This girl could never focus on anything that was happening around her. Every time, someone spoke to her, she would only listen to bits and pieces of the conversation. This was because her mind would always fly away into some other topic.
That was also why the girl never understood anything completely. If the teacher was teaching, the girl’s mind would automatically start imagining a fairy tale where she was getting great marks and becoming the class topper. Of course, she did not become the class topper because she was not listening to the teacher when she should have been paying attention to the lesson. Rather, she was busy paying attention to her own imagination.
The girl continued this pattern in other areas too, and even when she grew up. She would remain severely distracted by her imagination, even when she was spending time with her friends. The other day, the girl suddenly noticed that her friend had been asking for her help but she had not realized it because she was so busy in her mind and inside her imaginary world.
As the girl continued to wander within her mind, her work began to get affected. She was not able to focus and complete any job in the right way. If she was cooking, then, she never cleaned up after her cooking. If she was working, she was not only unable to complete her work on time, but also got stuck at several places because her imagination was always tempting her with its several ideas.
Things finally came to a point where the girl understood that she had to stop her mind from wandering away all the time so that she could focus on and complete the jobs that were the most important for her. But the girl had already created a habit of wandering within the infinite place of her mind. So, how on earth would she be able to break a habit of a lifetime?! It was quite the challenging task, indeed.
In the beginning, the girl found it very difficult to change her mind’s ways. After all, the brain is an entity of habit, and habits not only take a long time to form, they also take a long time to break. So the girl knew that to form new habits, she had the break the old ones – that to be able to focus well outside, she had to stop being so distracted within herself.
And that was how the girl figured out that to grow strong outside, she would have to ground her to her own self.
My son had to answer a question that asked why plants and trees don’t move. His answers ranged from not having the ability to move to not having limbs the way animals and humans do. Whichever way he answered the question, it all led to the one same answer – the plants are rooted to the ground, and rooted well enough to focus on their growth.
Humans have evolved to become wanderers, of the mind and the body. With our incessant questioning and trying to do something different, we have grown to develop the ability to become masters of our own time.
But even as we progress, we have failed to pay attention to the progression of the mind. Intelligence, today, is widespread. So are distractions. We are going “wow” over an entire generation of highly-intelligent humans, most of whom have fallen prey to the world of distractions.
As the distractions of the virtual world churn within the mind, it is these very distractions that become loudest thoughts and loudest voices within our heads. Everything from the undeniable need to constantly check our smartphones to constantly checking on our kids is the result of the wandering of the mind.
All of this happens because we have either consciously or sub-consciously programmed our minds into wandering away into distractions. But not everyone who wanders, gets lost. And just like the girl in the story, we can all work on figuring out ways to getting back home and to ourselves.
The earliest learning did not happen in the boxes that are called schools. It happened when you and I observed and learnt from Nature, the greatest school. Personal growth can happen only when we grow like the tree, grounded and focused to our growth.
Here’s to wandering away but always finding our way back home!