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Mind your thoughts

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Our world is the external projection of our thoughts; I am hungry becomes you eating.  I am scared of you hiding under the bed; I will ace that interview becomes you preparing to ace that interview.  Thoughts are the basic unit of anything we do; they come first before any action.  If we understand our thoughts, we can ideally change our lives forever.

What kinds of thought?

On a typical day, several thoughts cross our minds.  From thinking about feeding the cat to thinking about the work that awaits us in the office to how we will strangle our best friend for leaving us with that girl, she set us up with.

Most of what we think about, however, does not register and stays in our minds for a very short time.  If you were asked what you thought about at 2:17 pm five days ago, you are not likely going to remember.  Why then are we talking about thoughts?  Well, some thoughts form the basis of our identity, thoughts that tell us who we are, and these are the thoughts we are interested in.

Winner Loser or fried fish?

The thoughts that form the basis of our identity are the thoughts that drive us each day.  A person could think of himself as a problem solver, get up each day, and face a multitude of challenges without getting overly troubled.  Why?  A problem solver must face problems.

Likewise, a person can think of himself as someone who got an unfair bargain of life.  Guess what?  That person will get tons of confirmation.  If you both were individuals in the same, room with various obstacle courses at the end of which a satisfying result awaits, both individuals would respond to whatever happens in different ways.  The problem solver is likely to keep going and trying different tactics to get to the reward while the "unfair bargain guy" will keep moaning and complaining.

The problem solver will likely have more thoughts about solving; likely to go like what can I do, how do I, what have I overlooked, what can I learn.  The unfair bargain person will likely think; what would they put me here, why are they out to get me, why did not they pick someone else, am I the only one, life is so unfair to me.  I would like you to think about yourself.  What are the thoughts you that you have that define you the most?  Do you think of yourself as a winner or a loser or as fried fish? 

You control the thoughts you act upon

We sometimes have no control over what comes into our minds.  The good news, however, is that we can choose what to think about when we want to, and we can consciously pick the thoughts we pay attention to.  When our dog pees on the rug again, we sometimes think of driving her out to a dark alley in a dark street and leaving her there for a week so she can think about what she has done, but we usually do not act on that impulse.

In addition, when our kid brother does that one annoying thing again, we do not go to his room, smash all his glass figurines, and flush his pet turtle down the toilet even though that is absolutely what we think of doing.  My point is we can pick the thoughts we act upon.  When we pick the thoughts to act upon, we automatically begin to think thoughts related to that act more.  If we consciously think about workouts and we begin to work out, after a while, workout thoughts will dominate our minds.  To fix our thoughts, we need to do what we want to think.

Fixing your thoughts

Like with workout thoughts, we can change the basic thought through which we see the world.  If we want to switch from thinking like a loser to thinking like a winner, we simply need to go through the following steps

  • First, we realize that we are who we think we are and our world is what we think it is
  • Second, we examine our thoughts and redesign your thoughts
  • Finally, you act on your newly crafted thought.

For example, when your boss orders a new pile of work dropped on your table, and you begin to catch yourself thinking about how he is out to get you, you take a mental step back and realize that we are who we think we are and our world is what we think it is.  You then redesign the thought and convert it to something like; my boss has noticed I am a hard worker, and he has decided to trust me with another important piece of work.  You then act on that thought and try to work using that mindset because no matter how much you redesign your thoughts, if you don’t act on it, you will get no were.

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