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The Mindful Entrepreneur

Your Thoughts are Like Waves & You’re on a Boat

Categories: Fears & Anxieties - Productivity - Simplicity

thoughtsrowingboatwaves

Picture this, you’re in a boat out in the middle of a vast ocean. You have oars, which you can choose to use to dictate your direction, but at the moment, your just floating around on the water.

Try to imagine that your thoughts are the waves bobbing around the boat – we’ll call this passive thinking. You don’t need to pay attention to these waves, they’ll keep coming and you can simply choose to carry on with whatever you’re doing. Maybe reading a book, looking out for other people in boats or just basking in the sun. The less you pay attention to your thoughts, the more relaxed you are and the more you become at one with what is around you, even if that means drifting off into a day dream. You’re still being at one with that day dream.

If you like, you can choose to pick out particular waves and pay attention them. But it can be easy to lose track of a wave in the vast ocean. So if you like, pick it out and play very close attention to it until it dissipates. Maybe something in the wave, possibly a type of sea creature only found in certain part, is telling you that you need to go in a certain direction, when you see a sign like that – and you’ll probably see it better if you’re relaxed and not paying attention to other unnecessary waves at the time – then you can choose to take action.

This is where you pick up the oars and control the waves (your thoughts). You can now create new waves with your oars – which we will call active thinking, where you are interacting and gaining something from this process – and you can choose which direction to go in.

Now, the waves have a direct effect on you as a person, and what you’re doing, or should I Say, you have a direct effect on the waves, you’re controlling them. You’re involved in creating the waves, and so your task and the waves (your thoughts) are in unison, working together and achieving something that leads to a desired outcome. You can keep moving in this direction until;

  1. You see another sign in the water, that dictates a new direction for you. If this happens then you should immediately release the old direction and follow the new. Don’t remain tied to an old direction, otherwise you can quickly find yourself lost. If this happens, you can either find your way back or pick an alternative direction.
  2. You get tired and decide to take a break. You can then go back to bobbing about amongst the waves until another sign emerges, or you choose to re-take up your previous direction
  3. You reach your destination. This may be an island (this can be referred to as a goal).

If you’ve reached your island, you should take a moment to congratulate yourself. Consider where you’ve been, and what it took to get to your current position. Replenish yourself on the resources on the island, tidy your boat up, clean your oars and get prepared to set off again to seek a new island. It may be an opportune moment to consult a map (Evernote is useful map for me – it’s where I keep all my outstanding projects), you might find a new destination on there, you might not. The important thing is not to fret. Enjoy the island, enjoy the boat ride and enjoy the challenge of rowing from destination to destination. Ultimately that’s what life is. Embrace it.

When you’re ready. Leave your island, with a fresh outlook. Go. Be. Achieve.

Two in a Boat?

You can have someone else in your boat if you like (or even a number of people). This is a relationship (or any kind). Just be sure that you’re both rowing the same direction when you need to get somewhere. If you’re at the point where you have a lot of people, you’ll need a ship (a business), then you start to rely on an engine; this is a story for another day, but suffice to say, you need to make sure your engine is always in check.

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About the author: I’m the Founder of Own the Web (aka. Mindful Marketeer), & I’m passionate about helping good causes, local & small businesses grow by bringing clarity to situations. I do this through my work at Own the Web, whilst practising mindfulness & blogging about it here. Other quick facts also include I’m a vegan, an individualist, equality champion & a mindful free thinker. Connect with me on Twitter or Peter Leigh on Google+.