Before I explain how this diet works, I should first explain what I was like before I completed it, then I’ll lay out the details of how it works and how it has impacted my life for the better.
The easiest way for me to describe the old Andre – is that I was driven by two forces – lust and rage. At the age of 16 I did nothing but get into scraps and chase after women, many of whom I treated as play things. In my eyes everyone was inferior and I treated people poorly, with little regard for their feelings. I was only interested in one thing – domination – I dominated my peers with verbal abuse. I had a temper hotter than the sun, and would casually fly off the handle over the smallest things, I talked down to everyone around me; friends, girlfriends, teachers and my family (aside from my mother – African women are scary)! I was angry at the world and portrayed my rage with arrogance.
It’s difficult and shameful to admit the many wrongs I’ve done unto others. I look back and seriously don’t recognise who that boy was or how the two of us could be connected. Needless to say I hurt a lot of people, made a lot of enemies, and burnt a lot of bridges during those years. By the time I was in my early 20s I had lost several good friends, my cousins couldn’t tolerate me and I was in a relationship that I had made toxic through my own actions.
It was around this time that I started to realise the consequences of my selfish actions, and began recognising that this angry, ugly boy, who for the most part hated everything - was not who I wanted to be. As such, I disconnected myself from the painful reality and consumed every waking hour with violent online fantasy games such as Warcraft 3. It was the only form of escape that allowed me to pretend to be someone else while still expressing my rage without hurting anyone.
Realising I was poisoning my relationship and that it in turn was poisoning me, I decided to break up with Girlfriend at the time, so I could be rebuild myself from scratch. I had lost my confidence along with most of my friends. I felt like a child again and decided it was time to find out who I really was at the core. I spent less time gaming, and more time reading self-help books, listening to audio programs produced by the likes of Brian Tracey, Anthony Robbins and many others.
The more I read and listened – the more lost I became. I had no idea who I really was or what would become of me. To add insult to injury, the company I was working for went into liquidation – twice! The clutch on my £600 car needed replacing, and was going to cost half the price of the car! I had fallen out with my Father and as a result lost communication with my sister! As well as many other small things that seemed to be stacking up against me… I wanted to fall asleep and wake up in a dream where everything was better, brighter and happier.
Hopefully by now you get the picture of where I was in my life.
At this point I was constantly downloading free eBooks and audio programs and one of them (I can’t remember which one) mentioned a mental diet that promised to leave you a happier positive person in just 7 days! Before I break down the diet let me explain the importance of your thinking and how it has an impact on the quality of your daily life…
The things you think of the most, you eventually become – i.e. if you believe that bad things always happen to you and that you have bad luck, you will unconsciously or consciously make decisions that bring you into alignment with that reality. Likewise if you believe you are accident prone, you will end up in situations where you are always tripping over or getting hurt in unimaginable ways. This happens because human beings are creatures of habit; we seek stability and congruence with the identity we choose for ourselves. Once you begin to believe in something – your behaviour will instinctively adapt to create a pattern of actions that insure you are being true to your beliefs – no matter how destructive they may be. In other words we instinctively search for proof of the things we think about and believe in the most.
It is extremely important to monitor and control the influences you allow into your mind. If you suffer from nightmares, stop watching horror movies and thrillers. This is one of the reasons I stopped reading the Metro newspaper – all the stories were geared around rape, murders, robberies and other forms of violence which were only increasing my unhappiness. Jessica Faulkner has written an in depth article about the importance of what we let into our minds in terms of TV, Music and other influences called ‘How to become your best self – a practical guide’. I will link to her article at the bottom of the page.
The point I am making here, is that your beliefs determine your default state; if you are always looking for faults – you will find them! If you expect to find the happy, good things in life – then you will find them! Simples!
Anyway back to the 7 day mental diet…
The diet I originally read is based on focusing your thoughts on positive thinking by not dwelling on negative situations. Every time you find yourself in a negative state of mind you immediately shift your focus back into the positive gear. I liked the simplicity of this new technique, after trying it out with very little success – I decided to enhance it to fit my modus operandi…
The principle of the enhanced 7 day mental diet is as follows:
For 7 days you will not allow yourself to dwell on any negative thoughts whatsoever. Every time your mind is invaded by a negative thought pattern you immediately apply the 3 step winning formula:
Acknowledge – Dismiss – Replace
To give you an example of this 3 step formula in action imagine you have just had a job interview and you were a little nervous during the process, so you immediately think “They definitely are not going to hire me, I was shaking like a leaf!” Instead of ignoring or supressing the negative thought, you acknowledge it, and immediately dismiss it. Don’t dwell on all the reasons why you won’t get hired, that’s not going to help you! Finally you replace the negative thought with an empowering thought such as “I’m the right person for the job, and if I don’t get it something better will come along for sure!”
To give you another example of how this formula can be applied; if you are stressed out about a pending situation… instead of thinking about all the things that can go wrong, think about all the things that can go right – think about a positive outcome! Acknowledge that things can go wrong, dismiss the negative possibility and replacing it with an empowering possibility.
You can apply this same formula in every situation you find yourself in. By acknowledging the negative thought - you don’t bury it in your heart, and by dismissing it - you lay it to rest. By implanting a new empowering thought - you are creating a new possibility and filling the gap so the old negative thought does not pop up later when you’re trying to sleep. If you find your mind slipping back into your old negative thought patterns, simply repeat the 3 step formula and focus your attention on the new empowering thought. If you need inspiration for positive thoughts – see my article on ‘How to program your mind using positive affirmations’.
The world can be deeply beautiful or viciously ugly – you just have to know how to look at it to see the beauty in all things.
The original 7 day diet like the name depicts – lasts for only 7 days. For me personally that wasn’t long enough and although it had been one of the happiest 7 days of my life - I found myself slipping back into my default negative thinking patterns a few days after I stopped. To give myself enough time to fully integrate as a man of positivity, I added this next rule…
If the same negative thought invades your mind more than twice in the same day, you reset the clock and go back to day 1. This is tricky but believe me it is totally worth it. As I recall it took me just over a month to complete the full 7 days – as a result the positive thinking became part of who I am and is now as natural to me as breathing.
My whole way of thinking completely transformed in the coming days after completing the diet; I got a better paying job that took me all over London, allowing me to meet new and interesting people which further enriched my life. I was for the first time enjoying constant success, not just in my career but in my friendships and in lots of small ways. I no longer required fantasy games to escape the reality of my life – instead, I enjoyed my own company with no need to run away from myself.
As for the people I have wronged – those who I was able to get in touch with I apologised profusely from the heart and now enjoy meaningful friendships with them, and to the ones I’ve never been able to get in touch with since those adolescent days – I want you to know that I am sorry for any pain I caused and if you ever need help – call on me – I’ll do whatever I can to help.
That last sentence includes people I haven’t wronged too; if you are in need of help, just call on me – if I can help, I will… we’re all in this game of life together – so let’s try to get along and make this world a happy and fun place for all.
Stay positive, stay healthy, live with passion and compassion.
Your brother, Eye-Zen
PS: Here is the promised link to Jessica Faulkner’s article ‘How to become the best version of yourself – a practical guide’