Adopting the right attitude can convert a negative stress into a positive one.
— Hans Selye
The Process of Rapid Transformation
Have you ever wondered how a person struggling emotionally, financially, or physically manages to completely transform their life over a period of only a few months? Have you ever considered the process of change and the steps that this person goes through that enables them to develop new empowering habits and behaviors that literally reshape their destiny?
If these are some of the questions you’ve had on your mind, then today I would like to show you how to use an IQ Matrix to help transform your life, behaviors and habits for the better.
There are now 250+ IQ Matrix maps available for download. Each of these mind maps are built around various personal development topics. The vast majority of these topics have been carefully intertwined into the MasterMind Matrix. However, this is of little importance if one has no idea how to make best use of an IQ Matrix beyond it simply being a pretty reference poster that one hangs on the wall to decorate a bedroom or office.
Today, let’s put these questions to rest and explore how you can use an IQ Matrix to help transform your life.
For the purpose of this article I’ve created a mini IQ Matrix (found top of this post). It is actually a first of its kind Pocket IQ Matrix (hopefully many more to come). It is an A6 size mini mind map (148x105mm or 5.8×4.1in) that you can print, laminate and carry around with you for reference throughout the day. I will be using it to help provide you with an outline of how I would personally use it to help me stress-less and transform this particular area of my life.
So without further delay, let’s jump right into it.
Are you feeling stressed out?
The first Pocket IQ Matrix has been built around the topic of How to Stress-Less.
There’s so much information out there about how to manage stress, calm your mind and get on with your life. I think it’s all just too overwhelming. As such this Pocket IQ Matrix has been designed as a quick reference tool that you can use and refer to throughout the day to help you manage stress more effectively. In my opinion these are the most important tips and guidelines that will help you stay calm, productive and focused when it seems like the entire world is falling apart. They are the top 20% of things that you must focus on that will relieve 80% of your stress. [see: pareto principle]
How to use this Pocket IQ Matrix?
Here is a step-by-step process on how to use this Pocket IQ Matrix to stress-less and live with more purpose, passion and zest for life:
Step 1: Print and Laminate IQ Matrix
Step 2: Decide What it is You Want
Before using the Pocket IQ Matrix you must decide what it is you want and what kind of outcomes you would like to experience when it comes to relieving stress from your life. Unless you are clear about what it is you want to gain from this challenge you are working through, then you will never have enough commitment or desire to follow-through with your actions. Ask yourself:
What would I like to gain from this challenge?
How would I like to feel?
What would I like to be able to do?
What things would I like to stop doing?
What would my life be like with less stress and less things to worry about?
Why is this important to me?
Why must things change right now?
Why must I begin to change right now?
What could not changing cost me both short-term and long-term?
Why is this important?
On a scale of 1 to 10 how motivated am I to experience this life?
On a scale of 1 to 10 how confident am I that I can do this?
On a scale of 1 to 10 how committed am I to get this outcome?
If your motivation, confidence and level of commitment is not at least on a scale of eight or higher, then it simply means that you don’t yet have enough “why” reasons to make the necessary changes to proactively take charge of this area of your life. In such instances, go back to the questions listed above and keep finding more reasons to change. If you are unable to do this, then unfortunately this process won’t work for you and you will fail to take the necessary steps to get the outcomes you want to experience in your life.
Step 3: Build Solid Foundations
Having printed the mind map and clarified your desired outcomes, now spend some time going over the Pocket IQ Matrix and identify what you could do on a daily basis to begin applying some of these stress-less tips into your life. Maybe you will start meditating, eating healthy food, or possibly spend more time exercising in the morning.
The habits you commit yourself to developing over the coming days, weeks and months are going to build the foundations of your stress-less lifestyle.
For instance, while overviewing the mind map I might identify two or three critical things that I must avoid at all costs that are aggravating my stress levels. I might for instance persistently stress over the smallest of things (the little things). In such cases I will write down what I must do and the questions that I must ask myself when little things get the best of me. I might ask:
Is this really worth stressing about?
Will this really matter 5 years from now?
How would Mahatma Gandhi have interpreted this stress?
How would the Dalai Lama respond to it?
How must I respond to it right now?
Are there any other questions I should be asking myself at this time that could help me interpret this stress in a more helpful way?
Other things to avoid on the list might pose a different challenge. For instance avoiding stressful people, smoking or alcohol can do wonders to alleviate your stress-levels. However, you will need to commit to a step-by-step implementation plan that will keep you on track and moving towards your desired outcomes.
Spend some time writing this plan of action on a piece of paper explaining how you will respond or counteract the various stressors within your environment (listed on the IQ Matrix). When finished, simply file your plan of action away out of sight. Under no circumstances should you carry it around with you. Instead just carry the Pocket IQ Matrix as a reminder of what you must do and focus on throughout the day. Simplicity is the key. You don’t want to get lost in the “how-to’s”, or you might end up doing nothing at all.
For instance you might choose to avoid stressful people in the office by closing your office door. Alternatively you could head-off to lunch at a different time in the afternoon. Therefore when your colleagues are eating lunch you can work peacefully without distraction.
Again, these are just guidelines. However, I hope you can see the power of this and how you can begin taking back control over your life starting today.
It’s also important to consider the things that you will do to avoid stress throughout the day. Make sure to add this to your implementation plan as well. You might for instance take a time management course, or read a few books about time management to help you improve your effectiveness and efficiency throughout the day. Or you could begin keeping a gratitude journal, where you write down all the things you are grateful for. You can then use this list to ground yourself in times of heavy stress. Alternatively you could develop a strategy that will encourage you to begin breaking large tasks into small chunks.
