The challenge that the human species has encountered while searching for happiness and success is that we are placing all our bets on what our minds tell us. All of our sufferings arise from the mind. Trusting our minds to figure out the path to happiness is like trusting termites to reinforce the durability of your home.
“We are addicted to our thoughts. We cannot change anything if we cannot change our thinking.”
For most of us, our sense of who we are is defined by the thoughts that we tell ourselves. Since our thoughts are anything but stable, most of us lack a solid foundation of self. Our thoughts are constantly shifting. However, from a deeper perspective, you are not your thoughts. Try this simple experiment:
- Sit down, relax, and close your eyes.
- In your mind, imagine a sunset. Make this image as real as you can.
- Now imagine a black cat. Again, make this image as real as possible.
- Finally, imagine a red sports car. Make this image as real as you can get it.
Now open your eyes. You just imagined three objects. All of these images were derived from thought but at no time did you confuse yourself with any of these images. There are thoughts that we have of ourselves that we do believe in. Here are some examples:
- I am successful.
- I am a loser.
- I am a parent
- I am a businesswoman.
- I am smart.
- I can never win.
The essence of who we are is consciousness or spirit, which is unlimited. We become limited when we define ourselves by our thinking. Even positive thoughts such as “I am successful” are only momentary. What will your thoughts of yourself be if your business goes bankrupt? If you define yourself as a parent, who will you be when your children move out? If these positive thoughts of who you are can be shaken, how much more so for your negative thoughts?
But what if you decided to go beyond just positive thinking? What if you could transcend your thinking, even that which is positive. This is the ultimate success in self-improvement, and it is not hard to do as you do it every evening.
When we enter deep sleep, we experience pure consciousness. During deep sleep, we are free from all thoughts, including dreams and the thought of our own existence. This is why we crave deep sleep; it is the time when we forget about ourselves!
The following is a short list of how you can go beyond positive thinking and carry over the magic of deep sleep into your waking life:
- Practice non-judgment: Stop judging yourself or that which you are experiencing. Instead of judging what happens, just be aware of what you are experiencing. Like a scientist who is observing a rare bird without judgment, observe the thoughts, feelings, perceptions that you are experiencing without making them “good” or “bad.” If you find yourself being judgmental, do not make yourself wrong. Instead, just be aware that you were judging.
- Whatever you experience is an aspect of your reality. Reality does not care about your thoughts on how things should be. Instead, accept the reality of the situation without resisting it. When you can accept the situation, think of a creative way that you can add value to the situation that will benefit all those involved, including yourself.
- Learn meditation. Meditation is a great way for creating distance between your thoughts and connecting with your purest essence.