I am not my thought, I have thoughts

I am not my thoughts. What I think does not determine who I am. My thoughts are something I do in order to live optimally.

Let us take a step back.

Remember all I am, I am in process.  In this process I use the two tools I have in order to function optimally – my body and my mind. In my mind are my thoughts.

Think of your brain as the hardware and your mind as the software of this beautiful organic computer you have. Your thoughts are the documents or presentations you create.

You are not your thoughts, you create your thoughts to function effectively or not in your life.

Most people are not aware of this. They just run on autopilot.

Autopilot is not bad. We do not want to think of every breath or heartbeat. Luckily that takes care of itself. The challenge comes when we want to live optimally or deal with a problem effectively.

Then we need to master the use of our mind in order to produce effective thoughts. Thoughts that bring as were we want to be.

The first skill to master is to be aware of your own thought process. Do you know how you came to the conclusions you live with? Are you clear about the assumptions you build your interpretations on?  Do you see the repetitive patterns in your thinking that makes you get stuck?

First be aware, and then go to the next skill level of thinking creative and analytically.

Yes we all have the ability to think creative or be analytical. Analytical thinking and Creative thinking are two major functions of the brain. The brain has the ability to think in detail and think holistically. It is built into our motherboard. We use it or not, depending on the situation and our awareness of what thinking tool to use in the situation. These thinking tools allow us to deal effectively or ineffectively with the situation we are in.

The point is, as Martin Seligman said, we can train our mind like an athlete trains his/her body to function optimally. This training starts with dis-identifying with your thoughts in order to observe then and then change them to bring us the results we want in live.

We are not our thoughts, we have thoughts. Let us use these thoughts optimally.

Thinking with you.


A mind full of pictures

I love photos. I take them myself. I admire them when they are taken by other people. Photos capture moments in time and the very best captures those moments that cannot be repeated.

Our mind also thinks in pictures. If I ask you to think about your mother, you immediately recall a mental picture of your mother. In the same way we have pictures or more accurately mental models of everything.

Mental models are frames of references about every topic we are aware of. We have mental models about love, life, people, work, you name it. It can be seen as to sum total of our assumptions about how life should be.

Neuro scientists refer to it as hardwiring of neurons, because of the natural process of the brain to create semi permanent connections around anything that has become an unconscious habit. We don’t consciously think about tying our shoes or brushing our teeth. We do it habitually. This natural process makes life easier. It frees up brain space and energy for other things.

I also like refer to these mental models as belief systems. What we belief about our self and our world. Belief systems are more complex than habits like brushing your teeth, but they are also hardwired neurological connections. A very complex interconnectedness of neurons. That is why they are referred to systems. Therefore we could also apply the rules of systems to our mental models.

One of these rules is that a system always tries to keep itself in equilibrium. So if you receive information that does not fit into the system of neurological connections you already have, the equilibrium is changed. It is a bit like having a black and white photo and suddenly a person in the photo has a bright red jacket on. It does not fit into the context. Our mind then does one of two things. It can disregard the information or it can find a way to fit it into the current system.

When the second option is executed, a whole new set of dynamics come into play. Dynamics I would love to explore with you in the next few posts.  First we need to have an understanding of the basic process of the pictures in our minds.

That is – we all have a complex interconnected belief system about our world and through these belief systems we interpreter the world as it happens. The question that arises is: Have we ever looked at the interpreter of our world?

Any good photographer would tell you that you need to know how your camera works, before you can constantly produce good photos. My invitation to you is: Will you join me in exploring the way we interpret our world?

With expectation