To Feel Different – Think Different

Person in yoga posture says, "Rule Your Mind or It Will Rule You. To Feel Different, Think Different.
Rule your mind or it will rule you. To Feel Different – Think Different. (Adobe Stock Image licensed to author)

# 49 on my, 99 Life Tips – A List is: To change how you feel, you must either change how, or what, you’re thinking.

“Nothing can harm you as much as your own thoughts unguarded.”

~paraphrase of a quote attributed to Gautama Buddha

“As he thinks, so he is; as he continues to think, so he remains.” 

― James Allen, As a Man Thinketh

The second quote is an enlargement upon a clause of Proverbs 23:7, which says:

”As he thinks in his heart, so is he…”

~ Proverbs 23:7

We Live The Lives We’re Willing To Live

My essay, Your Will Cannot Control Your Emotions…, focuses on what the will cannot do. The focus of this piece is what you can choose to do. You can change your life. You can change how you feel. But to change how you feel, you must either change how, or what, you’re thinking.

Greg, are you saying that my life and my emotional condition are the products of my thoughts?

Yes, dear Reader. That’s exactly what I’m saying. I wouldn’t expect you to take me at my word. After all, who am I to you?

But please don’t let the fact that I am unknown to you keep you from hearing these truths. Perhaps you stumbled this post at a time when you have ears to hear exactly what it is you need to hear. 

Each of us lives the life we’re willing to live. Period. You woke up today in a life your current thinking has created for you. Our inner narrator acclimates to, and perpetuates our script. We dutifully play out our scenes. Believing ourselves to be free, we fail to recognize that too large a percentage of our lives is spent responding and reacting to stimuli over which we exercise little to no control. We feel ourselves going through the motions of a life somehow not our own.

To Be Free Is To Think

And even if we feel bad about it, we too quickly grow accustomed to it. Perhaps we don’t like the direction our life has taken. But if we never stop to think, not just reflexively respond, our lives will not change. The most free thing a person can do is think for themselves. All freedom blooms from that first, most basic, unchainable freedom. 

But if you allow your mind and attention to be either captured, or misdirected, you’re giving that freedom away, or using it in a way that will do you no good. Unless you learn to be awake, aware, and not on auto-pilot, your life won’t change. How could it? Who will change it? Who will change your emotions or your circumstances, if not you?

These are psychological, physiological, philosophical, and spiritual truths. There are volumes of writings that prove my assertions, inasmuch as these ideas can be proven.

Again, I say, if you want to change how you feel, you must either change how, or what, you’re thinking. The surest, and only way, to get a different output, is to change the inputs.

Your Thinking Creates Your Life and Your Feelings About It

You will never feel good while thinking about what’s bad. You will never find solutions while focusing on the problems. You feel bad because you spend more time looking at what is wrong in your life and world than what is good and right in it. You find no solutions because you don’t allow yourself to imagine what your life would look like fixed, absent the problems that plague it. Without a vision of a better state of affairs, how do you know which direction to go? How do you know which means to use, which levers to pull, which variables to change, to get to that imagined result?

Change in your feelings and circumstances may not happen overnight. It may take a lot of work. There may be false starts and resets, but if you keep thinking of the life you want, and the steps you can take to get there, you will one day wake up in a different life those different thoughts created. And you’ll feel fundamentally different for the entire journey.

I suspect you’re feeling a tiny flame of inspirational hope that things can be different. That you can feel better about your life. Yes, you can. Fan that tiny flame. It will be hard, but worthwhile work, to change your patterns, change your thinking, and transform your life into the one you actually want to be living. You can do it. You’re the only one who can. You hold the keys.

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