Monday, 4 February 2013

Sustainable Thinking- Part 1

Sustainable thinking is the process of considering how our daily choices affect our immediate and our greater environment. Living a sustainable lifestyle starts with sustainable thinking.

If we stop for a moment to think about our choices and focus on sustaining ourselves as opposed to destroying ourselves we can start to create a more healthy lifestyle and have a positive environmental impact.

Sustainable thinking can be split into two parts.
  1. A positive and sustainable mindset
  2. Making sustainable choices
So first we will start with the importance of having a positive and sustainable mindset in part 1  

Then we will move on to making sustainable choices in part 2.

You may want to grab a cuppa, some paper to note down thoughts and get comfortable as this is a longer than usual post.

Sustainable Mindset

The mind can be a complex place and we as humans are discovering more and more about how powerful it really is. Our thoughts and emotions tend to guide us through life and can determine how we end up living, that is why we believe that a healthy life begins with a healthy mind.
Did you know that if we think positive we can extend our life span for two more years, equally if we think negative we take two years off.   
A negative mindset can affect many areas of our life and our health takes most of the brunt. Our body works in wondrous ways but thinking negative all the time can have a serious impact on our health.

Equally if we don't take care of out health such as eating a balanced diet and getting adequate exercise it can have a serious impact on our brain chemistry therefor our thinking. 

To give you the basics we have created the sustainable wheel of life that covers common areas where we can focus our mindset and choose to make more sustainable choices. 

We will start here as it so closely relates to our thinking. 


Ask yourself these quick questions
  1. Am I sustaining my health for the future?
  2. Am I treating myself well? getting enough sleep, eating healthy, getting regular exercise 
  3. Do I care what goes into my body? chemicals, artificial ingredients
  4. Do I have loads of energy? 
  5. Do I give myself time to relax?
If you answer no to any of these questions they have shone a light in the area of your health that needs some attention

Here is an idea- simply start to swap them to a yes!
  1. I care about my health and sustain it for the future
  2. I am aware of what goes into my body
  3. I give myself time to relax and enjoy my surroundings
  4. I have loads of energy because I eat healthy, get enough sleep and adequate exercise
  5. I keep my body healthy so I can do the work I need to in this world 
Note down some reasons why and some actions you can take towards incorporating good health into your life. Make a commitment TODAY to care about your health and sustain it for the future, the environment is depending on you!
"The first step to wealth is health"


Personal Development/Spiritual

Here is where you can look at your mind and spirit like a garden
  1. Is my garden a beautiful place and am I happy with it?
  2. Do I feel good in my garden?
  3. What can I change around? 
  4. What has overgrown or taking over the landscape?
  5. Are there any weeds?
  6. What needs a trim?
  7. Are there any dark corners that need some light?
  8. Are all the plants helping each other?  
  9. Are there any plants I don't need?
  10. Where can I develop skills to keep my garden a beautiful place?    
Note down thoughts and feelings that no longer serve you as well as ones that serve you well. Work on letting go of the ones that don't and maybe what other positive ones you can bring in.  

If your mind/spirit garden needs a clean up make sure you set some time to do this and create a positive and enjoyable place.  

“I will love the light for it shows me the way, yet I will endure the darkness because it shows me the stars.” ~ Og Mandino 


This is where you can find out if you are doing the work you love, answer the following question to give you some insight.
  1. Am I happy to wake up and go to work?
  2. Is my work helping to make this world a better place?
  3. Is my work or business something I am proud of? 
  4. Are there opportunities to grow in this career?
  5. Am I doing the work I want or desire to do? 
If you answer no to any of these questions they have shone a light in the area of your career that needs some attention
Start with this question- What do I want or desire to do? 
Doing work you love or desire to do helps your overall happiness, you will actually want to wake up, get out into the world, and share your work. Make a commitment TODAY to take some action towards creating a sustainable career.
"Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life" ~ Confucius



Your income relates to your career choice and the work you do in this world. After all we get paid to work so this is where our income comes from. If you are not making or keeping the income you wish to be sure to go over the career questions then ask yourself the following  

Is my income sustaining my lifestyle?

