I love the quote
“Watch your thoughts, they become words;
Watch your words, they become actions;
Watch your actions, they become habits;
Watch your habits, they become character;
Watch your character, for it becomes your destiny.”
Several years ago, if I would have read this, I would have thought what an esoteric nonsense. Since quite some time I think how true and wonderful it is.
Think of the example as soon as you decide to buy a red car, you see red cars everywhere – based loosely on the motto “Energy flows, where attention goes. There are other examples you can think of. If you go into a meeting with the expectation that it will be terribly boring, the chances are very high, that it will be terribly boring. If you visit your mother-in-law and you await that she will totally annoy you, the odds are very high, that it will be totally annoying. If you go to the supermarket and you suppose, that you will select the checkout with the longest waiting time, the probability, that this will also happen, is very high, as well. Since I changed my thoughts to the meeting will be interesting, I like to visit my father-in-law, and I do not select all the time the checkout with the longest waiting time the ease in my life increased greatly. Maybe not every meeting is super interesting and fun – but they are at least not terribly boring, anymore. I guess in this case I still have room for improvement. Nowadays, I really like to visit my father-in-law. And regarding the supermarket I just do not care anymore at which checkout I end up. If I use statistics I know that my chances are well distributed with respect to short and long waiting times. And when I am in a supermarket with 5 checkouts my chances are 80 %, that I will select a checkout with a longer waiting time compared to the 1 with the shortest waiting time out of the 5.
Unfortunately, for a lot of thoughts the media are not very helpful. They like to report about exciting incidents. And humans are subject to bias according to Kahneman. If something is reported very often in the media, or if people experienced or did something themselves, persons overestimate the occurrence of those situations. This is the reason why we worry about shark attacks and getting on airplanes, when the real threats to longevity are fast food, candies and long hours lounging on the couch.
Interestingly, our body cannot distinguish between thoughts and experiences. It does not matter if we imagine or experience a fearful situation. In both cases our body releases hormones. This is the same for a joyful event. The only difference between a fear- and joyful situation is the kind of hormones, which are released. Just by thinking we create matter – the chemicals in our body.
The following examples show how our thoughts can create even more matter. A team of Harvard researchers carried out a study in which they had two different groups of people: one group that did a simple five-finger piano exercise and another group that only imagined this exercise. Both groups created new neural circuits in the respective region of their brains. Other American research teams carried out studies in which they had two different groups of people, as well: one group that imagined doing a certain muscle training exercise and another group that did nothing. The group, which imagined to do the exercise regularly for several weeks, increased their muscle strength by about 10 %.
This knowledge that with our thoughts we can create our destiny is so wonderful, as we can create our future according to our dreams.
Photo by Vie Studio