Your Mind Is Your Canvas

The most underestimated machine.

Today, we are seeing advancements in science and technology that are taking place at a tremendous rate. Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence are being used to improve our lives in a smaller or very significant way.
But the big question arises that, do we really understand ‘learning’ and the ‘intelligence’ itself?
Whereas, the very core idea of machine learning and artificial intelligence is based on our own brain model. So what is our mind capable of?
We are drawing inspiration from our own minds and yet we still don’t know how to use it more efficiently.
Below are few methods to realize the tremendous possibility our mind hides within.

Everything we perceive through our minds, manifests itself and forms our own reality. The greatest ideas which changed the world are just a form of manifestation our mind created, intentionally or sometimes unintentionally. Most of the time, we are just slaves of our mind. We just never realize who is controlling what.

Leonardo da Vinci quoted,

“Small rooms or dwellings discipline the mind; large ones weaken it.”

So how can we use our mind as our canvas and paint our own reality…

1. Reduce Friction

Here, I’m talking about the frictions we create in our lives. Life can be made simple and can also be experienced effortlessly. But we invite complexities by introducing frictions in the form of associations for our mind. We can never control the basic nature of the mind i.e. it associates. Just observe the lives of greatest beings born on Earth and you will find that their life was simple. They never complicated it. By complexities, I don’t mean the physical complexities (in many cases it also introduces friction). Complexities are those which are created in our minds unnecessarily.

We can reduce complexities by being in ‘flow’ or ‘zone’ (term coined by Mihály Csíkszentmihályi under Positive Psychology). Sometimes, you might have found yourself in the flow while listening or playing music or reading a book and many more other cases.

We can initiate flow by setting up a challenge or a goal, which at the same time challenges the skills we might use to perform or complete it. When the goals and the skills needed to complete it surpass our individual standard, then only we can experience ‘flow state’. Physical complexities on the other hand exist a lot in our digital world. And those can easily be controlled by us, if we want to grasp only needed information and insight at the right time.

2. Visualize

Nowadays, we sometimes scroll our Facebook or Twitter news feeds unintentionally. Why do we do that?

We do that because we have wired habits which most of the time happens unconsciously and without control. What if we just take a moment of pause and just think consciously about what we’re going to do. Taking a moment of pause and visualizing a task in your mind can actually ease out your cognitive load and will result in completion of that task in a very efficient manner.

Construct an imaginary palace in your mind and associate your different tasks or goals to an object in that place (like Sherlock has his own “Mind Palace”). Structuring your thought framework lets you complete your task more smoothly.

For example, if I want to fix reminder of a meeting in a Task Manager App on my phone, then what I can do is, first take a moment of pause before even opening the app and visualize the detailing of the meeting I’m planning. We can also use mind-mapping techniques to visualize our very own life and plan it in a very efficient and better way.

3. Switching Attention

We often read and hear that multitasking is bad for productivity. But have we ever asked that, why such an intricate machine would exist just for performing single tasks only? Multitasking doesn’t harms or hinders productivity. Rather, prolonged association does that. While being able to be in the flow, it is also necessary to learn to switch our attention based on given task or goal to perform.

We can switch our attention very easily by pausing a particular task and switching on to any other task. Pausing a task means to just stop thinking about that task.

When we cannot switch our attention from one task to another, friction occurs and disturbs the flow. This can be understood like, our past and future are just our psychological realities. The only reality which we experience is present. That’s why it is necessary to get your mind detached from prolonged associations with the tasks, goals or experiences and just dive into the ocean of stillness.

4. Be Meditative

Meditation has now became just a type of mind exercise for most of the people. It has been widely used for its vast surface benefits. But apart from that, meditation is not something which you have to do or perform. It is the quality of being. You can be the meditation itself. Your very own existentialism can be meditative.

Just try to perform every activity as a ritual, every seeing as an act of observation and so on. You will observe that your life is in your control and the mind itself becomes still. And when a raging monster becomes still, you can tame it any way you want to.

To be meditative, you have to perform every work or task consciously. Just notice every detail of that particular task and align your actions accordingly.

Like if you’re reading a book, perform active reading. Active reading is process in which you annotate, brainstorm and mark down every detail you want to collect and remember.

5. Flow Chart of Possibilities

As planning is as important as the task itself, insights into possibilities is also necessary. Designing a mental flowchart of possibilities of your action can help you to draw valuable insights. Work which is done unintentionally is in many case inefficient.

Figure out a road map of your actions in response to a particular possibility of your task.

This methodology can help you to predict metrics which are valuable and help you grow into a more perceptive-being.

“As artists generally create their masterpieces unintentionally (they say that), their mind allows them to do so, like an empty canvas ready to be filled with strokes of possibilities. We all can align our minds to be just ready to witness miracles.”
Let’s share this insight with people we care about. Recommend if you liked this write-up and please do respond with your valuable comments and feedback.