Mental Handcuffs

“The happiness of your life depends upon the quality of your thoughts: therefore, guard accordingly, and take care that you entertain no notions unsuitable to virtue and reasonable nature.”

Marcus Aurelius

“We are what our thoughts have made us; so take care about what you think. Words are secondary. Thoughts live; they travel far.”

Swami Vivekananda

One thing meditation, aka intentionally breathing and observing your thoughts, teaches you is that we are not our thoughts.

Thoughts are more like a handbag we carry with us.

In his fantastic book, Solve for Happy, Mo Gawdat writes about how we are the outside observer to our own thoughts. Otherwise, how can we both be our thoughts and listen to our thoughts at the same time? And yet, how often do we let our thoughts get in our way?

In a way, untrained thoughts are amplifiers to our primal fears and feelings.

How many times a day do you mentally scold yourself with remarks like, ‘I suck’, ‘I hate myself’, ‘I’m not good at this’, ‘I’m an idiot’… etc.

Like a sound machine for sleeping, We wash over our minds with negativity and self-loathing and allow our thoughts to control us. Our thoughts subtly (or not so subtly) lead to how we feel and act. And how we act change how we live and the kind of life we are capable of.

Our thoughts are our first line of defense and offense. How we think effects how we act, and how we act again effects how we think, and so on. By learning to train our mind, we can begin to better grip on ourselves, and how we handle ourselves.

So when bad times come, we are mental prepared and trained to handle them, or even thrive in them. And when life is great, we have the mental capacity to keep our ego in check, and keep the boat sailing in the right direction.

STAY BOLD, Keep Pursuing,
— Josh Waggoner | Daily Blog #701

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