Over the break I’ve been thinking about thinking. We think all the time. I call it the voice in my head and it’s always on, even when I’m trying to fall asleep at night.
But is it really you doing the thinking? It thinks, and you have the thoughts. Are you really thinking? Ok, let’s assume you are in control, and doing the thinking. Try and stop thinking. See, you can’t. It’s out of your control.
But why is this important anyway?
It’s important because the 60,000 or so thoughts you have every day – your ideas, agreements, views, opinions, beliefs – determine the quality of your life.Your thoughts are the set of options you use for making decisions, taking action, and how you live your life. I think. I feel. I know. I like. I believe. They run the show.
But here’s the rub. 98% of your thoughts are exactly the same, repetitive thoughts you had yesterday. And the day before. And last week. And last month. (National Science Foundation, 2005) And that raises the question: “So when DID you last think for yourself?”
It thinks, and you have the thoughts. And 98% of the thoughts you have are the same as yesterday. They come in an already set box of ideas, agreements, views, opinions, beliefs, and so on. And the quality of your life is fully determined by the box in which your thoughts come.
Let’s say you’re not happy, so you change the circumstances of your life – get a new job, start meditating, or leave your partner. I guarantee that the quality of your life won’t change one little bit.
That’s because the box in which you think still has you, and your life. Change the circumstances all you want. There is no possibility for happiness inside your already set box of thoughts.
You might disagree with me by saying, “My experience has proven… Everyone knows that … I read … I believe … It’s common knowledge that …” More of the same old thoughts, and they won’t make one bit of difference to your happiness and quality of life. Many options, but no possibility for happiness.
You say, “I think”. I say, “You don’t think”. Stand in that possibility. Just stand and be in the statement, “I don’t think”, and see what opens up for you.