Mental decluttering: Filler thoughts and habits

Got a comment from listener Veronica that made me think about a different way of looking at motivation and why we really want to have any change and self-development And it’s really like you could say a negative way of looking at it, in the sense that it’s about taking things away, clearing space.
So a lot of the things that often fill our minds, of course we can make the case that, you know, they can be bad, and you know, bad thought processes, bad habits, and that, you know, we should change these things.
But on the other hand, sometimes it’s hard to convince ourselves that, you know, these things really are bad.
After all, we’re not perfect saints and sages and gurus who have some kind of 100% pure mind that, you know, is untouched by the world.
So hearing about all these things that, you know, “Oh, that’s not the ideal way to think.
You know, you should change your thoughts and think about better things.” Well, sometimes that isn’t all that convincing, because it just doesn’t seem realistic.
And so it’s- and you know, we also really enjoy all those bad habits, and you know, bad lines of thought, and they’re often very enjoyable.
Even if we know that they’re not great for us, they really can become comforting habits that we have.
And so it really is often hard to make a case that they’re actually bad.
But on the other hand, another way of looking at these bad habits and bad thoughts is that they’re taking up space.
They’re filler.
They may not necessarily be bad.
We don’t have to convince ourselves that they are absolutely bad, and our life will absolutely be better if we change them.
But the things that we think about fill our time.
The things that we do fill our time.
They’re filler.
If the things that we’re thinking about and doing are not making our lives better, making others’ lives better, making the world better, moving us towards some kind of vision of the future, some kind of better future, if our thoughts and actions are not working, for us not being useful, then they are simply taking up space, and they could be replaced by maybe other thoughts and actions.
And you know, even if we’re not quite clear what the other thoughts and actions are going to be, even by clearing away some space, simply taking a break from certain thoughts and habits, it’s like letting in space into the mind.
This is like minimalism and decluttering of the mind.
Removing things that are taking up space, even if we like them.
Even if, you know, oh, we have sentimental attachment, you know, it’s hard to get rid of those things.
There’s all the usual blocks that we can have about minimalism in our environment, about all that beautiful, wonderful clutter that is hard to get rid of.
And yet we know that, as much as we have attachments to certain of these things, we will be happier overall to have more clear space for good things to come in.
And of course, not simply throwing away everything, just being very selective.
Keeping the best, and the rest, well, even if we’re not yet quite sure what to fill it with, if we simply clear space in our minds and clear space in our days, there is the chance to allow better things to come in.
Now, on the other hand, simply clearing space could also lead to worse things coming in.
So it’s certainly not automatic that by stopping doing things we will somehow start to do better things.
But at least by having the space, not being at all times filled with thoughts and actions that are already going by habit, and they just keep going and filling everything, squeezing everything new out: allowing some empty space, maybe we can then see what new things might come in.
And maybe we’ll find that they end up being better than the filler that we think is “just OK”.

#mentalclutter #mentalspace #declutteryourmind

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