How does one think? I mean I know how to throw a ball, but how do I/we think? It kind of just rolls along by itself, this thinking. In fact, try to stop thinking. Can’t do it, huh. There is deliberate focused, now thinking, like when doing brain surgery and there is the yakky yak that prattles along when I am just sitting around. What is making that yak thinking go? What is the fuel?
Thinking evolved as a protection mechanism, a warning alarm. The first thoughts in the evolution of the animal is self preservation. So the most important thoughts are about staying alive, food, warmth, shelter, safety. If we ‘think’ that we don’t have those, then those are all we can think about until we do have them. Maslow developed a model of the hierarchy of thought that states that this is the case
Those primordial preservation thoughts get in the way even today, though for most of us, most of the time, survival and safety things are a given. Yet we can make up that not all of those are in place. We can get very animated and the phrase ‘like a trapped animal’ can describe my thoughts. Thing is, I generated those and I can choose to generate other thoughts instead. The key is to notice my thoughts, then I can indeed choose
When noticing my thoughts it can be helpful to also notice how I feel about them. When I can detach from the urge to act immediately and strongly because of a thought, to have a look at it for even a moment, I can, most of the time, just smile and let it go wooshing by. Makes for a happier life. Thoughts made up constitute the majority of all of my thoughts. Might as well think good thoughts then
‘What were you thinking!?’ One might ask me that after I do something daft. The answer is usually, ‘uhh, I guess I wasn’t’. Not quite true, but close. I was thinking but not noticing my thoughts. That is when that cranky little voice inside takes over and pulls me into unhappy results, almost like I am just a passenger. The remedy is to notice my thinking. This is a new idea, I know. Think about it anyway