“All that you achieve, and all that you fail to achieve, is a direct result of your thoughts.” James Allen.
What makes someone see the world in the way they do? Why is it when we see things in a certain way, we may struggle to get others to see it like we do? Why do some seemingly intelligent people swear that total cholesterol is not a problem, yet some other seemingly intelligent people swear that it is? What about when you achieve great success on a low carb lifestyle, yet your family and friends are not interested in what you’re doing? Why are some people vegan and some people carnivore? Why are some people Democrats, and some people Republicans? You get my point….
Simply put, all of this comes down to ‘thought systems’. Understanding what they are and how they work could be life changing in reducing the frustration we feel when someone sees the world differently to how we do.
The problem is, most people innocently have no understanding of thought systems, which means they are also limited by them. But when we can understand a little of what they are and how everyone is operating from a different one, we will start to see (and expect!) that everyone else will see the world in a different way to what we do!
Let’s look a little at thought before we move in to thought systems.
Ultimately every decision we make comes from the best thinking we have in that moment. With a change in thought comes a change in behaviour, because we only work in that direction. Thought => feeling => behaviour. This chain of motion can be so fast sometimes that we just don’t see it, and we mistakenly think that the outside world is responsible for our feelings. But it never is. Our feelings always come from our thoughts, and some people have a lot more habitual thinking than others, but everyone works in the same way.
This was a great ‘aha’ moment for me. Why then, would I have to change the outside of my life to fix a feeling that was coming directly from my own thinking? I saw that I didn’t have to change anyone.. I didn’t have to eat my way out of it.. I didn’t have to drink my way out of it. All I had to do was wait it out, stop fearing it, and just like the weather, it naturally passed on it’s own. “If the only thing people learned was not to be afraid of their own experience, that alone would change the world.” Sydney Banks
We’re so conditioned to look outside of ourselves to ‘fix’ something that is internally created. It’s like searching for your lost car keys on the outside of the house when you’ve lost them in the inside… it doesn’t matter how long you look outside, you will never find them.
That’s the power of thought in a nutshell. What about thought systems?
Thought systems are the combination of our entire life experience to date. It’s basically all our past thoughts clustered in to a self contained unit through which we see the world.
Every decision, reaction, interpretation we have is coloured by our own individual thought system.
In short, there are currently 7.8 billion of them currently, because no two people will ever have the same past experiences.
What thought systems do is filter information as it comes to us. It is by nature stubborn and does not appreciate being tampered with. And.. it is absolutely self validating. You will innocently seek out people, places, things, and information to match your current thought system.. our ‘tribe’. This is why people rarely change their political party or their religion. And there is nothing wrong with any of this.. except that when we lack awareness of its existence, we will find it hard to hear someone who is operating from a different one.
When you rely on your thought system without awareness of how it works to filter your view, your thoughts (and thus reactions and behaviours) will be habitual.. your usual way of seeing things. Thus when we come across someone with a different one, we are limited in our choices. We will dismiss what the other person says, think they’re wrong, become even stronger in our own convictions, get offended, judge them easily, and just completely close ourselves off. In short, our thought system will convince us that we are right, and they are wrong.
But with awareness of thought systems we will find ourselves with access to a much wider pool of responses.
We can chose to see that what the other person thinks isn’t personal to us, that their views are their opinion, we can be curious as to why they think that way, and we can actually can see beyond thought to the fully amazing human being that lies just beneath.
Overall, we will be far less affected, and more open in our response, which means our world will naturally look wider and more enriched.
How you react to any situation is always your power. Why do we render ourselves so powerless to the outside world by giving up this power so easily? Because we innocently misunderstand thought systems. And our brains are still in tribal mode for our survival.
It’s thought systems that dismiss new information and leave us stuck in old thinking and old ways. It’s thought systems that keep us from stepping out and making changes. It’s a misunderstanding of thought systems that is responsible for people disliking others who don’t see the world the way they do. It’s thought systems that tell us its safer to stay where we are… than to step out in to the unknown.
Now I can hear you thinking that you may see that this is true, but you don’t want to change your view of life! And you don’t need to. The point here is not to change your thought system or your ideas about life, but to see the arbitrary nature of them. This is all we need to do to reduce the frustration in our lives.
So how will you react when you come across a differing thought system? Will you follow your own habitual thought system down the path of telling yourself they’re wrong, they’re less of a person than you, they’re dumb, or whatever might come up… or might you stop and pause, smile and see you don’t have to react to that same old stuff anymore? That you can instead be curious about the other person and try to understand their thought system and connect on a level that goes way beyond our heads? Where could that possibly take you if you did that? I think there would be endless possibilities, and our happiness level would naturally increase. We can even possibly let go of our need to be right.
If you want to see this work in your life, be curious and see what follows. Play around with it, and start to see that acting on the thoughts that come in to our head really is optional. I promise you there is an endless supply coming up behind.
Health & Happiness Coach