To enjoy good health, to bring true happiness to one’s family, to bring peace to all, one must first discipline and control one’s own mind.
Our mind determines many aspects in our lives and even to this day we’re still learning more and more about it.
Neuroscientists are still looking for ways to tap into our brain and have come a long way as well. To put things into perspective, we could easily look at John Assaraf’s Brain-A-Thon he hosts every year.
I was fortunate to be able to listen to the live broadcast and I learned some invaluable things from it.
The thing is though, the purpose of the Brain-A-Thon is to help people like me and you seize control of our lives. In order to do something like that, it’s a matter of understanding our brain.
But also to be able to understand our thoughts and twist them into our favour.
The live broadcast did a good job explaining that, but it’s still worth talking about it today. For one, I’d like to touch on aspects that weren’t discussed in it. Particularly one theme:
The Power Of Choice
One thing that isn’t mentioned at all in the Brain-A-Thon is the power of choice.
It makes sense that it’s not brought up. The audience would be primed to making active decisions to change their life.
But even in states where you want change and are committing to it, the power of choice is still prominent.
The power of choice is the revelation that we have the ultimate decision for how we feel and react. This comes in particular use in situations of conflict, conversations, but more importantly who we give power and authority too.
Power of choice is essentially a vote that we give to anyone or anything. There is no shortage of votes either. The cost of the votes though is how much we give influence to the environment around us.
But in the power of choice lays a truth.
The truth that we already have complete control over the things in our lives.
This makes sense as we are giving the things and people in our lives “votes of power”. The issue in that though is not every person deserves the power that we give them.
With great power comes great — in some respects, not-so-great — responsibility and all that.
As a result, if we listen to too many people rather than ourselves, we find ourselves living a life that we didn’t want.
This is how we lose control, but it also changes the nature of our question.
It’s less of…
“How do we control our own thoughts and how people influence us?”
And more of…
“How can we take back our control?”
Below is a three actions that one can take to do that fully.
Firstly, you can give yourself strength.
Believe in yourself a little more. — Anonymous
We all have votes, but our votes can go to any person or thing. What this means is you can give yourself power and authority over others by “voting for yourself”.
This can be done through a series of affirmation, and in boosting your self-esteem and confidence.
In the end, our own confidence, belief system, and self-esteem stem from the belief in ourselves. A lack in that means that we’ll often slip into societal norms, which most often than not are limiting at best.
Instead, you want to be believing in yourself and your actions (your beliefs). For that, practice affirmations and believe in them strongly. Practice them every day if you have to.
Some affirmations that can work would be things like “I fully believe in myself and my abilities.” or “I will choose to listen to myself, I make good decisions.”
Secondly, you weaken the power others have over you.
Rumours are created by haters, spread by fools, and accepted by idiots. — Anonymous
After strengthening yourself, you want to compare your true beliefs with others around you. This will be used to weaken the power or influence people have over you if you don’t agree with them.
This doesn’t mean flat out ignoring them, as different opinions are actually quite good. In those cases, it’s important to understand their views.
For example, my accountability partner is a man of logic and reason. You see him investing in stocks. However for me, I clearly have a more open way of thinking. That’s why I find some appeal to dabbling in cryptocurrency.
It doesn’t mean I’ll flat out ignore him when he gives me financial advice, rather I don’t let his advice be the sole factor in making my decisions.
This is what I mean by weakening.
To not let one person’s decisions make your life decisions.
If someone is doing that, then remove them from your life. Either by not being around them, or by weakening their influence with the tactic above.
Finally, you continue to formulate your own thoughts and opinions by having an open mind.
Make an effort to understand both sides of the coin. — Eric S Burdon
There are two sides to every argument and every story. It’s thus our job to be open to interpret both sides. Even with knowing both sides we ultimately choose how we see each story.
Where someone sees malnourished children one can see that as a sad story. While someone else can see this as an opportunity to start a non-profit company to help them.
When it comes to your own thoughts though, you want to be able to look at them fully and ask two things:
“Are these my true thoughts?” And “Are these influenced by other people?”
I know from personal experience that a lot of my opinions a long time ago were those from people around me. This threw my life in spirals as many aspects of my life were conflicted with one thought over another.
If hypocrite was a person, that person would’ve been me.
But as soon as I started to change myself and seek help, I started to take control of my thoughts. I began to change how I view the world into how I see it now. From there, I started to create my own thoughts and opinions.
Really what matters in this action is to verify whether these thoughts line up with who you are as a person. Even if what you believe in about something is a popular belief, make sure that it is yours.
Remember: It doesn’t matter what other people think in this instance. What matters is what YOU think.
In order to take control of your thoughts start by believing in yourself first and foremost.
You could even start formulating your own thoughts and beliefs.
You want to justify them with rationale and even be open to looking at the counter arguments and assessing them.
From there you want to assess that with those around you who you give power to. Do they deserve that power? Or are they abusing it?
To your growth!
Eric S Burdon