For a very long time my mind controlled me.
It paralysed me, kept me ‘living’ in desperate situations, and stopped me from ‘living’ the life of my dreams. I only learnt to move on when I understood what happened to me was not as important as what happened ‘in’ me.
Nowadays as a mindset coach I ask people to take a walk with me – not literally, but a stroll through their minds. I usually start with: “Let’s listen in on the conversations you are having with yourself.”
If you really listen to the voice in your head you will hear it telling you things, chastising you, organising you, offering you opinions, and creating replays of past events that ‘you’ would rather not remember.
Am I in a Defeatist Mode? Where I am dominated by worry, frustration, reliving the past fears or anxious about the future?
Am I in Sustaining Mode? Where I am mostly going through the motions, sustaining the status quo and I am incessantly checking my devices Basically multitasking, grinding life out, operating on autopilot. Just doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result every time.
Am I in Dreamer Mode? Wandering off to a different reality, visualising places where I could be happy, or what I might do if I won the lottery, or dreaming of who I really want to be?
Am I in Opportunity Mode? Where my ideas are now being turned into action? Where I am working on delivering my dreams, and I am not content just to hatch ideas? Where I am taking action to make my dreams my reality?
Whatever mode of thinking you inhabit, that is a decision you make, and totally your decision.
‘You’ have placed yourself there. Your brain has no power over you unless ‘you’ allow it to have that power. You are in control of your life and ‘your’ choices decide who ‘you’ are.
No one is in control of your happiness but you. Therefore, you have the power to change anything about ‘yourself’ or your life that you want to change.
I don’t think most people lack motivation to want to change but what they lack is real clarity of thought about what and how to change. Ask people where are they going or why are they here and they struggle to give you a coherent answer. Yet what you think you become!
Many of us have such cluttered minds that we cannot see the wood from the trees. All the rooms in our brain are so full of junk and there is so little space to think.
- You constantly give permission for people to move in with you into your brain renting ‘free space’ in your mind where they can pollute your thinking and make as much noise as they want.
- You allow your mind to be full of videos of bad experiences.
- You replay those videos over and over again especially in the middle of the night.
- You have worries, memories, of the way things should have been, if only….if only.
- You have fears of the future.
So much stuff is going on that blocks you navigating your way to open space. This incessant noise and gibberish chatter of your brain voice – 80,000 thoughts a day – that confuses and anchors you in others opinions, past experiences, future fears and is so addictive and not very pleasant.
So, if you feel like your mind is everywhere but in the present, maybe it’s time for you to have a spring clean.
You can make a start by stopping the chatter. Binning the rubbish, kicking out those who rent free space in your brain to create some space for clarity of thought.
I was doing a leadership/motivational session for some teachers this week and one of them told me a very short story.
There was a girl in a class drawing a picture when a teacher asks her what she’s drawing.
“God” she answered. The teacher said: “But nobody knows what God looks like.”
The girl looked up at her and said: “They will in a minute”.
I love that story for its clarity. Our mind is capable of anything but we must understand that the mind has a ‘mind’ of its own. And the mind can make a Heaven of Hell, or a Hell of Heaven.
Your mind is a wild shrieking, gibbering madhouse on wheels, rolling full pelt down the hill, utterly out of control and hopeless bouncing here and there looking for clarity.
As it rolls it just bumps into bad memories, and hateful experiences along the way.
Remember this message:
The greatest unused weapon you have is your ability to choose one thought over another. You have power over your minds internal chatter and thinking. Once you realise this, you will find clarity of thought.
Your brain may not actually have a restart button, but there are plenty of things you can do to reboot.
That reboot starts with a spring clean.
“Spring cleaning” our mind means calming the chatter and meditating, which teaches you to sit with distracting thoughts, acknowledge them, and really importantly let them go. This way you can get rid of the clutter of old ideas, toxic relationships and bad habits to clear out some space.
Because you can’t reach for anything new if your hands are still full of yesterday’s junk.
So, MAKE SPACE FOR YOUR NEW THINKING by altering your thinking and choosing your attitude.
The truth is if you change your mindset, you change your life.
My final thoughts for today are:
- You have powers you have never dreamed of.
- You can do things you have never thought you could do.
- There are no limitations in what you can do except the limitations you place on your own mind.
So go on today, spring clean your mind, get rid of the crap and toxic people and let your self be free.
I can take you to success. I coach ordinary people every day to do extra-ordinary things. I coach extra-ordinary people to do extra-ordinary things. The difference is those who have a dream, and are prepared to follow said dream, are extraordinary, and just need a structure and support system to kick off that journey, which will finish with them sliding in fast sideways to the grave, totally worn out from the relentless living of their dreams, screaming out loudly “Wow holy sh*t, what a ride!”
If that is you – start today! If you are looking for coaching on change for yourself or your organisation, or would like more information on the work we do on Personal, Professional, or Organisational Change, please contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org
About Dr Maurice Duffy
Irish. Author, Professor, Coach and Business strategist. The person Australian Captain Steve Smith credited with helping him back from his cricket ban. Coach to two Ashes wins. Coach to CEOs, Politicians and some of the best know international sports starts including Olympians. BBC ‘Thought for the Week’. Coached business leaders and organizations in 80 countries. Works with charities to do with Mental Health. Lives in North East England with his wife and 11-year-old son.