Trash Absentmindedness Now!
You are absentminded when your mind is absent; when you perform actions unconsciously, without thinking. There is a distinct difference between seeing and observing - we see with our eyes, but we observe with our minds. If your mind is “absent” when performing an action, there can be no observation; more important, there can be no original awareness. Absentmindedness is probably the most widespread of minor self-annoyances. Although it plagues most of us, it seems particularly to affect the elderly. The techniques we’ll discuss here have succeeded in eliminating absentmindedness for countless people, including the elderly.
To some people, absentmindedness may seem to be a trivial problem. Perhaps they don’t realize how much time, energy, and aggravation they spend on searching for items they “just put down for a moment,” or on worrying about whether they have turned off the oven, locked the door, unplugged the iron, or on retrieving items they have left in trains, buses, cars, offices, and friends’ homes. The solution to the problem of absentmindedness is both simple and obvious: All you have to do is to be sure to think of what you’re doing during the moment in which you’re doing it, That’s all, but obviously it’s easier said than done. How can you be sure to force yourself to think of a minor action at the moment you’re doing it? There’s only one way, and that is by using association. Since association forces Original Awareness - and since being Originally Aware is the same as having something register in your mind in the first place, at the moment it occurs - then forming an instant association must solve the problem of absentmindedness.
Let’s use a quick example: You’re writing at your desk and the phone rings. As you reach for the phone, you place the pencil behind your ear, or in your hair. The phone call is finished - that took only a few minutes - but now you waste time searching for the pencil that’s perched behind your ear. Would you like to avoid that aggravation? Well then, the next time the phone rings and you start to place the pencil behind your ear, make a fast mental picture in your mind. Actually “see” the pencil going into your ear - all the way. The idea may make you shudder, but when you think of that pencil, you’ll know where it is. That silly association of seeing the pencil go into your ear forced you to think of two things in a fraction of a second: 1) the pencil, and 2) where you were putting it. Problem solved! Solved, that is, if you make an association each time you put down your pencil, wherever you put it. Just make it a habit. Keep the idea in mind the first few times, force yourself to form the associations, and after that it will become habitual.
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