Thinking as a Skill

Thinking is such an abstract thing. Because of its mysterious background, it’s hard to imagine thinking as a perfectible skill, and easier to just think of it as some graceful force that lands on certain ideas and feelings almost by accident. What if I told you that thinking needs just as much upkeep as a broken rib, or a leaky faucet? What if I told you it wasn’t just some ethereal wind blown into one ear and out the other, but a very malleable part of you that isn’t essential, but created? It’s hard to believe that we are defined by our decisions because that means we’re responsible for, well, everything. But we are. The good thing is that the more responsible we are for our life, the greater the feeling of reward, and the more feeling of reward we have, then, you
guessed it, the more happiness and health.

If you are under the impression that thinking can’t be manipulated, just think about how we manipulate our thoughts when we are faced with adversity. In the same way we clench our fists and punch things when we get frustrated, we mentally abuse ourselves by digging our thoughts into the ground. We choke our mental faculty of any positive form of thinking. Your mind becomes a warzone, your relationships sour, your work-life suffers—all because you haven’t made other decisions on what to think. It’s that simple.

Yet, it’s not easy. That’s why a life coach is often necessary to give you a bird’s-eye view of your life, an outsider’s perspective. Often, people come to see me, and they don’t even know of the negative thoughts they’ve been thinking! They are so accustomed to dwelling on the feeling that those negative thoughts produce, that they disregard or forget the precipitating thought. After all, “I feel so sad” is a lot easier to communicate to yourself and others than “I’m sad because I can’t stop thinking about the way my sister’s husband keeps treating her and my mother’s response to the whole thing. “ What I do is get rid of the debris, and reprogram the mind. That’s what hypnosis is. That’s what life-coaching is.

I also want to take this time to personally wish everyone a very warm and prosperous holiday season. Eat well, be merry, and make lots of memories. I’ll see you in 2012!

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