5 Mantras to Handle Mental Minions
Mental Minions are those little distractions that we impulsively respond to. These Minions travel in packs, and typically strike when you're supposed to be focusing on a task, especially something long-term and meaningful. Here's how NOT to get Minion-ed.
Mental Minions jump onto the screen of your consciousness just as you sit down to write a page of your screenplay. They say, in their irresistible little Minion voices: Throw in a load of laundry. Straighten up the hall closet. Shampoo the cat.
As seemingly innocuous as they are, mental Minions are deadly to your dreams.
The good news is that they are easy to spot. And I reckon I don’t really need to talk about how to recognise them. We know deep down that FaceBook is pulling us away from our yoga mat or our keyboard. We all have our sneaky little time sucks.
It’s what we can do instead of checking social media, or the contents of the fridge yet again.
Here are five mantras to stave off a Minion-attack:
‘No one is coming.’ I am the cause of what I want to see come to fruition. Nathaniel Brandon’s between-the-eyes quote can catalyse us into action. We fantasize about someone or something rescuing us from our powerlessness, distraction or apathy. No one is coming. Just more Minions.
It’s not know-how, it’s want-to. It is easier than ever to find out how to do something. Don’t know how to start a podcast? Google it. Same goes for running a workshop, learning to knit or writing a book. The coach Steve Chandler talks about the power of being proactive. We don’t need to be over-identified with the outcome. We don’t even need to believe in ourselves, or our work. We just need to show up. Then start somewhere.
It’s going to be hard. Parts of whatever you’re creating will be challenging, dull and lonely. Some bits may even hurl you into a canyon of self-doubt. But that’s OK! You got this. Focusing solely on the idea that ‘it’s hard’ is an instant cue for mental Minions. Stay on the path by making peace with the fact that some parts will be almost too challenging to bear. My friend Emma has a tattoo on her inner wrist that reads, ‘This will change.’ She sees it when things are up. She sees it when things are down. There will be hard parts. And everything will change.
My big self drives the dream bus. We all have a small, frightened self that churns out excuses about why our dream is pointless. It’s already been done. I’ll fail – what’s the point? Mental Minions love to hang out with the small, cynical self. In his book, Courageous Dreaming, medical anthropologist and shaman, Alberto Villoldo, says, ‘We can either have what we want or the reasons why we can’t.’ The big self understands this.
Action, then motivation. Here’s the thing about motivation: it rarely strikes at the moment when we’ve scheduled time for our task. Few people get a jolt of elation when they see their muddy trainers, or when they open a new Word document. Once you’ve started, motivation joins you like a friend along the way. Action creates traction. Distraction just multiplies.
How about you? Do you have a mantra for handling distractive impulses? Share in the comment box (scroll right down).
And if you liked this, check out my blog, ‘How Apathy is Anaesthetizing Your Dream (and what Yoda has to say about it)’ here. Thanks for stopping by. I’m so glad you’re here.