“Why is my marriage a mess?” “How come I weigh so much?” “Will I ever save enough to retire?” These are all questions a life-contractor might ask when examining a “dwelling” that appears not at all as the architect envisioned.
Nonetheless, each structure is built to our exacting specifications. Granted, sometimes “stuff” outside of our control happens. Earthquakes, illness, even political forces, can interfere with well-developed plans. Yet, the underlying truth for the vast majority of us is that the vast majority of time, we are where we are because of what we have done so far. Want to live differently? Act differently. New materials and a modernization might be the order of the day.
It seems like a simple solution. Yet the unhappy truth is that to accomplish that also takes planning. It is essential that we examine each and every brick; come to a decision as to whether or not it’s functional, as well as which others rely upon it for their support. Then, and only then, can we choose whether we simply demolish it or must substitute it with another. Of course, we can even retain some exactly where they rest.
Unfortunately, too often, we take the tact of a demolitionist and attempt to simply “start over.” That’s folly, oft-time guaranteed to fail, as we cannot just knock everything over and start anew. Those bricks labeled “how I treat my family” or “what I do for a living” are cemented to those emblazoned, “sit rather than walk,” “eat to handle stress,” and “chips instead of vegetables.” Starting from scratch is the metaphorical option of being homeless. I might not like where I live, but it beats the street. “There’s always tomorrow.”
Let’s presume however, that we take a more long-term line of attack and begin the careful disassembly and future reassembly. There is yet that other level: that pesky slab upon which everything rests. If we erect the most magnificent mansion rooted in a plot of sand, further problems are ensured. In this cautionary fable, that foundation consists of thoughts and feelings. Our actions, the bricks, are built upon inextricably intertwined thoughts and feelings. Should they not be able to direct well our actions, we shall yet again be housed in a hovel.
This begs an urgent question: Do we control our thoughts and feelings or do they control us? In effect, are we victims to the synaptic firings and hormone-driven changes of affect; or do we create them to serve our needs? Who is the master — and who is servant?
If we believe that we have little or no control over what enters our consciousness — in effect, they just “happen” — we are forever at the whim of those electrical impulses and influences. Any plan at any time can be immediately disrupted by seemingly random fluctuations pulsing though our system.
Conversely, if we can accept that our thoughts and our feelings can be developed, guided, molded, and in some cases, even controlled; we are given the most powerful tools imaginable. With those in the toolbox, there is no limit as to what we can construct.
About the author: Scott "Q" Marcus is a THINspirational speaker and author. Since losing 70 pounds over 15 years ago, he works with overloaded people and organizations who are looking to improve communication, change bad habits, and reduce stress. He can be reached for consulting, workshops, or presentations at 707.442.6243 or firstname.lastname@example.org. He will sometimes work in exchange for chocolate.