Has this ever happened to you? You were thinking about a problem and no matter how hard you focus it seems that you’re stuck. You’ve gone over the problem several times. You have tried to redefine it. You’ve looked at it from different angles. It seems that no matter what you do and regardless of when you think about the problem, nothing seems to happen.
A lot of this has to do with the fact that your conscious mind can easily get stuck in a holding pattern. If you’ve ever gotten on a plane that was trying to land at a busy airport, you probably have experienced a holding pattern before. Your plane would circle around a city several times delaying the moment of your arrival. When the runway clears and your plane is given the green light to land, your pilot will then break the holding pattern and start the descent. That’s how planes work.
It’s not much different from your thoughts. When your mind is burning precious energy trying to achieve some sort of breakthrough because you fine yourself at an impasse, it goes into a holding pattern. It’s as if you can’t think of anything new. You just keep revisiting the same things over and over again.
This is not much different from you losing your keys. When was the last time you lost your keys? I’m willing to bet that when you were looking for your keys, you kept checking at the places that you checked before. At the back of your head, you know that your keys aren’t there. After all, you just checked it a few minutes before but you can’t help yourself to keep checking again and again and again.
Maybe you just didn’t look properly. Perhaps it’s stuck somewhere in the back. Possibly, you just didn’t pay enough attention so you keep repeating this pattern over and over again. That’s how your mind works.
Unfortunately, this habit doesn’t get us any closer to the solution. How can it? You keep revisiting the same process. As the old saying goes, insanity is defined as doing the same thing over and over again while expecting different results each time. How can you achieve different results when you’re doing the same thing?
When you focus on the present moment, you get the chance to focus on your issues right here, right now. In other words, you can train all your creative and imaginative resources to the right problem at the right time and at the right place. This is definitely better than worrying sick about stuff that may or may not happen or, worse yet, crying over spilled milk.
By learning to tap into the present moment through mindfulness or meditation practices, you start looking at your situation differently. The reason why this happens is because your subconscious mind enters the picture. Your subconscious mind is very powerful. It enables you to achieve breakthroughs when you thought these were simply not possible.