Forget about your “To Do” List.
Forget about bills.
Forget about Facebook.
Forget about the imaginary race you’re running with everyone else.
Forget about your toxic coworker, friend, or family member.
Forget about the butthead who cut you off during your morning commute.
Forget about the coffee you spilled on your keyboard, lap or shirt.
Forget about the snarky email that you stared at in your inbox for too long, and your equally snarky response sitting in drafts.
Forget about the sad egg salad sandwich that you ate by yourself while staring at your computer screen wondering how you got here.
Forget about “that thing” you said the other day that you can’t stop thinking about because you’re worried it made you look dumb.
Forget about impressing people with your extensive knowledge of [fill_in_the_blank].
For 15 minutes (or more if you have it), sit in your car, go for a walk, or sit somewhere quietly and just breathe. Set a timer if you must, but don’t look at your phone. Don’t listen to music, just the sound of your breath entering and leaving your body.
Whatever thoughts come to you in the moment, don’t fixate on any one too long, just acknowledge it and let it pass. Try as best as you can not to let your thoughts wander towards the past or the future.
I swear to you, if you do this every day, you will notice a shift in your perceptions and your psyche. You’ll be more patient with yourself and maybe with others too.
When you’ve finished each session, consider the quality of your thoughts. Were they negative? And if so, where is the negativity directed—towards yourself or someone else? Are there opportunities to transition those thoughts into something positive?
Now go back to your list of “forgets.” Will any of those things matter next week, next month or next year?
What happens when you commit to a daily practice of listening to yourself without distraction and absolute focus is the realization that we spend too much time worrying about things we have little to no control over and, in the grand scheme of things, don’t really matter.
I’m not trying to get all Tony Robbins on you, but if there’s something that I’ve taken away from my current “experiment”, it’s this: what happens when you stop focusing on the things that don’t matter is you now have the attention and energy to put towards the things that do.
Besides, when was the last time worrying about something or being mad at someone who didn’t know it improved your life? If you have an answer to that, please leave it in the comments below!