A few days ago, I was having coffee with a friend, during which time she complained continuously about her boyfriend, her job, her friends; actually, more or less about everything. She was really upset: her eyes widened, her skin reddened, and her heartbeat quickened, losing its peaceful pace. I listened to her carefully for 15 minutes, so as to let her get everything out of her system and off her chest: a catharsis of sorts. I also fetched her a fresh juice (rather than coffee: coffee seemed like a dangerous choice considering her state!). Now that she was calmer, I suggested that we make a “thought schedule”.
Despite her initial surprise – and perhaps confusion as to the meaning of the term – together we compiled a list of all of the things that were frustrating her based on their importance and the level of stress they induced. In essence, we made her a “thought schedule”.
Within a mere 30 minutes maximum, we were laughing together at these supposedly huge and seemingly all-important problems. After our discussion and having written down her thoughts, my friend realised that most of them were not important at all and that they shouldn’t even be in her “thought schedule”, as i call it. And an epiphany ensued: she could and would find answers to the other thoughts that actually were important once she had a clear mind.
Often, we become so lost in our trivial thoughts and other people’s words that it is very difficult to find our own original thoughts. It is a confusion that must be taken seriously; in the long-run, the stress induced has the power to make us sick.
Finding peace of mind and health is very much balanced on self-reflexivity: becoming aware of our thought-processes, and evolving our way of handling and managing situations.
In the old days, I was an anxious and very short-tempered person. Believe me, in just a few minutes anger could conquer my mind and body. Then, inevitably, I developed problems with my stomach and intestines, I became plagued by headaches, and my relationships and job suffered. After visiting many doctors, I realised that the reason for my ailments was not the malfunctioning of my organs, but rather the way I was managing matters and people. So, by finding peace with yourself, you will be able to handle any obstacle that might appear in your life, and without becoming a doctor’s best friend (in other words, a lifetime patient!).
Born of my experience, I developed my formula, which I call the “Format and Update Process”. Machines, like computers, occasionally need formatting and restarting, right? Then, their software needs updating, correct? It is exactly the same situation with our minds and lives. We occasionally need to format our minds and update them with “software-methods” that assist us to be more efficient, calm, and happy. If we don’t format and update our computers, iPhones, smartphones etc., they will crash, work slowly, and, at the end of the day, they will shut down. Our minds and bodies are no different!
So, be simple in your thoughts and with the people around you. Write down your “thought schedule” on a daily basis, and you will come to realise that, actually, life is indeed simple. It is just that sometimes we are afraid to take things under our control, and this is a totally normal feeling. It is quite scary to feel responsible for the good and bad in your life. Start slowly, and you will find the way.
I liken it to starting a long and arduous walk up a mountain: in the beginning, it seems impossible; then, once half way up, you feel much better with more motivation; finally, when you reach the top, you feel empowered, like a god. Make this mountain your own journey and be your own motivator, and when you reach that top, go and treat yourself, because you deserve it. Update your self to its latest edition!
After all, as Leonardo da Vinci said: “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.”