Wednesday, 15 April 2020

Lock-Down, Day 20 - A Beautiful Mind

This morning I woke up to a quiet, misty morning.  I made myself a cup of steaming coffee and sat down at my desk.  I marveled at the silence.  It was as if the mist acted like a sound barrier.  I could just hear the whisper of birds twittering as if they were far away in a land of wonder and their song just managed to filter through a small fissure.  In that moment I was transported to long ago days, when I would be the first person at the ice-rink and a dreamlike mist would float on top of the ice.  Soon skaters would fill up the space dancing like waif-like dream-creatures through the haze. My friend and I would often spend most of the day in this wonderland.
These thoughts lifted my spirits and I could almost smell the wet, magical air of those times.

This brings me to another magical thing - the magic of thoughts.  Yesterday I was decidedly blue.  No matter how hard I tried I could not drag myself out of the mire.  I tried to smile, but it never reached my eyes. If I had wings they would surely have dragged limp and heavy behind me, flight would have been impossible.  The reason for this, however, had only one source.  My thoughts.  You see, nothing changed in my life.  I did not feel sick, the current lock-down situation did not get worse or more difficult and none of my circumstances changed.  It was simply my thoughts.  My focus changed.  I allowed my thoughts to stray and soon my mood followed.

People are living in fear every day..  They worry about what would happen if a nuclear bomb were to be deployed or if a meteor were to collide with earth. They fear disease, drought and hunger.  They worry about the education system, the rise of gangs and the effects of drug abuse on our youngsters.  While these are valid fears and worries, there is one thing more powerful than all of these.  It is the power of our thoughts.  Thoughts have the power to create.  Thoughts can give manifestation to the greatest evil or the greatest good.  They have the power to transform our lives.  

William James, an American philosopher and psychologist, said that the discovery of the power of our thoughts will prove to be the most important discovery of our time. The problem is that most of us do not realize this.  We seldom think about the consequences of our thoughts, oblivious that each thought is steering our lives in some direction or another.  When we grasp this concept we begin to realize how important it is to take control of our thoughts.  Changing our thought patterns does take effort and it does not just happen easily.  They have been formed over many many years, and have literally become a highway, our thoughts easily take the well prepared path. 

So how do we go about changing our way of thinking?
Firstly, we need to re-adjust our perspective, our way in which we view our lives.  In Romans 12:2 we are reminded to not be conformed to this world, but to be transformed by the renewal of our minds.  We have to clear our minds of our preconceived ideas and expectations.  We have to rid our thoughts of our habitual negativity and small thinking.  Negativity is a black hole which sucks the life out of everything.

Secondly, we need to learn to focus our thoughts.  One of the best ways to do this is to determine what your goals are. It is important to set goals which are important to YOU.  We will never achieve our goals if they are somebody else's goals for us.  Once you have determined your goals it is equally important to focus your time and energy on achieving these goal.  Without focus your goals will just stay something which you have written on a piece of paper or day-dreamed about.

Next, in order to help you with your focus you need a plan.  How are you going to achieve your goals?  What steps do you need to take and what resources do you need to make your goals a reality.  Once you have done the planning it is equally important to manage your time effectively.  The difference between a daydream and reality is taking action.  Managing your time will help you to take action at the appropriate time and doing it constantly.  

Throughout all of this it is important to guard your mind against negative thoughts.  It is easy to slip into bad thinking habits such as, "This is impossible", "I can't possibly do this", ""I am not talented enough", "This could never work", "It is too hard", etc.  Watch out for the Procrastination thief too.  He loves to whisper in our ears that there is still plenty of time to achieve our goals, and that tomorrow is a better time to start.  Funny thing about tomorrow...

I leave you with this quote:

“How we think not only affects our own spirit, soul, and body but also people around us.”
― Caroline Leaf, Switch On Your Brain

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