3 More Habits of Mind Maestros (365 Days of Spirited Living – DAY 220)
“The mind is its own place, and in itself can make a heaven of Hell, a hell of Heaven.”
— John Milton
There is an entire science in Buddhist philosophy that focuses and guiding the mind into a positive and useful direction. Buddhists believe that one has the power to tame a wild mind in order to overcome any difficulty or face any challenge. Like life, the mind can change at any given moment on its own. It is more fluid than constant. In order to achieve equilibrium and be the one who influences instead of being influenced, we must be in control of what our mind does.
Here are three habits of people who master their minds to produce a wonderful life:
1. Give your mind a serious break from technology.
We’re all connected in more ways than one and most of us like it that way. But constant digital diversions can weigh down the mind. Our dependence on technology has resulted in increased levels of stress, decreased productivity, and disconnect in social relationships. Giving your mind a serious break from your devices at least for a little while can result in increased alertness and awareness and more focus and productivity.
There are many ways to give your mind a break from the screen. Frances Booth, the author of The Distraction Trap: How to Focus in a Digital World, suggests doing it a little at a time, “Try switching off for one evening a week to start with, then increase this to half a day, then a day.”
2. Let your mind take a course of its own sometimes.
Children are generally taught that daydreaming is bad. That idea is permanently etched in our minds throughout our adult lives. We think it is good to keep our minds busy. But sometimes it is necessary to let our minds run in the direction it wants for a while in order to regain control. Daydreaming is a creativity booster and can actually help us achieve meaningful goals. Sometimes when you’ve been working on a project for a while and hit a snag, it’s beneficial to stop focusing on the task and let your mind drift to something else. Then once we come back to the project, we’re better able to complete it.
Letting one’s mind wander has its perks. Dr. Scott Kaufman, the scientific director of the Imagination Institute, says, “For the individual, mind wandering offers the possibility of very real, personal reward, some immediate, some more distant. These rewards include self- awareness, creative incubation, improvisation and evaluation, memory consolidation, autobiographical planning, goal driven thought, future planning, retrieval of deeply personal memories, reflective consideration of the meaning of events and experiences, simulating the perspective of another person, evaluating the implications of self and others’ emotional reactions, moral reasoning, and reflective compassion.”
3. Work on retaining more information instead of just taking in more.
This is a credit to the vast increase of technology. But nowadays we are consuming more information that we can actually remember. The ability to retain information is largely being ruined by the fact we have so many things coming at us that we can’t remember anything of importance, and that makes for a lot of missed deadlines, unreturned phone calls, and unfinished projects. There is so much to see and do that we tend to forget anything did in the day. Keeping one’s mind sharp and focused demands special time and attention. On a daily basis, choosing to remember the useful things that cross your mind and dumping that which is not useful might be necessary to ensure your memory power gets a boost.
Kevin Daum suggests 10great tips to improving your memory regardless of age. Exercise and getting proper sleep is on the list but also what might be interesting is “eating more brain food” which not surprisingly includes blueberries, broccoli, and dark chocolate. And a tip of red wine can help things stick to your brain better too.
“The human mind is a channel through which things-to-be are coming into the realm of things-that-are.”
— Henry Ford