Consider the following scenario:
Two young ladies come out of a restaurant late at night and start walking towards the parking garage a few blocks up. Only a few streetlights are working and it is very dark. It has been raining heavily the past few hours. As they are about half way to their cars, a man emerges out of the alley and staggers towards them.
The first woman screams: “Get away from us! Help! Help! We’re being attacked.”
The second woman asks: “Do you need help?”
Same situation, two very different responses. What’s really going on here?
Let’s leave the man out of it, since at this point neither woman knows anything about him, his motives, his situation or his condition. But what is worth looking into are the obviously very different reactions. Obviously one of the women’s thoughts are filled with fear of a mugging, a robbery, or worse. She was not planning this mode of thinking as she exited the restaurant, the thoughts sprang into her mind the moment she saw the man emerge from the alley.
The other woman happens to be a nurse and her thought patters about staggering strangers are very different. What first came into her mind was her nursing training and thoughts about helping the injured.
What I am talking about here are the habitual thought patterns that we all have. Most of the time we are not even aware of these recurring thought patters, but they can be seen very clearly in our behaviour. Different thoughts create different behaviors.
One of the recurring and habitual thought patterns of many people is to continually relive the past and make it real over and over again. Sometimes that is good, as when we have thoughts that remind us of our inner skills and capabilities. But more often, people keep reliving, through their thinking, negative aspects of their past.
Thoughts are things. -Thomas D. Willhite
It’s a very empowering and uplifting principle to learn and internalize. The past is not your future. By changing your thinking, you can change your behavior, which goes a long way to changing your circumstances. I am not talking about standing in front of a mirror and shouting out load how great and wonderful you are. That form of “positive motivation” disappears very quickly. I am talking about the on-going subconscious thoughts that we rarely pay attention to, yet which so often drive our daily behavior.
The greatest discovery of my generation is that a human being can alter his life by altering his thinking. -William James
Do you openly talk to strangers or move away? Do you engage others in discussions at a party or do you wait for someone to talk to you? Do you seek out new things to do or stay at home and watch television? Check out your habitual thinking and you will begin to see very clearly what drives your decisions and behaviour.
What thoughts occupy your mind most frequently? Are they helping you build a positive future, or reliving the past?
Tight Lines . . .
John R Childress