I was reading something the other day, from a book whose title I am not going to reveal, for fear you might all find me to be somewhat of a nut (or more of one!). But no matter our individual bents or philosophies on life, perhaps this is something worth thinking about…
‘Thoughts are things…and may create crimes or miracles.’
‘There is no such thing as an idle thought, for so called idle thoughts are the building blocks of more complex patterns of thinking…thought patterns grow with feeding, and as thought patterns grow, they gather momentum…’
Whoa. I like this; thinking about thinking.
In reading this, I realized it not only resonated with me now but that it connects with something I heard while attending a national professional development conference a couple of years ago. It was a session I almost skipped, because something in the session write up – the one in the program book everyone carries around, their informational GPS device for the duration of the conference – seemed, well, a little touchy-feely to me. Which generally is fine in my book, make no mistake, but this was a conference with more than a thousand people in attendance and not a lot of hi-how-ya-doing interpersonal interaction.
At the start of the session, the presenter brought out a guitar and in what I can only describe as a very campfire song-like style, began singing – and asking us to sing along. What? I silently cursed myself for not heeding my own internal first thoughts – as by now, you surely know that I am not that kind of angel. Singing and I unfortunately do not peacefully co-exist (in my dreams yes, in my car yes, in reality, no.). But, I played along, well, to be honest, I lip-synced, so as to appear that I was playing along, and spare the other attendees sitting oh so near to me.
Within moments though, I realized I had made a good choice; it ended up being one of the best sessions I attended that week, with relevant, pertinent information I could bring home and actually use in my job. Life is funny this way, yes?
I scribbled notes on the hotel notepad I had grabbed from by the phone in my room, and apparently tucked away those two little pieces of paper in the time since, finding them again only recently (realizing I had failed to make note of the presenter’s name…). When I pulled them out, at first all I saw were the words Stop, Keep, and Start, and I wasn’t sure why I had kept them. Then it slowly came back to me.
The presenter focused this portion of the session on how our brains think in patterns, seek out patterns really. And that in the context of creating more good in our lives, cultivating more success, achieving our goals, and to help develop a more positive outlook, get us further down our own paths towards wholeness, growth, understanding, mindfulness, peace, etc.; that we should perhaps consider these three questions:
— What should I stop doing? —
— What should I keep doing? —
— What should I start doing? —
I can think of a zillion scenarios in my own life in which I could, should, implement this: running more, eating less, eating better, communicating more clearly, improving my time management, becoming a better writer, trusting my own instincts, second guessing myself less, being a better parent, being a better friend.
If I allowed myself, my list would be longer than Santa’s list of good boys and girls.
While reading my you-might-think-I’m-a-nut book, I connected one dot with another. It made it more clear, for me, this connection that our brains do want to find patterns, and that we can actively feed our thoughts in ways that help them gather momentum; a momentum that hopefully causes an avalanche of positive, innovative, constructive, affirming thoughts that move us closer to what we want, or want more of in our lives.
So, you know what I’m thinking? I wonder what you think about all this thinking.