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, May 15, 2012

Complaining about the Mortgage Crisis!

Well, not really.  But "complaining" is a big part of a workshop coming up this July 11 in Milwaukee.
"Habits, Patterns, and Thoughts That Go Bump in the Night" will kick off the pre-conference workshops at the 26th National Conference on Problem Gambling, Prevention, Research, Recovery, and Treatment.

Caught Complaining!

The workshop, Adventures in Thinking about Complaint Free is described:  No matter who you are, what you do, where you’re from, or where you’re going, you think.  From the moment of birth you’re processing the energy fields around you.  Soon you’re able to distinguish your specific niche in the thought process.  You learn how to direct your thinking.  That never stops.  The knack is managing thinking to create a better life – right now.
            Before anything is the thought.  Although self-evident, many people can become so wrapped up in their immediate environment that they’re unaware of this fundamental order.  The thought comes first.  The condition, thing, action, or situation follows the thought in time.
            This power point presentation examines some historical concepts regarding thinking and suggests a contemporary application – reducing complaining – that can benefit clients, practitioners, you, me, and anyone else.

The workshop also looks at a source of suffering for many people - waiting/expecting other people to do something (or make a change in what they do) in order for the observer to feel better.  There is a term used for that condition:

And, of course, it never works.  Why?

The workshop spends time with the concept of learning to become complaint free, or, at least becoming aware of personal complaining (and for sure, aware of the vastness of complaining of others).  This blog has cited the Purple Bracelet exercise - going 21 days without complaining - to establish a mental habit for problem solving.  It's not a challenge to approach lightly...

Yet for those who want to feel better overall (and isn't what what Life is all about?) a re-structuring of attitude is not only possible, but achievable. Going "21 days" isn't the objective.  Awareness of personal thinking is.  Psychologist Amy Johnson includes some of her thoughts about becoming Complaint Free:

"For starters, I feel much better. And that's what it's all about.  I rarely launch into complaint or criticism and when I do, I'm quickly aware that I'm complaining because of how it feels. Basically, when I complain, I complain with awareness. That means I always have the choice of continuing with my tirade or shifting to something that feels better.  Other people rarely complain to me anymore. It didn't take long for others to see that I'm not interested in negative conversations.
By feeling better and learning to re-focus, I experience much more of what I want in life. I've created some pretty cool things, actually."

 July in Milwaukee... in the company of many, many people around the world taking a look at thinking, choices, behaviors, compulsions and the mysteries of how anyone can feel better about every moment, of every day...sounds like fun to this kid.

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