The mind is a racing car & thoughts are its fuel. You, on the other hand, are the driver with your foot constantly on the accelerator pedal. I mean, Think about it. If you pay keen attention to the thoughts that cross your mind only for 30 minutes at one go, You will find that these thoughts are of startling variety. One thought might think about the coffee you had last evening, the other will think about the goals to be achieved over a period of next 5 years. There could be some of the thoughts thinking about how to mend a personal relationship or some of them could be fearing the presentation they had to give at work.
The fact that there are so many thoughts is not a problem at all. The problem is that there are so many different thoughts while say, You are exercising in the morning. In other words, the problem is that you are having these thoughts while doing a task that is completely unrelated to the present moment; The moment in which the life is unfolding.
So then, You are thinking about a vacation when you are at work or thinking about the Friday on a Monday morning or thinking about how slim you should be while trying out a pair of new jeans. Do you get the drift? Random thoughts hamper the outcome of your goals simply because they never got the attention or focus they desired.
If you observe further, You will see that you have no control over these thoughts. It’s difficult to be in a no-thought situation. Probably, the enlightened masters know how to be in a no-thought zone. But for us mortals, we will have to devise our own methods to get some sanity to the situation.
Here are my top 5 hacks to help you get started. You may devise your own methods & I will urge you to share them in the comments box below.
My Top 5 Hacks to manage your thoughts & achieve Success
Imagine the mind to be a screen on which thoughts appear; Just like the various characters appear on the screen when you are watching a movie. The moment, the movie ends the screen goes blank or white. But while the characters are appearing, they rouse your emotions. A romantic character makes you want to love. An action scene gets you to the edge of your seat and so on. You could even imagine the “blank” screen as your deep sleep. When you are not dreaming, do you have any experience at all?
When you are seeing a character on the movie screen, you associate almost immediately with the character you like / love. You imagine yourself being like him or her. Turns out, your actions mirror the people you idolize in real life too. So, when this character is in pain, You feel the pain. When the character is happy, You feel happiness.
The mind works in a similar fashion. As I said before, the mind is a screen on which thoughts appear. You don’t have a control over these thoughts and when they should appear. But you do have a control over where to focus. Here are my top 5 hacks to manage your thoughts and achieve success:
- Make a plan / Plan your day – Plan your day with all the different things you need to do. Start with the time you would like to wake up at. Pick chunks of 90 minutes in one go & plan it to the time you sleep each day. So, If you are planning to wake up at 6 AM and sleep at 10:30 PM, Plan your 90-minute chunks with the tasks you would like to achieve that day.
- Mornings are your own time – Unless you are living solo high up in the mountains, I would like to assume you are with your family around you. As soon as the world wakes up, personal and professional responsibilities take up your time. So, to have a fruitful day, you need to spend some time with your own self. The early mornings are such a time. No one “wants” your time in this part of the day. My suggestion would be to wake up 30 minutes before your normal wake-up time. So, If you are planning to wake up at 6 AM, push it to 5:30 AM to get that 30 extra minutes.
- Put your thoughts into a Journal – An ideal way would be to start the day with a glass of warm water just to get the system revved up. Sit for about 10 minutes then in silence; Breathe in and Breathe out for about 100 cycles ( Pace this at 20 cycles at a time). You will be amazed that simply breathing in and breathing out will help you get some sanity to your early morning. Thoughts will slow down and when they do, You will be able to grasp them quickly. Note down such thoughts in your diary or a journal. These could be random thoughts. Note them down.
- Assign these thoughts to your day – Some of the thoughts might be completely random and not of immediate significance, but then now that you have put them in a diary or a journal, You have them noted down. You can always review those thoughts the next day to see when you want to schedule them. Assign thoughts that are pertaining to your immediate day into your day’s plan
- Don’t mind – This is the most important step, I think. You make plans ( Man proposes) but not all of them materialize ( God disposes). Don’t mind if such things happen. What is in your control is to wake up early, plan your 90-minute chunks, assign tasks to be completed in the day, record your random thoughts in the journal and go ahead to accomplish these thoughts. But despite doing all of this, if some thoughts or maybe a lot of them do not materialize, reflect if you really put in your hard work to achieve those tasks. Think what you would do better the next time & note these thoughts in your journal. Don’t mind or feel negative out of unaccomplished tasks.