In the spirit of full disclosure, this will be a mini rant – my version of tilting at windmills. Somebody has to do it.
There is a pat phrase in self improvement circles that goes like this: Change your thinking, change your life. I really have no argument with the premise. If your thinking changes, your life WILL change.
My rant is against the people who put the directive out there without any direction. They never go any deeper than the bumper sticker. My guess is they have no idea how to assist someone to change their thinking. “Oh, just think positive.” When you hear that from someone, you now have a clue that they have no clue as to how to help you.
In order to change your thinking, you first have to notice what you’re thinking while you’re thinking it. Judging your thinking as “negative” has no effect on changing your thinking. Evaluating your thinking after the fact has no effect on changing your thinking. Telling yourself to “think positive” has no effect on changing your thinking.
Noticing your thoughts about something while you are having those thoughts is how you change your thinking. When you become an observer of your mind, you remove yourself from the automatic thinking process. When you take a moment to observe yourself thinking, you make a space for some fresh, new, unrehearsed thinking to emerge. Interrupting your automatic thinking machine with observation is the way to change your thoughts and, thus, change your life.
You will have to be diligent with this strategy. You can’t do it once and expect instant results. Remember, you are dealing with a pattern of thinking that’s been going on just about your entire life. You’ll have to interrupt that pattern often to get the change you seek.
Your thinking will not change on its own. That would be like expecting a train to decide to run off its tracks. As long as the tracks are properly in place, the train will run on them until it finally runs out of steam – in other words, for a lifetime.
To change tracks, you have to notice that you’re on one. When you observe your train of thought, while it’s running, you become the engineer rather than the passenger.
You can ride your current train ’til the end of the line or you can notice your thinking and change tracks now.
Develop the habit of interrupting your thinking and you will begin to think new things, and these new things will change your life.
You now have a directive with direction. Follow it and you’ll be the little engine that can change their thinking.
All the best,
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