You’re driving down the road and you miss a light. Then another one. Then some dude gets in front of you and goes really slow and you can’t get from behind him. You become livid and start cursing. Why?
The only correct response to that question is this: In that moment you are permitting your thoughts to govern you. (Your thoughts in that moment just so happen to suck, because of low-grade interpretations of reality, but that’s a blog post for another day.) You are angry because you are incapable in that moment of separating yourself from the content of your mind. You are permitting your mind to rule you. Which is weak.
You HAVE a mind, but you are NOT your mind. You HAVE a brain, but you are NOT your brain. You HAVE thoughts, but you are NOT those thoughts. Your inability to acknowledge that is your prison. Your ability to acknowledge that is your liberty.
Perhaps the most valuable exercise that I have ever come across in my world travels and studies into the workings of the human mind and spirit is a meditation casually referred to as The Gap. More formally, it’s known as Transcendental Meditation or TM. I’ve written numerous blogs and articles on this practice.
Here’s a short YouTube video I recorded on The Gap a while back:
*** The Miraculous Life List is now my main list AND I also now have The Daily Dose – Mental Toughness in 30 seconds or less.
The practice strengthens your ability to separate yourself from your thoughts. It’s an exercise in becoming a quiet, disinterested observer of the goings on of your mind. Get that. A silent and totally DISINTERESTED observer of the mind’s activities. When you are able to detach yourself from the content of your thoughts, you realize THERE IS NO PROBLEM.