The fast pace of the modern world may put our mind in chaotic state. Information comes and goes, we must do this and do that. There are simply too many things that reside in our mind. While it may cause stress or even depression, at the very least it puts us away from a peaceful state of mind. But a peaceful mind is essential for our effectiveness. It keeps us calm no matter how the situation is, and it allows us to stay joyful during the day. At the end of the day, it makes us happier and more productive.
So here I’d like to share 11 ways to have a “mind like water”, a state of mind so peaceful that it’s like a calm water. Pick the ones that work for you:
1. Reduce your use of rational thinking
We need rational thinking, but we tend to overuse it in analyzing our situations and making decisions. That brings a lot of things into our mind which potentially also brings in noise. Is rational thinking really that important? I don’t think so. Even Einstein once said that “I never came upon any of my discoveries through the process of rational thinking.”
2. Listen to your intuition
While you should reduce your use of rational thinking, you should increase your use of intuition. Listen to your intuition whenever you need to make decisions. Your intuition often knows more than you think. Furthermore, since intuition works instantly, it won’t bring a lot of things into your mind. Your mind will remain calm and peaceful. No wonder Einstein said that “The only real valuable thing is intuition.”
3. Listen to your heart
Your heart tells you what is right to do. There is where your deepest value and principles reside. Following what your heart says helps you be true to yourself, and that has a great effect on giving you peace of mind. So learn to listen more to your heart, and do what it tells you to do.
4. Get the stuff out of your mind
This is a basic principle of Getting Things Done (GTD). In fact, the term “mind like water” comes from GTD. You should record the things you need to do or remember on an external system you trust so that they do not occupy your mind. This way your mind will be freed to focus on your current task.
Meditation is one of the best ways to calm your mind and have a “mind like water”. Even if you do the other ways mentioned in this post, sometimes there is still noise left in your mind. Meditation is a good way to purify it. There are many forms of meditation to choose from.
6. Limit your information intake
Consuming more information often means introducing more noise into your mind. That’s why limiting your information intake is essential to have a calm and peaceful mind. The rule of thumb in consuming information is this: consume information no more than what is necessary. But how do you know what is necessary? Rational thinking may help you figure it out, but I believe that your heart and intuition can help you just as much – if not more.
7. Read spiritual texts
Spiritual texts are among the purest kinds of information you can possibly get. It helps you link together your mind, heart, and intuition. While generally you should limit your information intake, I believe that you can safely consume spiritual texts without introducing noise into your mind.
8. Eliminate unessential stuff
It will be easier to have a peaceful mind if you don’t have too much stuff to worry about. So always look for ways to simplify your life. Eliminate the things which are not essential so that you can focus on the essential. Elimination should be a constant part of your life.
9. Don’t think too much about yourself
We usually think about our own needs and problems most of the time. But self-centered thoughts rarely bring peace into our mind. Quite the opposite, it may make us feel stressed and frustrated. So don’t think too much about yourself; forget yourself for a while.
10. Do something for others
Instead of thinking too much of ourselves, we should think more of others. Think of what you can do for others and do it. There is joy in giving which will give you peace of mind.
11. Slow down
In whatever you do, you do not need to be in rush. Doing so may only bring you faster to the wrong direction. First of all, you need to know where is the right direction to go. Slow down so that you can clearly hear the voice of your heart and intuition.