“To be or not to be..., the melancholy Dane mused (the past tense of another word for think). He might just as well have asked himself “To think or not to think”because that was what he was doing: thinking.

He thought (the past tense of the verb to think) that he had seen his father's ghost. He thought that his father, the King, had been done to death. He thought that his mother and his uncle had gotten married a mite too quickly, too cheerfully. He thought he ought (sorry, I thought I couldn't resist the temptation) do something about it.
The entire eponymous play rotates around Hamlet's thoughts. Somewhere along the way perhaps his friend Horatio should have given him a dope slap and asked him, “What were you thinking?!”
Let's not be too hard on Hamlet, though. If someone were to write a play about our lives, wouldn't that play rotate around our thoughts? Perhaps that is why Hamlet doesn't seem merely a character in a play but has become almost an historical figure.
The same could be said to be true about Sherlock Holmes. Sir Arthur Conan-Doyle's beloved stories center around the great (albeit fictional) detective's cogitation (another word for thinking) and his relationships with his faithful friend, Dr. Watson, with his romantic interest, Irene Adler, and with his archenemy, Moriarty. Of course, his relationships with these people – and with everyone he encountered – grew out of his thoughts about them.
It is because Shakespeare and Conan-Doyle shared their thoughts with us about what their characters were thinking that we remember Hamlet and Holmes and feel that, somehow, we know them.
And let's take another example, this one non-fiction: Jesus. The four gospels tell us about what Jesus thought and the rest of the New Testament, essentially, tell us what others thought about Jesus. Jesus remains real to us, two thousand years (give or take) after his death because, among other things, we know what he thought and we know how what he thought influenced what he did.
All of these figures, two fictional and one historical, assume reality for us because we think that we can understand them, because we think that in similar circumstances, we might have thought and acted just like they did.
In fact, they are real to us, and important to us, because they serve as examples to us of the sometimes uncomfortable truth that our circumstances are caused by what we think.
I know! We would like to think that we are a victim of circumstances. We talk about “circumstances beyond our control”. We believe (yet another word for think) that circumstance comes first, that we ponder (guess what?) those circumstances, and act upon those thoughts.
But if circumstances are beyond our control, that means that we have surrendered that control to someone else, that we have allowed someone else to do our thinking for us.
A friend inadvertently says something that upsets you. You think your friend said it on purpose. You dwell on the offense (that means you think about it a lot) and distance yourself from your friend. Your friend, not really knowing what the problem is, may make a couple of overtures but you think that they owe you an apology. The estrangement between the two of you grows. You may think that the presesenting circumstance is the intentional offense of your erstwhile friend. Actually, the circumstance is that you have lost the camaraderie and support of a friend and it resulted directly from your own thoughts.
You don't like your boss. You think he is a money-grubbing, insensitive, cold-hearted skin-flint who has deliberately set out to make your life miserable. Every time you get around him, you tense up and your stomach churns with the acid of hate. The job you used to tolerate becomes unbearable. Your productivity falls off. You cease to care. You get fired. You blame your boss. But is it his fault that you thought that he was out to get you? And even if he was a money-grubbing, insensitive, cold-hearted skin-flint, is it his fault that you let him get to you, that you let him make you miserable?
You want very badly to do something. You have this dream, this hope for what your life will be like. But you're not sure how to accomplish it. In fact, you're afraid to even try. You think of all the things that could go wrong, all the reasons why it wouldn't work. In the end, you give up without even trying. Are you a victim of your circumstances or of your thoughts?
There is an old cautionary saying: Be careful what you wish for, because you might get it. Wishing is just another word for thinking about the way you'd like things to be. Maybe it would be more appropriate to warn: Be careful what you think....

Author's Bio: 

I am a Baby Boomer myself and a newbie internet entrepreneur focusing on the Baby Boomer generation because I spent sixteen years serving as pastor in United Methodist congregations all over Kansas. Those congregations were made up primarily of Baby Boomer or older members, so I have developed some expertise with the Baby Boomer generation. I am now on leave of absence and living in Atchison, Ks. with my thirty-year-old son and two cats. I also help my daughter, also living in Atchison, with three sons, ages 9, 7, and 22 months, while their father is in Afghanistan. My blogs are found at http://www.for-boomers.com.