Why do we give our thoughts so much attention? What is a thought, anyway? It is a spark of information that flashes and disappears in our heads. When we attune our awareness to the repetition of these internal ideas, the spark turns into a flame. The flame becomes a wildfire…if we let it.
A thought is made of words. Words enter our awareness. Words are made of letters. A thought is just a thought. That’s all it is. Thoughts clumped together become clusters of thoughts. Why do we let these cognitive experiences affect our lives so much? And why do we allow them to form our self-esteem, mold our self-concept, and shape our identities? How do we get so attached to our thoughts that we put ourselves at risk of addictive thinking?
The brain is like a freight train moving in a seemingly continuous state of locomotion. When does a train slow down, come to a stop, and rest? It does when it needs refueling. It must. We also must take regular, much needed breaks so our minds and bodies can recharge. The challenge is that the brain is designed to be an active thinking machine. It’s up to us to not burn out the battery.
It’s time to reclaim the power, which is ours to reclaim, to take charge of our thoughts. We can do this by carefully analyzing the relevance of the ideas presented to us and reflecting on the source that created them. Worthy thoughts, proven to be helpful, can be stored in the “files” of your brain. The purposeless thoughts can be “deleted” so there’s additional storage for vital data. We can even symbolically press the “refresh” button when we feel overloaded.
So why do we get caught up in the messy mind game? For what reason? There isn’t a good reason. After all, aren’t we the conductors of our own trains—the ones in control of what thoughts to embrace and what ones to let go? Every once in a while, we need to slow our wheels down and refill our tanks so we can move full-steam ahead.
“He who knows others is wise. He who knows himself is enlightened.”-Lao Tzu
*This writing piece comes from my self-published book, “Alphabet Advice for Adults” available for purchase on my website or Amazon. “Awareness” is one of the writing pieces in “chapter A” of the Alphabet.