What’s Occupying Your Mind?

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What are you thinking about right now?

Well, if you are truly present and paying attention to what you are reading right now in this blog post, you are thinking about what I am writing.

These words.

Right here.

Shazam.

However, once you stop reading, what slips into your mind?

At times, we think we can think and focus on several things at the same time, but that is not true. Our mind has a limited amount of operating space. The more things we try to focus on, the more cluttered our mind becomes and the slower it works.

Think about your computer or smart phone. If you have too many programs or apps running at the same time, your device becomes slower. To improve its performance, you’d close some down or even delete unused apps.

Our minds work in a similar way. If you are working on one thing, but also thinking about your responsibilities at home, your efficiency will decrease.

When I played sports, I couldn’t worry about what coach thought about my performance (I just had to play & staying in the game was my cue) or whether the crowd cheered for me. Those external elements (I can’t even call them “factors”) wouldn’t keep me from taking a line-drive or an unblocked spike to the noggin.

Focus was everything. What’s the defense doing? Who’s their on-fire player? How can we score? What can I do to help us score? Even something simple like: Where’s the ball?

Focus is everything.

And simplification… man, that can change everything.

We want to get to 25 before the other team. How do you do that? Keep the ball from hitting our floor; put it down on theirs. Be as precise as possible. Let them screw up if they want.

By eliminating irrelevant information & only occupying the mind with useful stuff, you can make good/better decisions. When we know what is and what it not relevant to our performance, we can free our mind to make the right decisions and execute well.

Occupying our minds with the right information doesn’t only include finding relevant cues and focusing on them when we are performing. We need to learn to occupy our mind with the right things at all times.

This has to do with the Law of Occupied Space, which basically says that two things cannot occupy the same space at the same time. So, you’d serve yourself better if you put something useful in your mind, rather than something irrelevant or negative. Because, if you don’t, something else will get in that space.

As we grow up we are taught not to do things—Don’t touch this. Don’t say that. Don’t do [______] (fill in yours)

That is the wrong way to approach learning, thinking, habit-forming, life. Yes, we need to know what we can improve, but we need to occupy our minds with positives. Those give us something TO DO.

Positives include (click on any of these to open a new window with suggestions to develop yours):

We need to consciously train our mind to focus on positives. As we improve, our mind will build the muscle memory of focusing on what actions to take that are in alignment with our goals.