Having a quiet mind requires unlearning bad habits

A quiet mind is a clear mind. A clear mind is open to whatever life brings and is at its best immersed in this moment. Free of the Noise that clutters and distracts from what is happening now, it leaves us focused on what matters most — what is front and center at this time.

Learning to quiet our mind, to keep it clear of our personal Noise means unlearning bad habits. This demands a willingness to be honest with ourselves about the source of the Noise. The more we understand, the better we can mitigate it. 

Starting with the knowledge that we can only be in one place, here, this moment, is a big step forward. This is also the only place life can be. Our Noise tends to be about moments past and future, not this one. We try to be places we cannot be and know things that cannot be known. We are designed and built to be all-in for this moment.

Long ago a cluttered mind could easily be the death of us — literally. Not paying attention to our immediate surroundings as we hunted and gathered was a death sentence. As we have progressed, life for most of us is no longer so much about surviving the day. Where the rule of law reigns, society protects us. Food is a few blocks away. If we have a concern about the roof over our head, it is generally about wanting a better one.   

While we have less to fear about securing the most basic needs of life, we have filled this fear vacuum with new fears. Our days are too often spent dealing with self-inflicted fear, worry, anxiety and stress. Ironically, what can save us from this is what saved us long ago — being present. A laserlike focus on what we control, this moment and what happens in it, and a willingness to let go of what we don’t, is being true to how we are designed and built. This is where peace resides.

Outside of this moment is where our fears live. They center on what might happen. So, we seek to know and control those things that cannot be known and controlled to deal with our fear. This is not possible and often makes things worse as we enter a closed mental loop of distrust and fear. Breaking free of this unhealthy habit of old takes much effort and stamina.    

Imagine dealing with adversity without the weight of fear. Our mind, free of the Noise that is fear, leaves our mind clear to accept and embrace what is really happening in this moment. This allows us to deal with whatever life brings while being all that we are — every arrow in our quiver ready to be called upon as needed. We are at our best without the burden of a mind distracted, racing with fear and anxiety.

A quiet mind allows us to focus on what is most important now. We perform better and our results show it. Whether taking a test, negotiating a deal, or just enjoying the moment, all is better with a mind at peace. This is our natural state. 

Finding quiet time, meditating, taking deep breaths, having a singular focus can help us slow down our mind and free us of unwanted Noise by being present. Knowing we can do this helps us recognize that we have the power to respond effectively with a clear mind to whatever arises. It takes practice. It takes commitment. It takes patience. It takes effort. For those who step up and make it happen with more frequency, it is a life lived better.

If a quiet mind, a clear mind is what we desire, unlearning what has been learned, breaking old habits, learning anew is the path forward. Time to move forward.

More to come.

Eric Easter is the CEO of Indianapolis-based Kittle’s.

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