Thursday, 6 February 2014
The Cause of Unhappiness
By Michael Bloxton
“The primary cause of unhappiness is never the situation, but your thoughts about it.” — Eckhart Tolle
This quote is so true but it brings up an interesting point. If thoughts are really in control of our happiness, what are they and how do they control us? It has been said so many times, and in so many ways, that your thoughts are things that have a profound impact on your life.
This isn’t just a philosophical idea. Thoughts themselves are measurable. Brain activity and testing have revealed that thoughts have a very specific frequency that can be measured with the right equipment. Every time you have a thought, a pulse of energy travels through a network of neurons in your brain. Of course, the question remains – how is this pertinent to our lives?
Science has not yet discovered all of the interworking of the mind and the brain. It is a realm of knowledge that is still largely unexplored though progress is being made. There are two schools of thought… some believe thoughts have a direct impact on the lives we create and others believe this is untrue. Since neither argument can be proven yet, we will avoid taking sides.
To be clear, we are not talking about “The Law of Attraction” here. This isn’t a debate about whether we attract the things we think about. We are talking about your thoughts’ ability to create new outcomes based on their impact on your emotions, behaviors, and your actions.
Let’s just take a look at some obvious facts. If you believe your thoughts have no control over the life you live and the experiences you have, you likely:
1. Feel that you are at the mercy of circumstances in your life.
2. Think you have no control over your future.
3. Feel stuck or trapped by your current conditions.
4. Are often in reaction mode to events in your life.
On the other hand, if you believe that your thoughts direct the focus of your life and create the life you live then you more likely:
1. Feel that you can respond to circumstances in any way you choose and through that response, create an outcome you desire.
2. Think that you have total control over your future.
2. Feel limitless in your possibilities.
This whole article is about happiness so here is a question for you. Which of these belief groups is going to make you feel the happiest? Think about it, as Eckhart Tolle so beautifully stated, it is your thoughts about what happens that matters most. We have all heard at some point in our lives that it is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you respond.
There is an old saying that goes something like this: There are two types of people in the world; the person who knows things happen and the person who makes things happen. This concept, combined with the quote we started with, is truly empowering once you understand it.
Things happen. There is no denying it. If you “know things happen” then you go wherever the tide takes you. The events in your life are completely out of your control. If this is true for you, then there is no point in trying to change anything because it’s beyond your power to do so.
Then there is the person who “makes things happen.” This individual “knows” that events and circumstances do come up unpredictably and sometimes they are undesirable. S/he also understands that this is only 10% of the equation. They then apply the second part of the equation to that and respond with intelligent thoughts which usually starts by asking empowering questions.
We could write an entire article on the use of questions to assist us in creating our reality (and maybe we will soon) but for now, we want to give you a quick tip that will help you immediately. The most empowering questions always begin with the word HOW. Your brain always comes up with an answer to your questions… even when that answer is untrue.
For example, if you just got fired you might ask “Why did I get fired?” To this question, your brain will respond with the most reasonable answer it can find. But this could be anything from “Because my boss is an arrogant SOB” to “Because I suck at my work.” You aren’t directing your brain to give you something empowering. Instead, try asking, “How can I learn from this experience so this never happens again?” Aha, that should start you thinking in the right direction and that changes everything because thoughts are things.
Thoughts have the most profound impact on your life. A thought can take any menial task and make it wretched. A thought can take a pleasant situation and turn it sour. A thought can take nothing and make it something. Thoughts, whether you like it or not, are more powerful than you imagined.
The opposite can be said about a thought too. A simple thought or idea can start an industry. A mere thought of someone you love can turn any instant into a joyful smile. A thought can turn any bad into good and a single thought can take that good and transform it to great. The power to change everything in your entire world can be launched by a single thought.
You too can be the person who creates their situation by fully developing their thoughts about it.
President & CEO,
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