Imagine that you want to go from point A to B. You have lots of options to use: A taxi, a car, a bus, a train, or you can even walk.
With all these choices, you don’t know which option will take you to point B the fastest. The more choices you have, the more confused you become.
There is a choice you have to make. Choose one and start your journey. Because you want to get there fast. Let us say, you select a taxi.
There is an overwhelming sense of relief. You have chosen something. Even though you don’t know how fast it is going to take you to reach your destination (point B), at least, you have made a choice.
Once you start leaving point A and going towards point B, you realize something.
The road is a mess. It is full of traffic jam. On the same road that you are taking, others like you who want to reach point B are using other transportation methods that you’ve discarded. You see buses next to your taxi carrying full of passengers. You see passengers walking on the pedestrian road on both sides of the road. You see fellow human beings on a bicycle going the same route you are taking. You see lots of private cars ahead of you on multiple lanes of the same road.
Oh my God, it is going to take you a long time to reach point B with this rate.
A few minutes later, you realize it does not matter the transportation you are using. Because the road is crowded, none of the available transportation methods are going to help you reach there fast.
You don’t see any way that will make all these 4-legged moving things swirling on the road disappear from the road. You don’t see the way out. You feel hopeless.
Meanwhile, the driver of your taxi is telling you that it is always like this at this time of the day, every single day.
And bam, something clicks through the desperation of your mind to get to your destination.
A knowing that you did not see before.
You could have risen up early in the morning and used that time as an opportunity to arrive at your destination in a faster way. Because the road will not be as crowded as it is now and there won’t be many cars using the same road as now.
You have found a solution that feels like winning a prize for yourself.
There is something suffocating about having too many thoughts and being too overwhelmed to decide on which idea to pick from the hundreds that are living and breathing inside our minds.
Just this morning, I had too many thoughts when I wake up from my bed. Go back to sleep, get up and write today’s post, brush the material for your training today, respond emails, call my friend to cancel our plans, publish a draft on Medium, answer a question on Quora, don’t forget to drink water before you leave home and while you are it, add lemon juice on it, read some articles from my favorite authors that I have put to be read, later on, etc.
Too many. Too much. All at the same time.
There are always hundreds of thoughts and ideas swirling through our mind which is the busiest machine in the world.
But we cannot use it effectively if we try to entertain all these ideas and thoughts at the same time. Because we simply can’t.
We try to give this idea or thought a shot but then, there is that idea that has us enthralled. And there is a thought that we would like to think more about it. There is also the idea that we heard from a dear friend that we would like to dig deeper. The list is endless. Never ending.
We bear the brunt of ineffectiveness and a feeling a void with all these noises inside our mind — all in the name of entertaining every thought and idea that pops inside.
Never-ending is our desire to think more thoughts and ideas. And when we feel lost like I did this morning, I remind myself that I need to take a break — from my own mind.
I guess what I’m trying to tell you is that we need to quite our minds in order to think better and faster.
Like the traffic jam is prohibiting us to reach our destination faster, we cannot think clearly with all the noise inside our minds.
This is how you think faster and better: develop the practice of being alone for some time every day (like I do), free the traffic in your mind by practicing meditation or just being with yourself, closing your eyes and taking deep breaths.
When there is no traffic jam on the road, you can go faster without worrying that you are going to end up dead by a car accident. You can go fast while having a clear head. You can use the road safely and at the same time, you can think deep thoughts — as there are fewer things that steal your attention.
The same is true for your mind.
When there are fewer thoughts and ideas on your mind: · You can give your whole attention to these few ideas and be successful at it, more effectively. · You can be good at using these thoughts and ideas to your advantage by giving them your whole focus. · And for that, you should NOT be interrupted by other thoughts and ideas that want your attention as well. · And for that to be possible, you need to learn to quiet your mind.
That is what I do. Every time my mind is full of thoughts and ideas that make me want to drown in my own mind, I retreat.
I find silence. I embrace it. I find quiet times throughout the day to just be. I’ve learned that the clearer my mind is, the more I can think better and faster.
Originally published at http://quora.com.