Last night I was feeling particularly moved. I had experienced lots of synchronicities (i.e. “coincidences”) throughout the day, and had a pretty good feeling that something awesome was about to happen. Sure enough, the Universe delivered. 🙂
Around 10 PM, I finished sorting through some of my word documents that had been open for a very long time. I felt like it was a good time to go downstairs to fetch some water from the filter. Glass in hand, I trekked down the steps towards the kitchen. However, before I reached the abundant water filter, I noticed a lamp light on in the den, and me being the environmentalist type, just had to turn it off. As I turned off the lamp, my head turned to catch a glance of the bookshelf on my right. Not thinking anything of it, I turned back to walk out of the room. But then it hit me! The book I saw on the shelf, that I didn’t register seeing until after I began to walk out of the room, was titled, The Great Thoughts, written by George Seldes. Understanding the book as a sign, I turned back, snatched the book off the shelf, plumped down on the couch, and turned on the light. (Fancy that a light brought me the forthcoming realization!)
Sitting with the book on my lap, I asked that I might open the book to a page that offers a meaningful message and direction for the future. After taking a few deep breathes, I attempted to flip the book open to a page at random, letting the book open itself.
What page did the book open to? The title page! All it said was,
So I sat there, giggling a bit, thinking that I should probably try again to open the book to a page with some novel words on it. This couldn’t possibly be the page I was supposed to turn to, right? Then I thought again – yes, it really could be so simple. This page contains the message for me.
All we are is what we have thought. – Buddha
A man’s life is what his thoughts make of it. – Marcus Aurelius
A man is what he thinks about all day long. – Ralph Waldo Emerson
I began to realize the importance of thoughts alone. Not necessarily the importance of any one thought specifically, but of generally great thoughts. The more we are thinking great thoughts, the more our feelings and actions are directed towards greatness.
We become what we think about. – Earl Nightingale
There is a video on YouTube that I’ve watched well over 100 times. It is called The Strangest Secret, and you can watch it here. Until last night, the profundity of the truths stated in the video never hit me so hard.
Mesmerized by the words, The Great Thoughts, I continued sitting on the couch, looking at the cover page for over 30 minutes. My thoughts were essentially answering the question, “What are the great thoughts?” My mind rattled off all kinds of words and ideas. “Unconditional Love. Gratitude. The best things in life are free. Oneness. Caring. I am so grateful. I am unconditionally safe and supported. Health. Freedom. Purity. Perfection. Heaven on Earth. The Kingdom of Heaven is Within. Joy. Peace. Harmony. Laughter. Absolute Freedom. Spirituality. Beauty. God. Spirit. Agape. Infinite Potential. Goodness. Grace. Energy. Abundance. Service. Enthusiasm. Playfulness. Cheerfulness. Mindfulness. Flow. Acceptance. Reverence. Holiness. Hugs. Smiles. Presence. Here. Now. Buddha. Jesus. Martin Luther King Jr. Mother Teresa. Abe Lincoln. Gandhi. St. Francis. The Highest Good. Truth. Power. Unity.”
The list went on and on, and as I continued to think what I considered great thoughts, my body filled with a sense of vitality. Pretty soon I started feeling my temples vibrate. The great thoughts created wonderful feelings in my physical body. I thoroughly resonated as the great thoughts flowed through my consciousness.
I began to understand how important it is that we cherish our free will and consciously choose the thoughts that we think. Exercising our self-control to think only thoughts that are of benefit to ourselves and to humanity as a whole is one of the most important choices we can make; however, the process of thinking only great thoughts offers a worthy challenge. The mind is often likened to a monkey swinging from branch to branch because it’s so hard to tame. Especially with so many distractions from the external environment wanting to influence us, it’s important to practice vigilance regarding what we give attention. For this reason, I am not a fan of television, as I never really know what sort of message will pipe in from commercials created by a bunch of people conspiring in a room about ways to get my money (which of right now is very little ;-)). Some advertisements and television shows can be quite entertaining, but ultimately I can never be certain that the creators of such programs really have my best interest at heart, so I do my best to avoid the idiot box.
Assuredly, I have my own best interest in mind when I decide to consciously think great thoughts, and I believe this is true for all people. Another word for this practice of choosing to think great thoughts is meditation. I once read in A Very Short Introduction to Buddhism that Buddhists meditate on what they want to become. If we think about a quality we might like to more fully embody, then to us, that is a great thought.
It is the responsibility of each one of us to decide what are our own great thoughts, and then think about them as much as possible. Hone your focus. What is great to you?
The more we consciously think about what is great to us, the more fully we will realize that greatness in our lives.
As Albert Schweitzer said, “Men don’t think.” Of course, he’s referring to both men and women, and mainly to those who aren’t successful. Using our minds, also known as thinking, is one of the most incredible things we can do as human beings, so let’s do more of it! We weren’t given this miraculous three pound organ to sit around on our cabooses all day and watch other people live exciting lives. I’m pretty sure we are supposed to live those exciting lives ourselves. 😉
Instead of mindlessly drifting through our day-to-day routines, let’s start thinking great thoughts and realize greatness in our lives.
“Sow a thought and you reap an action; sow an act and you reap a habit; sow a habit and you reap a character; sow a character and you reap a destiny.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson