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New Thinking To The Rescue

July 21, 2019

Thought...thought...thought...thought.

That's what's going through your brain right now as you read this. Everyone is thinking constantly, all the time.

Have you ever tried to stop your thinking?

How'd that work out?

Turns out we can't stop our thinking. I've interviewed a number of lifetime meditators, and despite a reduction of the number of thoughts in their head, they tell me, no, they can't 100 percent stop or "control" their thinking.

It's always going, always on.

Thought...thought...thought.

We have thousands of thoughts each day. Ever notice that most of them are on some kind of loop?

"What am I going to eat tonight?" "I need to change __ about my physical appearance." "How am I going to finally make enough money?" "I should work out today." "Are my children/spouse/aging parents going to be okay?" "How am I going to fix ___?"

They come and go on automatic. Each one justifying its existence, only to be forgotten moments later.

This is the human condition.

And these thoughts, we take them so seriously. They feel so important. They appear as reality to us. They can torture us, energize us, scare us, or please us.

But if you consider it...all this good and bad that comes from our thinking...it's still just thoughts. Just wimpy, immaterial, basic, electrical impulses, firing in our brain. Just thoughts!

  • Why do we take them so seriously?
  • Why do they bother us so much?
  • Why are we so obsessed with getting the "right" thoughts into our brain in the "right" order?

We're exhausting ourselves trying to fix our thoughts (and by proxy, feelings).

Having a bad thought or feeling is not cause for concern, though. It means the system is working normally. Just like an itch on our arm doesn't mean our skin is "broken," negative thoughts and feelings only mean that we have a brain, not that we necessarily have a problem.

By letting the thoughts we don't like pass without much attention, they move on, and new thoughts come in.

I occasionally get on the phone with a client who is in a bad mood. When that happens, I just tell them to call me back in a few hours. I know that with some time, their mood will change, and new thinking will arrive. We'll then have a much more productive conversation.

It works every time. Our thoughts and feelings come and go, and when our thinking is driving us crazy, all we have to do is wait for it to pass.

It may not always be pleasant in the moment, but because our thinking is a normal function of our brains, new fresh thinking is always a short-time period away.

Try it this week. If you find yourself in a normal thought loop similar to one I mentioned above, don't do anything. Just wait for new thinking to arrive to carry you out of it. It really can be that simple.

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