Every morning, my automatic alarm clock fills the air with a terribly annoying sound. I stumble into the kitchen to turn on the automatic kettle as I listen to my automatic bible. Then I brush my teeth with my automatic toothbrush before grudgingly grabbing my work clothes from the automatic dryer. I walk outside, press my automatic remote control, and obtain instant access to my automatic car. At the office, I breeze through the automatic doors just in time to catch the automatic elevator to my automated workspace on the second floor.
After work, I drive back home in my automatic car. Make dinner with my automatic rice cooker. Do the dishes in my automatic dishwasher and load some laundry into my automatic washing machine. I fiddle with a few other things around the house and finally retire for the night…in my automatic bed.
I followed this regimen religiously with only a few variations from day to day. My guess is that your routine and mine bear many similarities.
Great Right? Wait Until You Hear the Rest…
One day, I noticed a serious glitch in the system—my mind. My thought patterns were changing.
In the process of automating everything, I seemed to have lost control over my thoughts. In a sense, my thoughts had become…well…automatic. I didn’t need to try to think bad things—they just seemed to gush into my subconscious. My mind was like a PC and my thoughts had become internet viruses. It was terrifying.
After weeks of frustration, I finally realized something. The more I could automate, the less I needed to observe. The less I needed to observe, the less I needed to think. The less I needed to think, the less control I had over my thoughts.
After all, why think through a problem when the answers are just a Google search away?
I did many things to regain control of my mind. If you consistently find yourself struggling with unhealthy thoughts, start with this list.
- When you listen to audiobooks or talk shows, argue with the speaker in your mind. Always exercise your freedom to think differently from everyone else.
- Do not accept every deep and insightful idea right away. Ruminate on it. Think about it from several different angles. Analyze it with intensity before accepting (or rejecting) it.
- Engage in serious conversations…even with strangers. The weather is tired of being talked about. Talk about world events, money, and social issues instead. Engage in serious conversation. Don’t be afraid of sounding intelligent.
- Ask yourself tough questions. Why are you working at that job? Why are you really dating that person? Are you truly fulfilled?
- Answer the tough questions you ask yourself. Thou art not a robot. Don’t go through life on someone else’s schedule.
- Think through your problems. Approach problems with creativity. Google searches shrink the size of your brain. Seriously they do.
- Think through other people’s problems. Be the go-to person when a problem needs to be solved. The more you think, the more you grow.
- When you have a brain fart, don’t just roll over and die. Force your brain to think deeply until you remember the information that is escaping your memory. Give yourself at least 5-10 minutes before you give up.
- Use the stairs occasionally. Wash a few clothes by hand. Do the dishes manually. Take the time to appreciate the moment and engage in some of the mundane aspects of life.
- Slow down…notice that you’re alive…and smile
Does this take some effort? Yes, it does.
Is this stuff difficult? No, it is not.
Don’t procrastinate. Don’t wait until tomorrow. Each day is a precious gift. Don’t let negativity ruin that gift. Post a comment below, print off this list and start today!
Photo by Bhumika.B