Thought Control – How to Discipline the Mind
How many of our thoughts are we consciously aware of? Do you inspect every thought that enters your consciousness? There is a tendency to regard every thought as harmless. We allow every thought free access to our brain. We allow these thoughts access to the programming center the brain without regard to what affect it will ultimately have.
Shouldn’t we have greater control of our mind?
Have you ever locked yourself out of your car? The horrified feeling of seeing the car keys laying on the car seat can convince us that we need greater control of our mind.
Has your to-do list changed into an not-getting-done list? You have many things that need to be done, but there seems to be something that manages to get in the way. Somehow new urgent business jumps ahead of the old business. Priorities change every day. You have been telling yourself that once you have taken care of the emergency that you will get back to the old business, but you know that you are only kidding yourself.
Are you trying to do too much? Are you relying too heavily on a frayed memory?
You know that you are incapable of handling the situation with the knowledge you have now. The first step in solving a problem is admitting that you have one. The next step in resolving a problem is to take positive action to transmute the problem into an advantage..
You need help. You need a gatekeeper. You need to discipline your mind.
Mental discipline is the ability of your mind to recognize and respond in a deliberate manner to thoughts and feelings occurring within the mind. The danger of unattended thoughts is that they will make us feel and act in ways that are contrary to our best interests. Have you ever heard the expression, “the devil made me do it”? The undisciplined mind would rather ask for forgiveness than to ask for permission.
How do thoughts enter the mind? By hearing, by seeing, by touching, by tasting, by smelling, and by dreaming. It is very easy to give control of the mind over to these random external and internal stimuli. We choose not to guard our conscious mind, and allow thoughts to take up residence in our subconscious mind without regard for the consequences..And the thought-feeling-action-consequence cycle begins again with no purpose to guide it.
The lust for Instant gratification wears down the deliberation of the conscious mind. In its haste to embrace the new an undisciplined conscious mind allows distractions to waste time and intellect.The human mind is hungry for new experiences. It gets bored easily. It is intolerant of having to consciously evaluate every thought. The evaluation process is a tedious and a waste of time. Faulty reasoning declares consequences to be irrelevant.
Do consequences matter? The answer should be obvious. Consequences come with a price. You are free to choose your thoughts, but you are not free to choose the consequences of those thoughts. The fear of consequences should prompt every person to seek to control the thoughts that attempt to occupy the mind.
We must tame the wandering of the mind. Put your mind on a short leash. Begin by being more observant and more questioning of the thoughts that are entering your conscious mind. You want to be more purposeful. You want to harness the computing power of the mind. You want to control which programs run in the processor.
With observation comes the ability to shift from reactivity to pro-activity. The objective is to choose our next thought rather than allowing transient thoughts to steal our attention. Thinking certain thoughts can become habitual. We become conditioned to think certain things in certain ways, and soon these habitual thoughts trigger conditioned reflexes. These reflexes are unconsciously triggered by certain sensory stimuli and we perform actions that have no conscious control.
Instead, we must become intentional. We must work to make intentional thought a habit. The development of this skill requires determination in the beginning, but determination quickly develops into discipline.