This is a concept that I wasn’t always aware of; I didn’t understand it and I definitely didn’t adhere to it. I went from an Engineering Degree to Vice President of the Students’ Union to President of the Students’ Union (SU) without even so much as a breath. I had many spinning plates; karting club, election campaigns, course work and that was only during the degree. The SU jobs had even more spinning plates.
I began to find, during my term as President, things were not all well in Casa de Keogan. I couldn’t understand it. While I was enjoying the job, I was more tired than usual, communication skills were going out the window and certain relationships weren’t getting invested in. A good friend of mine suggested that I should go to a Life Coach. Now, growing up on a farm, concepts like mindfulness, Life Coaching and reflective sessions were not only a foreign language, they were frowned upon. I went all the same, if it was only to live by my own acumen and ‘Give it a go’.
It was easily the best thing I have done in terms of my personal development. Going through exercises like discovering self-limiting beliefs and creating positive affirmations, brought it home to me that if you don’t look after you brain, you’re fighting an uphill battle. I went from a sceptic to a full-scale practitioner. I began to realise the huge role your subconscious plays and while I had tried to promote the link between physical health and mental health in the SU, I now understood the link and how important it was.
Like every muscle, before you exercise it or strengthen it, you have to know what state it is in. There is no point lifting 30-kilo weights when your biceps are only able for 10. Your brain (or your mind) is no different. When you are in tune with your brain you know how to help it. You know when it is trying to rationalise why you missed that goal. You are aware of the times it just needs a break or a change in scenery.
When I began to become aware of what my brain was telling me and more importantly why, it was like getting an extra day in the week. We know that good football players are those that nearly always have more time and space on the ball. It is because they intimately know their surroundings, know their abilities and can take that all-important breath before acting.
The same goes for your brain. The greatest tool at your disposal begins to work for you as opposed to against you. I have been lucky to get the nudge to go to a Life Coach and to have people around me to keep me on that path. I would recommend that everyone go to some sort of life coach as soon as you can. It does cost a few euros, depending on whom you go to, so if that is an issue there is always an option to explain your financial situation and see if there is something that can be mutually beneficial.
There are also a whole host of useful online resources you can use to get you on the right track. Even if you are in tune with your brain and your life is all hunky dory, you will be surprised what you find out about it. Look after your brain and it will look after you; the first step is to find out what it is saying.