The Mental Spoke: how you create your experiences.

The previous post ended with Mihaly Csikszentmihaly’s quote from “Finding Flow”:

“Rarely do we feel the serenity that comes when heart, will and mind are on the same page.”

Let’s look at the role of your “mind” in achieving this serenity.

Most of us realize how important our thoughts are. The following series of quotes shows that this has been recognized down through the ages.

“All that we are is the result of what we have thought. The mind is everything. What we think we become.”
– Buddha, Hindu Prince Gautama Siddharta, the founder of Buddhism (563-483 B.C.)

“Thought is the sculptor who can create the person you want to be.”
– Henry David Thoreau, American Essayist, Poet and Philosopher (1817-1862)

“You are today where your thoughts have brought you; you will be tomorrow where your thoughts take you.”
– James Allen, British Philosopher, Writer and Poet (1864–1912) in “Above Life’s Turmoil

“A man is but the product of his thoughts; what he thinks, he becomes.”
– Mahatma Gandhi, Indian Philosopher. internationally esteemed for his doctrine of nonviolent protest (1869-1948)

“It isn’t what you have, or who you are, or where you are, or what you are doing that makes you happy or unhappy. It is what you think about.”
– Dale Carnegie, American Writer, lecturer and developer of famous courses in self-improvement, salesmanship, corporate training, public speaking and interpersonal skills (1888–1955)

“Work each day on your thoughts rather than concentrating on your behavior.  It is your thinking that creates the feelings that you have and ultimately your actions as well.”
– Wayne Dyer, American self-help advocate, author and lecturer (1940- ) in ‘You’ll See It When You Believe It.”

That seems pretty easy. We create our future experiences based on our current thinking … whoa! We better be conscious of what we are thinking or we could create a future we don’t want. Are our thoughts always positive? I don’t think so. Seems to me we have to minimize our negative thoughts and focus on the power of positive thinking.

Unfortunately, according to Mihaly Csikszentmihaly in “Finding Flow”, when people think about themselves it’s usually when things are going poorly. They are depressed and their first thoughts are negative. This can only make things worse. There are better ways to approach self-reflection.

The new skills and attitudes are:

  1. think about yourself only when things are good;
  2. invest your psychic energy on your goals and relationships, which in “flow” should already be in harmony; and
  3. focus on your strengths.

No doubt our responsibilities include many things that we don’t like doing. But they have to be done, so be as positive as you can be. Why not use these responsibilities to strengthen your skills in setting goals?  Look for ways to be more effective, at least more efficient or timely. Laugh it off and do it … look for the “fun” in it or just enjoy getting it off your “to do” list.

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