- Future Ideas
- Past Events
Our mind is one of the most powerful tools at our disposal. And it is constantly working. Even when we are sleeping, our subconscious mind is active and alive. We rarely stop using our minds in our lifetimes. But surprisingly, day after day, we think about the same things. A whopping 97% of the time.
And the reality is, what we think, we become. A lot of who we are today is a result of what we've been thinking about for a number of years in the past. It is quintessential to understand our minds and introspect what we think about throughout the day. Because our thoughts are constantly shaping our future.
We think about a variety of things. Our thoughts can be divided into immeasurable categories. But if we were to look at the so-called "meat" of our thoughts, it can be divided into three categories:
- Future Ideas
- Past Events
When we are at our best, we are thinking about ideas or solutions. We are coming up with strategies to approach something in our lives that is important to us. This is the highest level of thought. When we are thinking about ideas that will positively impact others and ourselves, we are creating a glorious future for everyone around us, including ourselves. And when we spend the majority of our time thinking about this, we naturally tend to also discuss ideas with people. Our conversations are positive, insightful, and considerably satisfying. We generate an environment of positivity that percolates to all areas of our lives, including our relationships.
The second category of thoughts is the replaying of events. These are usually events that have occurred in the past. We are constantly replaying them in our heads and trying to see what we missed. Or worse, decipher every way in which someone wronged us. As we do this, we are literally reliving the event that happened (sometimes decades ago) over and over again in our heads. In a sense, we are literally living in the past in our minds. We even talk about past events over and over again. Don't we all know that person who repeats the same story from the past over and over again to the same set of people?
But what if the event we are repeating is good? In that case, the intent comes into play. If the event in question was a good one and the intention is to attract more such events in life, and the only reason for the replay is gratitude, then it's okay. But if the reason a good even is repeated because of the belief that it was the single most glorious moment of life and anything like that is unlikely to happen again, then that can also be harmful. When we do that, in a way, we are signaling the universe that this event is the only amazing event of my life. And you are almost restricting yourself from experiencing anything similar or better than that. And when you continuously talk about these events as if they are never going to happen again, you reinforce them.
The third category of thoughts is people. This is by far the worst category of thoughts when it's negative. When we are constantly thinking about people who have wronged us, left us, or are not part of our lives because they decided not to be there, we are hurting ourselves more than anyone else.
And when we take this thinking to the level of talking about them in their absence, we are engaging in gossip, and backstabbing. In our hurt, we are sinking to the lowest level and we are actually discussing people when they are not around. While we think that talking bad about those who have hurt us will make us feel better, it really does not. We actually dig a deeper hole for ourselves and continue to stay in there, hurt and unable to step out. We may also feel that talking badly about people who've hurt us, will make them look bad. You believe that others will finally understand where you are coming from and they will "finally get what they deserve". But this sort of revenge bad-mouthing says more about you as a person than the person who is being talked about. It shows that you will talk badly about someone behind their backs. People will start trusting you less. Conversations like that will always ruin your relationships.
This quote by Henry Thomas Buckle summarizes the article well. Everything starts in our minds. We create our reality in there. So be mindful of what you think about every day. For the next week, consciously monitor your thoughts and try to categorize them What do you think about most of the time? If you've been thinking about and discussing past events and people who've hurt you constantly, it's time to course-correct.
We all make mistakes, the important thing is to learn from them and make different decisions. If you find yourself thinking about something you don't want more of in the future, then try to change your mood. Distract yourself from your thoughts. Awareness and acceptance is the first step towards change. Then try to focus on future ideas. What do you want your future to be like? If that's too overwhelming, that's ok. Try to focus on the now. Take deep breaths and be present in the moment. Notice people and things around you. Do you see your pet? Think about how they make you feel. Just observe your environment and try to stay there.
If you stay with this practice, you will see a marked difference in your thoughts over time. You will naturally stop the blame game and dwell in the past. You will be thinking and creating your future. You will be focused on the ideas that will make your present and the future much, much better than your past. You will also experience a shift in your being. You will feel lighter and happier than usual. Things that used to weigh you down in the past will stop bothering you because you will be focused on the present and the future.
Nicely written article
I liked the segregation of thoughts done by you