Two days ago, I started a 30 day mental clarity experiment. Before the mental clarity experiment, my strategy for high performance was to drink coffee and cultivate intense emotions such as anger. Such a strategy leads to stress, exhaustion, and eventually reduced performance. The alternative to that is mental clarity.
What Is Mental Clarity?
I define mental clarity as the lack of intense emotions, irritating thoughts, and distractions. As a result, a greater percentage of one’s mind becomes available to be used consciously.
When I have mental clarity, my awareness increases. I have a better sense of what’s going on in my life. I can see what the issues are, what their causes, what my options, and what the possible outcomes are.
My awareness is far from perfect at the moment, but I’m trying to improve it with the mental clarity experiment.
I define perfect awareness as being able to detect possible problems and opportunities in advance, being able to determine possible options to address them, and being able to process possible outcomes of each option.
If you have perfect awareness, you can come up with a decision fairly quickly and act out on that decision as soon as possible.
Perfect awareness would be a superpower since discerning truth from falsehood is a fundamental skill for success in life. Imagine a life where every decision was a breeze. Imagine if the next step to take was obvious in every situation, how easy would our lives be?
I know that perfect awareness is impossible, but we can strive towards it. Sure, it comes partially with life experience. Life experience isn’t gained with years only, but also how you spend those years. Getting out of your comfort zone as much as possible adds to your life experience.
Life experience isn’t the only factor in higher awareness. Mental clarity also plays a role in it.
When I have higher mental clarity, I can concentrate more. I can stay concentrated longer and I can concentrate deeper.
Mental capacity that is wasted on intense emotions, irritating thoughts, and other distractions is freed up. I can allocate that extra capacity on the task that I’m working on.
There’s a catch though. I eliminate distractions not only when I work, but also during my free time. When I distract myself with a YouTube clip in my free time, that clip plays back in my mind while working.
The same is true when listening to catchy pop songs. Therefore, we need to minimize distractions not only during the working hours, but also during the free hours.
Peace of Mind and Joy
You might object that last sentence, but give it a try. At the beginning, it can be boring, but when you get used to it, you get a different sense of joy from lack of distraction.
You feel peace of mind. That doesn’t mean you have solved every issue in your life, but they don’t scare you as much.
When you get used to that kind of peace of mind, you despise distraction. Instead of looking for distraction, you run away from it. You want to stay in silence without getting distracted and enjoy it.
When I’m in that state, I feel gratitude. The issues that bother me in my daily life don’t bother me anymore. Sure, they need to be dealt with, but that doesn’t interfere with my feelings of joy.
New ideas flow in that state. That is definitely important if your goal is to increase your performance. The quantity and the quality of your ideas increase.
When we think about high performance, we think about long stretches of caffeine and stress-fueled work. Those stretches have their toll on our bodies and minds and they result in reduced performance.
This time, I plan to go the opposite direction, which I call mental clarity. The benefits I expect are higher awareness, improved analytical and decision making skills, longer, deeper concentration, peace of mind, and joy.
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.