Do you feel like you’re on a hamster wheel, doing your very best but the wheel never seems to slow down? Why do you think that is?
I can tell you what I think part of the issue is.
We have so much information bombarding us it can be difficult to sort out what’s important to pay attention to and what’s not. When I watch television for instance, which constitutes the Tennis Channel and HGTV, I’m watching a lot of commercials. In a one-hour HGTV show, there are at least 15-25 minutes worth of commercials. This is all fodder for the mind.
You may think you’re not paying attention, but I can assure you, all that stuff is going into your subconscious and hanging out. One night I actually woke up humming the tune for a diabetes medication. Crazy, right?
An interesting experiment might be to make a list of all the commercials as you’re watching television. As you observe your thoughts and actions over the next few days, see if there’s a link, either directly or indirectly, to any of the commercials. This doesn’t have to be limited to television, there’s advertising, commercials, and other kinds of external stimulus everywhere – even other people telling you what to do or how think.
You might find yourself wanting to try out new foods, a new diet, a new shampoo, buy a new outfit or new furniture, or you may find you’re cranky and nothing seems quite right – the list is endless.
See if you can match up what you’re thinking/feeling with an item on your list. This will require a fair amount of awareness on your part, but you can do it – it’s only for a few days. And when your ego starts telling you it’s a stupid idea, you can remind it you’re in charge and you’d like to have the information.
The point of this experiment is to see how many of your thoughts and actions are based on your personal wants and needs, which is internal and heart based, and how many are coming from an external stimulus and are unconscious.
As you create awareness around what’s internal and what’s external, you can decide if you want to let the external go and focus more clearly on your internal wants and needs. Just getting rid of that excess baggage of the external stimulus will start to slow down that hamster wheel, possibly to the point that you can jump off.
If you try this experiment, I’d love to hear how it goes for you.