What do you think would happen if I asked you to keep your mind quiet, no thoughts, nothing, totally blank, for five minutes? Chances are we wouldn’t last five seconds.
Our minds are always talking. They’re always fabricating stories. Thoughts are always coming to us, whether we want them or not. But although we don’t control what thoughts come to us, we do influence what thoughts stay around. We do so by paying attention to them.
When we don’t pay attention to a thought, it just dissolves on its own. But when we pay attention to a thought, it grows from a single thought into a story into a movie that will play in our heads.
Let’s say you ask someone out and they declined the offer. The thought comes to you “of course they said ‘no’, I’m a loser.” You didn’t choose that thought. But at that point, you do have a choice. You can feed that thought with your attention, or you can not do that, and it’ll just go away. Like all the other thoughts when we don’t pay attention to them.
All thoughts pass. But if you do pay attention to that thought, you’re going to start looking for reasons why you’re a loser. Looking for an explanation to justify that thought that you just had. So it was going to grow from a single thought into a story, into a movie.
Thoughts are like books that you can find in the library. They show you different books, different covers. And based on those covers, you get to choose which ones you read, and which ones you don’t.
Earlier in my life, I wasn’t aware that it had this choice. I thought that I had to like go down the rabbit hole with every thought that came to me. But we do have a choice. We do have a choice when a book is presented to us to decide whether or not we want to read it.
The more mindful you are, the more aware you are about your thoughts and your thinking process, and the more you’re going to start recognizing patterns in your thinking, and decide whether or not you want to read certain books.
Because for most of us, our thinking process is very repetitive. You know, we have the same thoughts, the same stories that we tell ourselves, you know, day and day again. So when we start recognizing certain stories, we can decide that that’s not a true story. “I don’t believe it. I don’t want to go there.”
You don’t have to read that book. So when it comes to your thoughts, do judge that book by their cover. You get to choose which thoughts deserve your attention and which ones don’t. And that’s how you determine your well being.
All of us get pervasive thoughts at times. All of us get uplifting thoughts at times. But we get to decide which ones we give our energy to, and those are the ones that become a reality.
So remember: you don’t control what thoughts come to you, but you do control which ones deserve your attention, and therefore, what reality you create for yourself. Have a good day! Talk to you soon.