Live and Learn, Gedankenexperiment #5 Revisited
If you haven’t read my Gedankenexperiment #5 blog you can find it here, otherwise the contents of this follow-up post might be pretty incomprehensible. Of course, the contents could be incomprehensible either way. Although I always try to convert my ideas into words others can understand it doesn’t always work out. Just ask my husband 😉
The ideas I’m trying to express here started off as tiny little dwarves knocking at the walls of my brain with their itty-bitty hammers telling me they wanted out! I really had no choice but to write this new blog. If I didn’t submit they’d double their efforts at one, two or three in the morning, you creative types know how it goes! So, I made the decision to assure an uninterrupted sleep–I let them have their way!
As outlined in my earlier post, it was with the noblest intent that I set forth to monitor my thoughts to eradicate any that didn’t harmonize with the following goals: I want to be considerate of those around me. I want to live a life that honors my uniqueness. I want my life to be empowering and enlivening to myself and to those with whom I interact. And, I want to contribute to humankind in a way that harmonizes with my talents.
Once I put on the searchlight for them, it was startling how many non-verbal statements and judgments rampaged through my mind in a single day. I’ve made it a practice to rarely say unkind things out loud. But, within the sworn-to-secrecy walls of my skull, oh boy, things I’m horrified to hear uttered aloud by others are spoken internally by sweet old me.
I did make peace with my private negativity, realizing it was simply an indication I had work to do. Right? Yes and no. Yes AND no? Doesn’t everyone despise that cop-out answer? Probably, but sometimes it’s the only one that fits. Yes, there’s work to do to match my inner dialogue to my personal mission statement. But, no, it can’t really be achieved through work.
Why? Because too many thoughts arise to chase each one down and pound it into a positive perspective. If you do you’ll become physically, mentally, and spiritually exhausted. How do I know? I tried it. I really did. And, I was like a crazy person, talking to myself incessantly, editing my private dialogue all the time. Not fun. Not easy. Not particularly effective.
Still, I wouldn’t give up my goal to use my ten thousand hours to control my thoughts so that I could become a better person. I just had to eliminate one word. The word “control.”
I took a new approach, treating my negative ideas like children throwing tantrums. I let them thrash around without giving them an ounce of attention. And just like children often do, they gave up making a ruckus because nobody was noticing. Of course, I wasn’t very good at this at first. If you’ve read even one of my blogs you know I am a self-proclaimed “thinker.” And, now, my plan was to ignore my thoughts, at least the detrimental ones–quite the about-face!
Guess what? By trying and trying and trying some more I got better at it! The ten thousand hour idea works! Am I an expert, yet? No. But I’m more adept than when I started and the “ignoring technique” gives me energy instead of taking it away and even adds a little humor to the situation. I feel like I’ve turned fighting with my negative commentary into a non-violent protest. Ahh, what a wonderful relief to lay down my arms.
The ten thousand hours are racking up, we do live and we do learn!