354. Slowing Down the Brain to Experience Life
Michael Weinberger is a successful entrepreneur, husband and father of two. He is also bipolar. Michael has learned how to find happiness and manage his illness through mindfulness practices and medication. As a dynamic speaker, he is guaranteed to entertain as he walks you through his experiences. His website, APlanForLiving.com, helps individuals–from all types of backgrounds–achieve happiness through mindfulness, spirituality and gratitude.
How Did You Start Using Your Talents?
Early on in learning to live with bipolar disorder, Michael began to learn mental techniques to interrupt intrusive thoughts, first by becoming aware of them. “Many people have disproportionate responses to the world,” he explains. Because I have a disproportionate response to the world—complemented by a mental illness—I have to work extra hard to be aware.” Gradually he grasped that his thoughts are not who he is, they’re just a function of his brain. “The way I define mindfulness is simply the slowing down of my brain and slowing my thoughts so I can actually experience life and what’s taking place.”
The Most Impactful Turning Point?
“I was formally diagnosed with bipolar disorder when I was seventeen years old, and it honestly took the better part of my life, until the age of 32, for me to start to overcome some of these demons and work through them. Fortunately for me, I did come out of it. Today, I’m all about hope, optimism and recovery.”
The Most Powerful Lessons Learned?
“One of the biggest issues I have—in dealing with my disorder or with life in general—is that I think a particular situation is going to last forever; thinking that it’s only happening to me, and that if I don’t fix it, there is something wrong with me. What I have learned is this: it will pass, whatever it is. I am not required to fix it, and it’s absolutely okay that I’m not feeling well. It doesn’t mean I can’t be happy. I can be happy during this episode. I can focus on gratitude, spirituality and mindfulness.”
Steps to Success from Michael Weinberger
1. Cultivate the habit of being grateful.
2. Recognize that you are not your thoughts. If you were, you wouldn’t be able to notice them and step back from them.
3. Develop a practical spirituality that works for you, and use it.
4. Understand that you can be happy even when you do not feel well mentally or physically.
Connecting With Michael Weinberger
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