How to Eliminate Your Useless Thoughts, Which Stopping You From Focusing

Saranamkaro Bhikku
4 min readJul 17, 2019

The Skill That All Writers Must Practice

Useless thoughts will limit your creativity.

Imagine the messy desk, a lot of things gathers on it like a pile of trash. You can not even put a paper to write anything as many garbage capturing your workspace.

Your brain is the same.

There is a workspace in your mind. It is limited space. If you fill this place with unnecessary thoughts, the rest is the room for your creativity.

Most of the research supports a messy desk, but I disagree. I don’t have a killer research to support my opinion but a successful person, Brian Tracy, said that the key to success is to always work from a clean desk.[1] It’s simple and powerful. Thus I’d believe in his result rather than research.

Eyes reflect how you feel, but your desk reveals how you think.

You can not know how much your phone’s battery left without an indicator, and it’s the same as your thought. You might not know how much time you are spending in your head and how many ideas you have in a day. Your desk will be the primary indicator for this task.

99% of All Thoughts Are Useless

Darius Foroux has mentioned in his post about two types of useful thought; (1) thinking about how you can solve problems, and (2) understanding knowledge.[2] But sometimes, trying to resolve any issues can be a useless thought too.

There is no end if you can not get any answer that counting as a solution. You will repeat to think again and again without getting a clue. This attempt only exhausts your mental and lower your productivity.

Why can you not get the answer?

  1. You haven’t got enough information or experience.
  2. It’s an external conflict, which is out of your control.

If you do not have enough information or experience in the problem, you are facing. Stop thinking for a while and research or find someone who expertise in that field. Quora might be useful. But if you cannot get the answer whatever you try, then let it go and solve some part of it to reduce the impact.

Sometimes it cannot be solved as it is out of your control. Instead of finding a solution, change the direction of your thought to what you can handle.

If it is going to rain, do not try to stop it, just bringing an umbrella.

How to Eliminate Your Useless Thoughts

I used to think about useless thoughts. Most of everything I see and hear can provoke my head, creating unnecessary thoughts or negative comments. It’s hard to keep calm in this state, and I become talkative to release those trash out of my head.

No one gains benefit from it.

In the 3rd year of being a monk, I was 23 years old at that time. Day by day, I spoke a lot like I can not live without being talkative, but it came to an end on one day. I felt uneasy to what I am. It’s not like I was happy talking, but it’s just dosing medicine to release my pain.

I had to change.

A specific person had told me that there were only three types of thoughts in this world;

Their business,

Your business,

And my business.

This hint became the principle of my training to get rid of useless thoughts.

I have to meditate and purify my mind, and it is my goal. The secret is, do nothing but think. If I can not eliminate useless thoughts, then how can I stop thinking anything? So, I aim to stop thinking; this is my business.

Whenever I thought something unrelated to my business, I would warn myself,

“It’s not your business!”

It took me two weeks to master this skill, and it would filter other’s business automatically, eliminating 80–90% of useless thoughts, feeling more clear in my head as the process cleaned it. My IQ was still the same, but I feel like I am wiser as I could use my brain more efficiency.

How To Practice this?

  1. Clarify your goal,
  2. Whenever you have a thought, expel the question that unable to answer or the unrelated idea to your goal,
  3. Do not force, warn yourself and then replace that thought with the appropriate one,
  4. If you have stress, think of nature for a while, sky, sea, tree, waterfall, or anything you like then repeat the process.

Training awareness is not as hard as you thought; it’s hard because you think it is. You will not have a workflow without focus. You will not have a focus without enough workspace in your head. If you want your workspace, you have to eliminate useless thoughts, then organize the rest.

Even it’s about thinking, but you can not solve with thinking. You can not clean mud with mud. You have to wash it with water.

Replace useless with useful, replace negative with positive, that’s how it works.

Thank you for reading.