I read this line in a book a few days ago. It took a bit of processing and the implications are still reverberating through my mind.
“We think we have a reality problem, when in reality, we have a thinking problem.”
It has the ring of that line from Hamlet “there is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so”.
We are feeling beings, and so it is easy to be fooled into thinking that what we feel happens because of what we experience, because of what we perceive as our ‘reality’. However, it is not what we experience that makes us feel how we feel, it’s how we think about what we experience that makes us feel what we feel.
If you are in a movie and thoughts of the car seat covers you just ordered pop into your mind, you will dismiss the thought and get back to the movie.
If you are thinking about a problem at work and the doorbell rings, you dismiss the problem thoughts and answer the door. If it’s the neighbour who needs help with some minor emergency, chances are the work problem thoughts won’t come back for a while as your focus has changed.
We don’t have the power to stop a thought arising, but we do have the power to dismiss it or dwell on it, and therefore the power to dismiss the feelings that accompany that thought, or wallow in them.
Feelings are ephemeral, they come and go as our thinking changes. This week, notice how your feelings change as your thinking changes, and how they hang around if you dwell on something.
My best wishes, Paul
By Paul Matthews – Speaker/Author/Expert on Informal Learning and Workforce Capability
Author of bestsellers “Capability at Work: How to Solve the Performance Puzzle”
and “Informal Learning at Work: How to Boost Performance in Tough Times”
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