I take long morning showers. I get many great ideas under the running water. Sometimes though, I catch myself thinking about useless stuff. That is, stuff that doesn’t make me happy, doesn’t make me feel any better, doesn’t improve my life or anybody else’s life. Here are a few recognizable examples:
- Worries: “worrying is as effective as trying to solve an algebra equation by chewing bubblegum”. You achieve nothing when you worry, unless you start solving the problem constructively
- Past: Dwelling on past events [without analyzing and applying it to current situations] will help you with nothing. Whether something good or bad happened, won’t matter if you keep looping it in your head.
- Future: It is good to plan ahead, and try to predict situations, but creating in your mind an array of possible outcomes and analyzing it becomes quite useless at some point, when it takes more energy thinking about it than actually asking someone or simply doing it.
Engaging with those thoughts is a process that needs to be recognized on the spot and cut out. It is not always easy to do so, since it is a habit that needs to be unlearned. But with the right energy and effort, it can be achieved and the result should be a more focused, meaningful and purposeful life.
Here’s what I purged today:
- Thinking about an ex-girlfriend.
- Worrying about a client not liking the current design
- Imagining a billion different scenarios about this client never liking anything and the problems arising from there
- Worrying about why someone I care didn’t return my call for almost the whole day
- Imagining a creative assortment of reasons that this person couldn’t or didn’t want to call me back
- Things that are not important or urgent or relevant at least for another year. Example: What will I do when my computer is outdated?
I urge you to start doing the same. Or at least for once note down the free flowing thoughts and objectively grade their usefulness/uselessness.