The transformation technique, which will be extensively covered in this article, is coming from someone who mentally punished himself for many years. By now, my inner resistance has been solved for the biggest part. The technique in this article will help you do the same. I’m sharing a systemic approach for getting rid of most of your unnecessary and negative thoughts. So that the thoughts which will contribute to a more fulfilling and happy life will remain. That’s the purpose of this article.
The power of the mind
Let me start with mentioning that the mind is a beautiful instrument if it’s used in a proper way. The problem is that the mind is so powerful, it can and most likely will control itself. Your awareness loses control over it. The main sign of this is that many unnecessary thoughts occurs unconsciously throughout the day, without your deliberate choice. Therefore, you could easily label the habit of constantly thinking as a serious addiction. It may result in experiencing a restless feeling and the suffering of insomnia. More often, it causes stress like frustration, regrets, guilt and anxiety. You could view it as the motor of your mental suffering.
This suffering is a reality for most people in the Western world to a certain extent. To keep the mind occupied, people are feeding their mind with all kinds of distractions, like Netflix and social media. As long as the mind is busy with anything. That way, you will be less conscious to the constant suffering running in the background. It’s a practical way of sidestepping confrontation. Choosing for the path with the least resistance characterizes your mind.
Transform the prison-mind to a more peaceful paradise-mind
It’s important to know that the mind itself can never be peaceful, never. It can only open up some room for experiencing peace if you decrease the control of the mind over you. To achieve this, you want to break through the addiction of the mind. For this you could try to outwit your mind. But isn’t that just another process of your mind which leads to the conservation of the addiction? This will only build up layers upon layers which will make it even harder to mentally release yourself.
To regain control over your mind, a certain technique is needed. A technique which is focussed on increasing your awareness. A certain state of awareness can help you see through the tricks of the mind. The so-called tricks as a sneaky product of your mind are aimed at keeping you “prisoned” in your mind. I guess, if that’s not the case yet, you want to have the key so that you can leave the prison anytime you wish.
But, imagine you’re not locked up in a prison, but in a spot which is beautiful to you. A spot which feels like home to you. Home to your authentic self. In this situation, of course, it’s less needed to free yourself compared with the feeling of a cold prison. That’s why people who had a very tough life, usually feel the urge to free themselves stronger. When someone’s life is running smoothly, the key to freedom wouldn’t be sought after.
Although, the boredom of a trouble-free life can certainly open the doors to the needed suffering for your spiritual search. This was in fact the case in the story of Siddhartha Gautama in his way to enlightenment. The story tells that he was grown up in a carefree environment whereas he had never been confronted with either shortages in life or illness and death. The boredom of the superficial life made him decide to confront himself with the suffering of life. He was in search for the purpose of life. Because of the changing character of life, he had a hard time finding it. But it eventually drove him to discovering the one and only permanent truth. This enlightenment turned him into a Buddha.
This article is meant to transform the possible prison into the more peaceful spot called paradise. During this transformation, you may even find the key to escape to the unchanging truth whenever you need this. This all starts with dis-identifying with your known reality. In other words, weaken your attachments (with people, things and ideas) until they eventually won’t enslave you anymore. There is no hurry for this process. Feeling hurry is just another thought which keeps you looking for the key instead of finding it. Just like the search itself. That’s why you don’t want to force this process in any way.
How can the transformation of the mind be realized?
To transform your mind from prison to paradise, you must first have less thoughts, way less. “It was found that the average person has about 12,000 to 60,000 thoughts per day. Of those thousands of thoughts, 80% were negative, and 95% were exactly the same repetitive thoughts as the day before” (Antanaityte, z.d.). By not filling in your awareness with the superfluous thoughts every minute of the day, you’ll create some space. This space is needed to discover that you were carrying the key all the way from the beginning. The key symbolizes your insight that you’re not the person you think you are. The key allows you to dis-identify with the person whenever you want to. It gives you true freedom.
So, in short, you want to dramatically decrease the amount of thoughts you’re having. Preferably to the point whereas they are purely functional. By functional I mean the thoughts which contribute to a more fulfilling life. With a serious decrease of thoughts, the quality of your awareness will become much stronger. You’ll worry less, be more productive and feel more alive. But now there is still the question:
- ‘How to decrease the amount of thought streams tremendously?’
Therefore, there is a habit you want to create. One which you want to remind yourself of regularly . Simply because it’s not a habit yet and it has to eventually dominate the old and strongly rooted patterns which you have build throughout your life. This leads us to two very important questions:
- ‘Which habit is going to make a difference in the positive?’
- ‘How can I successfully develop this habit?’
The habit which will contribute to the transformation
Let’s first answer the first question. The habit you want to develop is to use a framework throughout the day. You’re going to try to label as much of your thoughts within that framework. If you’re not able to place it within the framework, you want to peacefully let go of it directly, without any hesitation and resistance. But beware: the thought of making an effort to let go of it also doesn’t belong to the framework (which we will discuss next). Because the very effort itself doesn’t positively contribute in any way. You especially want to be very conscious of those resisting-type-of-thoughts. These can be very tricky and hard to notice.
Once the thought does belong within the framework, you know one thing for sure: it will somehow contribute to a better life. You might be wondering now, ‘Which framework are you talking about?’ If you’re familiar with Spiralpreneur for quite some time now, you probably know which framework I’m referring to. It’s the Yarigai system. If you don’t know this system yet, I recommend you to read more about it by clicking here.
The steps of the Yarigai system
The Yarigai system consists of 8 steps in total. If you’re thinking about one of these steps, you completely allow this to happen. But, you do want to identify which step you’re thinking about. It takes some time to identify the related steps of your thought proces. Especially if you’re totally new to this technique. Please don’t let your impatience win of you. Even though this technique will be quite time-consuming in the beginning, it pays off right away.
