There are those thoughts that go bump in the night – the Aha! and Eureka! moments of mental clarity. Such thoughts solve problems, begin new ways of doing things, and herald a better situation for the thinker. Such moments indicate a shift in perspective – a new and fresh approach to thinking about a circumstance, situation, relationship and so on. The “charge” resulting from an aha! moment is the literal sensation of a quantum leap to a higher frequency.

Thinking is the most natural of human processes. It is impossible to not think. It is possible, however, to become unaware of what and how one thinks. And this is where the Eureka! moments come into play. Humans have the marvelous ability to habituate – to render certain processes and actions into habits – a person can engage in some activity without awareness. That frees up a lot of consciousness for the 3-D experience. Thinking can be habituated. A thought, repeated over time, embeds itself into personal experience. That can be desirable. It can also be otherwise.

When someone considers changing their mind, this is what’s occurring. A held thought, or pattern of thinking, is no longer serving and can be replaced with a different thought, to create a new pattern. If you’re not happy with your life situation, you can change your thinking. Any unhappiness (dis-satisfaction, dis-ease, etc.) derives from a thought pattern. The thinking has to change before anything else can improve. It’s very frustrating, however, attempting to change circumstances without changing the thinking – it can’t be done.

An example of what a change in thinking means is to examine two teachings, both about the same thing. First:

"Hurt not others in ways that you yourself would find hurtful." Buddhism.

"This is the sum of duty; do naught onto others what you would not have them do unto you." Hinduism.

"What is hateful to you, do not do to your fellowman." Judaism.

These very ancient teachings guide relationships between people. In effect, don’t inflict harm on another; if it hurts you, it’ll hurt someone else. Consider the point of attention – that which is hateful/hurtful/undesired. Choices and decisions are made after noting a degree of pain/suffering/undesirable. It’s a system that worked very well.

Yet there is another way of thinking about the relationships between people. Second:

"All things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye so to them."

The New Testament update of the old teaching is subtle, yet profound. This teaching shifts the point of attention away from hateful/hurtful/undesirable and towards desirable. It’s a paradigm shift. As with any change, not everyone is able to do it, as was evident with the turmoil created when Jesus amended the old teaching. Yet if you are able to discern the difference between the two approaches, then you’ll better understand any Aha! moment.

Does a change in thinking result in a better experience? The proof of the pudding is in the eating, as is said. One cannot know until it is done, otherwise the established/habituated thought or belief continues to rule.

Readers of SelfGrowth have likely bumped into some reference to Complaint-Free – a idea racing around to literally stop complaining. Complaint free simply means becoming more aware of how one interprets something. Complaining personalizes undesirable observations – the waiter deliberately brought me cold soup! Such personalizing obstructs solving a “problem” or finding an effective way of handling a situation.

The point is that anyone who has made any attempt at reducing complaining (a.k.a. gossip) will be forever more sensitive to complaints and complaining, especially by others. That’s the pudding delivering its proof.

As one wag put it, things not thought never came to pass. Or, change much either.


Author's Bio: 

George Sewell studied the nature and process of personal change for thirty years as a counselor, manager, and administrator in the field of addictive disorders. He is a playwright, author, and teacher. He has advanced degrees in Drama & Communications and Counseling and is a Licensed Prevention Professional and Internationally Certified Prevention Specialist. He was awarded the Louisiana Division of the Arts Fellowship in Theatre (Playwriting.) His books include "The Krismere," "Habits, Patterns, and Thoughts That Go Bump in the Night," "Just the FAQ's, Please, About Alcohol and Drug Abuse" (co-author Dan Baldwin) and "A Gnome, A Candle, And Me" (illustrated by Chester Delacruz.) George lives in Bossier City, Louisiana with his wife, Joan.