Thoughts on Thinking

"When somebody persuades me that I am wrong, I change my mind. What do you do?" John Maynard Keynes

"If you're unhappy with your life, change your thinking." Charles Fillmore

"The primary cause of unhappiness is never the situation but your thoughts about it." Eckhart Tolle

"People are not disturbed by things, but by the view they take of them." Epictetus

"The unexamined life is not worth living." Socrates

"Consciousness is a terrible thing to waste." PunditGeorge

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

The DUH! Factor

Ever had one of those days when you couldn’t turn loose of a nagging thought? Not long ago I had such a day. An incident irritated me. As the day progressed I realized that the more I thought about “it” the angrier I felt. The transgression by a co-worker was somewhat irksome, yet the more I “thought” about the perceived offense, the stronger I felt about it. About that time the “Duh!” factor came forth to expose this formula for creating emotional mountains out of mole hills.

The Duh Factor is that moment when we can see the forest and the trees; that happy moment when mentally we gain a splash of perspective on what we’ve been thinking and how it directly affects what we experience. “The more I thought about it (the perceived offense) the angrier I felt (really, really pissed after tossing all night!)” Serious “Duh” may reveal that the perceived injustice is not factual. An imagined offense produces the same intensity of emotional response as a whack upside the head. Compounding angry feelings produces, well, more anger. Note to self: Anger and comfort can not exist simultaneously.

Why not spend the same amount of mental energy (and burned calories) thinking about something good or desired rather than on something negative or unwanted? Duh illuminates a self-evident truth: The more one thinks about something, the greater the emotional response to the thought. Thinking, once again, is the important activity.

“So what are you saying, George? That if I think goody Pollyanna thoughts my life will be a bed of roses, red wine, dark chocolate, hot rolls and butter?” If you like roses, red wine, dark chocolate, hot rolls and butter you’re more likely to experience them if you think about them rather than thinking about that foul tempered so-and-so who you know is plotting against you or did you an injustice.

American mystic and philosopher Charles Fillmore once wrote that thoughts held in mind produce after their own kind. The more I thought about it, the angrier I felt. Well, I have proved that. It is true, simple, self-evident and undeniable. Duh.

The tricky part is becoming more aware of how I am thinking and to consciously choose the activity of my mind. I might want to fuss and fight, and thus so think. But if that’s not how I really want to spend my time, then I am free to think according to what I want. I know, having demonstrated, that the more I think about something, the stronger the associated feeling. That can be a pleasant feeling; it can be otherwise. It is the thought held in mind that determines the feeling.


No comments:

Post a Comment

Comments welcome. You know the etiquette.