Understanding What is inside your control vs outside your control

My mind is always thinking.

I am having thousands of thoughts and over some time I have realised that most of them are useless.

What’s a useless thought? Anything out of your control and without a useful purpose. Do you ever think about the past? That’s the perfect example of a random thought that lacks a purpose unless you’re reflecting on a past decision or a mistake you made. In the case of reflection, you’re doing something useful. But other than that, thoughts about the past serve no purpose. From this point of view, they’re useless. Ever fantasized about the future? That’s also useless

So the next step is How can I have only useful thoughts?

If you want to have useful thoughts, here’s a rule of thumb: Only think about things you can control. That automatically eliminates about 99% of your thoughts because there’s very little you can control in life.

I’ve discovered two main types of useful thoughts:

  • Thinking about how you can solve problems. A problem is just an unanswered question. Put your brain to use and think about how you can solve problems. There are a lot of those on this earth.
  • Understanding knowledge. That means this: Try to internalize knowledge and think about how you can use it.

Similarly, if you are a student preparing for an entrance exam, you should avoid useless thoughts you have while preparing for. You should focus on thinking about your concepts, chapters, and ideas and automatically all your useless thoughts will be banished. This will help you better understand your concept and keep you away from distractions.

Avinash Agarwal

Study Skill & Habit Coach,


Topper’s Study Hack, The Secret Code of UPSC Toppers

Bhagavad Gita, Vedas & Upanishads for students

Chaos to Clarity, Stop Being a Maggu

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