Do You Think It Or Believe It?

I was lying face down on a linoleum floor, attempting to lick something up with not very much luck. In a flash, I regained consciousness only to find myself indeed on the floor, and the only thing being licked was my face!

Really? No, but it seemed like a good opening line for this article. Not being one for routine and rules, it just sorta came to mind so I decided to put it down.

Capitalizing on a particular theme in writing has yet to reveal itself for me. There are such a number or interesting topics that wave from the box of hands, excitedly jumping up and down vying for attention. Choosing just one almost seems boring.

Randomness of thought has always intrigued me, or what seems to be an undisciplined process of connection. Yet when time has been taken to trace them back carefully, connection is always there. How that could possibly line up with the opening line I have yet to discover, but things are just getting warmed up.

Walking my favorite trail the other day had me sprawling on the ground after a careless moment, and contact with my boot on a small tree root. Mentally having prepared myself well before hand of such a possibility, rather than planting my face in the ground, it was landing on my shoulder and rolling onto my back.

The jolt was likely as great as the surprise. Had the root been unavoidable, the event would have more understandable. Such was not the case as I have walked this trail and passed this root on numerous occasions. Perhaps the only difference was going the opposite direction.

As mentioned earlier, a careless moment. The good news is what could have been more serious, simply ended with some really good aches in my shoulder and hip the following day, along with a few abrasions. No stitches required, and band-aids sufficed to cover the affected areas.

Is there a point here? Since the focus is on thoughts I distinctly recall mine were wondering at the moment of contact between boot and root! Wondering if my “rabbits” (a pair of walkers I used to challenge myself) were close behind and how much of a lead I had, was going through my mind instead of paying attention and being in the moment.

Now it occurs to me this may be a perfect example of what happens to others that are rarely in the moment, constantly finding themselves with a myriad of difficulties to deal with. Constantly unaware of the moment might work with driving, as subconscious reaction takes over. Normal events of the day take on a significant difference as there is rarely anything predictable such as in driving.

Relate this to details. With a strong aversion to instructions on how to assemble anything, the challenge has always been to be more intelligent than that paper. On rare occasion, those numbered steps have been clear and concise, while other occasions totally useless creating that sense of victory and false superiority.

Discovery of just how the synapses of the brain function in such a way as to seemingly and randomly jump from one thought to another, only to realize it has not been so on review is amazing. Comparison to the most intricate of jig-saw puzzles seems close .

What do you find yourself thinking about most often? Money? The opposite sex? What you should have said in the last discourse? What you’re going to say to justify your raise? The latest scores? That dream vacation? How to pay your taxes? Do you have lettuce in your teeth?

Follow that trail if you will. Within a split second all those could course through your mind. Which one or ones will actually get your attention? The hand with the red glove among the white! Priority has been pre-established in your hierarchy of thought so chances are it could be a tossup between money or sex.

While psychology is not my profession, even though much reading has been done on the topic, this would have to classify as pure conjecture making it all the more interesting. There is probably about as much truth here as in a fictional novel. Strangely that makes the truth part a majority.

Power of thought is where this really gets interesting. There would have to be the notion that thoughts are just those passing whims of fancy that flash by throughout the day. Yet there is far more to this than most would believe.

Practitioners will use scientific proof on the power of thought and it’s reality. The majority of public consensus will give little credibility to these claims in spite of proof. How might you react to the reality that your thoughts had the power to change your life? Your first thought might be “So what happened to me?”

Enormous effort would have to be made to change from the willy-nilly way most deal with thoughts. Truth would indicate that thoughts are not given much importance at all by most. Fireflies come to mind as a way to describe how most consider thoughts. Just something that’s there and gone.

Previous articles have dealt with the Placebo Effect and it’s power. That can not be dismissed, as it is the very power of thought and belief that create the amazing effects. What if there’s more to this? Could you entertain the thought that you and you alone are the master of your universe?

One of the first books that impacted me was by Napoleon Hill titled, Think and Grow Rich! The key phrase throughout the book is, “Whatsoever the mind of man can conceive and believe it can achieve.” The key word there is “believe.”

Oddly enough there is a great deal written on which is the more powerful, thoughts or beliefs. Mahatma Gandhi said “Your beliefs become your thoughts, Your thoughts become your words, Your words become your actions, Your actions become your habits, Your habits become your values, Your values become your destiny.”

