Did you know you have the power – right now – to change your life? It’s true! The key is learning how to change your thoughts so that you can use them to gain the upper hand in a chaotic world. [Let’s be honest…most of our lives seem to be chaotic these days.]
The secret is all about finishing what you start.
It might seem too simple to work but when I tell you just how simple it really is, you’ll likely wonder why you didn’t think of it before this moment.
Your mind is filled with clutter that you don’t even realize you have. It messes up your moments, your days, your years, your decades because all that clutter is inefficient (as most clutter tends to be).
Everything that happens in life is a cycle. A well-known philosopher named Alfred North Whitehead defined this as an action loop. There is a start, a finish, and the part in the middle that is the process or the action.
This applies to small processes such as, “I need to organize the linen closet” to much bigger tasks such as, “I need to go back to school so I can change my career.” These loops are part of your home, your profession, your personal relationships, your health, and even your meals.
They can be tasks you recognized needed doing today or unfinished business from thirty years ago. The more “open” loops you have, the less efficient you are on a daily basis because your mind is littered with information that is outdated, chores that were never done but remain in the back of your mind, and even people who are no longer part of your life.
Open loops = time slows.
Closed loops = time progresses.
In order to change your life, you have to close out your unfinished business!
Make a list of your own “unfinished” business. Separate them into categories and label them by importance. Take the least important open loop on your list and complete it today. If that open loop is “clean out the freezer,” then get up, do that task, and close that loop for good. Then take the next least important task that might be “send a card to so-and-so for their birthday,” and then the next “take clothes to charity,” until you have several smaller, less critical loops closed.
Why go in order of least important to most important? To train your mind to close loops, you must have practice. The best practice is to conquer small bites of clutter.
In my teachings, I stress that there are two very distinct aspects of these action loops that makes them such an important part of your daily existence. They also define whether your life is well planned and focused or filled with random disorder that gets you nowhere you want to be.
Efficiency: the orderly way in which you complete your action loops.
Power: the speed at which you complete your action loops.
If you planned to organize your filled attic, you wouldn’t start in the middle of the room and try to carry a big piece of furniture downstairs. You wouldn’t have the space to maneuver it! You have to work your way to that large armoire or table by organizing the stacks of boxes and clearing room for you to work.
That is how to change your thoughts to be efficient and close loops in an orderly fashion.
When you start with small tasks, you are able to close more loops in less time. The more clutter you clear away, the faster you will become at removing the cobwebs of random information and responsibilities from your mind.
You alter your thinking to a place of power and close loops more quickly.
When you do not have control over your own thoughts, you feel sluggish, disoriented, and disconnected. As you close loops, you gain strength and focus.
That is when things truly get interesting. You see, most of mankind “goes with the flow,” doing the same things that everyone else does because that is what is considered “normal.” Normal is also “average.”
If you are content in your life, without the desire to do more than what you are doing right now, then you are a normal, average person who can close loops and improve efficiency in your daily life. It will make you feel more energetic and likely happier.
However, if you’re someone looking to change your life…
If you’re a person who is driven, who is always looking to do more, be more, and accomplish more, then the next step is learning how to manipulate your action loops.
There will still be a start and an end, but the process in the middle will now be filled with your “willful intent” to complete specific actions while also actively foreseeing and stopping those things that you do not want in the process.
Cause: starting a process with the willful mindset that you will accomplish it.
Prevention: preventing those pitfalls in the process that will derail you.
Desired Transformation: getting the results you want.
Producing real, measurable change in your life is not difficult. It simply takes practice and concentration.
Make your list of open loops, start with the smallest items on your list, begin closing those loops, and then apply that process to the larger, more complex unfinished business.
Once you’ve closed as many loops as you can – no matter how old or the level of importance – you can begin to actively open loops with your willful intent, affect change in your life, see them through to completion, and close those loops with your desired transformation in hand.
It may seem too simple but once you make your list, once you see how many open loops you have in your house, your job, your relationships, and so on, you’re going to understand why you can’t seem to get anything done.
Clear the clutter. Change your life. Embrace the magnificent potential of your mind.