Ignore The Voices In Your Head
We don’t really like to talk about the voices in our head. People might get the wrong idea.
The truth is most of us have an ongoing narration track running, but the narrator rarely seems to talk about what’s going on right now. More often our inner narrator goes off on a tangent, reliving the past or imagining the future.
My own personal narrator loves to think of snappy comebacks to arguments I might have had weeks before. It goes round and round crafting the perfect talking points over and over and over again.
Some narrators are perpetual worry warts playing an endless stream of what if scenarios. What if I get sick? What if I lose my job?
And some narrators are the Johnny Paychecks of internal monologues. They spend hours upon hours rephrasing the perfect way to tell our bosses “To Take This Job And Shove It” and telling everyone else who has perturbed us in one way or another just exactly where the line of people who can kiss our asses start.
In my Favorite TED video, former Buddhist monk Andy Puddicombe says that on average our mind wanders 47% of the time. We spend half of our waking life, disengaged from reality and living in an imaginary world.
We get so distracted listening to the voices in our heads, that we are rarely fully present in our actual lives. How many times have you completely missed your exit on the interstate because you were “lost in thought?”
We keep letting a totally imaginary there and then, fuck up a perfectly good here and now.
And The Narrator is rarely a happy camper. Most of the thoughts that get stuck on repeat in our heads are the negative kind much like a scab that has to be picked at or a “wobbly tooth” that must be wiggled every few seconds to make sure it’s still irritating. And it always is.
But you can train your brain to be fully present in the here and now. To be more mindful of your actual life. To be more aware of the constant barrage of negative thoughts and emotions your brain is throwing at you. And once you’re aware of them, you can learn to ignore them.
That’s all meditation is: Focus on the present moment.
By spending just a few minutes a day focusing on the here and now, you can boost your productivity, increase your happiness, jumpstart your creativity and improve your health.
You don’t need to go to the top of a mountain. You don’t need yoga pants. And you don’t need any incense.
All you need is a willingness to be here now and to tell the little man behind the curtain in your head to shut the hell up.
Terry Lancaster is the VP of Making S#!% Happen at Instant Events Automotive Advertising, father of 3 teenage daughters and a Beer League Hockey All Star, as if there could ever be such a thing.
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