In essence he was saying that beliefs are more powerful than thoughts, but it is thoughts that lead back to beliefs. Others have stated that although thoughts are not beliefs, they are what can become a belief when there is a will to make it so.

So this gets more interesting as research is done to determine which in fact is the more powerful of the two. And to think that this was going to be simple. Determining whether it was the chicken or the egg that came first might be easier.

Supposedly beliefs are what are formed up to a certain age based on events, successes, failures, humiliations, accidents, encouragements, that are stored in that all to challenging sub-conscious mind. It is further claimed that the 60,000 or so thoughts that roam through our mind daily are in some form reflections from these beliefs.

 In order to change any beliefs, consistent, determined and precise intent must be exercised in a positive state of mind for success.

At least that what those who call themselves authorities on the subject say, and chances are you will find as I did, there are as many on one side as the other as to which is which.

Your challenge, should you accept it, is to type in thoughts vs. beliefs in Google. There’s a good chance you may run after reading the first few links, as it gets deep real quick. More than a few unusual ideas about this topic. Then again you may be fascinated.

It does seem to fall on the side of reason, that when there are 60,000 thoughts roaming through the grey matter daily, that if these formed beliefs then we have more than ever imagined. The next question is, do they change everyday? 

So here’s the next little bit that makes this more interesting. According to studies of those 60,000 thoughts daily, 80% are negative! Of the 60,000 daily thoughts 95% are repeated daily. No matter how you try, focusing on changing negative thoughts is a loosing effort simply because our brains are hardwired towards them.

Bottom line there are any number of “thoughts” on the topic, and you need a strong mind to sort through it with any subjectivity. Maybe more than a strong mind is an open mind with the willingness to consider, if not accept, things that may seem contrary to conventional belief.

After all this hard thinking I may be face down on a linoleum floor licking at whatever. The only safe thing is we have no such floors.

As to thoughts vs. beliefs, it’s hard to determine where the Placebo Effect fits in. Is it a belief or a thought? No one goes in as part of a double blind study of new drugs knowing they will get a placebo or not. In most cases they are not instructed this is a possibility. Most likely for the exact reason so as not to create any influence one way of the other. So it can be neither a thought or belief, especially when 80% of thoughts going in are negative.

The idea that one could be cured of something simply by believing it to be so borders on what most might consider as being in “la-la land.” Still, as has been previously stated and is again part of scientific proof, placebos have a 30% success rate across the board.

So can you think yourself happy, rich, successful, able to speak in front of large audiences, ready to go skydiving? Sure! Most of what it takes is recognizing that the “fear factor” is most of what stands in the way. Constant review of your thoughts will show the fears or reasons preventing any of these actions are a lie. Not believing they are lies is what keeps your where you are.

Is it that simple? Recognizing the truth defies what the brain has been seemingly pre-programed to accept. Any person achieving great things has had to overcome the negativity in the brain. The first challenge is to accept that the brain is prone to negativity. When that is possible to accept, then a daily dose of positive input begins the change.

The Cleveland Clinic of Wellness has a great site dedicated to aiding understanding of stress and how it relates to thinking.

This particular link cuts through all the front page stuff and takes you right to the heart of it. You may find it interesting reading.

So I don’t know what your thoughts are or mine, as how do you sort through even a few? However, since only about 5% change daily maybe there’s a chance. Which end do you focus on? I guess the  best bet is to focus on one area you want to change, or more, and begin discovery of the lies that have kept you where you are.

It’s a bit scary to think our brains work against us instead of for us. It also explains why so many are where they are, as this is simply not common knowledge. Why do you suppose that is? I have a feeling that will lead to the next article, so stay tuned.

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It’s time to stress out with a cup of wine.

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Alan Written by:

Alan is retired and resides in Quito, Ecuador. Writing is a passion which has resulted in two eBooks thus far, with more in the works. Married 47 years with four sons and 13 grandchildren, provides potential grist for the mill! Alan is a charter "Boomer", a Viet Nam veteran, committed to roasting his own coffee and writes about whatever pops into his mind. He loves to build and ride recumbent bikes, play racquetball, writes almost daily, travels Ecuador, and talks to anything that does not move fast enough! The twinkle in his eye is a combination of the sun, and an active sense of humor. His desire to encourage others to write is being answered through his articles on the Internet.