Your mind wants telenovela

Esther is a confused human being
3 min readFeb 10, 2024

I don’t know about your brain, but I know that naturally, my brain wants telenovelas.

Even though I’ve minimized the amount of drama and gossip in my life, if I pay super close attention to what my mind is wandering, it never says,

It is usually play some telenovelas during my white noise mind wandering period, like stories in the past or imaginations in the future. For instance, if my mind is worrying about how my friendship problems will look in the future, I might imagine some scenarios. Or else, it can simply play what has happened and I felt emotional about it. I used to think that I cared about relationships. But nowadays, I wonder if it is a telenovela that naturally attracts my mind evolutionarily. This little girl is interested in stimulus and drama.

And I wonder, if I can reduce all this trashes in my brain, how will I feel? What will my life look like?

Hence, I decided to experiment with 80 mindful work hours next week. (I planned to do 100 hr but I think it goes against my intention of working mindfully) What I want to maximize here is the mindful work time that I’m free from all these telenovelas and distractions. I hypothesize that if anyone’s brain doesn’t play telenovela during mindless wandering, but thinking of math, they can probably be a pretty good mathematician.

So this practice is to regain control over my mind, so I can potentially spend more time thinking about things and problems that actually matter. I set an 80-hour work week, not in a way that I want to exhaust myself and feel miserable (or else I will be a consultant) but to exercise the potential to quickly get into focus and flow state. As I’m aware, when I’m tired and my mind wants to rest, even if I’m working, I don’t rest as I should, but mindlessly wander through my email inbox, messages, and random codes. And the purpose of 80 mindful work hours is to find the most effective ways to rest my mind when it needs to, while minimizing the distractions and telenovelas that play in my mind.

The next question you might ask is, what is considered as work then? I want to redefine work as a mindful and professional performing and learning process under high-quality attention. If I’m programming, yes I’m working as an engineer. If I’m focused on the techniques during my dance training, I’m also working. Scrolling through LinkedIn doesn’t count as working but reaching out to specific people I want to connect with for some reason is working. Reading a book doesn’t count as work. But carefully reading a book, taking notes, and organizing notes count. The point is on clear-headed direction and intention to achieve a present and flow state in every moment of work.

To do this, I will need to minimize most social invitations, message usages, and lousy sofa time. When I’m tired, I will probably meditate, vacuum, or ideate other things that can relax my mind the most. I imagine myself in quarantine but with super strong motivation to work, free from my initial perception of self so the work becomes part of me.

If I want to work 80 hr a week, then it means that I will need to work 11 hr 25 min 43 sec a day.

  • Wake up at 7 am
  • Work out, shower, breakfast: 7–9 am
  • Work: 9–12 am (3 hr)
  • Lunch: 12–1 pm
  • Work: 1–5 pm (4 hr)
  • Dinner: 5–6 pm
  • Work: 6–10:25 pm (4hr 25 min)

Hmm…if I just sit and coast, I think I can. But if I need to work mindfully, I don’t think it’s possible. But anyway, I need to give it a try and see how my telenovela becomes! See you on Monday!

I’m praying that my mind will think about the Taylor series automatically after this experiment.