Improving Linear Thinking

I tend to think that I cannot move forward unless the task at hand is complete.  I must do this (X), in order to do that (Y).  Or, I must finish this, before that happens.  Since this line of thinking aligns with a scientific mind, to continue this argument in mathematical terms – I’m implying that once X is complete, then Y can be started and completed, and thus Z will be yielded.


Completing X, then moving to Y, yielding Z is most definitely linear thinking and a linear workflow.

In some cases, it’s absolutely imperative for this formula to be followed strictly, if one aims to achieve something; their goals, a project, a deadline.  It’s easy to say to yourself “I gotta finish this.” Some things are indeed in a linear process. Reading, for example. Reading a chapter for a class, there is truly no other way to get to the end of the chapter without reading it all the way through.

However, even within the internal map of completing X has it’s own set of variables that can backfire on our mind, and our goals. Within the mindset of “I just gotta finish this chapter, now,” might lead to mindless reading, reading without attention and yield unfavorable results, say falling short in class realizing none of the reading material was retained.

While the reading itself is yet linear, linear thinking can trap our minds into timeline that is not now. It implies the following: “I must finish this, so that ….” Anytime we align ourselves with a time that is not now, our goals fall prey to consequence. That said, some might argue that we need a timeline in order to get things done, which is undeniably true and this does not intend to disagree. It argues that, in order to be successful in what we hope to achieve, we must stay present with each moment and hold the conclusion we hope to come to light. By staying right here, moment by moment, as we gently move toward the finish line, we can keep a steady pace, nourish ourselves in the process, while maintaining endurance for the long haul. When we move forward with this mindset, the results we yield often end up better than we had imagined.

This of course is the core practice of MINDFULNESS.