I recently found a new favorite TV show: BBC’s Sherlock with Benedict Cumberbatch. One of Sherlock’s keys of deduction is going to his “mind palace,” or as written in books by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, his “brain attic.” This quote from the book series really made me think about what thoughts I’m storing in my attic:
“I consider that a man’s brain originally is like a little empty attic, and you have to stock it with such furniture as you choose. A fool takes in all the lumber of every sort that he comes across, so that the knowledge which might be useful to him gets crowded out, or at best is jumbled up with a lot of other things…”
So let’s do a little experiment and help me fill in the blanks:
- “It’s the eye of the tiger, it’s the ________”
- “The milk chocolate melts in your mouth, not _________”
- “My mama always said ‘Life is like a box of chocolates; you __________________.'”
I’m going to guess that you probably knew all of those plus more that I didn’t include. That proves that our minds are packed with song lyrics, product slogans and movie quotes, at the very least.
Let’s say that Sherlock is on to something, and we can only store a certain amount of data in our minds. Shouldn’t we then be careful about what we allow in there?
If you are into spring cleaning, let’s start with our brain attics. Toss the useless bits of information like song lyrics, movie quotes, product slogans, and trivia and information that doesn’t serve us like past hurts, mistakes, limiting beliefs about ourselves and regrets. Replace all that “junk” with:
Bible verses. Memorize one each week.
Positive thoughts. Henry Ford said, “Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t–you’re right.”
Thoughts about others. It’s so easy to be consumed with thoughts of ourselves– the things we need to do each day; things we aren’t doing right; things we would like to get, buy or do. But we can retrain our brains to see others around us.