Tuesday, July 5, 2011

The Dynamics of Thought

The mind is a complex thing and very few people truly understand the dynamics of thought.  More than any other factor, it's our 'thinking' that determines our quality of life.  Oh sure, outer circumstances play a significant role but only inasmuch as 'how' we think about them.

For example, let's take two people whom we will call Mary and Anne.  Both women lose their jobs on the same day.  Both had been with their former employers for many years and were not expecting a lay off.  Both are in their mid-forties and have not been in the job market for quite some time.  However, they handle the aftermath of this experience very differently.

Mary is devastated and cries for days.  She views this experience as the worst thing that has ever happened to her.  She has no motivation to get up in the morning anymore and falls into a state of despair.  She worries about how the bills will be paid, when her unemployment insurance will come in and then when it will end.  She does not believe she will be able to find another job.  Her self-esteem takes a downward spiral.  She doesn't know what to do, so she does nothing at all.  Sheer desperation finally forces her to take action, to apply for and take a job that she knows she will hate.  She is miserable.

Anne on the other hand sees this as an opportunity to try something new or to go back to school.  While initially upset about the lay off, she does not sit back and feel sorry for herself.  Within two days, she is at the local employment centre meeting with a councillor to discuss options.  Three weeks later she is taking a class to help her upgrade her computer skills, learn how to write a resume and how to prepare for a job interview.  Her confidence builds as the course progresses.  Before the end of the session, she has applied for and accepted a position that is perfectly suited for her and her skill set.  She is ecstatic.

The same basic set of circumstances...two different outcomes.  Why?  Because each woman chose to 'think' about her situation in a different way.  That thinking sent them on very different paths.  Mary was equally able to find a rewarding new job, like Anne did, but her thinking stopped her from even trying.  What is your 'thinking' stopping you from doing or being?

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