Managing the mind.
If you ask a business owner or anyone in a management role, the most challenging task is probably people management. How do you balance optimizing work output against employee morale? Even those not in the business of managing people have one critical managerial task–managing the mind.
The mind is like a large organization, and thoughts are like the people with different roles who work in that organization. Imagine if there isn’t someone like a CEO who can execute a unified directive or plan for the well-being of not just the shareholders but also the workforce. There would be chaos with various departments turning into ‘little islands’ concerned with only their role, forgetting how everything fits into the big picture. In the mind, if we don’t direct its energy, various competing thought forms will seek to control the mental energy. In the process, we are passively dragged along, wasting time engaging with thoughts that are not productive.
Everyone would have seen and heard of the CEO in a large corporation with thousands of employees. But the CEO may not know each employee by name. One mass email by the CEO delivers his or her message to the entire workforce. Similarly, we wield such power over the mind. It materializes when we can step away from the mind and observe it as a whole. We then exercise that power through the force of will, which directs the mind’s energies as if we are sending a mass email to our thoughts.
Thoughts vary in quality, not just quantity, on any given day. Some days are better than others regarding how well the mind functions. Just as underperformers in a company would likely be put on probation or let go, and overachievers probably get promoted, we can weed out unproductive thoughts. And encourage the productive ones. Gradually, the quality and power of our thoughts will improve until we have a consistent, highly effective crop of thoughts day after day. Achieving this takes time and effort.
We can take three steps to manage the mind and optimize its performance.
First, we must ‘show up’ for work every morning. Even a few seconds spent in a daily practice of silently affirming that “I am in charge of the mind’s energies and will direct it towards tasks A, B, or C today” will go a long way in…