The toothpaste exercise

The toothpaste exercise

I like finding ways to build association between the things we do and the way we think. So — don’t laugh! — I came up with a toothpaste exercise.

The idea came, I think, from listening to Brendon Burchard, the US-based coach and trainer who has worked with some of the world’s top companies, and written a couple of really interesting books (The Motivation Manifesto is great for day-to-day, week-to-week personal development, and High Performance Habits is excellent for delivering the best of you every day, in whatever circumstance you find yourself in).

Burchard talks about a “Doorframe Mantra”. So whenever he goes through a door, he reminds himself to “bring the joy” and show up fully and intentionally to whatever is in that room, whether it’s a coffee-shop or a boardroom full of executives.

We can do this with whatever we please.

So how about a toothpaste exercise?

We all (or we should!) pick up our toothbrush and toothpaste twice a day, morning and night.

Those two minutes are a great opportunity to build strong mental habits, habits that will contribute massively over time to our peace of mind, wellbeing. Our mental habits are the a major factor in our day-to-day performance and our long-term fulfilment.

Morning Toothpaste Exercise

Think for two minutes about the day ahead, and what can you do to make it a great day. No matter where you are in life, whether you’re an executive leading a team of thousands, you’re struggling with illness there is a challenge awaiting you today. What can you do to approach that challenge well today?

The Evening Toothpaste Exercise

Think for two minutes about the day you’ve just had. Reflect, ponder, be grateful for the good things, learn from the not so good and give yourself permission to let it all go. It’s all done. Tomorrow, for those of us lucky enough to see the run rise again, is a new day.

And in a few short hours you can be standing before your mirror with your toothbrush in your hand, looking forward to it with hope and possibility.