40+FAB Blog

What are you thinking?

We live in a world that is driven by triggers. According to the laws of motion, an object that is stationary remains so until it is disturbed to attain motion. Actions are followed by reactions, just like calls are followed by responses. Nothing just happens, even in the realm of our thoughts. Thoughts need triggers. I never get offended by people I did not notice, but as soon as I notice that they did not respond when I said hello, or they looked at me funny (trigger), I begin to think, “that person doesn’t seem to like me”. I would never have thought it if I never observed it. 

Constructive positive thinking is hard work because once thinking has been triggered it must be sustained. I like this quote that says, “The mind is not a vessel to be filled, but a fire to be kindled.” The problem with fire is that it goes out if it is not supplied with enough fuel to keep burning. 

What we observe is like a matchstick that kindles a light in our mind but only for a few moments. I have learnt to take that transient spark and hold it on the candle of my contemplation until I am able to extract and distil wisdom for action from what I have observed. Information and ideas bombard me every day and I need to retain some of them if I am to be more effective with my life. 

There are two things I have learnt to practice to strengthen the hold on my contemplation. They are meditation and documentation. To meditate is to reflect on a thought, i.e. to revisit that thought; just like a cow regurgitates the grass it had eaten earlier to chew it properly for digestion in the stomach. Documentation – I write down my thoughts about an issue so I don’t forget what I observed and thought initially. 

Hold on to observation and contemplation.