Ep #184: Organize Your Mind
This month in the Self Coaching Scholars program, we’re working on organization. The main themes we’re covering will revolve around the importance of keeping an organized mind in order to have an organized life.
So, to kick off October’s first podcast, this session of The Life Coach School Podcast will be all about what it actually means to organize your mind, the main areas you need to focus on, and how you can get started with this process. Tune in as I share two powerful tools for focusing your mind to help you produce and contribute in a satisfying way and allow you to live a purposeful and conscious life.
And remember, internal organization always creates an external organization. Once you organize your mind, you’ll be amazed at how simple things can be!
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Listen to the show
What You will discover
- The power of planning.
- The biggest misconception about our past memories.
- The main areas of your mind that you need to organize.
- The process for decluttering your mind.
- Two tools to help you focus your mind.
Featured on the show
Get the Full Episode Transcript:download the transcript
Welcome to The Life Coach School Podcast, where it’s all about real clients, real problems, and real coaching. And now your host, Master Coach Instructor, Brooke Castillo.
Hey, friends, how are you today? I’m amazing. It’s such a great day. I’m so excited; in Scholars this month, we are working on organization and how important it is to keep an organized mind so you can have an organized life.
I just recently talked to one of my coaches about this. She came to me and was scattered in terms of her thinking, in terms of her life and her organization and everything, and she’s a very seasoned coach and yet one of the things she thought was happening was that her life was too busy to be organized.
And what I told her is that her mind wasn’t organized enough for her life to be organized. And if you can think about organization in that way, you’ll be way ahead of most people. Because if you can look at an organized mind always creates an organized life, and internal organization always creates an external organization, you are going to be blown away at how simple things can be.
Now, I talk a lot in Self-Coaching Scholars about planning. And the reason why planning is so important for productivity and proactivation and really living your life at the highest level is because planning is one of those activities that comes from that higher part of your brain. It’s one of the activities that is pretty exclusive to humans that isn’t instinctual, right.
Animals do a lot of instinctual planning, but there’s not a lot of thought about different specific plans and different options, and that’s something that we have available to us as humans that a lot of us don’t use. And the way that I like to think about it is: have you ever gone through your phone and find and app and you’re like, “What, I didn’t even know this app was in here.” And someone’s like, “Oh my gosh, I use that app all the time, it’s amazing. Here’s what it does,” and you’re like, “Stop it. This has been on my phone the whole time and I’ve never used it and I didn’t even know how amazing it was.”
I feel this way about Instacart. You guys know about Instacart, right? Someone told me about Instacart, my whole life changed. If you don’t know about Instacart, you have to find out about it immediately; it’s amazing. But anyway, I feel like a lot of us don’t use that really important aspect of our brain that is the planning part of our brain that keeps us completely organized and keeps us being able to produce and contribute in a way that is extremely satisfying in a life that is purposeful and conscious.
So, I like you to use the house metaphor for your mind. And what I mean by that is you think about your mind as it is a house, okay, and you want to take a tour through your mind and name the rooms in your mind. Okay, so these are basically categories of thoughts that you have in your brain, but imagine it like a house. Like you’re walking through your brain, looking, okay, you’re looking around.
What’s in there? What’s in that brain if you’re taking a tour. So the first thing that you’ll notice are your memories, and these are your thoughts about your past. I want you to be very clear about that. Your memories are thoughts that you’re having right now about your past. A lot of us think that the thoughts we have about the past are actually from the past, right, that memories are things that aren’t fluid and that memories aren’t choices.
And that couldn’t be further from the truth. Just ask two people from the same family to remember an event from their childhood. There will be two very different stories. How is that possible if both people were at that event? It’s because the thoughts are what create memories. The thoughts we have now will be what create memories. Memories are not from the past, they’re from our interpretation now of the past. Very important distinction.
You keep walking through, you’ll notice some subconscious thoughts, some thoughts that you don’t even recognize that are thoughts that are underneath the surface. Some of these subconscious thoughts are really important, like pick up your leg, set your leg down, pick your leg up, pick your fork up, set your fork down, put on your right blinker, put on your left blinker.
These are thoughts you’ve had so often that they are regulated to the subconscious of your brain so that you’re not consciously thinking about those thoughts on purpose. This is great because it makes our brain very efficient. We don’t have to think about everything very deliberately, and it makes us be able to move through the world very easily; except when those subconscious thoughts don’t serve us.
So it’s worth having a look in there. What are some thoughts that you picked up when you were a child, that you learned when you were young that you’ve repeated so many times that aren’t serving you? Those are the ones you want to look at.
The next room you might go into is your room of judgments. This includes all your judgments about yourself, all your judgments about other people. Now because you don’t want to think about yourself as a judgmental person, you may not want to go into that room. But if you just put opinions, thoughts about, in that room, you might be a little bit more willing to go in there.
So many times, we don’t even recognize a judgment as a judgment. We don’t recognize judgments as optional. I was coaching someone last night and she said, “I have a fierce hate for technology.” And she was stating that not as if it were a judgment or as an optional thought, but just as a fact.
And that’s one of those things that I would tell her, “Hey, that’s a judgment that you’re having that is optional that isn’t serving you.” Our judgments about other people that are negative that don’t serve us, our judgments about ourselves that are negative that don’t serve us, those are really worth having a look around.
Then you go into another room and there’s all that negative self-talk. Right, you shouldn’t do that, that’s not going to work, you should probably just stay in bed, exercise doesn’t work, who cares about the diet, just have one of those anyway. Don’t listen to her, she’s a unicorn, she can do it but you can’t.
