The past and the future attract and reside with most people. The present is a luxury yacht beyond their means and is meant for holidaying at, occasionally. Good or bad, however, the past is a collection of facts and the future, well, a work of fiction. The present holds the power to alter the course of the past—facts aren’t eternal truths, after all—and craft the future. The human mind, however, isn’t designed to be and neither should it be focused on the present all the time. Facts and fiction, when they come together in the form of reflections and imaginations, respectively, can add meaning and inspiration to the present.
The caveat is: Don’t get carried away by either the past or the future; get back and pay attention to the present.
The mind turns to revenge. After suffering enough from your fluctuating attention, it acts against your conscience and tilts (=manipulates) your attention toward instant gratification or desire, as the case may be. The mind, with your cooperation, derails your attention.
The mind takes you out on romantic dates with your thoughts, mostly the ones you would never like to hear from, let alone date, but the thoughts are so seductive that your mind tricks you into believing that you must spend the rest of your life with them. You fall in love with the first thought, you fall out of love with them, you move to the next one. The cycle continues, and you remain as single as always, alone with that chatter, delusional enough to consider every temporal thought your lifelong companion. It is not the sheer polyamorous person your mind eventually turns you into that disrupts your peace of mind but the efficiency and swiftness with which that enslaved person in you shuts down the potential person inside you.
Enslaved by desire. Not yet a slave. There is hope.
The mind, unless set free to surrender its freedom to a meaningful pursuit, remorselessly spots and cultivates distractions, feeds on junk wisdom, eventually standing as a boulder between you and your goals. Even the most conveniently positioned mental antenna finds it difficult to process the favorable signals. A vacillating mind stunts the growth of an individual and the magnitude of the harm caused isn’t well understood until it is too late.
Boredom sets the wandering attention on fire, triggering impulsive actions, reckless behaviors, insecurities, and so on. The net mind is a lonely human, trying their best to escape the pain of loneliness, suffering, capable of resorting to addiction more often than not. Social media, smartphones do their best to keep the loneliness alive.
You can’t rent someone else’s mind or body to live in. Almost all other items on the bucket list, including the elusive happiness, are within our budget. Thus, you have no other choice but to live in your body and mind.
For the body, you can take care of using the tried-and-tested methods, if you will. What do you plan to do with your mind, then? The mind is notoriously infamous for being beyond your control. How do you achieve that peace of mind? That mental stability to not try to run away from every pain, to not let your emotions run amok at the slightest provocation, to stand still at the quivering edges?
You must have seen how your body responds to a healthy diet and a fitness regime, when followed regularly. The gut is cleaner, the muscles are stronger. The stubborn, powerful, “immortal” fat vacates the premises, slowly and gradually, convinced that its days are numbered. You feel comfortable in your own skin.
Similar is the case with mind. Your mind fills its stomach with the conversations you have with yourself, your interpretation of the information that you absorb, your biases, the thoughts you let in, et cetera. It is trapped in the self, unable to set itself free. Underlying those distractions, the constant chasing, the talent unexplored, sit a few difficult inner narratives, waiting for your metaphorical ears. Unheard, they deprive you of access to yourself. Your lack of self-awareness converts your mind into a hotbed for emotions to blow a trace of negative thought, out of proportion, into a monstrous bubble that eventually wraps you in its impenetrable sheath.
That’s how people end up suffering at the hands of their own minds. It is painful to be locked in the mind.
You don’t need an epiphany or a life-threatening event to start working on the muscles of your mind. The circumstances, the people around you are compelling evidence for you to not take your mind for granted.
A makeshift cosmetic makeup or realignment of the antenna isn’t and can’t be the fix. There is no one-size-fits-all approach to harnessing the power of mind. What works favorably to start with is introspection—the art of delving into the soul with the motive of discovering oneself. It is an underrated skill not because it is tough to master, but because the answers sometimes make the world fall apart.
Introspection is not a skill that can be practiced in isolation. It is better when coupled with a safety trigger, a fallback option, or a confidential mechanism that saves one from hitting the rock bottom. Like, an empathetic listener.
Regardless, be self-aware. Denial is fashionable but not the style of a strong mind.
PPD’s Mind Club offers you a platform to strengthen and sharpen your mind, and helps you achieve your potential.