The Swoop™

Let me tell you about a cool idea I’ve been mulling on for a while now. If you’re an overthinker, you might appreciate the full extent of this.

Imagine for a moment that your life consists of thousands, if not, millions of parallel conversations. They could be conversations with other people, they could be conversations with your pets, but a huge majority of them are conversations you’re having with yourself.

Now imagine context-switching from one conversation to another. Perhaps you’re deciding how to structure your life philosophy, while also keeping yourself in shape, while also holding down your 9-to-5 and needing to problem-solve at each step of the way. There are a lot of lines you’re managing without even thinking about it.

Now imagine that each conversation is perfectly preserved in your mind and continued off exactly where you previously leave it off. You’re at a sports practice and you keep missing a swing, so you might tell yourself “Fuck, I can’t hit this ball for the life of me”. Stop that thought for a second. Take your thoughts seriously for just a moment. Then find the Swoop™.

“How do I find the Swoop™?” you might ask. Take complete responsibility over your life for a moment and notice your attention start to hone in. If you refuse to let your conversation end on the incredulous, you’ll start to look towards the details you can control and even fix. This changes everything.

Your next sentence in the conversation could be “Now if I just held the ball in place and practiced swinging on it a few times, I could calibrate my swing in a more stress-free manner.” This isn’t just an immediate resolution to your frustrated state, this is pre-programming your next frustrating moment. And you’ll never know when you’ll need it.

What I’m referring to is how the most ancient part of your brain, the hippocampus, pre-conditions your body to deal with the world by sending out signals, adrenaline and hormones to prime your body physically to keep up with life. Your body will react physically to a stimuli before you even have a chance to think about it. So, if you train it poorly, you might end up with chronic anxiety because you’ve convinced yourself that your life could be at peril at any moment, or in reaction to any loud noise. So the Swoop™ is perhaps just a way of training your reptilian brain to be more optimistic and adapt to the 21st century, where I’m pretty sure it’s a lot harder to die than we’d like to think.

All you need to do is stop. You’re probably going to get sucked into the activity or the thoughts you might be having about it. We think we always need to keep going, but often, forget we can simply stop and save our energy for a moment. Your prefrontal cortex will kick in in a moment and tell you what to do.

Now the next step is just getting in the habit of adding the Swoop™ in every conversation you have with yourself. As un-intuitive as it might seem at first, you’ll recognize that it’s all a matter of habit. You’ll find you’re setting up vines to swing like Tarzan through life. You’ll realize stress and frustration are a choice more often than not. As is talent. The better you can program your mind to flow, the more present you can be in the moment, the faster you can go without straining. That’s the power of the Swoop™.

It’s an eternal optimism you can program into yourself by following your thoughts to their logical conclusion and making sure to write in a “happy ending”, before moving on towards continuing the next story. Provided the “happy ending” makes logical sense, you’re paying forward a mental tax to free your mind for the moment.

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