an excellent incubator for ideas.'[7]

• Make sure you write down your fresh ideas as soon as you think of them, this way you're more likely to execute on them because you've shifted them into a state of reality instead of just a passing thought.

• Schedule regular day-dreaming sessions into your busy day. 'When the researchers compared the results, they found that the participants who reported more frequent daydreaming scored higher on intellectual and creative ability and had "more efficient" brain systems as measured by the MRI, compared with those who said they daydreamed less often and had "less efficient" brains' [8]

"The future belongs to those who learn more skills and combine them in creative ways" - Robert Greene

In summary three important skills to develop mental wealth are lively listening, lifelong learning and consistent creativity. Honing these skills takes time although the desired results will certainly be worth your patience. Have fun practising the suggested solutions including momentary eye-contact, regular reading and taking a hot showers and you'll be closer to being mentally wealthy for the long-term.

Written by Adam Bowcutt Author of Confide & Work is Mental

Feel free to also read: 3 Ways to Build Mental Wealth

If you're interested to learn more please go ahead and visit adambowcutt.com.au or https://www.mentalwealth.world

[Sources & References]

[1] Psych Central: Become a Better Listener By John M. Grohol, Psy.D.

[2] Confide: the new psychology of confidence: how to power up after experiencing depression by Adam Bowcutt. Xlibris Publishing

[3] Psychology Today, The Power of Your Internal Dialogue by Jill P. Weber Ph.D.

[4] Rebuild Stronger Confidence and Increase Energy by Author Adam Bowcutt

[5] Confide: the new psychology of confidence: how to power up after experiencing depression by Adam Bowcutt. Xlibris Publishing p.77

[6] Forbes: Here's How Creativity Actually Improves Your Health by Ashley Stahl

[7] Fast Company: 7 Surprising Facts About Creativity, According To Science by John Paul Titlow

[8] Live Science: Do You Daydream? You May Be Smarter and More Creative Than Your Peers by Samantha Mathewson

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