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Posts Tagged ‘quiet the mind’

A few months ago my niece and nephew re-introduced me to jigsaw puzzles. Not the easy kind, either. The difficult 1,000-piece kind, with so many similar color schemes and uniquely shaped pieces that you want to pull all your hair out.
 

At first I was incredibly frustrated as my puzzle skills and the typical puzzle-building strategies didn’t work so well. After a while though, I didn’t mind. I started to notice that working on the puzzle was replacing something I hated but was addicted to – being online. I soon realized how joyous it was to disconnect from my computer and engage my brain with a puzzle.
 

Still, it was frustrating; especially in the beginning when 1,000 scattered puzzle pieces seemed to have no organization, rhyme or reason. I would often stare at the mess of pieces on the table, desperately trying to force together two pieces I thought should connect, but obviously didn’t.
 
 

Finally, tired of failure and my inability to see any patterns, I would walk away from the puzzle. Sometimes I would not return for a day or two.
 
That’s when the magic happened.
 

During that time away it was as if my subconscious took a snapshot of the puzzle and worked on it while I slept and did other things. Miraculously, when I returned to the puzzle, I could instantly fit numerous pieces in place that I previously stared at for hours.
 

This happened every single time I walked away from the puzzle. That’s when I realized the bigger message here.  At some point this year I will be confronted by a challenge that I just can’t see an answer to in the moment.
 
That’s when I should “walk away”.
 

When I bump into that unsolvable problem, that is when I should let the subconscious work on the problem and trust that it will come up with the answer I seek. Nine out of 10 times that time away will bring the clarity I so desperately want and will deliver the answer I desire. As counter-intuitive as it may seem, there is often magic in doing nothing.
 

“Take a walk outside – it will serve you far more than pacing around in your mind.”

— Rasheed Ogunlaru
 

American culture is a one that rewards and celebrates action and busy-ness. There is a lot to be said for that as our country has introduced innovation after innovation to the world. However, that culture has also created a society that favors action over thinking. And as such, we have lost our ability to think, let alone think critically.
 

I’m not sure we even know how to access our thinking anymore, for every second of our life is filled with noise, distraction and the latest technology or social media update.
 

So, here are some things you can do to quiet the mind, access your thinking – and more importantly – let the power of your subconscious effortlessly do the work.

  • Take a walk/Go for a bike ride/Exercise
  • Take a nap/Go to Sleep
  • Go out and have fun with friends.
  • Take a shower/bath.
  • Watch a movie.
  • Read a book.
  • Or, of course, you could build a jigsaw puzzle.

 

READ HOW THIS APPLIES TO YOUR BUSINESS here.

 

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I want you the think of the busiest road in, or near, your town. I mean crazy busy. Think of a road where there is a tremendous amount of traffic, both sides of the road are littered with billboards, hundreds of businesses line the road with distracting signs, traffic lights interrupt your driving every few hundred yards and there are people crossing the street at busy intersections. Your eyes dart from one distracting stimulation to the next, not knowing what to focus on. It feels crowded, crazy and hectic.

 
road1

Got that picture, and hectic feeling, in your mind?

 

Good.

 

That is the typical mind these days. Between the multitudes of tasks we are responsible for each day, the multitude of interruptions our electronic devices provide, the overwhelming number of emails we receive, and the multitude of other thoughts and worries that fill our heads, that busy street is what our brain feels like. It is a crazy, hectic street where we are unable to focus on any one specific thing.

 

And that is only what our conscious mind registers and deals with! Our subconscious mind is processing many more times the information you consciously see. A study by the University of Pennsylvania found that the conscious mind processes 2,000 bits of information per second, while the subconscious mind processes 400 billion!!

 

Essentially that means that you aren’t really aware of all the information and distractions flooding into your head.

 

BUT . . . what this also points to is the amazing volume of unused processing power many of us are wasting if we do not let our subconscious mind work on some of your daily challenges. If you are constantly running around, doing things and filling your day with activities or “to do” lists, there is no way you can perform at your optimal levels.

 

If you truly want to improve your performance, focus and success, you need to find a quiet, less busy street so that your subconscious mind has some time and space to go to work.

 

Here are 3 things you can do to create a quieter street for your brain.

 

  1. Turn off all email/text/Facebook/Twitter notifications when working on important tasks. Trust me, the world will not end if you do this. You must stop being at the beck and call of the world and start setting your own schedule in order to create your life and your success.
  2. Clear the clutter from your home, workspace and life. You won’t know the impact this has until you do it, but the subconscious mind is taking in all that clutter and trying to process it. And in doing so, it is clogging the neurons in your brain that you want to access and use to think about and create greater success and peak performance.
  3. If you have been stumped by a problem and just can’t seem to reach that breakthrough or solution, give it a rest and let your subconscious go to work. Take time to go for a run, meditate, go for a bike ride, sit quietly, take a nap, hike, take a bath or whatever it is that clears your mind and allows the subconscious to go to work on your challenges and problems. Doing so always produces a possibility or idea to move you closer to the success you want.

 

“The ability to simplify means to eliminate the unnecessary so that the necessary may speak.”

– Hans Hoffman

 

It seemingly goes against conventional wisdom to do less in order to do more. But out of that simplicity, clarity emerges. And from that clarity, direction emerges. And from that direction, focus emerges. And from that focus, achievement emerges. And from that achievement, success is found.

 

You can choose to stay on that busy road if you want, but if you do, consciously realize what you are risking by doing so.

 

There is no doubt that science has played a HUGE role in revealing the power of the subconscious mind. There is probably no greater experiment, or scientist, that has played a larger role in establishing the importance of this power than the one demonstrated in the video below. 🙂
 
 

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