According to the internet, John Heywood once said "Out of sight, out of mind.” I not only believe this is true, but think the reverse is true as well!
For example, have you ever noticed that if you see food sitting on the counter, you tend to eat it faster than if it’s put away in the cupboard? A big part of why this occurs is that our eyes are constantly drawing our attention to objects that are in view. Anything we see on a daily basis has a profound effect on our behavioral habits, whether we realize it or not.
When it comes to food, one of the best ways to avoid overeating is to simply keep unhealthy snacks out of sight. This means keeping them in the pantry or cupboard instead of on the countertop or in plain view. But it’s not just food we should organize and keep in its proper place. We should regularly self-assess everything we surround ourselves with in life that enters our mind through visualizations.
Your Hidden Mirrors
There are many hidden mirrors in our lives that show us partial reflections of who we are. Your writing reflects the state of your mind. Your friends reflect parts of your morality; what you believe is right or wrong and how to treat others. There are many others hidden mirrors in life, but there are two that most of us overlook: Your PC and cellular phone desktops.
Both of our digital desktops are rarely seen or used by others, so it's easy to let things get cluttered and chaotic. But the truth is that those messy screens can make it harder to focus on any task you perform on them.
So next time you're feeling overwhelmed by your to-do list, take a few minutes to clean up your desktops. As we rarely realize that the messier your pc or device desktops are, the harder it can be to focus on the things you need to get done.
Now try taking a look at any of your hidden mirrors you think may need some tidying up, and go through the same process. You can try it with your room, your workspace, your tablet, your car, everything. Afterwards, you may be surprised at how much cleaning your hidden mirrors can help you focus and make it easier to perform your planned tasks each day.
Visualizations – Dreams and Gravity
We have an odd way of gravitating towards and desiring what our eyes take in over time. Like a beautiful woman, man, or a bag of chips. Yes, those are my top 3. Anyway… Our eyes are constantly bombarded with visual stimuli, and over time, we develop a tendency to gravitate towards certain types of visual input.
This could be something as simple as a preference for certain colors or patterns, or it could be a more complex attraction to certain types of people or objects. Regardless of what it is that we're attracted to, the visual input that we take in on a daily basis plays a big role in shaping our desires and goals.
For example, if we see someone who is exceptionally beautiful or fashionable, it's only natural that we might start to desire those same qualities for ourselves. Similarly, if we see somebody achieving something great that we've always dreamed of, it can motivate us to start working towards that same goal. In a way, visualizations can act as powerful motivators, helping us to stay focused on our dreams and goals.
Of course, not all visual input is positive or helpful. Just as we gravitate towards things that we want, we can also gravitate towards things that we don't want. If we see somebody experiencing success, we have a choice to feel jealous or resentful. Alternatively, if we see somebody experiencing failure, it can make us feel anxious or discouraged. So, it’s very important to be aware of the impact that visualizations can have on our emotions and overall state of mind.
Although we might not realize it, our physical environment has a big impact on our mood, focus, and productivity. If we're not careful, they can have a very negative effect on our lives. That's why it is critical to take a few moments every now and then to tidy up our space and refresh our surroundings. And remain mindful of the content we allow into our lives both physically and digitally.
What You Let Into Your Sight, Eventually Becomes Part of You
It's been said that you are what you eat. And while that is true in regards to physical nourishment, it can also be applied to what you expose yourself to visually.
Epictetus was a Stoic philosopher who lived during the height of the Roman Empire. His belief that "you become what you give attention to" has resonated with people for centuries, and it continues to be relevant in our modern lives. When we allow something to enter our sight on a regular basis, it inevitably becomes part of us. This could be why athletes and fighters spend so much time watching game film or shadowboxing--they know that if they can visualize success, they are more likely to achieve it.
Every decision we make, every action we take, is influenced by what we allow into our sight. If we fill our minds with negative images and thoughts, we will eventually become negative and depressed. But if we fill our minds with positive images and thoughts, we will eventually become positive and successful.
The more I give thought to Epictetus’ claim that "You become what you give attention to," the more I feel it is pretty accurate for most things in life. So, let's make sure we are giving our attention to the things that will help us become the best version of ourselves.
Conclusion: Don’t Judge Yourself Too Hard & Do Not Fear Change
Anything our senses take in can have a profound effect on our thoughts and behavior, but what we habitually allow to enter our vision is something we can take for granted. So, whether it is your everyday physical surroundings or your digital devices, try to set aside some time each week to get rid of excess clutter and only keep what brings you joy in your line of sight.
One warning: Whenever we try something new, for better or worse, change is a constant and is inevitable. So do your best to not judge yourself too much whenever you try to add or subtract new things into your life. You didn’t judge yourself too harshly when you left that giant bag of chips on the counter and ended up eating all of it last week, did you? Then don’t judge yourself so hard whenever you fail, or succeed, at any adjustments like these.
By tidying up our physical and digital spaces and being more selective about what we allow into our sight, we can declutter our minds and create healthy habits for living both online and offline.
What will you do to begin reclaiming your visual space today?
© 2022 BK Johnsen