Some 2500 years ago the Buddha, as recorded in the Dhammapada, is said to have articulated the following.
All that we are is the result of what we have thought: we are formed and molded by our thoughts. (Verse 1)
Whatever harm an enemy may do to an enemy, or a hater to a hater, an ill-directed mind inflicts on oneself a greater harm. Neither mother, father, nor any other relative can do one greater good than one’s own well-directed mind. (Verses 42-43)
The Buddha’s meaning is quite clear. He was among the earliest to say something along the lines of, “You become what you think.” Then he goes further. He tells us that no outside force can do us as much harm or good as our own thoughts.
This begs the question, “Who controls your thoughts?”
That ought to be 100 percent of time Y-O-U.
The equation is simple from here. Badly as we might want to shift the blame to other people, God, or society; you control your thinking and your thinking dominates your life. I say dominates rather than controls because there are circumstantial exceptions, but not many.
So, what you’re feeling, what you’re attracting, where you’re stuck all follows a straight line back to your thinking. There’s just no way around it.
This isn’t a blame game. I’m not telling you this so you can feel worse about yourself or become defensive. I’m telling you this because your thinking has led you to where you are as surely as the earth follows the sun. If you want to change your circumstances, you will have to change your thinking.
It’s not a replacement for faith or a support system, but those can only help you when you’re thinking is leading the way forward.
Power hack: Accentuate the positive…eliminate the negative.
You may have heard the old 1940s sing titled Accentuate The Positive. The lyric goes, “You’ve got to accentuate the positive, eliminate the negative…” It’s simple, but profound advice.
When you feel down, depressed, beaten, you can get stuck in an eddy of negativity and there seems like no way out. One negative thought follows another and you start buying into all of it.
When you’re feeling that way, you’ve megadose the positive. Force feed it. Flush out the negative with the positive. Let the sunshine dissipate the clouds. Don’t complain about the clouds. Summon the sunshine.
Easy? No, it’s hard. It sometimes takes every ounce of strength and you may feel oddly attached to your wallowing, but I assure you you can pull yourself out of that ditch when you understand your thoughts don’t just happen.
My wife shared something funny and inspiring today. She follows Rachel Hollis and she now has a tattoo that reads, “Embrace the suck.”
Sometimes we have to do hard things and it sucks. Climbing back to your best self when it’s easier to stay down is hard. But, you are a one-in-a-trillion miracle and totally with that effort.
You’re all the best! Thanks for stopping by and spending your valuable time with me!