We are what we think.
All that we are arises with our thoughts.
With our thoughts we make the world.
Speak or act with an impure mind
and trouble will follow you
as the wheel follows the ox that draws the cart.
Speak or act with a pure mind
and happiness will follow you
as your shadow, unshakeable.
Dhammapada, The Buddha
There is one thing about which I am certain and that is we create who we are by how we think!
We are what we think and the person we become over time is simply a summation of our thoughts.
Have you ever noticed that kind people always speak kindly of others and are generous by nature? Inspirational people are positive and curious? Interesting people are inquisitive and lively? All actions are born from thought. All that is created comes about through thought.
Faces are sculpted by thought. Anger, anxiety, contempt, jealousy, sadness are clearly identifiable on many faces that surround us. If these emotions, that are sourced from thought, are clutched on to for long enough, they become ‘set in concrete’, defined by frown lines and clenched jaws.
What is the antithesis? Well, a smile of course. And smiles come about through a beautiful thought.
One of the greatest influences in my life is a book called ‘As a Man Thinketh’. It is my bible. Written in 1902 by John Allen, it has sold in the millions. A tiny book with enormous impact, it has been one of the greatest influences for authors and philosophers alike, such as Napolean Hill and his contemporary Anthony Robbins.
John Allen was probably very much influenced by the Buddhist scriptures too. Philosophers simply pass these thoughts along……
The following excerpt from this tiny treasure could be deemed as my personal mantra:
“A calm, strong man is loved and revered. For when he is calm he ceases to fuss, and fume and worry and grieve, and instead remains poised, steadfast and serene. The more tranquil a man becomes, the greater his success, his influence, his power for good”.
Yes, thoughts drive us nuts at times, particularly the very annoying negative ones! If I observe a negative one appearing, I create the image of kicking it out my head like a footballer kicking a ball. Off you go into oblivion so you don’t annoy me anymore!
What can we do when the shadow takes over? Smile; be with those who are bright and light; create a project with a great cause; seek more knowledge; read something gorgeous; watch something entertaining or simply do a good deed for someone else – that will soon make you feel better!
Mind is the Master-power that moulds and makes,
And Man is Mind, and evermore he takes
The tool of Thought, and, shaping what he wills,
Brings forth a thousand joys, a thousand ills:-
He thinks in secret, and it comes to pass:
Enivornment is but his looking-glass.