is the power that creates human experience -- the ultimate force that
creates, shapes, and transforms our lives."
Slowing Down to the Speed of Life, Part 4
Thought is the power that creates human experience--the ultimate
force that creates, shapes, and transforms our lives. We create our
experience of life through our thinking. We can't have an experience
without thought. It's as though thought is the ink in the pen of life,
and we are the illustrators. What we think becomes our emotions,
perceptions, sensations, decisions, behavior. It also influences the
reactions we get from others and our interpretations of those reactions.
Without thinking, there would be no experience. The tree may fall in the
woods, but someone alive and conscious needs to experience it. We are
not saying that our thinking creates the outside world in any absolute
sense--the tree still falls even if we don't experience it--but our
thinking does create our experience of the event.
It's impossible to experience any negative feeling without first
creating a negative corresponding thought. The truth is, our thinking
will always create the reality we perceive. For example, when we see
life as being full of demands and we feel overwhelmed, our thoughts
coincide with this view of life. When we are impatient, we are thinking
impatient thoughts: "When is he going to call me back for that
order?" When we are stressed, we are thinking stressed thoughts:
"I hate my supervisor. He demands a ridiculous amount out of me.
Does he think I'm Superwoman?"
These thoughts, and so many others, have the capacity to rob us of
our mental health in any given moment. And because we believe that
outside circumstances create our feelings, most of us try to restore our
mental health from the outside in by altering those
circumstances--taking a tranquilizer to relax, throwing a temper
tantrum, buying another time-saving device, or quitting our job. If we
believe that our feelings are determined by outside forces, it follows
that we will seek something equally external in response. As we gain an
understanding of our psychological experience, however, we can recognize
that the actual source of our experience is always our thinking. Thus we
can begin to restore the power in our lives.
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