Right, you know all these thoughts, these like humming thoughts that go on in your brain, all that negative self-talk. And then there’s the positive self-talk. When you walk into that room, what do you see? What are the positive things that you say to yourself? What are the things that you say about your life to keep you going, to keep you energized?
And you go into another room and those are going to be where all your plans are. A lot of you will go in that room and it’s empty. You know who you are, right? When I ask you about your future, you have no answer, you have no plans. We want to really develop that room.
We want to really increase the content of that room and have lots of purposeful plans and intentions and goals. That room can really serve us to provide our brain with some direction on what to focus on.
And then the next room you may go into are your appreciations; the things that you appreciate, the things that you love, the things that you think about on a regular basis that bring out that emotion in you.
Now there may be categories and rooms that I haven’t listed here. I’ve given you about seven, just so you can kind of understand my idea on how you can look at your brain metaphorically and see what’s going on in there, and how by categorizing what’s going on in your brain, you can organize everything and separate it.
A lot of times, we think that those 60,000 thoughts that happen every day are just brain clutter, right. It just feels like our brain is cluttered with thoughts, cluttered with judgments and negativity and facts and overwhelming ideas, right? That’s how most of us look at our brains. But when you go in and you look at your thoughts and you categorize them carefully, it is the equivalent of going in and cleaning up your house; putting everything in its place, finding out the stuff that you want to get rid of, finding out the stuff you want to keep, right.
And as we’re going through Scholars this month, what we’re doing is we’re really looking at the things in our lives and deciding if we want them to still be a part of our lives consciously, and I want you to go through the same process of de-cluttering your mind; of really understanding where things go, what their place is and if you want to keep them or not.
Do you want to bring in new thoughts and new ideas and new plans, very similarly to bringing in new furniture, new flooring, remodeling the house, right? Or do you want to keep living in the same brain with the same categories with the same thoughts without any real conscious thought about what you’re thinking?
It’s important to understand that when you look at, you know, the movies sometimes, or you look at TV shows and there are people that are hoarders, that actually have so many things in their life, then you want to look at your brain in the same way. Are you hoarding thoughts about your past? Are you hoarding thoughts and judgments about other people, about yourself?
Are those thoughts useful? Are they serving you, or are they just taking up space? Are they making it so you can’t breathe, so you can’t move around, so you can’t use the other thoughts? I want you to think about it as like tremendous clutter, and you need to lift it all up and look underneath and clean around and organize it in order to have the clean, fresh, minimal house that you want to be up there in your brain.
And then when you bring a new thought in, you bring it in carefully and purposefully and you make sure that it’s useful to you. I want you to think about your brain as a container of thoughts with a limited amount of fuel to think them. You want to get them organized, in order and deliberate; most of the time they’re just random, unfocused and overwhelming.
When you let your mind “go”, where does it go? What does it think about when you let it just think without direction? What are your obsessive thoughts? What are your habitual thoughts? Do you have thoughts that create desire for buffering? Where is your mind most efficient? Is your mind most efficient in creating over desire and creating procrastination and creating judgment, creating drama? Or is it most efficient when it comes for creating your future and coming up with new ideas and creating value for yourself and the people around you?
So the process is to clean out and organize your mind. What do you need to let go of? What is outdated and no longer useful? What do you not want to think about anymore? What needs to go? What do you want to fill your mind with? What do you want to use your mind power to create?
I want you to think about that. If you have limited mind power, what do you want to use it to create? Because it’s always creating something, most of you are just re/cycling thoughts and recreating the exact same life. And for many of you, it’s a life that you don’t want to keep recreating.
So there are two tools that I think are the best ways to focus your mind. One of the tools is to ask questions, to ask your brain very good questions and to have it seek the answer for you. Your brain is like a heat-seeking missile; it does not like an unanswered question.
So it will answer the question and seek solutions. So this is why I’m always telling my students to never say, “I don’t know.” Instead, ask your brain to figure it out. “What do I need to do to know? If I did know, what is the answer? If I was willing to make a decision, what would that decision be?”
Because a lot of times, what you need to do is make a decision and do that thing to find out if that is the thing that you should be doing. If you want to know what you should do, do it, and then you’ll know. We want to know before we do it. Most of the time, we can’t know that. so ask your brain really good questions and expect it to seek solutions.
Your brain is the most powerful piece of technology on the planet. Nobody has a machine that they paid for that is as exceptional as your own brain. And if you just let it get clogged up with files and you just let its memory get overloaded and you don’t clean up its desktop, you will feel the effects of that in your life.
And you will see the effects of that in your life, but when you choose only high-quality thoughts, when you choose only luxurious thoughts, I want you to imagine what it would be like to tour your brain with very carefully chosen thoughts that are beautiful, that feel good, that are luxurious, that serve you. And when you do that, you will get to feel the effect of that. You will get to have that deliberate life.
So please, go through this process. If you are in Scholars, make sure you answer the questions in your podcast book that will help you organize your thoughts in your brain, in your mind, so you can always wake up to a very clean filtered organized mind.
You have to, every day, take out the trash. That is what a thought download is. You download all those thoughts – it’s the equivalent of taking everything out of the cupboards and putting back in only the stuff that is really healthy, that really serves you, that really satisfies you. That is the process of organizing your mind.
So, get to work and do that. Do not be a hoarder. Do not let your mind be a mess. I’ll talk to you guys next week; bye.
Hey, if you enjoy listening to this podcast, you have to come check out Self-Coaching Scholars. It's my monthly coaching program where we take all this material and we apply it. We take it to the next level and we study it. Join me over at the TheLifeCoachSchool.com/join. Make sure you type in the TheLifeCoachSchool.com/join. I'd love to have you join me in Self-Coaching Scholars. See you there.