Have you ever told your brain to “Bring me another thought?” Here is a statement I have found to be true: “You cannot consistently act inconsistently with your thoughts.”
It is old wisdom that says, “As you think, you shall be.” It’s one of the reasons that I spend a lot of time and energy trying to manage the very beginning of my day. I find that most people spend a lot of their day living in the past or in the future. They are frustrated with yesterday or they are worried about tomorrow. This is not a happy way to live, and it’s not particularly productive either.
In his book, “Solve For Happy,” Mo Gawdat spends a great deal of time talking about this. He says that if you look at nearly every negative emotion in our life, you find a common theme. They are not rooted in the present moment. If you look at anger and frustration, for example, they are usually reminding us of something that happened yesterday. The tension of worry and anxiety usually come from projecting what might happen tomorrow. The past is over and the future is not (yet) real.
Unless you are in pain, Gawdat explains, the best way to be more joyful is to live in the present moment. I talk about living in the “IS” here.
Bring Me Another Thought
Another concept in the book that I found helpful was the idea that “we are not our thoughts.” Though we are flooded with thoughts all day long, we have the ability to separate from our thoughts. We don’t have to take every single thought that rolls through our head as “fact.” We get to choose. Gawdat says that when he finds that the thoughts in his head are negative and not helpful, he will simply say “Bring me another thought please.”
It may sound silly, but it is an intentional act where you take control of your thoughts again. At first, I was a bit uneasy about this idea, but I have found the act of saying these words out loud actually make me smile.
As I said, you cannot act inconsistently with your thoughts. If that’s the case, it’s time to choose better thoughts.
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