If your answer is no move onto the next set of questions 
  1. Do I have limiting beliefs around creating a sustainable income?  
  2. Are my lifestyle choices creating debt?
  3. Can I downsize my material goods to increase my income level?
  4. Are there any ways I can make extra money?
  5. Can I get a promotion in my current career?
  6. Are there any skills I need to increase my income?
  7. Can I sell things that I no longer need?
  8. Are there ways I can save money?  
Note down your answers and see what action you can take towards creating a sustainable income. Make a commitment TODAY to be aware of your spending habits and change any that do not help you create a level of income you wish to sustain.  
"My problem lies in reconciling my gross habits with my net income" ~ Errol Flynn 

Family & Friends

On our journey through life our friends and family play an important role, they can be the support we need to be who we are in the world. Equally some like to bring us down and don't serve us well. 

Here we give some quick advice
  1. Plan to spend more time with those you love and help raise you up, this can include nature!
  2. If you have issues with family and friends plan to resolve them fast
  3. Plan to cut loose those that bring you down and don't serve you well 
List all family and friends then put them in the appropriate category. Take action where it's needed the most. Make a commitment TODAY to sustain your relationships with family and friends that serve you well and cut loose those that don't.
"Nothing is sustainable without healthy relationships. Choose those first." ~ Sustainable Baby Steps

Fun & Leisure Time

What is there to life if you can't have a bit of fun? 

Fun and leisure time stimulates our mind, body and spirit and generally makes us feel awesome. Be sure to include these in your life to sustain your levels of happiness.

You can relate fun and leisure to other areas of your life such as
  1. Playing a sport you enjoy which will enhance your health
  2. Doing the work you love can actually be fun (and might increase your level of income)
  3. Gardening can be rewarding on all levels of mind, body and spirit
  4. Spending time and having outings with family and friends sustains your relationships
Note down ways you can include more fun and leisure time for yourself, you can even look for ways to relate this to other areas of your life. Make a commitment TODAY to sustain your levels of happiness.
"He who laughs, lasts" ~ Mary Pettibone Poole


This is where we look at your immediate environment and see what is working and what isn't . Your immediate environment can include your home, your workplace, people you surround yourself with and nature. We will talk more on nature in part 2 of sustainable thinking. 

Ask yourself these questions to determine if your environment needs some changes
  1. Am I happy with my surroundings in my home and workplace?
  2. Is my home or workplace de-cluttered?
  3. Do I have enough space around me?
  4. Are things organised and easy to find?
  5. Is my home or workplace clean? 
  6. Do I surround myself with people who raise me up?
  7. What changes can I make to turn the above into yes's?
Having a clean and clear environment enhances health, a positive mindset, creativity and can reduce stress.  

How are we supposed to see our direction in life if we have a mess in front of us? Note down ways to turn your answers into a YES. Make a commitment TODAY to sustain your immediate environment.
"Your home and office should be a sanctuary to live, love and work from" ~ One Tribe


In this section we look at how you are contributing to the world, in a good way. Sometimes when we serve or support others it actually helps to serve and support ourselves. This can relate to your career choice.
Is my work helping to make this world a better place?  

If you are in a career that is the opposite of this you can still contribute and make a difference in other ways such as
  1. Doing volunteer work
  2. Donating to a worthy cause
  3. Supporting someone in need
  4. Taking action on ideas in part 2 of sustainable thinking
When we choose to help make this world a better place it can boost overall integrity, health and happiness. Commit TODAY to make a sustainable contribution to the world, humans and nature are depending on you!    
"Only those who have learned the power of sincere and selfless contribution experience life's deepest joy: true fulfillment" ~ Tony Robbins
If you have made it this far congratulations, and if you took notes even better.  Most of all we hope you found these questions useful and that they help you take some action towards creating a more sustainable lifestyle.

Other articles that may be of interest

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