Good morning, good afternoon or good evening, wherever you are
One of my favourite coaches is a guy called Michael Neill, and his podcast, “Caffeine for the Soul” happens also to be one of my favourite podcasts. A recent episode entitled “The Easiest Way to Change Your Life for the Better” is highly recommended, and I am going to borrow heavily from this source in my thinking today.
The way I see it, we tend to fall into three groups: people who are not self-aware, over-thinkers or analysers, and the self-aware or thought recognisers.
People who lack self-awareness are normally, and paradoxically, pretty egocentric. They are normally reactive to the circumstances around them – as if on autopilot. Their reactions are based on impulses their personality has cultivated over the years. Naturally, they are oblivious to this. They are also oblivious to the impact their thoughts, words and deeds have on others, even though they may not intend to be malicious. They just don’t see it, that’s all.
On the other side of the spectrum are the over-thinkers and over-analysers, a place that I find myself in every now and then. A friend of Neill’s, Mavis Kahn, had this to say about this group: “Analysing your thinking is like trying to find the bottom of a hole that you are digging!” Enough said.
In the middle are the Thought Recognisers. In a way, we’ve been talking about levels of thought recognition – the self-unaware have a low level of thought recognition, and the analysers have too much thought recognition. Another thing shared by these other groups is that they both tend to believe that their external circumstances create reality in their lives. As I have said previously in newsletters, if that were true, we would all interpret the same circumstances in the same way – but that’s not true is it. In fact, we often have great difficulty distinguishing between fact and opinion, and often unwittingly masquerade our opinions as fact.
Our different experiences of the same circumstances means we are actually living in the experience of our thinking, not the experience of our circumstances. Thought recognition, then, is simply recognising that my experience is coming from my thoughts. Put another way, my thoughts describe my experience of the circumstances I am experiencing; my experience does not derive from the circumstances themselves. If my experience is coming from my thought, Neill says, then by definition my experience will change as my thoughts change. The length of a feeling is the length of a thought.
That’s worth remembering when you are experiencing a storm around you. As a quote by Timber Hawkeye that came across my desk (aka my mobile) recently stated:
So, become a Thought Recogniser. Whenever you find yourself reacting to circumstances, reflecting, pondering, ruminating, stop and recognise that the experience is really in your thoughts. In fact, set an hourly alarm on your mobile to prompt you to momentarily recognise what you are thinking and to remind you that it is your thinking that you are experiencing, not the circumstances.
As Michael Neill’s podcast title says, it’s the easiest way to change your life for the better!
Good luck and enjoy the process!
If you would like further support with improving the level of your thought recognition, please feel free to reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I would be more than happy to have a conversation with you and provide you some support without any obligation or cost to you.
We all tend to find ways to get in our own way in our lives. Let’s work together to resolve how to get unstuck.
Thank you for reading this week’s newsletter. Please take care of yourself and stay healthy.
Until next week.