Thursday, July 27, 2017

I think therefore I must be thinking

Related imageWe have had years, thousands of years of thought, trying to figure out if our thoughts have merit. Philosophers have pondered the mental questions with their own mentality and have come up with a variety of mentations that upon reading have only provided me with an almost endless variety of choices. Are we what we think?
“Cogito ergo sum, I think therefor I am” RenĂ© Descartes believed that our thoughts, our conscious doubts was sufficient proof of our own existence. This suggestion of mental sovereignty gives rise to the basic premise of thoughts being a foundational platform of not only our existence but our lives in total as well.

Nietzsche held the view that all human actions are motivated by the desire “to increase the feeling of power” Desires are brought on by our minds and given credence and substance by our thoughts. How we act upon those desires and thoughts may be an indication of our motivations, our choices and our desires regarding who it is we really want to be.

Who do you want to be? That thought drives our actions in a profound way creating with it a  pattern of behavior that instills in us the practices of our success and our failures. Who we want to be may never be fully realized and in some cases causes great concern over the realities of ones life. The media, social media, peer pressure and the many other ways our thoughts can be manipulated, interfere with our initial desires to balance our inner cognition with those realities that surround us.

I wanted to be an artist. In some respects I have accomplished that desire but only after I realized and balanced what I wanted with what was needed, not only for myself but for my family. In retrospect I could have done a better job at symmetry but I also believe that as we learn we improve, also understanding that learning is the fundamental process of growth. It really doesn’t matter where we start from; what matters is how we progress.

My goal of being an “artist” was never fully realized in the financial sense but I can fully appreciate and utilize my gifts, my desires and my talents in that specific direction, but only after I balanced and harmonized my thinking. I used to compare my talents with others who were more successful but were not as good and wondered what I was doing wrong or what I could do to be more than what I was or am.

It took me a few years to understand the differences between wanting something and being something. Being something requires a level of thought and action that transcends the basics of wanting into an almost spiritual level of searching for who we really are and what are true potential is. Becoming an artist is what I wanted but being an artist was always there, all I had to do was let it out.

How we think, what we think about and the time we devote to thinking is the determining factor of what we are. “For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he” telling us that our thoughts are important to control. Proverbs 23:7

The above scripture bridges the gap between the mind and the heart with the warning or promise of where we spend our time determines who and what we become. Spend out thoughts on negative, soul draining endeavors and we soon become enamored with the spirit of those thoughts. Spend our thoughts and time in positive ways and we soon become more positive, more enlightened, more kind and more Godlike.

The term Positive Thinking as coined by Dr. Norman Vincent Peal was a standard in creating what was thought to be a ground breaking process of mind focus and control. Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill was also a treatise on focusing the mind toward your desires. Both works have had a profound effect on the mental outcomes of hundreds of thousands of people wanting to improve their lives.

Both writers understood that as we think we become, the more we think the faster we can become whatever we choose to spend out time thinking about.

There is ample evidence to support the process of thinking positively and the mental and physical benefits of moving our minds away from the negative and destructive emotions like hate, revenge and fear. In her landmark study Barbara Fredrickson of the University of North Carolina has been able to show surprising results from her study and associated experiments in relation to the negative and positive impact in relation to brain activity.

When we think or are forced to think negatively our brains produce certain chemicals that literately narrow our minds and in the process narrow our perception of the events and the world in general. For someone who is facing real danger the exception of this narrowing of the mind can be very useful, especially when all of your mental functions are needed to escape or to simply survive.

The opposite is true with positive thinking. As we are faced with real world problems those who espoused a positive outlook were able to draw upon an increased tapestry of options where those who were negative were forced to deal with less options.

Positive thinking does not solve the worlds problems. Man must be ready to initiate the protections and the defenses needed to protect themselves from those who would harm or kill, but thinking with a more positive attitude toward life, opportunity and gratitude for what we have will always generate more options to any given problem than those that are negative.

How you reach that symbiosis of mind is primarily an individual process. You are responsible for how you think, how you feel and how you view the world. You can either have a glass half empty perception or a glass half full attitude. When both are equally available it seems to me that the simple view of half full is the only healthy perception to take. Both are equally real but the more positive affirmation carries with it more possibilities and opportunities.

Our attitudes do encourage the attitudes of others. And sense our positive attitudes actually produce increased mental possibilities the very personal act of thinking positively should not be ignored nor discounted due to “real world” or “life experiences”. We can all overcome the negative and foster a more positive outlook that will strengthen our health, our minds and our reality, or you can continue to live in fear, distress and anger, it is after all, your choice.

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