A clear mind is the only state of mind worth being in. It enables you appreciate what’s actually happening around you and places you in a position to act – rather than react, which is the normal response of so-called normal people. A clear and focused state of mind alerts you to the opportunities of the moment so that you can grasp them. On the other hand, a normal muddled mind won’t notice opportunities at all. And a clear mind, focused in the here and now enables your subconscious lead you towards what you want out of life. Otherwise, even if you’ve taken the perfect psychological snapshot of your “ideal life”, your subconscious, which normally focuses on negative snapshots from our childhood years, will continue to confound you. In other words, if you’re mind is not focused on the present moment, if you’re not in a clear state of mind, you’re tripping yourself up – you are, by your own inaction, blocking all your best efforts, ensuring that you stay in the kind of normal, not to bad, life in which you currently find yourself.
Everyone with whom I’ve worked over the years knows the difference between clarity of mind and the muddled-headedness that is the norm. Everyone with whom I’ve worked has experienced the difference clarity of mind makes in their daily lives – sometimes straight away. But, developing focus or cultivating your clarity of mind takes time – perhaps only five or ten minutes each day. That said, it never cease to amaze me that so many people can’t take or make those five or ten minutes each day to make the remainder of their day so much better and, indeed, to make the rest of their lives so much more exciting, happy and successful.
What do I mean by cultivating your mind? I mean a little mental training or exercising. Many of my clients prefer these phrases to “meditation” (many people have unhelpful preconceived notions about meditation) but it all amounts to much the same thing – taking a few minutes to reacquaint your mind with the actual reality of the here and now, stopping your automated mind assuming that it knows what’s going on in the here and now – years of research proves that it doesn’t have a clue!
However, mental exercising is very similar to what many perceive as the drudgery of physical exercising. Did you know that the average gym membership lasts just six weeks and that the average new member visits the gym only twice! The fact is that many people have really good intentions but there appears to be an inbuilt tendency towards laziness or apathy. It appears that we would actually prefer to be not-to-bad than happy, healthy and fit – both physically and mentally.
So, I’ve put together a few ideas to enable you “cultivate your mind” without having to go to the mental gym! First of all, try doing something that “gets you in the zone” – that flow-like state of mind where we are at mental peace. Perhaps you could do a little walking or jogging, or perhaps listening (really listening) to music calms your mind and turns you on to the present moment. Secondly, I strongly suggest that you do some of your habitual tasks differently. It is our daily routine that not only numbs the mind but which ensures that our subconscious mind is given free rein to wander aimlessly in the psychological snapshots that have got us into the daily mess in which we find ourselves. You may think it’s a little puerile (but, believe me, it has had a profound effect on some people’s lives) – why not try brushing your teeth with the “other hand”, getting dressed in the morning by putting the “other” foot in your pants first or having something completely different for breakfast (or actually having breakfast!). Thirdly, we all take breaks during the day (and, all too often, we waste them on negative chit-chat) – during lunch, or a coffee break, go somewhere on your own for five minutes and simply watch the world go by. Sit down and simply focus on what you see, feel, hear, smell and taste. Don’t fall into the normal trap of thinking that you know what you’re looking at – years of research prove that you make up your mind about what’s going on without giving it any attention whatsoever. Simply be wherever you find yourself – it will enable your mind focus on the here and now – the place and time where life is truly lived.
The point is this. Clarity of mind and mental focus is all about paying attention to what’s actually going on now – it is about being fully engrossed in the present moment and, indeed, what you’re actually doing in that moment. Normally our minds are whizzing around at high speed paying attention to stuff that isn’t going on – the nonsense buried in our subconscious that we otherwise normally use to make sense (and, as a result, make nonsense) of the here and now. In addition, of course, the normal mind will automatically worry about something in the future – the things that we don’t want to happen. You need to slow your mind down – then you can really speed up at doing all the necessary and important things that you have to do here and now, without the normal distractions.
Willie Horton has been enabling his clients live their dream since he launched is now acclaimed two-day Personal Development Seminars all the way back in 1996. His clients include top leaders in major corporations such as Pfizer, Deloitte, Nestle, Merrill Lynch, Wyeth, KPMG, G4S and Allergan together with everyone from the stay-at-home parent to sports-people. An Irish ex-banker and ex-accountant, he lives in the French Alps from where he travels the world as a much sought after motivational speaker and mentor. In 2008 he launched Gurdy.Net where is self-help seminars are now online. For more information visit Willie Horton’s Personal Development Website Gurdy.Net