“I’ve had many troubles in my life, most of which never happened”. – Mark Twain
Have you ever been lost in thought while someone was talking to you, then suddenly you realise you have not heard a thing they were saying? Your ears and eyes were open, but your attention was focused elsewhere on random thoughts. In your mind you are caught up with fantasies, concerns, problems, fears, angers and constant replays of events that may never happen. Emotionally charged thinking has the ability to control our attention and how we interact will the world around us.
Fundamentally, our attention moves in two directions. We either focus outward on the energy and movement around us or we move inward and pay attention exclusively to what we are thinking. Our inner thoughts tend to randomly float from the present to the past or the future. Generally, this type of ambiguous attention switching back and forth between our inner and outer worlds is common for many. Importantly, we need to understand this lack of control can greatly influence our ability to perform and reach our full potential.
If we could take the time to sit in a quiet room with no distractions and close our eyes for a period of time we would gradually begin to notice many things. Firstly, we would probably gain an appreciation and awareness of our breathing and our heart beat. Secondly, and more notably, we will gain an awareness and insight into a stream of subconscious thoughts that usually sit below our level of your awareness. These control what we think, feel and do. By taking the time to engage in a process that aims to transcend the mind we begin to see how we get caught up blaming external circumstances for how we feel and react. We begin to understand that the problem is not the circumstances, but our mind’s resistance to what is.
To gain control and master the mind we require an ability to focus our attention solely on the present moment. We must learn how to resist the urge to engage in self-defeating thinking patterns occupied with past events that has done or the future situations that have yet to happen. Many thoughts will always come and go through our mind, but it is critical to the process we constantly reconnect the mind’s attention exclusively onto the here and now every time.
Unfortunately, the reality for most of us is this is not always easy to do. We have been conditioned from a young age to habitually respond in a particular manner to triggers in our life. To change and take control will take time, effort and expert guidance. To rewire the mind we need to learn and practice new mental skills on regular basics. To achieve this outcome it is important we invest our time in someone who has the knowledge and expertise in mental skills training to help us overcome the obstacles, grow and be successful in life.