Patterns of distraction

While meditating, my mind often wanders. The style of that wandering isn’t random. The majority of the time, I find myself planning. Thinking about what I will be doing that day, or next week, or for the next few years. Breaking everything into pieces and rearranging them to solve the puzzle of maximizing fulfillment or happiness (or something). This likely serves at least some value. I hit upon some combinations of actions and ideas that I wouldn’t have otherwise. My future outcomes end up a tad bit more pleasing.

I often wonder what it would be like to have a different pattern of mind-wandering. Presumably, there are people whose minds wander towards reflection or self-assessment. Maybe their mind is more interested in replaying their previous day and its interactions with others. Drilling into the details of micro-expressions and vaguely phrased text messages. There are probably minds that enjoy wandering to the current events as presented by the media. The latest thing Trump said or what is happening in a far-off genocide.

These patterns govern much of our conscious experience. How do they impact our quality of life and the kind of person we become?