The Positive versus Negative Thinking Series Continued
One of the biggest revelations to me about the whole positive thinking and self-growth phenomenon was the whole idea that you can control what you think. The concept that the thoughts going on in your mind were controllable was a big surprise to me. To be honest I did not even think about it, I just went merrily and sometimes not so merrily on my way reacting to daily incidents as they happened. I was completely ignorant in that I had a say in what I thought and what emotions where generated and dwelt upon.
I suppose what I thought about my brain was that it was much like my lungs, in that it was just another organ that did its job. I mean nobody told them to breathe, the lungs just carry on day in and day out extracting oxygen in some miraculous way from the air that we breathe in. From that first reaction we had to the little smack on ones bottom that we get from the doctor that delivered us: Slap! – huuuuuhhhh! We breathe, and then we do it, and keep doing it instinctively for the rest of our lives. No one says little Johnny if you don’t breathe you die! They do tell you a little later on in life that if you breathe in cigarette smoke together with the air it will do bad things to your lungs and your body, but a vast percentage of the population manage to not think about that.
That brings me back to thinking. Notice the phrase “we choose not to think about it.” There it is again – the idea that we can CHOOSE what we think about, it’s all around us, but yet we ignore it. We go on allowing our minds to run amuck, to think whatever it likes with gay abandon. We allow ‘garbage’ into it all the time, ignoring the well know computer term GIGO, which means garbage in garbage out. The garbage I am referring to is gossip, violence and negative news, much of which the majority of us imbibe in generous doses every day.
Well the truth is no matter how much we avoid the issue, the fact is that we can and must not only control what goes into our minds, we can and must control what we think about!
Every train of thought, like a passenger train, takes us somewhere. It has an effect on our ultimate destination, our ultimate destiny. Doesn’t that make you think? Well I hope so! I hope it switches on the proverbial light bulb. I’d like it to generate an ‘ahah’ moment, if you have not had one already. Every thought affects your destiny! The thing is thoughts are not just hap-hazard, or at least they should not be. Each one is linked to another. It’s a bit like a filing system either in a store room, or on your PC. Each thought or idea you have is linked to or stored with others in the same category. You are watching a game of rugby or football and your team scores a point and you think; “Fantastic, they are good! They are the best! They are going to win! They always win!” You subconsciously access the pictures in your mind of them winning before, pictures of them celebrating, of the paper cannon blasting little streamers into the air, of them posing for photos, laughing and smiling. You retrieve the ‘files’ and think all this in a split second, before going on to watch the next phase of the game.
Now let’s look at a less fun thought. How about something you thought of yesterday like: “Tomorrow is Monday!” now wait before you go off thinking about it, let me add an analogy into the situation and to not mix our metaphors we will stay on track with a train. Okay, imagine your thought is on a track, and you are at a switch. Also take note that you are in fact the person who can switch the lever to change the direction. The question is; which track do you let it go down? This analogy works well on a couple of levels, because sitting in the train one is often oblivious of the swapping of lines – you hear the clickity-clack and there you are heading gloriously unaware off a different direction. In trains of thought the same thing happens; you come to a point when you can go off in any number of directions, you throw the switch and off in the new unconsciously chosen direction you go. Often the decision has an effect on your emotions and can influence your day completely, and to be even more dramatic have ramifications on your entire life. Am I suggesting that a little thought like; “Tomorrow is Monday!” can have momentous life altering consequences? The answer is “Yes, it can!”. Just look at two possible directions that this phrase could induce:
- Scenario 1: “Tomorrow is Monday! Another blue Monday, the start of another tough boring week, five long days to slog through before it’s week-end. I suppose my boss will be as difficult, petty and demanding as ever, picking on me as always….” and on and on these thoughts can go and ad nauseam. By the time you get to work, you don’t even feel like being there. You drag yourself through most of it, push most tasks aside like you did on previous days, because you don’t feel like doing them, and by the end of the day you are so exhausted and irritated that you take it all home with you and bring that same negativity and take it out on your family. (“Blue Monday” is a type of Life Sentence that I say we need to get rid of in my book “Freeing Your Mind” )
- Scenario 2: “Tomorrow is Monday! Fantastic, now I can get that project finished that I have been working on, I am sure my boss will be pleased and appreciate all the hard work I have put into it. I am sure it will help my company a great deal and be another stepping stone towards achieving a promotion and my ultimate goals in the company.” In this scenario, you come to work with a smile, you breeze through your work, you might even come up with some great new ideas that you share with your boss and before you know it, you have that promotion and you go home and kiss your wife or husband and still have energy to play with the kids!
Obviously I can’t possibly paint your personal scenario into this illustration, but I am sure you can empathise with the different emotions that each scenario would induce as well as the different actions because of it. So it is, with each thought journey you embark on.
Whether the thoughts you are having is about work, situations at home or with your family, having to study before a test, or before competing in a sporting event. What direction are you going in? Are you gearing up for success, or are you heading for disaster? How are your thoughts influencing the outcome of each situation in your life, as well as your actions and emotions leading up to and during each of these? Are they negative, or are they positive? Are you subconsciously leading yourself down the wrong track every time, not aware of why or how everything seems to keep going wrong? Wouldn’t you want to rather take some control?
With today’s message I want you to remember that you are unconsciously throwing the switch, and you are choosing the track. You are choosing where your thoughts and emotions are leading you, as well as the outcome and destination of everything connected to it. You can, and in fact you must be at all times aware of how each thought path is affecting you, because it’s you and you alone that choose your ultimate destination.
So from now on I am asking that you become more aware of your thoughts, no matter how small or insignificant you may think they are. And even if you notice that you already had a negative thought about any situation or future task, don’t dismay, just don’t keep heading down that path! Nothing can stop you from flipping that switch back again and turning it in your favour. YOU ARE IN CONTROL!