In Life by Design, we talk about going through a much needed eliminating unnecessary in your life. How do you get rid of the physical junk let alone the mental clutter in your head?
DECLUTTER YOUR LIFE
In Life by Design we talk about going through a much needed eliminating unnecessary in your life. How do you , “ Declutter your Life?” It brings to mind an old routine by George Carlin——where he talks about stuff. About how modern life seems to be all about accumulating stuff. We fill our houses with stuff, and when we get too much stuff, we have to buy a bigger house so we have room for all our stuff. Our houses are really just containers to keep all our stuff.
And sometimes we even have to rent a storage space to keep our extra stuff. There’s a whole industry around keeping our stuff—it’s crazy.
The funniest part of the routine is when he talks about when we go out of town to visit friends. They put you up in their guest room, and guess what? There’s never any room to put your stuff because their stuff is everywhere.
I love that. Other people’s stuff is worthless, stupid stuff. But our stuff? No way. Our stuff is important. Our stuff is definitely not junk. Our stuff has meaning and value.
But what I realized is this: sometimes my stuff does become junk.
I’m talking about internal stuff, now. Not the extra knick-knacks cluttering my house I threw away a couple weeks ago. I’m talking about the ridiculous stuff that takes up space in my head. I realized that the same way I need to clean up my external life and get rid of my useless stuff, I also need to clean up my head space. I need to clean out my brain. If I don’t, my internal stuff turns into junk.
It turns into head-junk.
Cause let's face it. You, me, all of us: we all have stuff. And if we don't deal with our stuff, it becomes junk.
I have mentioned in previous podcasts about the “less is more” pattern that shows up in every area of our lives. I used this idea to point out that only a few things in life really matter, and when we break it down, only a few things, ideas, or people have the biggest impact.
That same pattern shows up in our head-junk. Here’s an analogy to explain what I mean: I’m sure you’ve all been on picnics. Nice, peaceful, and relaxing. You spread out your blanket, enjoy your lunch, sip a little wine—and then the ants appear. It doesn’t matter if you checked the ground beforehand. Somehow they find you and invade your space. You fight back, but it doesn’t matter how many you smash. More show up—they’re automatic.
Automatic like the negative thoughts that pop up in our heads and start spiraling around even though we don’t invite them in and we do our best to get rid of them.
I also call these annoying mental patterns INTs: Internal Triggers. Just like a column of tiny little ants can ruin part of a picnic, INTs can ruin your day—at least for a while. The internal triggers start an endless spiral of internal babble where you start obsessing about what you should or should not have done and how you overlooked something and so on.
Do you see the connection to “less is more” in this analogy?
For most of us, just a few thought patterns dominate. And the negative patterns have a particular potency, especially when they’re left unnoticed and unchecked. If you watch your thoughts very closely I bet you’ll agree.
If fact, I’d like to challenge to you take part in an experiment. Call it an exercise in self-awareness. Over the next few days, pay extra-close attention to your thoughts. Notice how much of your total thought-energy is taken up by shoulds, could’s, or have-to’s. Then notice how often thought patterns like those are negative and judgmental.
Start to notice those INTs. I know how I deal with the INTs in my brain—
Almost everything in your life is the result of an ongoing series of internal cognitive events, happening continuously...
...inside your head.
So are your feelings and behaviors, what you believe and what you value, and, in fact...
...nearly everything else about your life. It’s all a result of these internal cognitive events.
And (this is important)...
...all of it happens outside your awareness.
Here's why that’s (super) important:
What happens outside your awareness isn't a choice.
If, for instance, your feelings and behaviours are generated outside your awareness, they will happen automatically... on autopilot.
Sometimes the results will be good; sometimes not.
I call this ongoing stream of cognitive events your Internal Map of Reality.
Here's what I discovered:
If your Internal Map of Reality runs on autopilot, you'll have to accept the consequences–which can include...
- Negative emotions...
- Behaviors and habits you can't control...
- Continually ending up in the wrong situations, and with the wrong people...
