Engagement time: 5 minutes
Practice – Depends how much you worry
Shelf Life – Ubiquitous
What happens when our minds get cluttered with worries? What consequences does a cluttered mind have on us when we interact with people? How does it impact our day-to-day performance?
Quite a lot, I would say.
Worries are like parasites, depriving us from being fully present. They soak up our creative juices that are required for our clear-thinking and for being part of the creative flow.
The more we trouble our minds the less we are part of the flow – which is essential for generating new ideas and the outpour of creativity.
There’s an easy approach to tackle this challenge by instantly resolving any arising issues – as they come, so they should go. The most important task is not to allow our minds to marinate in worries and regurgitate unnecessary thoughts.
When we enter the flow, we dwell in the moment of presence. For example, when you were a child, you were frequently in the moment. Next time you get a chance to observe a child, notice how natural it is for them to be in the moment.
As we get older, as we accumulate more life experience, we also tend to clutter our minds with increased amount of thought and worries, hence, there’s a good chance we fall out of the flow – to the extent where we forget all about it. It’s a well-known fact that we are all born creative, and then, creativity gets educated out of us in school.
Schooling focuses predominately on analytical way of thinking. Most of who have gone through that kind of educational system had to learn towards a narrow-minded result, which was either a right or a wrong answer set in advance. But that’s not how real-life works, because not everything is black or white. As children we also inherited various traits and behavioral patterns that were not always conducive later in life. Worrying is one those patterns that appear quite innocent in the beginning, but can soon turn into an unconscious habit. Here are a few examples we can all relate to.
Through my life and career I rarely received any useful advice on how to deal with worries. The best I could hear was: ‘Don’t worry, be happy.’
Instead of being asked the question: “What is the root cause of your worry, why are you worrying you and how can you address your worries?”
Here’s my art and science of resolving the issue of worrying and overriding this old pattern of behavior. To do this exercise, make sure to pick the best time of your day. Your mind should be calm and you need enough energy to grasp whatever comes up as you observe your thinking patterns. For me, early morning, after a good night sleep, works best.
Here’s what you can do to prepare, physically and emotionally.
This approach is useful when you have the time or you are willing to create the required space to do this exercise properly.
If not you don’t have the luxury of time and space you need to learn to work on your feet and become skilled enough to create the required space and silence whenever necessary to resolve the arising issue. Eventually it becomes very easy and effortless. Just like anything you master- just like riding a bike, you learn and you never forget.
You can do this exercise on your own or with a friend. Feel free to tweak as desired, as long as you experience the impact.
Having answered these questions, I invite you to dive deeper and analyze the situation further.
“How does worrying impact me physically? (e.g., unnecessary hunger, craving for sugar, cigarette, coffee, my arms get itchy, I get a headache, I can’t sleep, I feel tension in my stomach, I escape by getting lost watching TV, I start endlessly browsing through social media – again I escape, I am not present)
“When I worry, what’s going on with me emotionally? (e.g., I get sad, I am scared, I get angry, it makes me anxious)
“How does that impact my performance in life, at work?” (e.g., low performance, lack of focus, poor concentration, lack of confidence, lack of direction in life)
Can you notice if there’s a pattern in ways you respond to various events in life? Is there a chance you worry too often and too much?
“What do you need to change right here and now, to stop worrying?”
But most importantly!
As you go through this exercise you should be able to create some free space in your mind and feel lighter. If you notice the difference, you are ready to start humming the tune of the song: ‘Don’t worry, be happy’.
I would also advise you to learn how to harness and maintain the required silence at all times, by keeping your mind less cluttered. That means ¼ empty – just like your stomach – it works best when it’s not overburdened with food.
Important to add, you don’t have to absorb everything the world presents around you; all the sounds, interactions, people, images, information, sensations, billboards, and advertisements. My rule of thumb is, if I can’t remember what I have seen and heard at the end of the day, it’s not worth giving it my attention.
Use your natural power of selective attention and focus, to guard your sanity and your inner space, so, you can retain the clarity of your crisp mind.
Many articles and videos speak of leadership qualities, yet only a few I came across have grasped the importance of maintaining our mind silence and thought gap, which is recognized by the clarity of our projection in this world. It is a quintessential quality of any high performing individual in life, in business, finance, sport, music, art, medicine, IT, science, etc.
The same goes for teaching, leading, managing, presenting. When you are trying to convey a message that is not deeply rooted in your own understanding and experience, with 100% clarity, your recipients won’t receive the message in the intended way. The message was lost to begin with.
I think that to be a natural ability of top-quality leader we so admire. The quality of the one who is capable of capturing your attention and does not depend on PowerPoint or an orchestra of bells and whistles
I wish you a great day, full of crystal clarity ahead!