Accepting the thoughts of others without validation is foolishness. The more thoughts that you accept, the more momentum you create in those thoughts and the more vulnerable you become to the influence of others.
Surrendering your thoughts without conscientious deliberation is like surrendering your possessions. No, it’s more significant than that. It’s like surrendering your life, your liberty and your freedom. However, if you surrender your thoughts after conscientious deliberation – it’s not surrendering but affirming your values your dreams and your liberty.
I’ll say it again; accepting the thoughts of others without validation is foolishness. Try it out on this very premise, don’t accept what I say. Think it through for yourself.
With each statement I make ask yourself if you agree with that statement and why? It’s important to be able to articulate why, not merely agree. If I say something what harm is it to validate it’s truth? Assuming it is not a life threatening, instantaneous you-are-about-to-get-hit-by-a-truck-type-get-out-of-the-road-type circumstance; then there is no harm to think that thought through and check it out for your own self.
On a daily basis most people seem to surrender what occupies their mind’s thought with the bombardment of constant content and messaging. Their minds are an open door to what would interrupt them and take over the power of their thoughts. Most content is blindly accepted and assimilated. For what purpose and more importantly at what cost?
I call this thought injection or probably better stated as thought security; protecting yourself from threats that would steal your resources. In this generation the momentum of insertion is gaining speed. It’s been said that my generation grew up with a 7 minute attention span because of the length of TV segments between commercials. Now it seems that we are on our way to a 30 second attention span with commercials themselves, internet media, tweets and facebook feeds, SMS, etc. All of them short bursts of content that affect ones thoughts.
The capacity to think is the most valuable resource that you possess. Your mind and how it processes data is what keeps your world running and every relationship you have. Your thoughts are key to your well being. Therefore thought injection is a threat to your personal well being. Guarding your thoughts is critical.
Be mindful today of how many thoughts interrupt you. Or better yet make up your mind to focus on an objective that is most important and train yourself to monitor that thought. Watch for what distracts you, interrupts you and takes you away from what is most important. You’ll be amazed at how many things threaten your ability to focus on the task at hand.
Like a virus attack on your computer, it’s important to recognize a thought attack. There are different types of attacks. I don’t have enough time to go into too much detail on this today, but I want to mention a couple.
First up – media attacks. I liken these attacks to when you receive information with extra spin put on it to solicit a manipulative response. As an example, let’s take the news media. Instead of getting the facts of the report, you are usually told how to feel about it, how it’s not right and what you should do about it. What purpose does this really serve?
Second up -email attacks. I’m not talking about viruses here. I am talking about waiting on productivity because you are constantly checking email. Email is a great tool, don’t get me wrong. Where I have noticed a problem is when I get stuck in a rut constantly checking email when I am waiting on something. I seem to surrender hours of productive time to checking the ‘in box’. It’s fruitless. What is even worse is when I constantly check it and respond to what comes in. With emails coming in seemingly every minute, I can literally waste all day fielding messages in a defensive mode instead of a productive mode. Again, if you are like this and you spend most of your day responding to emails – what purpose does that serve? I am not saying shut it off; I am asking how often do you check it. And when you check it, what’s the purpose?
Third up – (and last for today) is background noise. My historically biggest offense was working with the TV on. I thought I was productive, but I found my attitude sinking downward and downward. Constant media stream in the background while trying to be productive on a task is not conducive to a healthy work environment, at least for me. I have met many people that say they need background noise to work. I used to feel that way. I have come to learn my need to have that distraction was an escape from focusing on what the ‘really important’ things are that I needed to do. The background noises distracted me, they didn’t help me. (More on this in another post some day).
Controlling the thoughts that capture your attention is the key. If you aren’t controlling them, odds are someone else is.
Enough for now. Careful what you think about, thoughts start things…