Our minds are rooms. Interiors made to our own designs- bachelor pads and minimal apartments, great mansions, comfortable libraries, boxing arenas, prison cells. We can minimise our external reality, the tangible spaces around us, we can remove objects and create donation piles. But, internally, we are still surrounded by clutter. Days of the past, coming back to cause internal havoc, small daily pinprick reminders of things which we thought we had left behind. Days of the future, seas of uncertainty, corridors with fifty different doors, each with different conclusions to problems we are yet to face.
All the days, moments, memories, things inside our mind, leave little time for us to be in the present. We’re somewhere else entirely, much of the time. Physically, we’re on our long weekends off. Mentally, though, we’re back in that meeting trying to figure out what our colleague meant about our work. We’re decoding work interactions, planning for next week, thinking about that email we forgot to send. So much is happening internally, that we forget to take action externally.
We talk about procrastination as though it’s piece of leisure tugging at our sleeve when we should be focusing on work. But we don’t talk about those days where exhaustion hits by midday, even though we seemingly haven’t done anything. We don’t talk about mental procrastination, that quicksand taking us down deeper into the thousands of sand grains of our past and future until we’re so overwhelmed that external reality feels as though it’s the thing that’s exhausting us.
How many times in a day do we reach for an external distraction to an internal problem? Have we become so adept at avoiding the issue that we instinctively tap on an app, or reach for the fridge door, or click next episode on a TV series?
A minimal mindset doesn’t have to be about reaching nirvana, eliminating all psychological distraction until we are simply void of emotional reaction. It takes longer to declutter the mind than it does a physical space, and it’s even more important. To minimise the mind is, inevitably, to minimise physical distractions and to be happier in the present with your internal and external realities.
Over the coming weeks, I’ll be sharing resources and techniques for crafting a minimal mindset here at the minimum man.
What do you need to declutter from your mental space? What does a minimal mindset look like for you?
Featured image: Matthew T Rader via Unsplash.