One of the best things we can do that has shown to benefit our state of mind is keeping our mind occupied with tasks. When we are “left to our own devices” for prolonged periods of time, it’s easy for our thinking to get muddled. That’s why for many, work or really even accomplishing the smallest of tasks can offer a profoundly therapeutic effect. Like any child I had imaginable disdain for chores like dishes or sweeping a floor whereas nowadays I have grown fond of the feeling that follows seeing a clean floor or kitchen. One perspective is that such work can act as a way of organizing our minds. Yes, this implies that a messy room can indicate an equally cluttered mind. If this is you don’t worry, you are probably still a good person but there is definitely room to improve. The result of working to create order in your life is twofold, bringing you not only peace of mind knowing that your life is well managed but it can also help you avoid the snare of “paralysis by analysis”, a tendency that has crippled many entrepreneurs and ambitious types when it comes to getting the most out of their lives. By maintaining a constant state of doing, we are more likely to find ourselves motivated to get out and do things oftentimes alongside people who are on the same mission which is another huge benefit in itself. As humans, we are social animals who knew that teaming up afforded us the greatest chance of survival which nowadays might simply equate to achieving our goals and living in abundance. Therefore we need to develop a mindset of accomplishing goals (even if it’s getting more rest or spending quality time with a partner) which can in turn, demand that you seek the help of others. You will find it is oftentimes a lot more fun too! Have you noticed that people usually don’t like to go by themselves to pick up stuff for the party or make a food run? It is, in fact, the main contributing factor as to why people in isolation often go insane. Part of the reason for this is that (A) we are not meant to exist in isolation and (B) thoughts by themselves are abstract, we need people and social interactions to make sense of them. As infants we learn from our parents that when we cry or scream they will often look to soothe us or at the very least give us attention, occasionally in the form of disciplinary action. As we mature we develop the ability to rely on social cues from people to learn what behavior is acceptable and what is not. When isolated, this feedback is absent, allowing us to get lost in the maze of our mind which can carry us in the direction of negative thinking or “fantasy land”. In order to find our optimal state, we need socialization (NOT to be confused with socialism lol) to gain valuable perspective which we can then apply towards understanding our environment and how to better interact with the world in order to get the most out of our lives.
As far as tasks go Not only does our brain enjoy the reward of getting things done but such work can serve as a necessary distraction from stress and life’s hardships, helping us clarify our purpose or mission to help us get back on track towards our goals. To be clear, we’re not just talking about clocking in and collecting a paycheck either. You have to be invested in the end result whether it is to build a successful school or even reach a financial goal so you can dedicate more time towards your passion. I myself have always found rescue in my life’s work when dealing with bad break ups, disappointing losses and financial stress. Part of the reason is that besides having to be present and focus on what you are doing at that moment, which can get you out of your head and away from potentially negative thought patterns, working and helping others makes you feel better about yourself. If you haven’t already gone out of your way for someone today, try it and see how it makes you feel. It can be as simple as getting the door for someone or grabbing a co-worker a coffee. It just feels good to do nice things for people, would you find it bothersome to have people do nice things for you? No! Of course not. Once you start to make a habit out of doing things for other people, no matter how small, you will familiarize yourself with the good feeling that follows and it will encourage you to do it more often. Using myself as an example I work with kids in our Jiu Jitsu program as young as age three to four and I can’t tell you how many times I showed up tired or in a poor state of mind and left the class feeling energized and happy. Part of it was the energy and happiness from the kids but it was also the fact that I had to stop feeling sorry for myself and do my best to help each kid on the mat. If you aren’t already aware, teaching one or two dozen four to six year olds at once can also be a challenge, which requires attention and problem solving like a video game but with, what I would argue, significantly greater gratification following.
Once you realize that much of life’s experience has to do with people, it can really simplify your vision for how you want to live life. For example, if you didn’t realize that your relationships greatly impacted the direction of your life you may not find it worth the effort to call an old friend on their birthday or help someone out who needs it. Now contrast that with someone who realizes that the care they exude directly correlates to opportunities, happiness and friends who want to do things for you or with you. Imaginably the result is an entirely different outcome all together. We are all born with a limited amount of time and energy, what we choose to do with that can spell our successes and our failures.