You don't have to believe what you think

In my last post, I offered you a possible new strategy to accelerate the process of manifesting your desires: focus on your feelings!

I further said that how most people sabotage themselves is that they spend most of their time being unhappy because they focus on the things they want and don’t have. This just results in creating more circumstances to support them in being unhappy. I concluded that if you want to stop the sabotage, focus on the feelings you would have if all of your desires were your reality and see if that doesn’t attract to you all of those desires.

Consider now the following: Scientists estimate that we have about 60,000 thoughts a day and that 95% are the same thoughts we had the day before. This wouldn’t be so bad if not for the further statistic that for the average person, 80% of their habitual thoughts are negative and this is the root cause of so many being unhappy. Again, the real problem with being unhappy is that it just causes you to create circumstances to support you in being unhappy. Then, when those circumstances occur, you use them to justify your unhappiness and the vicious cycle continues.

There are many strategies you can use to get beyond this. The good news is that you don’t have to try and get rid of each and every one of those negative thoughts. What you can do is to begin to consider that your thoughts aren’t necessarily true and that you don’t have to believe everything you think. When you start to analyze your thoughts and see that you don’t have to believe them, it takes away much of their power to make you unhappy.

If you think about this further, it’s totally logical. Over 80% of our programming occurred by the time we were 8 years old. So really, all you’re doing as a practical matter is recycling the same thoughts that have been there since you were a little kid. Why would you want to do that? It’s nutty. But that’s exactly what we do.

In the book Happy For No Reason, Marci Shimoff, in discussing her interviews with 100 people that are consistently happy, she reports they have learned not to believe everything they think, they are more skeptical of their negative thoughts, they don’t fight with their negative thoughts and they register their positive thoughts more deeply and savor their positive experiences.

And there are some great quotes in Marci’s book to support this thought. “There is only one cause of unhappiness; the false beliefs you have in your head, beliefs so widespread, so commonly held, that it never occurs to you to question them.” Anthony de Mello, Jesuit priest and psychotherapist. Here’s another: “We are disturbed not by what happens to us, but by our thoughts about what happens.” Epictetus, Greek philosopher.

So spend some time this week noticing your thoughts and questioning them and we’ll continue this conversation next week. Remember, you don’t have to believe what you think.