Asking one particular question of every person I came in contact with, I could guarantee you that I’d get at least a 90% “yes” response or higher.
What is the question?
I’ll tell you in just a few seconds. First, however, I want to ask you to help yourself and others, beyond reading this article. How?...Choose to help us conduct our own study survey together, by sharing your answers to my questions here in the comment section of this blog.
If you choose not to participate, that's fine, just read through the information as you may find this perspective on mindset helpful to you, or to someone you know.
The one particular question, that I mentioned above, is:
Q1 - Do you have a junk drawer in your home, garage or office?
Now, some of you may have more than a drawer. I know some people have a junk tote, a junk cabinet, or even a junk room. Heck, some even have a house full of junk.
(Note: For more info on extreme “stuff” issues, see future blog entries on hoarding.)
If you answered “yes” to Q1, please ask yourself the remaining quick questions:
Q2 - Where is your junk drawer located?
Q3 - Is your junk drawer spreading out to other areas?
Q4 - Is your junk drawer a catch all for everyone’s things, OR...is it your personal stash of miscellaneous items?
Q5 - How often do you look for something in your junk drawer?
Q6 - For laughs…What is the oddest item you have ever found in your junk drawer?
As for my answers, yes I have one. My junk drawer is located in my kitchen. It is the top drawer of four, on the end of our island. It is a multi-purpose catch all that is used by the whole family. It is a typical junk drawer containing: a variety of lose tools, pens and pencils; single nails, screws and picture hangers (left over from any number of household tasks); an assortment of glues; rolls of electrical, masking, and duck tape; unused shelving hardware; string and bundles of twist ties; different sized paper and binder clips; colorful push pins and old business card magnets; miscellaneous arts and crafts objects; broken toy parts still in a state of fix-me-i-tis; and lets not forget those all familiar “got-me?” parts…otherwise known as: the “I have no idea what this goes to, but keep it just in case” parts. I probably go into this drawer at least once a day. The oddest thing in my junk drawer at this time is a thick black adhesive-backed Tom Selleck style mustache. Lastly, I used to clean out and organize my junk drawer on an As-Needed basis. Now, I take inventory, sort and clean out the physical and mental junk drawer every week just so I can stay ahead of the clutter, rather than give into "it".
Does any of this sound familiar to you, with or without the mustache?
You don't have to answer any of my questions, of course, but I want you to at least think about all your answers, especially on the following four...
Q7 - Have you ever hurt yourself rummaging around in your junk drawer?
I certainly have! I can remember jamming something sharp into one of my fingers, more than one time. Once by an awl, a second time by a piece of twisted wire for the back of a picture frame, an unfolded paperclip jammed up under my finger nail and of course I’ve been a casualty of many surprise push pin attacks.
Now that we have established that you have a junk drawer and may or may not have been hurt by the items in your drawer, answer me this…
Q8 - How often do you clean your junk drawer out and organize the contents: once a week, once a month, once a year, or only when you get so frustrated looking for something you can’t find that you have to clean it out in order to regain some control?
I know you probably already asked yourself…
What does my junk drawer have to do with mindset?
A lot, actually!
If you take time to think about all your answers, you will discover that often your outward everyday actions and how you manage (or mismanage) certain tangible things in your life is directly related to your mindset and how you manage what is intangible.
In other words, your outside...mirrors what's going on inside.
For example, if you're prone to throw stuff into your junk drawer to "deal with it later" and seldom follow through...
You most likely do the same thing with your emotional "stuff" by tossing them into your mental junk drawer.
Think about it right now...
Q9 - What internal junk is holding you back right now from getting what you want and need? What sits in the back of your mind, taking up valuable space, causing you pain every time you come across "it" ?
From my personal experience and from my experience as a strategic coach, I found out that too many people suffer the consequences of a junk drawer mindset.
This type of mindset is often caused by the fact that most of us are unsure about what we should do with all our mental junk: the "ITs" I speak of in this article.
"ITs" are: things that have happened to us in our past or present; unanswered life questions; unsettled feelings; loss; pain; insecurity; failures; and fears…
In fact, there is so much going on in our lives that most days our mental junk drawers are just as stuffed and overflowing as our physical ones. When this happens we are more likely to get stressed, overwhelmed and feel as though we have no control.
So, in order to gain some sense of control and reduce our immediate stress, we will often choose to throw our "ITs" into a mental junk drawer...with the idea that we will figure out where “it” goes when we create a better home for “it”. We will ultimately deal with “it” when we deem that we have the time and the ability to face “it”. We will dig through all the other junk and use “it” on an as-needed basis. We tell ourselves and others that we will fix “it” later. And…We will throw out what doesn’t work anymore, when we decide “it” no longer has value to us.
The biggest problem with having a mental junk drawer, is…”IT” is seldom dealt with, organized, fixed or discarded, all while we continually hurt ourselves rummaging around looking for that very thing we need. As this junk drawer mentality takes hold, we get frustrated, angry, sad, or worse…numb. Why? Because very few of us ever walk away from our mental junk drawer with peace, understanding and acceptance of what’s missing. As a result, we learn to expect less as life keeps repeating itself.
Another way of saying this is:
When we don’t understand things, can’t find what we need, and eventually give up looking…
We wind up settling for what we don’t have until it becomes the only thing we know.
So how do you get rid of your mental junk drawer?
I wish I could say…All you have to do is close your eyes, take a deep breath and say what you want and then all your dreams will come true.
We both know that's not how it works!
Well, not entirely, anyway.
What I do know to be true firsthand, however, is that although there are many exercises I can teach you that do have almost instant results when you start out by closing your eyes, breathe, visualize and or express what you want and need…there are still other steps that you must do in order to turn the fairytale antidote above into a real life successful cure.
One other amazing thing I know to be true is that…
ANYONE can find the answers they seek and create the life they want,
If they are ready to do the work, go through the steps, and make positive changes happen.
Q10 - Do you want to learn to let go, be fulfilled, know your purpose, be passionate, be happier, be healthier, get what you want and need, love and be loved better and be more prosperous?
If you said yes, then it is up to you to take the next step. Learn how easy it can be to make positive change happen in your life with an organized, effective and positive mindset. Turn your junk drawer into a space that gives you the tools you need, at first glance, to help you achieve what you want and need.
It's time to empty your junk drawers so you can organize your mental and physical mess…
The steps to do this, in short form, are:
1.) Recognize that you want and need more and Accept that with help you can make it happen.
2.) Decide to learn how you can achieve what you want and need.
3.) Choose to work with me, or some other professional, to create a personal positive mindset.
4.) Customize and Establish your short and long term life success goals, with guidance.
5.) Commit to yourself and your life success steps so you can achieve what you want and need.
6.) Take Action and Implement what you learn with on-going support
7.) Celebrate every success no matter how big or small.
8.) Maximize your life success and Empower others to do the same.
For more detailed information on each step and how to get some instant positive mindset results…
Connect with me…It’s time! What are you waiting for?
I look forward to hearing from you!
Junk Drawer Mindset, by CJ Harlan © copyright 2012