Thinking it Over has Less Odds than Wishing on a 4 Leaf Clover - Grasshopper
A conversation in your head is an impotent reaction to reality that cannot effectuate change, anymore than a gelding can be a proud papa.
How many times have you said or heard someone say, "I want to think it over"? If you're a salesperson, you've run into that expression more often than anyone else. What exactly does it mean?
It simply means that you are not ready to decide. The phrase is a convenient expression that we have conditioned ourselves to, and believe has some meaning.
The truth is decisions make you and not the other way around, and all the thinking in the world cannot change that. It's the way our mind works. The Madison Avenue marketers know that you buy emotionally first and justify it with the rational thinking mind after the fact. Rarely is an ad directed at your thinking intellect. They are wizards in converting features into benefits which work on the decision making part of you.
The feature of a product is always the rational portion. It's the benefit that makes it emotional. For example, a feature on a new car may be adjustable leather seats. There is nothing sexy about that until you turn it into a benefit. "Imagine how comfortable you'll feel as the adjustable seat contours itself to your body and envelops you in kid glove comfort." Apples and kumquats.
When you say, "I want to think it over," what you are really saying is, "I want my thinking to stop long enough so that a decision that's already been made at another level can find room in my mind to make its presence known."
The same procedure has to happen in order to come up with an answer to a dilemma. The internal chit chat always delays the answer. Talking to yourself inside of your head is always a stalling tactic. No answer can appear while you are in there yakking. I often compare it to talking on a CB radio or walkie-talkie. When you have the talk button depressed, you cannot receive. Someone on the other end could have the perfect solution for your situation, but you are not in receiving mode.
The same principles were at work with the ancient sleep temples. You would enter them with some sort of difficulty or malady and then spend time in quiet contemplation. Oftentimes, people would leave the sleep temple with an answer to their quandary or a cure for their ailment.
Thinking is highly overrated.
The myth we have been conditioned to is, that thinking is prudent and effective. It's neither.
A clutch in a car is used to switch gears. It allows us to go from the gear we are in to another gear. If you don't use the clutch, you stay stuck in a gear. The clutch is the awareness that you are talking to yourself. When you have the presence of mind to catch yourself when you're in there mulling it over, that's when you switch gears and get to a smoother ride.
An effective spiritual practice is to dedicate an activity to the answer you are looking for. Instead of thinking it over, dedicate your walk, your meditation, your dish washing or vacuuming time to finding an answer. In other words become fully present in the activity at hand. If thinking comes into the activity, treat it like a friend who calls when you're in the middle of an important project that can't be interrupted. Explain that you will catch up with them later so that you can complete this essential task, and then go back to being mindful of your activity.
The more often you get thinking out of the equation, the quicker you get an answer to the problem.
You don't really think. Your mind thinks you. When you notice you are being thought, that's called presence of mind. When you develop that ability, you'll spend less time thinking and more time living.
Any time you dedicate to mind quieting activities will enrich your life. Constant thinking is an energy thief that will suck the life force out of you. Reminds me of a story . . .
Many years ago I was telling my step-father about this guy I had heard about in the record business. He said he knew the man and warned me he was without scruples. He said, "Let me put it this way, he would steal the eyes out of your head and tell you that you look better without them." Such is the case with the thinking mind.
If you consider this Grasshopper Note as more food for thought, may I suggest that you go on a diet.
All the best,
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