07/30/2013 05:59 pm ET Updated Sep 29, 2013

An Open Letter to My Mind

Hello Mind...

It appears we need to have a little talk.

We've been through a lot together, you and me. And I want you to know I've always loved our partnership. I've appreciated your careful consideration when making decisions, your ability to find solutions to complex problems, and the ongoing, witty internal banter that's given me the distractions I sometimes need.

In fact, I've often found our banter to be quite clever, and have loved making myself chuckle over this somewhat wild existence we call life.


As you know, I've been working on a few things that involve you.

I'm trying to decrease the anxiety that comes from holding on to past memories that have no place, and future incidents that might not ever happen.

I've been trying to increase life's fulfillment by embracing each moment as it happens, and by not judging people or events that have nothing to do with me.

This means, of course, that I've been trying to get you to take down the constant chatter -- the seeming millions of thoughts I have in a day about everything, the string of analyses that accompany me through life.

I won't lie. It's been hard because all of these thoughts have kept me entertained and distracted from the things I haven't wanted to deal with.

In fact, if I'm being really truthful, I haven't been absolutely sure I even wanted to go through with this for this exact reason. Plus, I've been nervous that I would stop gaining knowledge, would lose my momentum for professional growth, would miss our clever quips.

And so I've given you mixed messages... but no more. Let me be clear.

I need you to eliminate the unnecessary thoughts so that I don't think my way through life, but experience it.

More specifically, I need you to:
  • Help me observe whether or not the thoughts that do come are relevant... and when they're not, visualize them falling away.
  • Remind me to focus on my five senses and my breathing when I feel compelled to think so that I can experience things and people in a whole new way.
  • Help me remember to live life without interpreting or comparing every experience to others. (Gosh, we've always loved comparing, haven't we?)
  • Cut out the snap assumptions about people so that I can fully listen to them instead of forming my own next sentence.
And me? I will remind myself every morning that this is what I want to do... that it will make life richer, happier and more successful.

To be honest, as I've worked on this so far I've found that most of our millions of thoughts are actually pretty irrelevant. They aren't about being smart, and they aren't even all that clever. They are just an ongoing, buzzing distraction that keeps me from fully enjoying things.

And so this little goal of ours makes a whole lot of sense.

It is a goal of ours, right? If you're not completely bought in, allow me to convince you now.

When we achieve this together...
  • We will see beauty where we hadn't before... because it's already there, waiting for us to see it.
  • We will get to know each unique person at a whole different level... because they're already there, waiting for us to know them.
  • We will pick up new levels of information, taste new layers in food, chuckle at, yes, the clever parts of life we hadn't noticed before... because it's all there, waiting for us to experience it.
Just think of it! Exciting, yes?

So let's give it a serious go and see what happens, shall we? I promise I will still use you for all of those thoughts that truly do matter.

Thank you, mind. We're in this together... and I'm excited to see what happens next!

With respect and gratitude,


For more by Deirdre Maloney, click here.

For more on happiness, click here.