The previous post was about silencing your critic with action; to flow freely in the context of the moment, rather than the imagined future context that your inner critic is protecting you from.
This post reveals a powerful reason why getting everything out of your head (letting your ideas, thoughts, feelings, preoccupations… flow onto paper) is more than just an inner critic judo move. It cultivates a ready mind.
I’ve never heard anyone put this better than David Allen, creator of Getting Things Done:
In karate, there is an image that’s used to define the position of perfect readiness: “mind like water.” Imagine throwing a pebble into a still pond. How does the water respond? The answer is, totally appropriately to the force and mass of the input; then it returns to calm. It doesn’t overreact or underreact.
Anything that causes you to overreact or underreact can control you, and often does. Responding inappropriately to your email, your staff, your projects, your unread magazines, your thoughts about what you need to do, your children, or your boss will lead to less effective results than you’d like. Most people give either more or less attention to things than they deserve, simply because they don’t operate with a “mind like water.”
Getting Things Done is a set of tools and techniques that can help. I happen to use the Bullet Journal technique. Regardless how you unload your burdened mind, doing so is essential to fighting overwhelm.
Get clear: Mind like water.