Tweaking Your Reality

 

“T’is nothing good or bad, but thinking, makes it so.” 

Shakespeare.

 

Something close to a lightning bolt, a defining moment came to me this week, it happened in the shower of all places.  Here it is:  I spend entirely too much time accentuating the negative and not embracing the positive things in my life.  In other words, “I am constantly at work almost daily making myself into a bad mood or creating inner turmoil.”  My brother-in-law has a word for it, he calls it “Stinkin Thinkin.” and he could very well be right.

Today I thought we might challenge the idea that we’ll be miserable if we don’t get what we want.  That is the idea that is put forth to all of us almost daily in the media, on television, and at some times, the Internet.  So what is it that is the defining edge here?  

How we use that “three pound meatloaf between our ears” has a lot to do with it.  In other words, what we want and what we get in life, can be measured out and accomplished by how it is that we think.  

There is an old saying that suggests, “that if you want to be unhappy for the remainder of your life, just long for or wish for that which is totally out of your reach.”  But then again, society will tell you over and over, “Go for it, shoot for the moon, you have nothing to lose.”

So how do you decide.  Which one is the correct solution to the dilemma.  Do you trust your thinking or do you go with the status quo? 

One thing that enters into play is the frontal lobe of your brain.  Our “psychological immune system” lets us feel truly happy even when things don’t go as planned.  You do not get Fresh Pressed in the span of one year on WordPress.com, but you put up a post and eighteen hundred people view it.  

One makes you sad and disappointed, the other causes joy and elation for a perceived job well done.  A rapid fire-quick shot of whatever you need (dopamine?) to keep you going for a little while longer.

Here is another example;  You go on a date and the guy picks his nose in front of you, you never go out with him again.  You marry some poor slob, and he picks his nose, and you say to yourself, “we need to keep him away from Grandma’s fruit cake.”

Each decision weighed and inspected by your brain, for its respective worth in your life, one gives you happiness and one does not.

Believe it or not, you have the ability to chart your course thru life, you can choose to be happy and of course, you can choose to be very unhappy.  Most of us do not know how to choose between the two, myself included.  

With a New Year on tap, a clean slate, I am determined this year, to search out and find a way to turn it all around.  Which will be far from simple, you see, at my age, nothing comes easy for me any more.  Call it the beginning of wisdom, or clearly seeing things differently, whatever you want, but I am thinking there is a clear cut solution between being happy and feeling sad.  

 It is all in the way you think.  How it is, that you use the decision making processes of your mind. 

Think about this.  The front part of your brain gives you the ability to synthesize happiness, to get a little taste of something beforehand and make your decisions on that reality.  Some of you are chuckling to yourself right about now, most likely saying to yourselves … “what is this guy smoking?”  But it is true, you are capable of thought patterns such as I just said.

Need another example?  If you think it out, liver and onions doesn’t really sound all that appealing, so therefore, you decline the offer.  This done, without ever having to actually taste the liver and onions.  

 This is called synthesized happiness or thinking.  

You put the two together, and then inside your head, you made a conscious decision based on your thought patterns, as to whether this would be a good deal or not.  Then you go with it. (By the way, my mother made me eat it anyway, until I was old enough to refuse, and go to bed hungry as she put it.)

My wife stays relatively happy, not so much because I make it so for her, but because she mentally chooses to steer a course in that direction.  She will quickly tell you that “she is happy with the cards that God has dealt her, and that is fine, it is all that I need in life.”  Which I find amazing, because you see, I am constantly telling myself “this sucks and I want another deal.”  

Seldom do I get a new deal and I often find myself unhappy with the cards that I hold.

Every storm in life, will eventually run out of rain.  If you stop and take a minute to think about it, this makes an entertaining and profoundly moving case for creating a thought system that nurtures (rather than undermines) creativity and promotes the state of happiness in your life.

Oprah or Dr. Phil didn’t give this to me, and it is certainly not anything close to “New Age” or anything like that.  Just came to me in the shower one morning and stayed with me for a long time afterwords.

Our problem (or in this case MY problem) is … We have the power to synthesize our thoughts into good ideas and happiness, we just seldom use the tools we were given in the beginning.  All we have to do is think about it and then take the shot.  Who knows?  You might find it easier than you thought.  Going shoppin’ makes my wife happy … might work for me too …  Might exercise this new found knowledge and put it and the Credit Card to the test.

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OOO

17 thoughts on “Tweaking Your Reality

  1. Inspired! Love the almost scientific analysis on the idea of positive thinking.

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    • It seems to be working for me and I plan on doing some more on it in the future, perhaps next week. I just barely scratched the surface of it.

