What we think, we become. – Buddha
Oh yes, I’ve just quoted Buddha.
So, I’ve heard in a Ted talk not so long ago that about 80% to 90% of what we think has a negative aspect to it. For example:
- I don’t want to wake up
- I’m tired
- I look ugly this morning
- I don’t want to gain weight
- I forgot to do this last night
- I hate when it’s rush hour
Like, honestly, who hasn’t thought any of this? Those are some examples that came up to my mind in 2 seconds. What about you? What are the things that you constantly say to yourself?
Anyway. And I don’t know if you noticed, but all of these examples happen in the morning. Meaning, as we have just – hopefully – got some rest, we immediately fill our minds with critics about ourselves, or about what we do, or about what we don’t like. And we keep doing it all day! It’s like voluntarily hurting ourselves without anyone doing anything.
Why do we do that? Good question.
It seems that our brain has been wired to protect us. And to do so, it has developed a mechanism to easily pinpoint what we’re doing wrong so that we can get the opportunity to do something differently. So far, so good.
Then, maybe you remember reading somewhere that we remember the losses way more than the wins? This example has been very well presented in this Ted Talk, where the speaker – a psychologist – talks about how people get stuck in a wheel of negativity. Not so unusual, right?
Basically, imagine this situation: you have the chance to win $20 or to lose $20. Technically, since the amount is the same, winning or losing should have the same absolute value of impact on your current state. Ok, that wasn’t clear. Let me explain. So, if I lose $20, I would lose like 20 points of happiness. Then, if I win $20, I should gain the same number of points – 20 – of happiness. Yet, is this what is happening? No.
When we win, we seem to win less than what we would have lost. So, I would only win like 10 points of happiness. Not only that, but we can’t get the bad thought to get out of our mind! So, we become used to bathe in negativity. Just like for the half-empty or half-full glass. The way we frame things truly affect how we ourselves see it, but also how people around us will perceive it as. The sad part, it’s hard to switch things around.
Because of that, I am already preparing another blog post about what I do to go about this. Very simple, not cheesy, and most importantly, they don’t take much time! The people who know me obviously understand what I mean by that (I’m as busy as it can get – I don’t like to waste my time, so…) Does that sound like something you’d like to know?
Now, if we constantly think that what we are doing is not enough, or that we can’t do it, what would Buddha say? What we think, we become. If we think we are average, we might very well be subconsciously acting like someone that we consider average. And that continues to fuel then the thought that we are average:
Because indeed, WE ACTED LIKE AN AVERAGE PERSON.
Am I saying to always think positively? No. I don’t believe in people who always see the bright side of everything – sorry not sorry. I don’t think that it is natural nor good to never criticize what we do. But there needs to be a limit to how much we put ourselves down.
And it’s not good to fake our emotions either because we don’t learn to cope with them. I know I often say, “Fake it ’til you make it” but not in this situation. I highly recommend to watch this Ted Talk by Susan David, about why it’s good to embrace our negative emotions. I love how she goes against the tide, and what she says is totally eye-opening especially in our era of personal development gurus.
So, this is some food for thought. Don’t reduce yourself in your thinking, yet don’t think the world is all breezy and happy and all flowers and butterflies.
Let’s be real, and real in our assessment about how we feel.
If you have any thought about this, any argument, or any other video to share, feel free to comment below! What do you think of this?