There’s a genius in all of us. Some of us tap into that genius and get extraordinary results. The rest of us aren’t aware of its existence or simply ignore it.
Our genius, our deep mind, is capable of coming up with brilliant ideas, solutions, and insights, but we put all kinds of obstacles in front of it. Accessing our deep mind requires letting go of those obstacles. Luckily, that’s a skill we can learn.
What Blocks Our Access to Our Deep Mind?
Our access to our deep mind is blocked by our superficial mind. The more active our superficial mind is, the less access we have to our deep mind. In order to access our deep mind, we need to reduce the activity of our superficial mind. What engages our superficial mind? What keeps it active?
- Noise, not only sound but also light and smell, even touch and taste
- All kinds of distractions
- Intense emotions
- Racing thoughts
- All kinds of excessive stimulation, including excessive caffeine
- All kinds of excessive sedatives, like alcohol
The more we let go of these blocks, the more access we will have to our deep mind. These distractions not only waste our time, they also keep our minds busy long after we stop engaging with them.
“Fifteen minutes spent on social media can keep your mind busy for days.”
You might spend only fifteen minutes on social media. That might not seem too much. However, a news story can keep your mind busy for days. Your mind might struggle to process the story, even while you’re sleeping.
Think about a song that you heard once and that keeps playing in your head on auto-repeat. If you are addicted to distraction like social media, news sites, TV, and others, you can read yesterday’s post, where I discuss a four step method to eliminate them from your life.
Deal with Clutter
It might be less obvious that clutter keeps you from accessing your deep mind. Give it a try and see for yourself. Tidy up your office and your home. Get rid of clutter by letting go of the items that you don’t use much. Donate them to a charity. Live and work in a minimalist environment. Clean up your email inbox, your computer desktop, and the apps on your smartphone. Cleaning up clutter increases your access to your deep mind. Try and see how that affects your performance.
Let Go of Distractions
- Does your smartphone go off all the time with beeps and buzzes?
- Is your smartphone screen painted with red notification bubbles?
- Are you interrupted by phone calls and email notification pop-ups while you work?
- Is radio switched on constantly while you work or drive?
- Is TV constantly on while you’re at home?
If you answer “yes,” to one or many of those questions, you are blocking yourself from getting into flow and staying in flow. You have full access to your deep mind when you’re in flow.
You can set up the “do not disturb” mode on your smartphone, which will allow only notifications from selected contacts. That way important people like your family can reach you, while the rest is kept at bay. When you switch off the notification pop-ups of your email client, you prevent it from getting you out of flow.
Switch Off Computer and Smartphone Notifications
When you look at a smartphone screen painted with red notification bubbles, your mind goes into a fight or flight state. Your System 1, or your Goliath as I like to call it, panics. It is engaged fully. It wonders whether any of those notifications pose a threat or contain a juicy reward.
“Your Goliath wonders whether any of those notifications pose a threat or contain a juicy reward.”
When your System 1 is engaged at a high level, you won’t be able to engage your System 2, your David, your deep mind. Therefore, let go of all useless notifications from your smartphone. Switch those notifications off. Even uninstall those apps that don’t add any value to your personal or professional life.
Switch Off the TV and Radio
Switching off the radio and TV while at home or driving can do wonders for you. When you put your mind to rest, you let your deep mind process all the data that it has collected throughout the day. This is a great opportunity for your deep mind to come up with brilliant ideas, insights, and solutions. When you keep a radio or TV on in the background, you are missing this opportunity. Switch them off while resting and see how it works for you.
Minimize Stimulants and Sedatives
Excessive use of stimulants like coffee as well as sedatives like alcohol will minimize your access to your deep mind. Eliminate them if you can. Minimize your consumption if you can’t eliminate them. Decreasing your daily coffee consumption and substituting it with green tea can do wonders. Excessive stimulants also put your mind into a fight or flight state, which keeps you from accessing your deep mind.
Racing Thoughts and Intense Emotions
When your mind is busy with racing thoughts and intense emotions, you won’t be able to access your deep mind. The solution is mindfulness. You simply acknowledge your thoughts and let them go. You don’t invest more energy into them. You do the same with emotions. You stay with them without trying to change them, resist them, or invest more energy into them.
In other words, you “empty your mind,” so that you can focus on a topic that you choose. You can also keep your mind empty as long as you want. This will give your mind a chance to process all the data you consumed throughout the day.
“Empty your mind, so that you can focus on a topic that you choose.”
You can practice mindfulness by meditating regularly. You can find more details about how to start a simple five minutes meditation practice in yesterday’s post. When you learn how to empty your mind, you can use that skill while you’re working or going through your daily life, even in stressful situations. Imagine how much your productivity would improve if you could eliminate obtrusive thoughts while you’re working.
There are several factors that keep you from accessing your deep mind. You can eliminate these factors one by one using the following methods.
- Let go or minimize the consumption of unnecessary information, such as news and social media.
- Eliminate or minimize your exposure to noise, not only sound but also light and smell, even touch and taste.
- Eliminate clutter by letting go of unnecessary items and cleaning up your smartphone and computer desktop.
- Let go of distractions by switching off computer and smartphone notifications.
- Create a silent environment by switching off the radio and TV at home and while driving.
- Eliminate or minimize stimulants and sedatives like coffee and alcohol.
- Let go of your racing thoughts and deal with your intense emotions through cultivating mindfulness.
Today’s post was about how to eliminate the obstacles to your deep mind. Tomorrow’s post will be about how to access your deep mind.
Software developer with a Ph.D. and 15 years of experience. I write daily on personal development and life lessons. Sign up to my email newsletter to receive a weekly overview of my latest content on personal development and life lessons.