I often love to play with words. Though it would not be the basis for my topic, Altering the Way We Think, it might also be interesting to know what Merriam-Webster has to say.
1. to form or have in the mind
2. to have as an intention
3. a: to have as an opinion b: to regard as : consider
4. a: to reflect on : ponder b: to determine by reflecting
5. to call to mind : remember
6. to devise by thinking —usually used with up
7. to have as an expectation : anticipate
8. a: to center one's thoughts on b: to form a mental picture of
9. to subject to the processes of logical thought
In the definitions given, it is clear that to think is to require an action of thought. Yes an action of thought that many times we would not notice. These actions of thought updates so rapidly in our brain cells that we even won't have the inkling of knowing it except if we try to stay conscious with it.
Conscious of what? Conscious of the thought pattern. These actions of thought as I would like to call it can be conscious thoughts, unconscious thoughts, or subconscious thoughts.
If we read and play with the nos. 1 and 8 definitions of Merriam-Webster, it says on the forming or having in mind of the mental pictures centered on one's thoughts .
Now supposing---for 10 years from year 1 to year 10 of your childhood, you have been made to believe that you are a weakling, an underachiever, and a not so pleasing or lovable kid by adults who were not very responsible with their actions. What thoughts might you be forming for yourself at that time? What mental pictures would you have for yourself? Where could you center your thoughts unto?
Now, let me repeat the phrase: made to believe. Every person has a different way of responding to reality, to the situation on hand, to the task given. There are responses that are said to be innate on each person with varying degrees; and there are responses that have to be learned. There are responses that others already have from year one; and there are responses that others have to learn and relearn.
If our responses during that time is more on the told to believe, perhaps the repercussions wouldn't be a hard hit as those with the responses of made to believe.
The told to believe kids would still follow what has been said and done, vulnerable as they were to the adults' patterns of thought; but they wouldn't carry as much luggage as of those who are made to believe. The latter would not just follow what they have been told to think or do; they would carry them to adulthood because they already believed on them.
These are the thoughts we should alter in our life.
As a child, we are very vulnerable to adults' abuses. Not just in their actions, but more so on the way they think. The negative scary dark ambiance in our childhood might not be so much on the sadistic incidents happening at home; the pessimistic hopeless insecure thoughts of our parents, guardians, or elders vibrating 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, for 10 years might have formed the way we respond to reality now as an adult.
Action follows thought; and thought precedes attraction. Attraction begets opportunity or misfortune.
Yes, the law of attraction. But before that? Now let us go to the definitions of Merriam-Webster in nos. 5 and 7. What are those? (1) To call to mind that is to remember and (2) to have as an expectation that is to anticipate two definitions that can be very interesting. If what we only remember is the ugly past that we have, tomorrow might not be as colorful as it can be for many who dwell and live in their past. It is however a great blessing for many who manage to live the present and hope for a colorful future despite the ugly hurtful past that they have encountered. If dwell in the ugly memories of the past, then every situation with similar magnitude is linked to the ugly experience of the past. And thus making us anticipate for an ugly outcome that can be similar to the outcome that happened in the past. Instead of looking for new possibilities to solve the problem; people who dwell and live in the past would expound the torment more piling up the new hurt feelings with the loads of hurting junks. It is better to own a junk shop where we can earn money selling the junks after buying them, than to pile loads of hurtful junked memories without the intention of disposing any of them. We end up living a life full of junks and become junks ourselves. We become junks when we stop living life because of this hurtful circumstances. We become junks when we postponed every creative or constructive task that we are to do just because of these junked feelings. We become a junk when we lose ourselves of the value for being us---for being unique and talented. We become junk when we can longer weigh our worth as person most of all, as a wife/husband, as a mother/father, as brother/sister, or as someone blessed with life. Let us alter the way we think so as to anticipate for colorful tomorrow full of bountiful blessings. Let us alter the way we think so we can creatively respond to the challenges we are to face and that we are facing. Let us alter the way we think so we live a life to the fullest full of happy grateful memories of the past despite the many hurting ugly moments. Why because we have not only learned to survive the past. We have learned to live the present knowing that we are capable of changing the direction we have no matter how ugly the past was. Whether we like it or not, there are really ugly memories for most of us if not all. And whether we would like it or not, there are times when we are to face challenging and ugly experiences in the future, the ugly can be beautiful once we know how to face them and handle them. Remember the story of the ugly duckling? When we have a different way of thinking, a way in which we don't find hope, a thinking where we only dwell on the hurts (of the past), a thinking where we anticipate no beauty in life---then that can be a miserable tomorrow.
Alter the way we think; then you can alter the way you live your life now and tomorrow. Remember that the greatest miracle in the world for yourself is YOU. Read the book of Og Mandino. The Greatest Miracle in the World for you is YOU. No one can help you but you. Yes others can help you only when you help yourself. Before we cut short this topic, let us remember that reality is often times how we perceive it; it is not what it really is. Hence, we can change our present situation here-and-now if we perceive things, events, and circumstances differently.
PLEASE ENCOURAGE AUTHOR,
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Thank you Neil for this challenge to be a more spontaneous thinker; to change the course of life by assuming and refreshing one's outlook. I do make effort to dispose of clutter that I can identify to have crept into my thinking throughout the year by steadfastly renewing my mind with the Lord's word. And sometimes a good fast is necessary too to sharpen the senses. The Lord Bless You.