Columnist Piers Thurston is an out-of-the-box thinker (oh, and a leading expert in mindset transformation) who tells us that we all can actually control our feelings, and the process is more simpler than you would think.
Can It Really Be That Simple?
If we feel sad, angry, scared, happy – whatever the emotion or feeling – we have a tendency to attribute that emotion to something; maybe an outside event? A place? A person? A situation? We look around to see what caused it, and then to see whether we can fix it, change it, hold onto it, replicate it, blame it, or run away from it.
Sometimes it appears obvious and we know what has caused it. Sometimes it is less obvious and so we guess, or we assume it was whatever had caused it last time. And sometimes we even puzzle ourselves anxiously trying to find out ‘how come?’… and then perhaps we move onto the ‘maybe it is just me’ or ‘I am just like that due to my background?’ line of thinking.
But what if this was all unnecessary? What if you always knew what had caused something, because it was always the same thing? Wouldn’t that remove some of the busy-ness in your head? Or would your busy head assume life couldn’t really be that simple?
Even though we live in it every single moment, it hides behind a misunderstanding that doesn’t look like a misunderstanding!
Well, it is that simple. But most of us haven’t realised it yet. Even though we live in it every single moment, it hides behind a misunderstanding that doesn’t look like a misunderstanding! However once we truly see it, it will look as obvious as the reason why we don’t do rain dances or sacrifice goats to appease the fertility gods any more.
So, where do our feelings and emotions come from if it isn’t events and circumstances?
I realise you might think ‘I was hoping he might saying something different, I know I have thoughts, so what else you got?’.
But just pause for a minute. I am not saying here that thoughts have a role to play in how we feel and that thoughts can mitigate certain situations i.e. you can enable yourself to reframe losing a mobile phone as a good chance to get a new phone. I am saying our feelings, 100 per cent come from thought.
Our thoughts are the only thing moment to moment that generates and creates our experience of anything and everything.
Our thoughts create our experience of the outside world. If we don’t think it, it doesn’t exist for us. And there is no limit or exceptions to that – even though it might often feel like there is. Our thoughts are the only thing moment to moment that generates and creates our experience of anything and everything.
The implication is that if we live our life with the misunderstanding that our feelings about things and ourselves come from the outside world, it means we think we need things in the outside world (relationships, job etc.) to be a certain way in order to feel happy, secure, and worthwhile. But if we truly realise that is an illusion, then we can be completely liberated. Because if it is our thoughts generating our experience, then we have freedom in how we feel. Our thoughts are transient and formless, so our experience is not fixed on anything apart from our own conditioned ‘fixed’ thinking. It won’t matter what is going on in the outside as your happiness and well-bring will be coming from within.
So just opening yourself to the idea that you’re always feeling your thinking not your outside world.
The best part of this realisation is that is doesn’t require you to learn any techniques, master a new discipline or undergo hours or therapy. As humans, our default is to have high levels of wellbeing, to be resilient and resourceful. We only lose those attributes when contaminated thinking gets in the way. So if we get out of the way or ourselves and let our inner wisdom and resourcefulness navigate our lives, transformative change can occur. And when it does is it pervasive, sustainable and life changing.
Piers Thurston is one of London’s leading coaches and corporate trainers, specialising in mindset transformation, and has just relocated to the Sunshine Coast. He has been coaching, facilitating and training professionally since 2001. His clients have included global bluechip organisations such as Unilever, Mars, Kraft, Coca Cola, Ford, HSBC, Bacardi, Tesco, and the UK government. As well as private clients ranging from national newspaper editors to world class professional sports stars.