Making up your mind is fine. It means you’re thoughtful and ideally mindful towards someone/-thing else. Think before you act. However, thinking in excess (i.e. overthinking) is a problem and can cause severe damage if you stay in the loop.
While cleaning I found out that I have at least two stages in which I do the cleaning job: focused and unfocused.
The focused stage is when I have thoughts come and go. I’m inviting thoughts to enter my head space and I’m guiding them out again. In focus is the ideal state. Everything is fine when you’re like that.
The unfocused stage is more challenging. The thoughts in this stage are noisy, loud and misleading. They control you because they entered your house brutally to mark it as their new territory. They didn’t say „hi“ and they want to make sure to never leave. These thoughts are potentially fatal as their nature is repetitive which make you think about one particular thing in a continuous loop while with every new cycle the fatal effect becomes stronger.
Thoughts become dangerous when you don’t find a place to release them. Thoughts are not meant to be kept inside. They want to be played around with, modified and merged with others. Thoughts are highly social constructs and always wanting to connect.
If you start acting without focus you enter the stage without a plan and your thoughts go crazy. While thoughts like the playful character of craziness they dislike a permanent state of being lost.
When you keep your thoughts in the inner circle you’re on the road to go insane because the repetition will mutate them from an ordinary thought to an ugly, screaming gestalt asking for your attention. This creature will make your actions in the real world weird, uncoordinated and clumsy. It’s like a strong headache or a little baby crying directly inside your ear where it’s getting brutally hot, which is why the only way to quiet it is to release it.
Releasing your thoughts is the best solution to reach peace in your mind. To do so the first step is to pause your action. After, you’ll deliberately say „bye“, open the door and wish it a farewell.
Once I was cleaning with no focus and a very loud thought. The thought that got me trapped in a loop was „I want to show the client that I’ll be cleaning this kitchen like an artist painted his masterpiece“. Since cleaning allows you to think (freely) while doing and not speaking (or any other release channel, unless you’re talking to your client) you play mind games with yourself. Wanting to clean her kitchen top-notch I overdid it: I used the same cleaning liquid and cloth for the furniture and cooking pots. I did it because I was on the run, pushed by this one thought in a permanent loop and very committed to making it clean. Obviously, I omitted that people cook food inside those pots — although clean a „Mr. Clean“ is not the greatest ingredient.
I’ve always wondered how other people see things and think about them before, while and after they act. What is your leading thought when in action? What made you move in the first place? There’s a reason why interviews with successful people are so interesting: they reveal a lot of insights into their mindset, how they tick.
The takeaway from today: Think thoughts that relieve you. Don’t cage thoughts inside your head unless you plan for a lot of trouble in your head. Caged thoughts can initiate an unfocused action or amplify them to an undesired state. Therefore, make sure you always guide a thought outside of your house, so new thoughts can enter. One thought at a time.
Imagine your head was a permanently flying house, up in the clouds. Invite a thought when it wants to enter, host it a nicely and say „good-bye“. Too many thoughts inside would result in stress, too much noise and would ultimately make your house fall down to the ground.
You can’t afford to have a crash like that. So, maintain your house up in the air so your head is in ease and peace. You won’t be without thoughts forever, but from now on you’re the manager of them. You rule your thoughts, not vice versa.
Also published on Medium.