Is the mind our servant, or our master?
Our thinking mind produces over 80,000 thoughts a day, 85% of them are the same thoughts we had yesterday! Feelings and behavior come from our thoughts. This means over 80% of what we feel and do every day is preprogrammed by our habitual ways of thinking. Without the ability to quiet the mind and step outside the thinking mind, we are a prisoner of our habits and patterns. By learning to quiet the mind, we can take back our power.
To enjoy good health, to bring true happiness to one's family, one must first discipline and control the mind.
When we think positive thoughts, we see abundance, not scarcity. Instead of focusing on what’s wrong, we focus on what’s right. Instead of seeing the glass half empty, we see the glass half full. Instead of taking things for granted, we focus on things with gratitude.
What you focus on expands exponentially in your life. When you think negative thoughts, you will likely find yourself unhappy, unhealthy, and unsuccessful. After all, how can anything “good” happen to someone who is always complaining and viewing themselves as a victim?
If you spend the majority of your time with pessimistic, negative people, your thoughts will follow suit. Conversely, when you associate with people who are a positive influence, you’ll have a flourishing positive life.
To be a successful master of your own mind, you need to listen, get to know your servant, acknowledge its contribution, realize its nature, make peace with it, implement a retraining or development program, and treat it kindly.
Throughout history wise men, teachers, philosophers, and prophets were in complete and unanimous agreement — the key to success or failure is: you become what you think about most of the time.
According to Dr. Caroline Leaf, an expert in the field on brain neurology, “75% to 95% of our illnesses are a direct result of our thoughts about life”.
With 80,000 thoughts a day; these thoughts affect us both physically and emotionally.
Research shows that fear triggers more than 1,400 physical and chemical bodily responses and activates more than 30 different hormones, creating the conditions for illness and making ourselves sick. (The Secret to Life Transformation)
Negative thoughts will occur with even the most positive person. But it’s what you do with those thoughts that make a difference between living a positive, happy, healthy life, or a negative, miserable one.
So how can we control our thoughts?
We have a life changing decision to make: To decide to think about what we should be thinking about.
I came across this quote that speaks volumes:
“Your mind is a garden, your thoughts are the seeds, the harvest can either be flowers or weeds." Osho
Consider the following excerpt about a story that parallels the human mind with a garden.
From The Strangest Secret by Earl Nightingale:
“Suppose a farmer has some land, that’s good and fertile. The land gives the farmer a choice. He may plant whatever he chooses. The land doesn’t care. It’s up to the farmer to make the decision.
We’re comparing the human mind with the land because the mind, like the land, doesn’t care what you plant in it. It will return what you plant.
Now, let’s say that the farmer has two seeds – one is a seed of corn, the other is nightshade, a deadly poison. He digs two little holes in the earth and he plants both seeds – one corn, the other nightshade. He covers the holes, waters and takes care of the land…and what will happen? The land will return what was planted.
As it’s written in the Bible. ‘As ye sow, so shall ye reap.’
Remember the land doesn’t care. It will return the poisonous nightshade in just as wonderful abundance as it will return corn. So up come the two plants – one corn, the other one nightshade.
The human mind is far more fertile, far more incredible and mysterious than the land, but it works the same way. It doesn’t care what we plant ...success…or failure. A concrete worthwhile goal…or confusion, misunderstanding, fear, or anxiety. But what we plant the mind will return to us.
The human mind is the last great unexplored continent on earth. It contains riches beyond our wildest dreams. It will return anything we want to plant.” (End of excerpt)
"Spiritual life is a lot like gardening. We till and cultivate the garden of our heart, planting seeds of presence, openness and the ability to respect whatever arises. We water each one so the things which are beautiful within us can blossom." - Jack Kornfield
Even if everything is roses in your life right now, it doesn't mean your inner gardening is done. On the other hand, if you're going through a rough patch don't think it's too late to start planting new seeds.
Proverbs 4:23 says, “Be careful what you think, because your thoughts run your life.”
When your mind/thoughts are in harmony with love, kindness, compassion and peace, there is no room for stressful, negative thoughts. Positive thinking is a form of stress management which benefits health and wellness.
“Become the master of your own mind – skillfully directing it to live in harmony with the other players of self - body and spirit.” Buddha
Chrystyn, Julie. The Secret to Life Transformation.
Nightingale, Earl. The Strangest Secret.