An active mind is a product of depending on one’s own mind to generate everyday activities. An active mind creates situations; a passive mind merely reacts to situations. A person with an active mind enjoys “thinking about things” and “doing things” and can easily entertain oneself.
Entertainment used to mean doing something that takes effort that you enjoy. For active-minded people, it still does. But most people today think of “entertainment” as effortless electronic watching and hearing. The change in behavior from active to passive has redefined the very idea of entertainment.
TV, Internet, video games, and many other electronic entertainments by their very nature lull the brain into passivity. They typically exclude the possibility of mentally active participation.
An active mind never has a dread or anxiety about “time to fill.” The idea of “time to fill” is alien to an active mind, because time is always already filled with stimulating or at least interesting activity, whether purely mental activity, or proactively planned physical activity, or combinations of mental and physical activity, whether social or solitary. A person with an active mind has a well-developed habit of easily filling free time—whether it’s a lot of free time during a vacation, or a half-hour of free time before going to bed—with interesting, stimulating, enjoyable ways of entertaining oneself.
Active minds get excited about free time. Passive minds get anxiety about free time.
The problem is, there is never enough time for an active mind to do everything it wants to do. Feeling bored is a contradiction in terms to the active mind, because “feeling” of any kind is always accompanied by action. A passive mind has no access to this kind of internally generated life experience.
Anyone with a more passive mind can change to a more active mind. So if you have been lulled into the yawning stagnation of passivity, become an active mind today. Active minds make it happen.
This entry is from my book
Potential of an Active Mind: How to Recapture the Magic of Everyday Life
© copyright Robert Rose-Coutré 2009, 2011, and 2012