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The ever-wandering mind

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Why we are often not connecting with the things right in front of our eyes

The most common complaint that is heard these days is that we don’t get enough time. Everyone is so occupied with their daily business that they don’t have a spare minute. From morning till night, whether we are working or not, the hands of the clock seem to be chasing us, every single second. These days our mind runs faster than we could actually process information. There is less accountability in our daily activities. Many things in our day-to-day life are random processes we do in our subconscious state of mind.

The moment you wake up in the morning, amid the cats of stretching your arms and struggling to open your eyes, while regaining your senses there is one thing that rings an alarm in your head: have you plugged in the mobile phone to charge? While you rush to get ready, you ensure that your mobile phone has charge for the full day.

While leaving for work your mind runs faster than you. While driving, your mind schedules your day like a faithful personal assistant, without even asking for a remuneration. It has reached the office before you even entered your cabin.

Your mind starts telling you from where to begin your work. It will not stop at any moment, when you are busy in your desk, work your mind has its own unaccomplished work — such as rearranging the important appointments for the day, the upcoming events in your life, sorting out the mess you are going through in your private life and at many times interfering in the other departments’ work as in matters of heart, love and emotion. Even in your spare time your mind will remind you of some urgent or pending work which you are ignoring or avoiding for some reasons. So the real culprit is our mind that keeps us occupied all day and night.

Fundamental feature

In 2013, the multidisciplinary Psychology, published a paper on the psychological and neuro-scientific account of the wandering mind. A fundamental feature of the mind is its tendency to wander from the constraints of the perceptual moment towards internally generated thoughts and feelings.

We are physically present at a place but our mind wanders across the entire universe: that is the reason most of the time we are not connecting with the things that are going on right in front of our eyes. We don’t give much time to a single item of information as there is an inundation of information, news and stories running on the flashboard of social media. Many things go unnoticed and we don't pay heed to details as everything is getting customised and updated every minute. That is the reason we have a short recall memory in these days.

Sometimes we fail to recollect what we did last month. Sometimes we forget to switch off the electrical appliances while leaving home and later when our mind clicks, the bell rings.

Often it happens that we misplace things at home and search for it in every possible place while screaming, shouting and scolding, putting the blame on the entire universe for a conspiracy against us for the trouble and mess created. But in the end we realise that it’s all our fault that we didn't remember where our things are.

For a reminder on important dates we have to take to our mobile phones. The mind is getting so much of temporary information every day that it’s running out of storage space. The important information for future use gets misplaced and lost in a heap of confusion, to give precedence to one over the other.

The ability of the mind to function every minute helps us to engage in multitasking. A mother in a house cooks food in the kitchen but her mind and her eyes are simultaneously working on all the fronts around each corner of the home. She is all the time a running machine taking multiple orders to meet everyone’s demands and needs.

A mother is the living encyclopedia that produces everybody’s answers with instant call facilities. Earlier, the proud holders of the wandering mind trophy were our housemaker and our mother, but now they have to share their trophies with everyone.

We don't have time for ourselves and we don't have time for others. When we complain about others that they are too busy all the time, they have the same counter-complaint about us. Somehow the complaint sheet is balanced out. We have mobile phones in our hands but we hardly make a call to somebody to inquire about their well-being; we call when we need them.

We need to reevaluate and rethink our words and actions in this moment where everything is spontaneous.

farhatrahmani786@gmail.com

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Printable version | Jan 20, 2020 1:48:21 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/opinion/open-page/the-ever-wandering-mind/article21822967.ece

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