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Is The Idle Mind Really A Devil’s Workshop?

An idle mind is the devil's workshop

An idle mind is the devil's workshop

This saying was said to stress upon the fact that people who have no aim in life, and do not get proper jobs always feel discontented and thus, tend to develop anti social tendencies. You may have noticed that you are always refreshed when you are busy, but when you are idle for long periods of time, you just don’t know why or how, but strange and rather negative thoughts come to the mind. We often tend to dwell upon the bad things that have happened to us, and develop negative feelings for ourselves. Most of the unemployed youth in the urban areas often turn to a life of crime.

But how far does this hold? In today’s world, most of us have clearly defined roles. We have certain jobs to do to earn a living, and we have certain responsibilities. Even students have too much to do these days. So basically, most of us are never that free. Even if we get some free moments, we tend to spend them on the internet, chatting up with friends and so on. But after a while, the routine, the work targets, the pressures from the family – it all adds up. And we find ourselves in the middle of a crisis. The crisis is not financial – it is personal. We find that we are unable to find pleasure in anything, everything appears to be inadequate and annoying, and we just don’t like anything or anyone anymore. We become frustrated, angry, and we don’t know what we are doing with ourselves. We find ourselves lost and lonely in the abyss that is our life.

Why does this happen? Why do all of us, at some point feel that life is useless? All of us after a while feel that we have been working too hard for things that we don’t really want, to earn money that we don’t know how to spend, and buy stuff that we don’t really need. We feel that we should have taken the other path – that of finding love and companionship. People who don’t focus on their careers as much resent the amount of time they have wasted, and feel cheated because they feel in the process of trying to maintain a balance, somewhere they fell off the wagon. They feel that they have wasted too much time on a relationship that doesn’t work, on people who don’t really care, and on friends who have now moved on with their separate lives. Nobody is every happy, and we are all a confused and bewildered bunch.

These feelings could be avoided if we converted idle time into leisure time. It is very important that you focus on your career. You need to have definite goals in life, and this must be set only after you have assessed thoroughly your own strengths and weaknesses. It helps if you have a timeline established – it gives you a better sense of direction. Your primary focus, at least in the first few years of life should be towards the achievement of these goals. It would help even better, if you at first envisioned yourself living the perfect life. This will help you set realistic targets, and not expect too much out of yourself.

Having done this, you must now focus on trying to make the most out of your free time. Set aside a small amount of time – at least 15 minutes or half an hour as “Me Time”. In this time, you should just switch of your mobiles, and ask for complete privacy. Then let yourself completely relax. Don’t think about unachieved targets, or some responsibilities. Use this time to do something that you like to do – like reading a book, or listening to some music. The value of this time is very precious and very sacred, as you are spending time with yourself, giving yourself what you really want.

And lastly –  always introspect. Think each night before you sleep what you have done that day. Try to figure out whether you are moving closer towards your goals or are moving away. If you find at some point that you are digressing from your goals, don’t feel bogged down. Instead, try to figure out what is causing the diversions. It could be because your goals have changed, and you did not realise it. Revise your goals then, and set new targets. By thinking of what you have achieved, instead of what you have not, you will be creating a very happy feeling in yourself. You will have a sense of achievement, and create a very positive aura around you. Thus, make the most out of your idle moments.

About Anindita Chatterjee

Career and Education: I am currently PGDM 2nd year student (operations) from K J Somaiya Institute of Management Studies and research, Mumbai. I had a prior work experience of almost 2 years at Verizon Data Services India, Hyderabad, where I served as a server administrator. My work involved troubleshooting all kinds of OS and Hardware problems with Windows 2003 servers. My graduation consists of BE in IT from CBIT, Hyderabad. Social: Born in Mumbai to Bengali parents, raised in Hyderabad, studying now in Mumbai, I am pretty much the PAN Indian. I love making friends and meeting new people, although I wouldn’t really call myself a social butterfly. I love writing, and am a voracious reader – be it fiction or non-fiction. I think that one of the biggest comforts in life is being able to curl up on the couch with a great, exciting new book after a day’s work. I also enjoy all kinds of music, and I am a complete movie buff. I realise that there are grey areas in most issues, but I do call a spade a spade, when it’s glaringly obvious. I believe in God, but I’m not religious. I feel that it’s important to focus on the purpose rather than the medium used to achieve the purpose.

One comment

  1. good article! but i don’t agree at a couple of points. Firstly, you don’t have “negative” thoughts coming to you due to lack of work or an engaging job, what bothers people the most is that why does suddenly things and people become meaningless for them in life. The very job that was supposed to keep them busy and divert all the restless energy seems like an onus and you seem to work on an automotive- purposeless, doing things because they have to be done and not because “you” WANT to do them.
    its true that these activities can be attributed to a variety of causes (Mind you! human beings are pretty good at finding the cause, how accurate is the cause is a different story altogether), but more often than not, the cause is a big zilch. i suggest the book “Veronica decides to die” by Paulo Coelho- a young girl with a bright future filled with unlimited possibilities decides to commit suicide due to lack of a convincing reason to live.
    No i don’t encourage suicidal tendencies, neither do i encourage people to sit idly and ponder upon the abstract for nothing. but if things bother you, think! and then, talk! it might help after all. if it won’t, then the ultimate healer- time will 🙂

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