Last week you learned how the things that happen to you, the things you see and hear and touch, the people you interact with and ideas you come into contact with all have an effect on your mind. We touched on some ways of deliberately manipulating those things in order to purposely improve your brain.
However, all human beings are at least partially transcended. They do more than just experience, more than just react with emotive animal reflex to their environment. Human beings like you also think. You don’t live in the present all the time the way an animal’s consciousness may. Humans being plan, and they reminisce. They recall and project and ponder and rehearse and relive many of their experiences. Living in the moment, in the present, being fully invested in your current experience is no doubt a useful skill. One to be practised often. However the ability to chose instead to think about past events, plan future ones, even imagine the world had certain events gone differently, is one of the abilities which helps you transcended that animal consciousness and take control of your own mind.
A thing thought about is a thing which has effected you at least twice. Once during the experience, and then again during that rehashing, recalling, reliving. Thinking about it again gives you yet another chance to learn and improve your skills. This ability has incalculable value. It’s surely part of the process which leads to faster learning, greater skill, complex abstract thought, understanding, language.
Undirected, this skill can go very wrong. A person who constantly thinks about their failures, their misery, their unlucky loves and unfortunate misadventures will experience all those things over and over again. Their brain will be shaped as though they’d failed a dozen, a hundred times rather than just once. As though they’d been rejected, lonely and hurt for most of their lives rather than just those few times. Sure enough we see this pattern in the thoughts of the clinically depressed. Their own depressing thoughts constantly bringing them down, and at the same time reinforcing those same depressing thoughts.
You can think of thinking as a magnifying glass, magnifying and expanding those effects on your mind which it focuses on. The more you think about something, the more you concentrate on it, the more important your brain will assume that something is. Thus, it will affect you more. If you manage not to think about it all all, it’ll affect you only once.
You should be able to see from this that a very important part of self programming is learning what to think about. You will learn to direct your thoughts away from negative things, things which you can’t influence or change, and towards positive things which show you in a good light. Those which you can still do something about.
Unfortunately for some people this can be more easily said than done.
Who is in control of your thoughts?
You are however in control of your own thoughts. It’s easy. Try it. Right now. Think about something good, positive, nice, something which will help you learn and grow more happy. Think about the last time you were having fun, the last time you were in your lover’s arms, the last time you were succeeding and doing well. The last time someone’s smile made you feel warm
Now you see, It’s not impossible to take control of your mind. You can resolve, right now, that next time you find yourself focusing on something depressing or boring, something that makes you feel lonely or blue, you’ll remember to direct your thoughts instead towards something happy, something instructive, something that helps you learn.
It may take time and practice, but it is certainly possible to change the focus of your life, to change which of your experiences influence your brain more strongly. You can point that magnifying glass at more positive, helpful, confidence boosting parts of your life.
You can also resolve to spend just ten minutes a day doing that even without the cue of unhelpful thoughts. Start with ten minutes, build up slowly as you get better and better.
This Month’s Meditation
Our meditation this month will encourage you to think about good, happy, great things in your life. To ponder on how you are improving, doing well. To focus on recent events in which you showed positive traits, were living life to the full, were acting more transcended.