      Thanks for your comment,

      DS

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  2. Liver and onions… yuck! No amount of positive thinking will ever make me eat it. I considered myself an excellent chef and yet, it was the worst dish I’ve ever cooked. It was so bad, one of the residents that I made it for actually brought it back to the kitchen, threw it on the table and told me it wasn’t fit for human consumption. I knew she was right because the dish was made without my passion for cooking. First of all, the thought of the liver itself wasn’t very appealing to me and then when I had to work with it — the texture repulsed me. I didn’t want to touch it with my hands, so I used a spatula instead while trying to talk myself into liking the process. With my lack of motivated attitude, and distaste for liver, the dish didn’t have a chance to be successful regardless of how I tried to talk myself into liking it.

    Last New Year, I thought by moving to another state and owning a business would bring me the changes and success I wanted but in the end, I realized that only the geography had changed. There is this perception that a New Year brings a clean slate for one to start over. I used to make resolutions every New Year on how to repaint my new slate. However, I realized that no matter how clean the new slate may be, It only gets painted over and the old stuff is still underneath. I guess what I’m trying to say is that — there are things in life that requires more than just positive thinking in order for it to succeed. No amount of self-talk will help if you don’t take the right actions. You have to believe and have the desire passion to want to change. Of course this is easier said than done. My experience from last year made me realized that to change, you need to find the inner demons that’s preventing you from accepting the positive thinking. Only then will you be able to take the necessary actions to achieve the changes you desired. So… will I ever make a great tasting liver and onions dish? Probably not… because I find eating liver positively appalling. But this is one aspect of my cooking ability I’m willing to accept without regret. ;)

    Another enjoyable thought provoking post, Don. Thanks for sharing. :)

    Em

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    • Great comment Em, thanks so much!

      Now it is important to remember that this is not about changing physical things in your world, we all know that is just not possible. It is about making the things that happen in your world a positive and not a negative. By synthesizing your thinking, you are able to turn things around to your advantage. Being a big believer in “what goes round comes round,” I am doing my level best to insure good, positive vibes or thoughts in my world whenever I can.

      And you are right on the money, liver and onions suck. Think about it …. the liver is a organ that filters out poison and unhealthy things in the body ….

      E
eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeewe.

      There is the belief or perception that the New Year brings a new slate, which we both know is a misconception at the very least. It is almost like when you pass the border into a new state, the land doesn’t change, it virtually stays the same in most cases, it is the name of the state that changed.

      Same thing here.

      No amount of self-talk will help if you don’t take the right actions. Once again, right on. You can sit in the shop for hours upon hours, but that don’t make you a bus!

      Another enjoyable thought provoking post, Don. Thanks for sharing. :)
      Em

      A few years back, I had this guy who para-phrased it like this: “I don’t always agree with what you say, nor do I like it. But I do appreciate that you always make me think about it. And in the end, the decision is mine.”

      We simply put it out there, run it up the flagpole, you don’t have to salute it if you don’t want to and we understand.

      Take me some pictures!

      Thank you for your well written comment.

      Don

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  3. One of the basic concepts of Buddhism is that discomfort/unhappiness/suffering is caused by wanting things we can’t have and trying to hang onto things that we can’t keep. Makes it hard to live in the moment.

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  4. I feel the same as alot of folk do about liver ‘n onions. When my Mother made that dish in the late ’50’s she cooked it ’til it came out as hard as a hockey puck ! Years later, like you’ve stated, I read up on what the liver’s function is in ALL life and did not feel good the rest of the day. In fact it made me feel as bad like the time a guy at a party I’d attended suggested to any and all that might have been listening that to get rid of that horrible hangover they were gonna have the next day, they should consume a hot tunafish milkshake !!!

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    • They say Jeremiah Johnson would open up one of his enemies, pull out his liver, and then put it to his mouth as if he were eating it, to scare the indians off that were watching him. That is how he became Jeremiah Liver Eating Johnson.

      Not as glamorous as Robert Redford eh?

      I am not eating it, oysters on the half-shell or calf-fries, lamb-fries. Strictly Post Toasties for me!

      DS

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  5. In retirement, we can’t simply sit at home – we must carefully consider the world before us, consider our options, and take action towards happiness. For me, a productive post-retirement life that is fulfilling is happiness in my book! Happiness comes from within, and that means you need to be happy with yourself, physically and mentally… right?

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  6. I thought Jeremiah was a bullfrog. (Iconoclasm makes me happy.)

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