Maybe we aren’t exactly what we think we are!
If you are not your memories, and you are not your thoughts, then what are you?
What are we left with if we take away our memories and thoughts that we believe define us?
Physically, without them, all you really are as you sit there reading this post is bones, blood, brain, organs, skin, muscle and some other stuff, right? That analysis isn’t very specific I know, but you get the picture.
Yet, the strange fact is, that isn’t strictly true either, that you are you.
In reality, your body includes more foreign organisms than it does of your own cells and DNA. Depending on which research you read the reality could be that only 10% of you is “human” and the rest is made up of other… things, like microbes, bacteria, fungi, and viruses.
So physically, you aren’t really you, according to the biologists.
Which for me is handy, because now when I screw up I can just blame it on all the other organisms that make up me, rather than the 10% of me that did it.
So what about our memories? Are they what define us?
Neurologically, your memories are simply patterns of connected neurons within your brain that pulse with an electrical charge when you recall a past event.
And according to Neuroscientist, Professor Schiller, “not only are our memories faulty… but, more importantly, our memories change each time they are recalled.”
So, potentially, a lot of what you remember now, has been changed and… may well be completely made up.
But, that might be a good thing according to Schiller, “my conclusion is that memory is what you are now. Not in pictures, not in recordings. Your memory is who you are now. So if we tell our stories differently, the emotions that are elicited will also differ. An altered story is also an altered interior life.”
OK, so if some memories have been altered, and may be completely inaccurate, and we believe they define us as who we are, we may as well choose to re-create those memories each time we re-member them for a better interior life right now. Right?
OK, that leaves those thoughts we are having at this moment. What about those?
Can you control your thoughts?
Most people, even most scientists, say that you can’t control your thoughts.
However, It’s not that we can’t control our thoughts, but more accurately, most of us just don’t take the time to give our thoughts direction.
“Control of the mind is something that has never occurred to most of us; to some it may even sound cold or rigid…. But when we learn to control the mind, to slow down its feverish pace, to welcome those thoughts we approve of and dismiss those that are negative, we will find what a sense of mastery this brings….. We can all have such control over the mind that calmness becomes our natural state….”
~ Eknath Easwaran
And if you leave your thoughts to their own devices, they can start to rage out of control, just like an airplane would if it didn’t have a pilot flying it or the autopilot switched on.
Yet, did you know that with just a minute a day’s practice asking the right questions you can begin to steer your thoughts in the exact direction you need and want them to go.
According to research by Professor Goldsmith involving over 5,000 people, when they asked the right questions they were able to improve the following areas of their lives with just ten days:
- Become more happy and joyful
- Find more meaning in life
- Make better progress towards their goals
So, even your thoughts don’t have to define you, if within 10 days they can be completely replaced by new useful, self empowering, supportive thoughts.
Imagine if you could do that too. What questions would you ask that could change your life in less than 10 days?
THE HUMAN RACE
And here’s one more sobering fact to help you appreciate that WHATEVER you are feeling or going through, you are not alone, and never will be, as someone else has been or is going through it right now too:
There have been approximately 107,602,707,791 (almost 108 Billion) 🙂 people on this planet before you and me. And there will be a lot more than that after us.
Leave a comment if you have any questions and please SHARE THIS or LIKE IT if you think a friend might like to read it too.
If you want to learn more about improving your mindset and the science of how to improve your happiness and how to “ask the right questions” you can get full access to the Telos Lifestyle Revolution program for free.