The key to your success will essentially come down to your commitment and willingness to make the necessary changes that will enable you to stress-less and enjoy life to the fullest. Your intention and your plan of action moving forward will form the backbone of this success. However, remember that nothing will change unless you are willing and committed to make the necessary changes that will help you to transform your life for the better.
Step 4: Stay on Track Throughout the Day
Having built a solid foundation, take the Pocket IQ Matrix and carry it around in your purse, handbag, wallet or pocket throughout the day. There probably won’t be a need to refer to it constantly (as long as you’ve spent time building your foundations), however, during moments when you feel as though your stress levels are getting out of hand, slip out the mind map and remind yourself of the things that you must do and focus on that will help you to calm your mind, stay focused and productive. Ask yourself:
Why am I stressing right now?
Which of these guidelines am I not following?
How have I diverted from my plan of action?
How must I get back on track?
What must I do, think, say and decide to get back on track?
Are there things I could do right now to alleviate my stress that I hadn’t considered before?
Don’t be hard on yourself if you make mistakes and slip back into old habits. As long as you are able to realize that you’ve walked off the path, then that is all that matters. Recognize this and get back on track. Progress is often made by taking two steps forward and then one step back. As long as you stay committed to the changes you want to create in your life, then you will eventually get there. New habits are not built overnight, but rather persistently over time.
Step 5: Learn from Experience
At the end of the day before going to bed, pull out the Pocket IQ Matrix and your written plan of action and review all the points and questions. Identify the areas where you excelled and other areas where you could improve upon in the coming days. Ask yourself:
Did I achieve my desired outcomes today?
What did I do well?
Where specifically did I struggle?
What can I learn from this?
How could I improve things tomorrow?
What could I do specifically that will help me make progress in the right direction?
Many times we aren’t able to develop the necessary habits to make long-term changes in our lives because we simply fail to learn from our experiences. However, if you are able to commit yourself and take five to ten minutes of time at the end of the day to reflect on the progress you made or failed to make, then this will help build the foundations you need to cultivate the habits and behaviors required to make long-lasting change in your life.
Step 6: Conduct Further Research
Learning a new skill or habit takes time, patience, experience (aka: making plenty of stupid mistakes) and a little knowledge. As such, you must be willing to conduct a little research on key critical areas of the Pocket IQ Matrix that you would like to adopt into your life. This research will help you gain a deeper insight and understanding into the questions you must ask, the decisions you must make, and the actions you should be taking to achieve your desired outcomes.
I could for instance need more information about how to breathe correctly when stressed in order to calm my body and mind. I would therefore simply visit Google.com and search for “how to breathe when under stress”. And here are some valuable resources I immediately came across on the very first page:
- Just Breathe: Body Has a Built-In Stress Reliever
- Stress and the Role of Breathing
- Breathing as a Bridge
I could do the same for time management; for getting more organized; for how to think positively during difficult times; for delegating responsibility, or for how to simplify my life. This research will provide me with the ammunition I need to make better decisions tomorrow about how to stress-less while living with more purpose and passion.
You are in the driver’s seat of your own life. And as such it’s your responsibility to be proactive and take the necessary actions to gain all the knowledge you can that will help you to make the changes required to achieve your desired outcomes.
Apply this process to all IQ Matrix maps
The process I went through above can very easily be applied to the 180+ self-development IQ Matrix maps that are currently available on the site. Each mind map focuses on a different life area that you can commit to improving every day. All it takes is motivation, confidence, consistency and commitment to follow through and proactively make the changes that will help you to transform your life for the better.
You must however be wary not to tackle too much at once. Each IQ Matrix is packed with loads of information. It’s therefore helpful to choose a small area you will focus on in the coming days or weeks and work from there. Please try and avoid the temptation to implement the strategies presented in many different mind maps at the same time. This can very quickly become overwhelming and can often lead to procrastination and eventually stagnation.
The journey you take to transform your life will undoubtedly be difficult. Old habits and patterns of behavior are often difficult to break. However, instead of walking blindfolded, each IQ Matrix map provides you with the vision required to make powerful changes in your life. They are designed as reference tools to help give you the guidance you need to make more effective decisions throughout the day.
Head over to the free downloads page where there are 25+ IQ Matrix maps available for instant download. I would like to challenge you to take one of the mind maps that is most relevant to your life and walk through the transformation process outlined within this article post. I am confident that if you’re motivated and committed that you will be pleasantly surprised by the results that you are able to realize.
Finally, if you are new to IQ Matrix, than please read the IQ Matrix Guide for Beginners that will walk you through how to read and make sense of an IQ Matrix map in a simple and straightforward manner.
Why not give it as a gift?
Some of the greatest gifts we can give to those we care about most are the gifts of empowerment and knowledge. Therefore if you have a friend, family member or colleague (even a stranger) who is struggling to overcome stress, then maybe the How to Stress Less pocket IQ Matrix might make the perfect gift that will help them gain back control over their emotional lives.
Time to Assimilate these Concepts
Did you gain value from this article? Would you like to keep these concepts at the forefront of your mind? If so, then you might like to download the accompanying mind map reference poster to your iPad, tablet or computer. The map presents you with a quick overview of this article. It’s designed specifically to help improve your memory and recall of this information so that you can better integrate these concepts into your daily thoughts, habits and actions.
If you enjoy using these maps, then I would like to encourage you to become a Lifetime Member where you will gain access to an ever growing number of 250+ self-growth mind maps that can help you excel in every area of life. It would be fantastic to have you join our community of existing lifetime members.