THOUGHT is the key driver of ACTION and BEHAVIOUR. Another way of saying this is we do things based on our thought processes.
THOUGHTS either made up of fleeting distractions that pass through our minds briefly, and while we may question their origin, they have very little impact on our daily lives, or thoughts that repeatedly replay over and over, which wear grooves into our psyche, otherwise known as pathways into the neural network of our brains, forming what we often describe as BELIEFS and VALUES.
These beliefs and values become the RULES we operate against. To implement rules we have to make JUDGMENTS, deciding if something is right or wrong, good for us or bad, whether we do it or not etc.
Understanding how thoughts impact behaviour; what we do, or don’t do, why we do something or don’t do something, is vitally important, because they directly impact the quality of our decision-making and subsequently the quality of our lives. Self awareness is so important in this respect.
The difficulty with scrutinising our psychological mechanisms is that we may be forced to confront things we’re not particularly comfortable with confronting. We may have to admit our shortcomings, our weaknesses, or vulnerabilities, which goes against how our brains are wired and how we are conditioned, which is to always be looking to increase our sense of value, to be more than we were yesterday, to be better, more valuable.
In reality, knowing the hard-to-admit shortcomings of our makeup frees us to move forwards more effectively, we can plan the best path towards our goals, knowing where we need help from others, or through training, and what we should focus on by doing what we do best, what comes more naturally to us and what aligns with our inner workings.
We have BELIEFS and VALUES which are predominately made up from, ASSUMPTIONS, INFERENCES and the TESTIMONY of others, and often have little to do with facts, or being backed by evidence. We should question such BELIEFS and VALUES. Where do they come from? Well generally they come from social and cultural conditioning, they are less about what we want and more about what the world around us wants from us. Are they based on truth and fact or are they just a convincing story we tell ourselves repeatedly? Are they an attempt to increase our sense of self?
Your SENSE OF SELF, is that bit of you that attaches to and emotionally invests in thoughts, possessions, people, cultural and social ideas and affiliations, so as to increase your own value. At some level, you believe having more makes you more, but this is a lie.
Change EXPECTATIONS to APPRECIATION. Nothing is promised. Lose that sense of entitlement you might have. Be grateful for each day, which is a gift. If you find this hard to believe, go to your local hospice and spend time with people that are living on borrowed time, to help you get a better perspective and appreciation of what’s really important.
Question your PERCEPTIONS OF REALITY. Change the story you tell yourself. Choose a different narrative because none of it is based on fact anyway, so make it empowering so it serves you.
Let go of ATTACHMENTS. They are designed to increase your sense of self, but in reality, you are not your attachments. Also be careful of SEPARATION because this too is an attempt to increase your sense of self, by lowering the “other” and thus rising above the “other”.
Bring awareness to your IDENTIFICATION WITH THOUGHT (EGO) processes. You are not your thoughts, and your thoughts are not who you are. You are not separate from the universe of formless or form, you are in integral part of life. Also stop using this moment as a stepping stone to the future and to relive the past, instead fully engage with the here and now because it is the only access point we have to engage with life.
You can see that there is more to THOUGHTS and THINKING than initially meets the eye. Thoughts are so integral to the way we live life. Mastering thoughts and the thinking process, helps master life. We can’t control external elements or other people, but we can control our thoughts, our reactions to events and situations. We can make better quality decisions, less influenced by emotions and emotional reactions, we can approach situations from a different, more empowering perspective, with a different interpretation than we had before.