Published on April 10th, 2014 | by Sarika
Life is what our thoughts make it
Simply by changing the way we think, we can change our lives. Rajayoga teaches us that the quality of our life is a direct result of our own thoughts…we can rise, conquer and achieve by lifting up our thoughts, or we can remain weak and miserable by refusing to do so.
We need to remember that thoughts are a foundation of our life. Emerson said: “A man is what he thinks about all day long.” How could we possibly be anything else? The biggest and really, the only thing that we have to pay any attention to in our lives is choosing the right thoughts. If we do that, we will be headed in the direction of solving all our problems. Our life is what our thoughts make it.
Yes, if we think happy thoughts, we will be happy. If we think sorry thoughts, we will be sorry. If we think fearsome thoughts, we will be fearful. If we think failure, we will certainly fail. If we are depressed and lost in self-pity, everyone will want to shun us and avoid us. As Norman Peale said, “you are not what you think you are; but what you think, you are.”
Milton in his blindness discovered that same truth a few hundred years ago:
The mind is its own place, and in itself
Can make a heaven of Hell, a hell of Heaven
Napoleon and Helen Keller are perfect illustrations of Milton’s statement: Napoleon had everything men usually crave – glory, power, riches – yet he said: “I have never known six happy days in my life”; while Helen Keller- blind, deaf, dumb – declared: “I have found life so beautiful.”
Nothing can bring us peace but ourselves. We often find ourselves thinking thoughts such as: “If only I pass this exam, I’ll be happy”, “If only my friend thinks I’m looking pretty, I’ll be happy”, “if only I have a good day at work today, I’ll be happy”, if only, if only…..
In fact, the only ‘if only’ we need to pay attention to is what we’re thinking. When we have only positive, uplifting thoughts, we can make every minute of every day a positive, peaceful and happy one. Nothing can bring us peace but ourselves.
As we alter the way we think about people and situations, those people and situations will change in the way they relate to us. However, instead of being creative in this way, we often end up abusing ourselves emotionally. It’s not what others say about us that hurts us, but rather what we do about what they say or do. When we radically alter our thoughts, we bring about rapid transformation in the conditions of our life. We do not attract what we want, but what we are.
We find it hard to function in an unclean environment. We all spend hours in a week cleaning our homes, and we clean our desks at work at the end of the day. Some of us even paint the walls in our homes every so many months, to make the home look more vibrant and welcoming. We decorate the interiors of our living and work spaces with utmost care, ensuring we display just the right things in the right places, and not having any junk lying around that might spoil the appearance. We ensure nothing is out of place.
If we pay so much attention to the external environment, shouldn’t we be paying far more time and attention to our mind? How we feel internally determines the very quality of our life.
We all go through life with many desires. Think deeply about it, however, and we discover that all we really desire is mastery over ourselves – mastery over our thoughts, victory over our fears, control over our mind and over our spirit. Every thought we have generates a feeling, which in turn generates an action. Every action leaves an impression on the soul that then shapes the soul’s attitude and personality. That is then how we come across to others.
As William James said, “Much of what we call evil can often be converted into a good by a simple change of the sufferer’s inner attitude, from one of fear to one of fight.” So, let’s fight for our happiness! To develop a mental attitude that will bring us peace and happiness, think cheerfully – and we will then feel cheerful. Let’s not allow ourselves to become upset by thinking about little things, which we can simply forgive and forget. Remember, “Life is too short to be little.”