- An overall lack of success in your life.
In fact, all of the problems of my younger days were the result of an Internal Map of Reality that didn't work very well.
And (trust me about this) all of your problems are being created, right now, in YOUR Internal Map of Reality.
So here's what I did:
I used meditative or mindfulness practice to create enough awareness to observe my Internal Map of Reality (which, as I said, normally operates outside your awareness)...
...as it created my feelings, behaviors, and the people and situations I attracted or became attracted to.
Then, because whatever you do with awareness becomes a choice...
...my problems (and believe me I had a lot of them) melted away.
Here's why they melted away:
You can't keep doing something that doesn't serve you AND do it with awareness.
Don't Explain your problem (to yourself)... here's why
Split-brain experiments reveal a fascinating phenomenon in the left side of your brain - and that phenomenon is affecting your life right now! When the connections between the two sides of your brain are interrupted their different tendencies come to the surface.
The left side of your brain wants to find a reason for why things happen - even in the face of scant or conflicting information. It’s like an explanation factory where quantity is more important than quality!
This tendency to form conclusions in the face of scant or conflicting information is especially important when you’re under stress because that’s when you tend most strongly toward an unthinking, habitual style of thinking, feeling and behaving - and most of us tilt negative.
Problems seem bigger, the world seems meaner, and you have good reasons to justify your conclusions! You need to realise this is happening and then you can take proactive steps to improve your life.
Take a conscious look at your explanatory style - how you make sense of a stressful event. This conscious exploration can affect your resilience to stress, your happiness and your productivity!
First think about the stressful event.
Who was involved, and what did they say and do?
What did you think about the stressful event?
Now consider these questions:
Can you be sure that your first thought about the stressful situation is true?
How would you feel if you didn’t have that thought?
What’s a less stressful (more positive) way to explain the situation?
What are three reasons the more positive perspective might be equally true as your original conclusion?
The more I learn about the latest brain science discoveries, the more grateful I feel to be alive today.
Exciting, practical, life-changing discoveries are being made every day.
Did you know that your income level, your happiness, how much you can love or be loved, how easily you recover from setbacks--and dozens of other desirable human qualities...
...are ALL generated in your brain?
What's more: scientists now know...
That you can change your brain(what's called neuroplasticity), and...
They also know exactly HOW to change it, so you can create the qualities and capabilities you want to have, internally and externally.
This takes personal growth and "human potential" to a whole new level that is...
...much more precise, and much more achievable!
You can make specific brain changes that will allow you to...
Change the actual wiring in your brain in a way that raises your income ceiling (yes, this IS possible)...
Increase the power of your prefrontal cortex (the source of "self-regulation")--creating lots of effortless willpower...
Become naturally confident and motivated...
Raise your threshold for stress, so the ups and downs of life just don't bother you the way they used to...
- Be more creative, have more "good ideas", learn faster and more easily remember what you learned...
- Make better decisions, saving you time and money--and reducing your regrets...
- Be happier, more peaceful, and more productive...
...plus a long list of other desirable qualities.
The first step to all of the above is practicing Awareness. The second step is mental spring cleaning or eliminating all the non-essential. So this is how I regularly do my mental spring cleaning. How about you?
One lucky listener that posts a review on iTunes will win a private confidential consultation and coaching with me on discovering your soul’s purpose. I will lead you on a personal journey to discover your unique mind-body psychosomatic map of your life. You will get a detailed report and a personal 45 minute consultation with me that is worth thousands.
On this podcast I’m going to help you design a life that works. So you are able to say yes to the things that matter and eliminate everything else that slows you down. The more clear you can be about how to organize your daily life to support your bigger vision, the more you’ll step into your true potential, stay on track and accomplish all that you want and deserve. Are you ready to make that happen?
Feel free to reach out to me to ask your questions at AskDrSun.com. Your life is a gift. Design it. Do what matters and join me each week as we get closer to designing the life of your dreams. I am Dr Sun. Join me next week on Your Life by Design.