Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Monkey Mind

Do you have a monkey mind? 

This description caught my attention in a book I am reading called Life on Purpose: Six Passages to an Inspired Lifeby Dr. Brad Swift.  According to him, the mind creates 50,000 thoughts a day.  I knew I got distracted easily but I had no idea my brain was THAT busy.  The term monkey brain refers to the mind's constant chatter.  Pretty descriptive don't you think?  That chatter keeps us not only unfocused but out of touch.  It's the monkey chatter that cues us to check and see if we've got any important emails right in the midst of having a meaningful conversation with our husband or wife.  It's the million and one tasks I think of doing BEFORE I get around to my main goal for the morning which right now is writing this blog.  It's looking for a picture of a monkey in the clip art gallery and winding up in the cute puppy section just because it's there.  It's.....well I think you get the picture.  The trick of course is to find your focus and relegate most of the chatter to an appropriate place and time.  Often the appropriate place is the trash can but just often enough to keep you attentive that monkey brain comes up with something important.  What do we do about monkey mind?  There are several possibilities.  Here's a few:
  • Just being aware of how monkey mind can sabotage your focus is a start.
  • Take a moment to stop and focus your thinking.  If you have difficulty with this, try focusing on your breathing first.  It gives you something concrete to focus on. 
  • Periodically take time to dump all those thoughts on a piece of paper.  I keep a running list of 'things to do'  going and whenever my monkey mind actually comes up with something important, I add it to the list.
Try it and let me know how this works for you.  Don't let monkey mind steal your valuable focus!

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