This Will Change Your Life
Episode #2 of the course How to be happy now … not “then” by Colin Triplett
Now, I am not usually one to make bold, sweeping statements like “This will change your life,” but here we are!
If you have not heard this before or fully embraced this idea, this is the single most important and most powerful idea I will share: You are not your mind.
I want you to think about that for a second and make sure it sinks in. All those thoughts up in your head are not you. They can be controlled by you, but they are not who you are.
Why does this matter?
Because the only way you are going to find happiness in your life is to stop listening to that voice in your head!
As we talked about in the last lesson, that voice is constantly trying to solve problems. But what we will learn as this course goes on is this: That voice is actively looking for problems to solve.
Have you ever noticed how if you have something that is taking up a great deal of your mind space (say, a difficult conversation that you will need to have with your spouse), as soon as you get through that “problem,” something else pops up?
There is never a time in your life where your mind is not telling you that you have a problem.
So, you have two options: Keep listening to it, and have a never-ending string of problems for the rest of your life. Or, stop listening to it, and finally be able to appreciate and enjoy the life that you have.
I know that sounds too simple, but just because it’s simple, that does not mean it’s easy!
This course will help you learn how to do that, but for now, I want to drive home the idea that your mind is not you.
If you are having a hard time believing me, here is some evidence:
You “hear” your thoughts. If you can see or hear something, then it cannot be you. That statement alone is proof. The person who is hearing the thoughts is you, not the thoughts themselves.
Your thoughts are not consistent. How many times have you debated yourself? Again, “you” are listening to the two sides of the argument that your mind is providing, and then “you” make a decision on which argument you are going to agree with!
You have thoughts that you disagree with! This is the one that really gets me. There are things that will burst into my head that I immediately am shocked that I would think. “That’s not me!” But my mind says it, anyway.
As you can see, the mind can’t be you: You are just the one who is observing.
In the end, you are the witness. You witness your thoughts, you witness your emotions, and you witness the world.
The more you can identify with the witness and less with your mind, the happier you will be.
To wrap this up, I wanted to tell you about a few things that you can start doing now to begin putting distance between yourself and your mind.
Give your mind a name. I know this sounds funny, but it just works so well! I have decided to call my mind “Sherlock” because he is always trying to solve problems but is quite eccentric. By giving your mind a name, you have a clear path to seeing it as separate from yourself and you can more easily decide when you don’t want to listen to it anymore!
Ask, “What, at this moment, is wrong? This is one of the most powerful questions that you can ask. Because 99% of the time, the answer is “nothing.” If you are thinking about something in the past or future, then there is nothing wrong now.
Ask, “Is this thought serving me?” By challenging your thoughts, you take back control of them. Just because you have a thought, that does not mean you need to listen to it, and as mentioned, most of the time, you probably shouldn’t listen to it. So, by asking this question, you will create the space needed to judge if your thoughts are truly helping or hurting.
That will be your homework for the day. Give your mind a name, and any time your mind starts acting up, ask yourself what’s wrong and if your thoughts are actually helping.
Tomorrow, we will identify how you got this way. You have not always been so negative and “in your head.” By understanding how you got here, you will be better prepared to work your way back to a free and clear mind.
To Your Happiness,
Untethered Soul by Michael Singer
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