We are all familiar with the word choice and how it applies to our everyday lives. We make choices every day, hundreds of times a day, deciding everything from what foods we will consume to the time we go to bed, and everything else in between.
But there’s an altogether different kind of choice we make just as many times a day that plays perhaps an even greater role in our lives: The choice to heed or change our thoughts. That’s right—our mind seems to want to run the show of our lives, making decisions that are not always in alignment with our heart, our inner knowing. These choices occur, if we aren’t mindful (no pun intended;-) in subtle, often unspoken ways. And if these moments of disregarding our inner knowing are said aloud, they’re often done so out of habit, without reflection or even awareness.
As a secondary English teacher, my ears often hear a barrage of self-proclaimed negative statements from students:
“I hate reading.”
“I’m just not a good reader.”
“I’m not good at writing.”
“I’m a procrastinator.”
Adults often share their own list of self-ascribed truisms:
“I hate exercise.”
“I have a sweet tooth.”
“I’m a spender.”
“I’m not relationship material.”
“I can’t live without my morning coffee.”
Obviously, the list in both cases could go on ad nauseum. Their minds have created these pejorative statements and, receiving no argument from their inner knowing/heart, believe them. The mind is a neutral repository, offering up whatever information you feed it.
According to Rapid Transformational Therapist and TED talk speaker, Marisa Peer (author of Ultimate Confidence): “Your mind does exactly, specifically what it thinks you want to do….It does what it thinks you want.” If we aren’t experiencing what we, in our heart of hearts wants, we need to consider the words we are saying or thinking.
What if we tell our mind a different story? What if we start priming the cognitive pump, using words we think and say that will garner a pleasurable outcome?
Marisa Peer states that our brain only responds to two things: the pictures we make in our head and the words we say to ourselves.
When we make a choice to collaborate with our brain, we are altering our lives in the direction our hearts want to flow. This is not positive thinking; this is proactive thinking.
There’s a famous quote by Henry Ford: “Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t—you’re right.” Your mind is listening to your thoughts; it’s up to you what you tell it
2 thoughts on “A Latent Choice”
Your blog is so true. Every emotion and every action follows a thought, for good or bad. In our bereavement group on Tuesday I told everyone they could change their painful memories (spouse dying) by not empowering those thoughts and memories by ruminating over and over the scene of a spouse’s death — instead, when the painful memory comes to mind say “that is an interesting thought“ and let it go. I told them they were in control of their thoughts unless they allow painful and sad thoughts to control them. I also said that an imagination (like our dreams) is as real to our mind as reality itself, so imagine a warm, happy scene to replace the negative sad memory.
Your blog is right on. So true. Our thoughts control us or we can control our thoughts —choose what we want to rule our life.
Thanks for sharing. Looking forward to you sharing with our staff in a couple of weeks.
John Graham, ISH
Sent from my iPhone
John, Thank you for sharing your own experience of the often subtle dialogue between our thoughts and feelings. “Ruminating”–a choice word to articulate what happens to negative thoughts we allow to linger, fanning the flames of our pain.
Looking forward to your staff meeting!