I need to start with an apology: the expression “mindshare” is very misleading. It would be better to say: “being hooked by the mind” or “living in the mind” percentage…
Let me explain something:
The Mind evolved to chatter, blah blah blah. Mostly to warn you of impending doom, danger, to make you less unsuspecting, naive, like a child.
Can you stop the thoughts? Positive or negative?
No way. It is like trying to stop Niagara Falls… not going to happen.
Can you change the thoughts?
People have been trying to do that for at least a century, to detrimental results.
I think it began, in earnest, with the myriad of books around the turn of the century, about the power of the mind.
All promising results, riches, happiness… they even dug up some sentences from the bible, something like “as you think so you are” so we could point a blaming hand at Christianity, and it wouldn’t be the first time.
Have you ever tried
…to put that in action, and try actively think something other than what you are thinking? Did it work? Did it work beyond the placebo effect?
I have tried, and have also coached thousands of people who are still trapped in trying to think differently than the mind thinks by itself.
The expression “your mind” is incorrect.
The expression indicates that you have control over “your” mind, but it’s not true. You have control over what you think, but it’s not the mind that is doing it. The Mind is not yours, the Mind is an automatic device trying to keep you alive.
Spending your attention, spending your time, spending your Life Force to change it is unhelpful. Even if your mind said nice things about you and your life, which it does, from time, to time… would the mind get things done or you?
The mind doesn’t get anything done… it just does what it is programmed to do… blabber.
But what about the emotions? The emotions is a different and INDEPENDENT system to keep you alive. It operates much like the Mind, it’s quite automatic.
What throws a monkey wrench into its automatic operation is you struggling with it, you trying to rig the machinery.
It’s not going to happen, or if it does, what it’s taken to successfully rig it, will destroy you and your real life. Heroin, opium, and other stuff suppress your ability to feel… but at what cost?
With thoughts, with emotions, your best course of action is to observe them, allow them to move, make room for them.
And for many of you who have added the weather as a condition for life to be good, for you to be well… do you see what you are doing?
The weather is a great “model” for the thoughts and the emotions: the weather changes on its own accord, on its own volition, and doesn’t give a hoot about how you feel about it. It doesn’t, and you can’t rig it. It’s a mechanism acting on laws of physics, not on the laws of your psyche, the psyche of humanity that thinks a sunny sky is better than a clouded one.
Now, with all that said: the capacity of acceptance, allowing, making room for something are atrophied in most humans.
But it is nurture, not nature that is at fault.
You learned your intolerance, impatience, from your parents, from the government, from society.
Unlearning is harder than learning something new, but thousands of people have learned to allow and make room… so, I suspect, that you can too.
Hi Sophie, what should I do to become more present?
I am working on creating a course using the methods of ACT, what Russ Harris teaches in his Happiness Trap book… if it’s urgent, start reading that book… it’s on Amazon.
There is only one thing I can add to the book is checking… but people need to work it themselves, and practice it.
What I will do, I think, is create classes where I take people through the exercises, and then, with the exercises recorded, people can practice, until they are ready to do the same in live situations.
It is not easy, and it took me years, but I think that with Russ’s exercises it will take much less time.
I am not that good at creating exercises, that’s why I am using his.
Thanks Sophie I’ve been looking over this material and it will be a very valuable resource both personally and professionally. I will go into this further as it has already given me lots of insight.
Will you let me know what my mind share % is so I know what the starting point is?
Thanks I appreciate all of your help!
my answer: OK, let me clarify something first: your mind will never shut up… so this number is not an indicator of any silence, it is an indicator how much of the time you are “fused” with the thoughts, or struggling with them, or arguing with them, or get hooked by them, or taken on a detour by them… ok?
it’s 80% at this time.
Is 80% a lot to spend in the Mind?
The email writer is better off than most of you, her results show: she has a good job and a professional degree.
If you’ve had difficulties focusing, getting anything done, learning much, you probably have most of your time struggling with, hiding from avoiding the thoughts and the feelings.
It’s time to unlearn the struggle and start allowing the thoughts and feelings.
They are not the enemy, the struggle is, and the suggestions that you should think and feel good all the time. It is B.S.
I bet Ford meant something totally different when he said his oft quoted “Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t you are right!”
But what it really means, that your thoughts are not relevant to taking action. They are just opinions. Judgments, and wholly irrelevant to what you do.
Who is not taking the action necessary is the person who thinks that their thoughts can dictate his life.
Now, you have two choices, after reading this article:
- continue to struggle to beat the Mind into submission
- learn to leave the Mind alone, and do what you do… learn to leave the emotions alone, and do what you do. Not brain surgery: you can do it.
And finally you’ll have a life… while the Mind and the Emotions do what they do… oops. I forgot the weather… while the weather also does what the weather does.