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Is your Mind Fooling you?

You must have heard, “our mind can either be our best friend or our biggest enemy”. Simple interpretation of this sentence is that our mind can fool us and make us do things we won’t do otherwise. HOW? Let’s talk about it.

Have you ever noticed that our mind convinces us for things that seem easy, for instance, we judge/ misunderstand people instead of thinking about their intentions and accepting them for who they are because it’s easy to judge others. Same is the case with memories, when you miss people, you remember all the good times you spent with them, because that’s the kind of video your brain plays and that is how you get fooled into thinking that you want them back. The correct approach is thinking about why they aren’t in your life anymore, you will realize you don’t want them back, but that takes a lot of logical thinking; which is not easy for the brain and hence, it fools you into thinking the opposite.

Also read: Manipulation: The art of using your insecurities against you

We all sometimes regret our actions and criticize ourselves for reacting/behaving a certain way, don’t we? Have you ever wondered what happens to us at a particular moment and why do we knowingly take decisions we know we might regret? Let’s say the brain is divided into two parts, one thinks practically and the other one emotionally, when the feeling is intense emotions overpower the brain and we take decisions based on our emotional thinking (or EQ). It takes a lot of practice to adjust the brain into working our way, it is said that don’t become a slave of your brain make the brain your slave, and that is exactly what the article is about!

Before taking a decision, ask yourself whether you are taking the decision solely based on your EQ or you have thought about it thoroughly? Don’t let your mind fool you. Sit with yourself and understand what do you need, why do you want to do what you want to do. This simple practice can help you transform your life!

Once you take a decision, don’t overthink about it because that is also a way your mind can fool you.

According to Indian Mythology, on one of your shoulders sits the devil and on the other sits the angel, and they guide you into taking actions.

What you think: Just one more episode.

How you fool yourself: Come on, you don’t need me for this one. You know very well how many times this has worked. Exactly zero times! Watching a few episodes now and then is fine. Finishing the whole season in one night isn’t.

How to fix it: Set a limit beforehand. Before you even turn on the TV or grab your laptop, tell yourself how many episodes you have time to watch. Then, no matter how interesting the plot gets and what cliffhanger comes along, you stick to that limit. Nothing’s going to happen if you watch the rest on different days. Trust me.

Our brains are always playing tricks on us. So, the next time you find yourself using one of these excuses, remember what Feynman said. He didn’t call it the first principle for nothing. And if it worked for a Nobel laureate, it just might work for you and me too.

What you think: I don’t have time.

How you’re fooling yourself: You never have more or less time. Every day, no matter how full of important tasks and meetings it may be, has exactly 24 hours. No more, no less. You decide how to spend those hours.

How to fix it: First, realize that a lack of time is just a lack of priorities. We make time for what’s truly important. So, get your priorities straight and start getting good at saying No.

Your mind lets you live in your own virtual world, you must have heard cursed yourself for making up fake scenarios but have you observed you start living those fake scenarios quite frequently? You rely on defense mechanisms that shield you from what you don't want to know, don't want to face, don't want to deal with. Defense mechanisms work precisely because they operate outside of conscious awareness.

You might like: Reasons we seek Validation

What stays in your subconscious mind, stays with you forever and that is why it is advised to be very careful of the things you tell yourself.

You fool yourself, by letting your mind fool you. How to fix it? Your mind is like a little child, it takes whatever you feed him, so try to feed him with good information; never ever talk bad about your own self because that is going to shift the thinking process and most importantly your brain. Be strict with it, understand that it’s “your” brain nobody else has a control over it but you! Stay away from things that disturb your mental peace be it things or people, I swear we don’t even realize how much energy we waste on people trying to find peace; but the thing is you can’t find peace at the same place you lost it.

Make yourself understand certain situations, find a way to distract it and don’t think everything your mind tells you. The rule is, “ if it won’t matter in 5 years, don’t waste more than 5 minutes on it”. It will take a lot of practice and hard work to make your mind understand certain things but it will be all worth it.

The greatest freedom is to be free of our own mind. ~ Osho
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