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Posts Tagged ‘Buddha’

Plus 16 to Minus 1

Jeff Olson, author of The Slight Edge, tells us something alarming about the ratio of 16 to 1.  Jeff tells us that it takes 16 instances of hearing positive input to counteract the effects of 1 instance of hearing negative input.

Not an easy ratio to overcome.  Throughout our lives we can really have a hard time keeping positive in the lead.  Here’s a factor that compounds the problem.  Your subconscious mind only knows you tangibly, it has no contact with the outside world except through your conscious mind.  Your subconscious mind exists like one of the prisoners in Platos Cave.  If you’re walking down the street, and some guy yells ‘You dumb-ass!’ at another guy across the street, your subconscious tends to register you as the addressee.

You can’t avoid negativity completely.  Sometimes it’s actually a good thing to hear.  A fellow needs to know if his pants are ripped, or his hair is on fire.  Likewise, you need to tell a fellow if his pants are ripped, or his hair is on fire.  With a ratio of 16 to 1, we should consciously limit our exposure to negative input.  Here, again, we should revisit the The Nobel Eightfold Path prescribed by The Great Buddha, Prince  Siddhartha Gautama.

Avoid people who bask in negativity.  Avoid other sources of negativity … yes, the TV, the radio, and the news paper are notorious sources of negativity (HINT: read a good book for entertainment, and find another source for the News).  Count your blessings … really, sit down and name them; I usually tell people at least 50 each and every day.  If you can’t say something good about someone or some thing, or you can’t put what you want to say in positive terms, don’t say anything.  Don’t do anything that compromises your moral standards.  Don’t think negative things, do think positive things.  Be, yourself, a beacon of positivity.  Like forgiveness, these things are more for your own health and hygiene than for anyone elses, although these things will ultimately benefit others in the long run.

Cut back on sources of exposure to negative input.

Till next time, keep it positive, because you are spectacular.

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You Are What You Think

You are what you think about most of the time.  Brian Tracy puts it this way, “You are what you think about most of the time.”  There is more to the story than acute awareness in your environment of those things associated with little black pickup trucks.  Your mind, and its imagination, has a powerful influence over your physiology.  Here is a tried, and true demonstration of this dynamic, if you would like to participate:

Close your eyes, and let your mind rest for just a second … then open them again so you can keep reading.  Imagine yourself going to your refrigerator, and opening the door.   On the top shelf of your refrigerator sits a fresh, yellow, lemon that’s been cooling in your refrigerator for several hours.  Reach into your refrigerator, and pick up the lemon with the tips of your fingers.  Feel the lemons density, and the texture of its rind.  The lemon is firm, but just a little spongy.  Its rind feels cool, and smooth, and  just a little bumpy.   Open your fingers slightly, and roll the lemon into the palm of your hand.  Look at the lemon in the palm of your hand; feel the shape and the weight of the lemon in the palm of your hand.  Take the lemon to your counter top, and set it on your cutting board.  Now, take a sharp knife, and cut the lemon in two.  Pick up one of the halves of the lemon, and draw it close to your face.  Smell the lemons fresh, strongly citrus scent.  Now, open your mouth, and take a bit out of the lemon.

Did you salivate quite a bit more than normal, particularly at the very end?  This, of course, is a dramatic response demonstration.  However, it is an outstanding indicator of how the human mind influences human physiology.  In this exercise your ego, or conscious mind, actually tricked your id, or subconscious mind, into producing an unwarranted physical response.  What about those things your ego says to your id which do not have such an immediate dramatic response, such as prosperity, happiness, health?  You are what you think about most of the time.  Be diligent of what, and how you think, act, say, or do.  Over the course of time, you will become these.

Brian Tracy presents this dynamic in easy to understand, easy to work with, cause and effect terms.  I know this dynamic to be true.  Here’s why.  I am 51 years old as I sit and write this entry.  I have spent my entire life getting to this moment in time.  Each and every thing I’ve done, every step I’ve taken, each and every move I’ve ever made has brought me to this moment, sitting in this chair, writing to you from this keyboard, whether I’m happy with my state of affairs or not.  My moments are mine, and mine alone to use wisely, or to squander.

While Mr. Tracy gives us an easy to follow format, the format is general, and is not comprehensive.  The Great Buddha, Prince  Siddhartha Gautama left us a tool set we can use to round out the task of taking charge, and assuming responsibility for ourselves and our outcomes in the guise of The Nobel Eightfold Path, the eight ways of doing:

The Nobel Eightfold Path

  • Correct Understanding
  • Correct Intention
  • Correct Speech
  • Correct Action
  • Correct Occupation
  • Correct Effort
  • Correct Awareness
  • Correct Concentration

Till next time, remember, you are what you think about most of the time.  So, think about things that are spectacular, because you are.