Buddhism for Mayflies
In this article, Peter Cameron-Burnett explains a very useful mental hack that allows you to remove large amounts of stress and free up a raft of energy and creativity.
We become different people when we sleep …
Recent studies into sleep have shown something very interesting.
We all know that when we sleep, our brain downloads the information that we have taken on board during the day, and assimilates it into the rest of our consciousness.
But, it turns out that the brain actually changes shape internally, as it is rewired. New connections form, and other connections change size and shape. And because the shape of your brain and how it is wired defines who you are as a person, that means that technically it’s a slightly different person who wakes up the next day.
What happened yesterday often feels like it happened to somebody else. And to some extent, it did.
Yesterday was a past life – one that lasted 24 hours.
(You may be able to see by now where the title of this article came from!)
And of course, by extension that means that what happens tomorrow will also happen to someone else, someone who is arguably not you.
And this is actually quite a useful way to think.
Are you fighting tomorrow’s battles today?
Because one of the biggest reasons for stress is the fact that many people are trying to fight current and future battles at the same time, instead of solely reserving emotional energy for anything happening today.
That’s like a soldier trying to fight battles single-handedly all along the front line, instead of focusing on the area in front of him.
One of the reasons we developed AgileOS was to help people focus, because the rise of knowledge work (where we don’t have any boundaries to our work anymore) has created a lot of problems which we weren’t taught how to deal with at school.
Within AgileOS, there is a lot of focus on making sure that you do your high-level thinking, then you park all the actions you want to take within a certain week in a separate place, so that you can then solely focus on those when you are doing your normal day-to-day stuff.
And within that weekly list, there is the ability to just look what you’re going to do today.
An approach to solve that problem …
What that allows us to do, in combination with the approach above, is to think the following:
“I’m responsible for this 24 hour period – this time in which I am alive. Anything that happens between the time I wake up and the time I sleep is my responsibility and I will give it 100%. Anything that happens outside my 24-hour lifespan, I do not need to worry about, because it will be handled by another me further on down the line, another me who has their own energy and focus to divert to it. I will do my best to prepare the ground for them, but that is their battle, and I don’t need to fight it for them.”
The average person lives for 27,375 days. So you could in some ways think of yourself not as one person, but as a team 27,000 strong, each one doing their best in the time and place that they are, and not spending any extra energy on worrying about what happen elsewhere along the front line.
Because, from a scientific point of view, you’d actually be right.
Get AgileOS, and get the right focus fast
AgileOS is a free system designed to help you manage your personal and professional life, removing stress and boosting energy and creativity by helping you get a lot of mental processes out of your head onto a system you can trust. You can sign up for free at http://agileos.tools
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