We are what we think is a common saying you will hear from motivational speakers, but I would like you to consider this statement for a moment. This statement is simple and at the same time can be very complexed. ‘We are what we think’ means that our thoughts ultimately create the person we are now and will be in the future. Just like another saying you are what you eat, so our personalities are a product of what we think. Our thoughts govern who we are and therefore its reflected in our actions, our actions influence our future. Research has also shown that our state of mind directly influences our bodies.
Positive vs Negative
So generally we have two types of days. Let’s start with the first one, we are all familiar with this scenario of ‘getting out of the wrong side of the bed’. Not literally, but that feeling where you’re just not looking forward to the day, and you just know that today isn’t going to be a good day. We wished we would have stayed in bed. It will be a day when we feel others and situations seem to conspire against us, where we achieve little or nothing, where we feel hostility and aggravation all around us. On such a day we get exactly what we envisioned. Having negative thoughts can be very toxic for your own mental wellbeing as well as impacting on your physiology.
On the other hand, we have a completely opposite scenario, when we start the day full of optimism. Our thoughts and feelings are positive: we focus on what is important in our lives and we are more than ready to face any new challenges head-on. We are so full of positive thoughts and energy that we can’t have anything but a good day because we wont let anything bring us down. We achieve what we set out to and others appear to work with us and are on our side. We feel good about ourselves and are happy.
No we can all relate to this types of days. I will give you an example we can all relate to here, imagine the festive spirits whether its Eid or Christmas day. generally, its a day to be happy about, everyone is in a good mood and there’s a lot going on. On days like this because we are all in a celebratory mood. Anything your child or sibling can do that would usually annoy you and make you snap, you let it pass by. you dont let it affect your mood and bring your spirits down. Now you can have the same scenario but on a normal day, and your threshold to withstanding that level of annoyance won’t be there. There is nothing different there, two exact same scenarios, the same annoying people but because you are in good spirits you have the threshold to put up with it.
A person in a positive state of mind who is thinking positive thoughts expects to be happy, achieve and get along with those he or she meets, while a person in a negative state of mind can see only gloom, despondency, non-cooperation and frustration, with little or nothing achieved. These two people will have their positive or negative attitude confirmed by getting exactly what they expect. This is what is known as a ‘self-fulfilling prophecy’, where something we perceive in our minds becomes true because of the link between belief and behaviour. If we think positively then we act positively, which leads to a positive outcome. Conversely, negative thoughts produce negative actions and outcomes.
Positive and negative thoughts are like magnets, attracting those in a similar state of mind. So a person in positive frame of mind will attract positive, happy people, who add to his or her feel-good factor, and ‘repel’ negative ones. Conversely a person in a negative state of mind will be a magnet for the negativity of others, who will collude in feelings of self-doubt and pessimism. Of course, this takes place subconsciously, with each person acting instinctively, without conscious thought or decision.
Since all this has a huge impact on our lives at all levels, mental and physical, we owe it to ourselves to think positively. Positive thought is within our control. We can choose to think positively, which will improve the person we are now and ultimately what happens in our lives. My next blog will be how to think positively.