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Be Your Own Zero Waste Initiative

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A Spring 2023 Paris fashion catwalk is bang-on-trend!

The United Nations General Assembly has now declared 30 MARCH as the International Day of Zero Waste. It highlights the importance of ZERO WASTE Initiatives.

How about we start with the biggest source of waste most of us have? – Our THOUGHTS.

Figures vary (dunno how measured) but the average person has anything from 12,000 to 70,000 thoughts per day, of which 90% are repetitive, and the majority of repetitive thoughts bring no benefit. – So that makes them WASTE, right?

How can we PUT THE LID on wasteful thinking? And in doing this, give more space to have thoughts that are productive, beneficial, or simply to feel more at peace within ourselves?

Here are a few ideas and it would be great for you to share yours too…

Bin #1
Learning to say ‘NO’. How often do we want to say ‘no’ to something but reluctantly agree instead? If we say ‘yes’ but then do it grudgingly, it festers inside in the form of waste thoughts.

Not to mention how it can lead to overload and BURNOUT, which can mean letting other people down, not showing up for appointments etc, which then sets off waste thoughts for others. Such as “Is everything OK?” “Did I get something wrong?”

I have learned to limit myself to only TWO choices. I say either ‘yes’ with grace, or ‘no’ with grace. Saying ‘yes’ or ‘no’ when I want to say different will just clutter my mind with repetitive, useless thoughts.

Bin #2
Take a permanent holiday from having an OPINION. There is a subtle difference between having a point of view and then forging it into an opinion.

An opinion is something we then attach ‘my’ to and then pour energy into defending it, justifying it, or even trying to convert others to our way of thinking. All waste…
“A man convinced against his will, is of the same opinion still.”

Bin #3
Offer guidance, but DON’T CORRECT. If guidance isn’t wished, then to insist on giving it makes it a correction!
I find it really useful to check how much I correct instead of guiding myself, as this is a good indicator of how much I’m also inclined to do it with others.

Correction leads to a whole army of waste thoughts, such as feelings of disheartenment, guilt and regrets in me, or annoyance and resentment in others.

Is it not the fundamental role of Higher Education especially to teach and refine HOW to think? Rather than WHAT to think?

It is the 90% useless, rubbishy thoughts within 90% of all our thoughts that pull us down into the gutter of poor mental health.
And it’s only when as educators and fellow students we can stay out of the gutter ourselves, that it helps others to do the same.


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