Everything we do, every thought we’ve ever had, is produced by the human brain. But exactly how it operates remains one of the biggest unsolved mysteries, and it seems the more we probe its secrets, the more surprises we find. – Neil deGrasse Tyson
I have been giving up a lot of ‘stuff’, physical and emotional, in the past few months, and I have been realizing more and more how much space this ‘stuff’ takes up in my mental space. You don’t actually realize you are holding that much tension in your mind, until you release a particular item. Often times, it is an item that you didn’t even think, you were thinking about. Without realizing, this item has been living rent-free in your head, quietly; like that serial killer that every neighbour thinks is the nicest, quietest guy in the world.
The Idea Of Arriving
One of the items that take up a lot of mental space for me is the idea of arriving. I spend a lot of time wondering about this special time when I will have arrived. I think about and dream about that specific time. I wonder about the kind of person I will be: how I will look and behave. I wonder about the kind of people I will be friends with, the kind of house I will live in, the country I will live in, and so on. I spend so much time on the idea of “arriving” at a specific point in time that I don’t spend anytime in the present – which is the most important time of all.
The Idea Of Being Special
Another item that I spend a lot of time on is the idea of being special or unique in a certain way. I spend an inordinate amount of time wondering if I’m worthy of this space I occupy, and why I am here. Thinking about why you are here is alright if you are thinking of it in terms of searching for your purpose, but when you start using it as a debate on if you are taking up precious resources, then it becomes a useless endeavor.
The Idea Of Approval
Too often I end up worrying about what other people will think of me, and the tasks/stuff I have undertaken. I spend time (miniscule as it might be) wondering if a specific someone likes me or cares about me or wants to be with me. I spend time (gargantuan as it might be) wondering what people think of me when I walk past them or when I meet them for the first time. The older I get, the more I realize two things:
- People aren’t thinking of you at all; and,
- If they are thinking ill of you, they don’t matter;
- If they are thinking well of you, it doesn’t matter.
The Idea Of Being Good (Or Nice)
Oh lordy, how much time I spend on this useless endeavour. After saying something passionately or intensely, I have spent useless time wondering if I came off as too intense, and not “nice enough”. When I think about it, I realize more and more what a waste of time that is.
If people don’t think you are nice, then they are obviously focusing on the wrong items.
Do you care about living a life fulfilled or living a nice life that everyone approved of (by the way, that will never happen when everyone approves of everything you do)?
The Idea Of Being Successful
Do you know what would make you successful? Do you have a list of items that you have that you know will get to that pinnacle point? How many items on that list are based on your own needs, rather than others? Is it possible for you to consider yourself a success in this moment of time (while still striving for more in the future)? Instead of living in such ethereal moment in the future where you will have arrived at your successful point (or someone else’s preset success point for you), how about giving yourself some credit in this moment and living as much as you can in the present moment.
I’m sure there are other items that take up precious space in my head.
What do you think of the list? How many items from it occupy your own brain space? Write to me if you have some other ones that are more happening in your own mind.
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