Ming the Mechanic:
Choose the best thought

The NewsLog of Flemming Funch
 Choose the best thought2002-02-12 17:36
23 comments
picture by Flemming Funch

There's a very simple technique that I have found to be very helpful in changing one's outlook for the better, particularly in times where things seem gloomy. The principle is simply:

 - - Always choose the best thought that is available at the moment - -

No matter what situation you're in, there are always multiple choices available as to how you might think about it right now. And amongst those choices, even if they're all relatively gloomy, there will be a best (most positive, most constructive) thought. Choose that one.

And the magical thing is that in most situations you'll pretty quickly have taken yourself out of any slump you might be in.

The point is to deal with what is there right now, and not shoot for anything impossible. Just choose the most promising avenue from what happens to be available. And soon enough the avenues get better and better.

So, if your checking account is overdrawn, and your car has a flat tire and now it starts raining ... maybe it would be unrealistic to think that life is wonderful and everything is perfect. And it might be unrealistic to think that everything is just going better and better. But, at least, rather than thinking that your life is going to hell and you're doomed, you can maybe think that at least the plants will get some water from the rain.

A little later you might then be able to notice that you still have a membership to the auto club, and they'll come and fix your tire. And you might be able to think that "Hey, it could be worse". And you might think about the enjoyable things you'll do once you get home and get dry. A cup of hot chocolate and reading a good book. And before long the world looks quite a bit better than it would have looked if you had spent the time thinking about how bad and impossible everything was.

This is not reserved to times when one is feeling bad, of course. It is just a principle of choosing one's thoughts, and choosing the one's one prefers, rather than one's one doesn't really like. So, if you're feeling pretty good and confortable, you might as well pick some really exciting thought as the thought of some boring things you have to do.

And with "thought" I don't just mean some intellectual, mental analysis or something. There's likely to be feelings that go along with the thoughts, and that is the whole point. If you pick thoughts of worsening or of pain and stuckness, you naturally feel bad. You pick thoughts that lead towards improvement, and you feel better.

And the point is not either to ignore what is currently going on. On the contrary. The point is to concentrate on what choices are available right now, and to choose the most constructive one, rather than lamenting the past or the future or some abstract picture of what is going on.

I heard about this little principle from Dwight Stone and I believe it is from the Abraham teachings.


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23 comments

12 Feb 2002 @ 20:12 by tdeane : Love this Log!
Ming, this is such a great log! There is a card in the Osho Zen Tarot Deck called CONSCIOUSNESS, which represents "the consciousness that is available to all who become a master of the mind and can use it as the servant it is meant to be." (www.osho.com) This is such a simple and beautiful Truth! Much love ~ Tricia  


12 Feb 2002 @ 22:34 by mmmark : This is great stuff!
I can easily imagine that with practice, one's positive thinking could propell a spiral of momentum and success beyond the possible now.  


13 Feb 2002 @ 01:05 by shawa : Pollyana thinking ...
A little tacky perhaps, but that´s how I learned "positive"...!  


13 Feb 2002 @ 11:01 by istvan : Pollianna Thinking
Moonshadow... can i ask tou to explain your above comment. What is that reference to? Either i am too dense or you are too intelligent, but i find no connection.  


13 Feb 2002 @ 11:56 by shawa : Hi, Zendancer!
If you come back here to get an answer, I´ll tell you that "Pollyanna" is a book, written I believe in the Fifties, - a book for children. The story goes like this: Pollyanna is a young girl who is with her parents who are missionaries, I don´t remember if in Africa or India. She receives, as a gift for Christmas, a pair of crutches, because her parents are very poor, and the mission receives some strange gifts. Anyway, the little girl starts crying, because she wanted a doll oh so much. Her father then tells her not to cry, that she could think of it this way: AT LEAST, SHE DOESN´T NEED THEM! A little later, in the seventies, say, this was called a "Pollyanna" kind of thinking = MAKING THE BEST OF ANY SITUATION that happened to you. I say it is "tacky", because it´s the kind of rosy pink story that came out in the Fifties. It came to signify a certain kind of hypocrisy, even. In reality, it is rather nice. As Ming said in another place, "Between two thoughts, always choose the best", the more positive. Sorry for taking up all this space, eh?
---,--´---,@  



3 Mar 2002 @ 20:22 by magical_melody : Choice versus Positive!
Flemming, it is a wonder how quickly one can go down into the mire of one's own emotional nuclear power plant, and hurt one's self or another. When painful or challenging life experiences come, I have found that many of us have learned to cause ourselves even more pain. It is as though the learned discontent is stored as ammo inside. Some of us have had to break the automatic pilot switches to old perspectives and faulty conclusions that ignite into unconscious responses. In every moment, the choice to choose how one will perceive or respond to something is freeing and empowering. With practice, we can open to new possibilities and create differing outcomes that can and do significantly impact our reality in more life affirming ways. Also love the tree picture. Thanks. Peace, Alana  


4 Mar 2002 @ 04:50 by ming : Choice
Indeed, the important distinction is to *choose* one's thoughts. Not just automatically and glibly thinking something positive. But to choose how to make the moment more rich and more full, and to choose to create something more and better after that.  


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