Recently, one of the main membership plugins on my website was down and I immediately thought, Is my website experiencing a hostile takeover? Yes, I know this sounds a bit melodramatic, but as my website has gone through a major hack before (read Bad Code!) I’m extra-sensitive! Hostile takeovers and hacking is a real threat not only in our businesses, but in our mindsets and in our society.
The hijacking of energy grids are the new front in cyber terrorism and experts say a hostile takeover is a distinct possibility. Actual recent cyber attacks have included Russians hacking Ukraine’s electricity network, turning lights off and on at will. Others include North Korea taking over the controls of a South Korean nuclear plant and snipers with high-powered rifles unleashing a fusillade on a transmission station near San Jose, California. As sobering and dangerous as this is, we could experience the same sort of hostile takeover in our minds. (Daily Bulletin, Feb. 19, 2019; A1,5)
With cyber security, experts expect attacks all the time, 24 hours a day. In the same way, mental attacks can happen at any time, unexpectedly. Cyber attacks can also come from a variety of sources and can be difficult to trace. With the prevalence of social media, mental attacks can also come from anywhere in the world and from multiple angles. Whether in our world or in our minds, it’s not whether if there will be attacks, but when.
Hackers look for aging equipment, poorly maintained circuits and other equipment. Our personal vulnerabilities lie with the decline of mental and physical sharpness with bodies that are aging. It takes vigilance and commitment to a lifelong learning attitude for mental stamina and continued growth. It also takes a solid resolution of scheduling regular exercise and eating a healthy diet. As the body increases in sluggishness, the mind quickly follows.
In helping others create a fulfilling and prosperous second half, the distinct awareness of a mental hostile takeover is the first step toward a solid defense. There are so many parallels with cyber hacking and mental hacking, which I’ve approached fairly thoroughly in the book Bad Code. There is a free 5-minute a day quiz briefly covering the tools in Ye Old Toolbox, illustration taken from my father’s actual toolbox. You can sign up free here: Tools for Healthy Mindsets
FIVE MINDSETS to help you Combat a Hostile Takeover
Mindset ONE: Recognize and Label Head Trash. Head Trash includes the lies and junk that keep you from moving forward. Realize it’s going to happen—that is a given! Label thoughts and language as Head Trash like: Can I really do this? Or Will anyone really listen to my ideas? I’m too old to learn anything new!
Mindset TWO: Define the Root Problem. After labeling the head trash, dig deeper to find the source of your feelings. Is it insecurity, fear, anger, resentment, exhaustion? Take a walk or get away from the situation to let yourself think clearly about where the head trash is originating and what’s causing it.
Mindset THREE: Journal Often. Write out your thoughts with a pen and paper. This sounds old-fashioned but believe me, it works! Words on the page have the power to dispel thoughts of head trash. Find a buddy and take the challenge of writing a short two-sentences in your journal daily. It may be tough at first, but the words will begin to flow with consistency and you may be surprised at how much is uncovered in a few words on a page!
Mindset FOUR: Create New Language: Defense is your best Offense. Don’t close off your heart to the reality of the situation, but create some new language that will help you combat negative language and thoughts. If the negativity is not dealt with, there is a good chance for a hostile takeover of your thoughts. Some examples are: I know my worth and value or My ideas are worth sharing or even Even though learning this new skill is tough, I know I can do it!
Mindset FIVE: Don’t quit! Constant vigilance, planning and investment are so very important because you could be very close to real change and success! Remember, you are worth it! I’m rooting for you!