To give you an example of how this technique works, give yourself a minute now to observe your thoughts. After your minute of observation, continue reading where you left off for a moment.
You’ll probably notice after carefully observing your thoughts, many of those are (close to) useless. For example:
- ‘Will I be able to observe all of my thoughts?’
- ‘I’m actually not really in the mood now of observing my thoughts’
- ‘What has the author written down after my minute of observation?’
- ‘Am I doing this observation correctly or am I maybe missing something?’
- ‘Did I already replied to the person who messaged me this morning?’
- ‘Did the one minute already pass?’
Each of those thoughts are not being able to be placed within the Yarigai steps. ‘But which kind of thoughts can be placed within the system?’, you may ask yourself. Well, I’ll give you just a few examples:
- ‘Did I already reached my daily goal which I set for myself?’ says something about prioritize
- ‘How would my older self have handled the situation which I found myself in today?’ says something about analyze
- ‘Do I still target the right kind of people for my business?’ says something about personalize
- ‘In what way would this article potentially benefit my future self?’ says something about imaginize
I think you get the point now. But just to be sure of this I’ll add a few more examples so that you have at least one example for step of the Yarigai system:
- ‘How will I organize all of the notes I’m making from articles like this one?’ says something about structurize
- ‘Shall I just send my potential business partner a mail with the question to have a meeting together?’ says something about initialize
- ‘Do I still like what I’m doing or am I doing it just out of comfort?’ says something about revise
- ‘Which compliment do I receive quite often and what does this possibly say about my capabilities?’ says something about criticize
Sometimes it can be tricky to determine which step can be connected to one of your thought processes. That’s because:
- You have to develop this skill by doing it over and over again, to the point that you don’t have to consciously think about it anymore. This skill includes being more aware of your current thoughts as well as being able to label them to the steps.
- A thought process can often consist of both a useful and useless thought (in terms of usability for the labeling part of the technique), you want to keep yourself alert to this. Take out the noise and label what’s left.
- Also, it can be the case that a thought process can be linked to multiple steps which at first glance can be quite confusing. Mixing yellow and blue makes green. It’s part of the technique to trace back the combined thought to its unique components.
How can I successfully develop this habit?
Now that we’ve covered the first question, it’s time to look at helpful ways to remind yourself of this valuable technique. For this I made the following list with options to recall this practice regularly:
- Set the Yarigai system as background for your phone’s unlock screen
- Print the Yarigai system a few times and store it on random places
- Print a small version of the Yarigai system and keep it your wallet
- Safe the Yarigai system as an image on your phone, create a note with this image in your most frequently used note-taking program and pin this note to the top so that you’re seeing the system every time you’re going to your notes
- Add a recurring appointment to your agenda called ‘Working on the Yarigai system’
‘Worry less, be more productive and feel more alive‘
Reminding yourself regularly of the habit is one. But starting in the first place may be the most challenging part. Because first you have to convince yourself of the added value. Once you’re convinced, you also need to break your excuses to postpone the technique to a “better moment for it”. Of course, there is no better moment than the moment of today.
In case you’re not sufficiently motivated to start with this technique, take your time to go through the ‘benefits-of this-technique’-sentence in this article one more time, which is: “You’ll worry less, be more productive and feel more alive”.
Fewer worries due to the fact of you having less thoughts, especially less negative ones. A higher productivity because you’re better able to create thoughts which most directly contribute to your goals. Simply because you can better label your thoughts and you can choose to have other thoughts whenever that’s needed. In other words, you can play with your mind the way you want it. It gives you more control over your operating system called your mind. You’ll become the one who is in charge of your inner world instead of the other way around. No longer you’ll be just a participant or victim to your inner processes. Last but not least, you’re going to feel more alive. That’s because having less thoughts makes up room for a richer and deeper experience with life.
I could add a lot more benefits to this. Next to that, I could give extra emphasis to certain advantages. But doing so wouldn’t make a difference of your consideration to start the technique. I mean, what more do you wish than fewer worries, a higher productivity and a stronger feeling of being alive? That must be already sufficient to start the promising experiment as soon as possible, right?
Putting the technique into practice today
There is really no ideal moment to start. Don’t start this technique as soon as you finally got time for it. Because we both know this “available time” will probably arrive at the moment you forgot about this technique. You want to proactively make time for it instead. What is holding you back to start working on this technique right away? Today is a good moment to start because the theory is still new, fresh and stimulating to you. It would be valuable to directly utilize your initial investment (reading this article) by putting it into practice right away.
The only thing you need in the beginning, next to your awareness of course, is the Yarigai system. This way you can remind yourself of the steps regularly and will be better able to label your thoughts accordingly. For a qualitative state of awareness you need your undivided attention. That means it wouldn’t work if you’re going to do this technique while multitasking. That’s because it’s not a habit yet. For this reason it works best to practice the technique while doing nothing else. Preferably choose a place where you know you won’t be disturbed. It’s a meditative technique which needs a meditative environment, by which I mean a peaceful and quiet place.
I would recommend you to set the bar low in the beginning. Start with just 10 minutes a day. As soon as you feel you’re ready for more, you start spending more time on the technique. For example in your first week 10 minutes a day. The following week you add 5 or 10 minutes to that. Eventually to the point that you’re doing it all day long. This could take months but shouldn’t be the goal. The goal is to practice the technique in a consistent and high-quality way. The nice thing is that you’re going to notice the benefits right after doing the technique. Good luck for now with the implementation! If you’ve got any questions about it, don’t hesitate to send me an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Antanaityte, N. (s.d.). Mind Matters: How To Effortlessly Have More Positive Thoughts. Accessed on 12 March 2022, from https://tlexinstitute.com/how-to-effortlessly-have-more-positive-thoughts/