Can you really control how you think?

by Acumen
105 replies
Do you really think you can control how you think? I think that the only way to change your mind is through the introduction of new ideas from an outside influence (e.g. other people, sensations, whatever). This makes me think that how you think now must be a result of all of your conditioning up to this point. So, I ask, can you really blame someone for any trait? For example, following a certain religion; for being a liar; for being selfish etc..

My answer is I don't think so. This is a reason why I try to have compassion for everyone. Practicing this has lead me to a happier life, and with it I have erased my hatred. This idea has simplified my life for a long time.

Any thoughts?
#control
  • Profile picture of the author Newtron Bomb
    I believe so. Also that your actions and personality can be defined by the lowest common denominator (not always I might add but most of the time and takes a strong character to be "above it") So if you hand around with looser's while you might not be one you can act like one.

    Behaviour breeds behaviour
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  • Profile picture of the author James Foster
    You absolutely CAN control how you think.

    NLP has been doing for like 30 years.

    But your running your mind (through NLP or anything else) is kind of like lifting weights. If you don't keep doing it, you quit getting results.
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  • Profile picture of the author SteveSki
    Happiness is only just one thought away - at most!
    One fresh perception, one new belief, one powerful
    decision is all it takes to experience a world of difference.

    We all know this is true. But due to past conditioning its
    not always easy to control your thoughts.

    In fact, according to all of the latest research control over
    your thoughts is a myth.

    A very good book that contains some excellent strategies is:
    "The Happiness Trap - Stop Struggling, Start Living" by
    Dr Russ Harris

    In it he explores 4 Fairytale myths about controlling your thoughts....
    which are...

    1) Happiness is the natural state for all human beings.
    2) If you're not happy, your defective
    3) To create a better life, we must get rid of negative feelings
    4) You should be able to control what you think and feel

    Dr Russ points out that most self help programs subscribe to myth 4.
    Identify negative thoughts, replace them with positive ones through
    self hypnosis, NLP and repeat affirmations until you are blue in the face
    and yet those negatives thoughts keep coming back because you have
    much less control over them than the self help gurus claim.

    Here's a direct quote from the above book...

    "The fact is we have much less control over our thoughts and feelings
    than we would like. It's not that we have no control; it's just that we
    have much less than the 'experts' would have us believe. However, we
    do have a huge amount of control over our actions. And it's through taking
    action that we create a rich, full and meaningful life"

    Cheers,
    Steve
    Action Supersedes Everything!
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    • Profile picture of the author James Foster
      Originally Posted by SteveSki View Post


      Dr Russ points out that most self help programs subscribe to myth 4.
      Identify negative thoughts, replace them with positive ones through
      self hypnosis, NLP and repeat affirmations until you are blue in the face
      and yet those negatives thoughts keep coming back because you have
      much less control over them than the self help gurus claim.
      Dr. Russ clearly never learned anything about sub-modalities.

      NLP isn't about affirmations, it's about doing the same things your mind is already doing, but taking control of the processes and running them in a conscious beneficial way.

      But just to play the Devil's advocate for a moment and pretend the idea that you don't have much control over your thoughts was valid .... why would anyone want to believe that? It's in no way beneficial to think you're not in control of your own mind/life.

      In fact, believing you don't have control over your mind is proof that you do. Or else you wouldn't be in control of the idea that you have no control.
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      • Profile picture of the author cynthea
        Interesting thread. Thanks OP for asking the question.

        @SteveSki: "The <<fact>> is we have much less control over our thoughts and feelings than we would like. It's not that we have no control; it's just that we have much less than the 'experts' would have us believe."

        With all due respect, Steveski, what you've stated isn't a fact. You know that there is tremendous scientific research, too numerous to mention, that would call you on the carpet. While action indeed is pivotal principle for achieving whatever: riches, financial success, personal development goals, spiritual goals, etc., one's mindset and self-image are the two foundational pieces that need to be in place before action will bring long-term success.

        I suspect you know that, but may want to sensationalize your POV in order to attract followers. That's cool to a degree, but what about out and out misleading folks who haven't studied NLP, Dr. Maxwell Maltz, Napoleon Hill (you can't beat Hill's two decades PLUS of research), Dr. Lee Pulos (professional athlete psychologist/TEAM CANADA and expert in utilizing Visualization for Peak Performance with athletes of Olympic status), etc. etc.

        You really can control how you think. In fact, "it's just a thought away."

        If you are not becoming a master of your own thoughts, you're destined for ultimate disappointment in life. While you may experience some short-term success, you'll "snap back" to what your original thinking was, just like a rubber band can be stretched, but will ultimately snap back to its original form.

        GG is right, "Just like anything, it takes practice and self-discipline. The people who don't think it's possible are the people who haven't exercise enough self-discipline to control their minds."

        My personal opinion is that it is of utmost importance to develop mastery over your thinking in order to achieve your dreams. And here's an important reason why: we attract what we think about.

        Which is better?
        1. Chasing success and continually being frustrated
        2. Attracting success

        I love what Dr. Arthur R. Pell wrote in Think and Grow Rich: Revised and Updated for the 21st Century:

        "...the ether in which this little planet floats, in which we move and have our being, is a form of energy moving at an inconceivably high rate of vibration....the ether is filled with a form of universal power which adapts itself to the nature of the thoughts we hold in our minds; and influences us, in natural ways, to transmute our thoughts into their physical equivalent....this power makes no attempt to discriminate between destructive and constructive thoughts... it will urge us to translate into physical reality thoughts of poverty just as quickly as it will influence us to act upon thoughts of riches."

        And

        "Our brains become magnetized with the dominating thoughts we hold in our minds... these 'magnets' attract to us the forces, the people, the circumstances of life which harmonize with the nature of our dominating thoughts."

        My life has dramatically changed since I began mastering my thinking. I control my thinking now.

        So long answer? Yes, we can really control how we think.
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        • Profile picture of the author James Clark
          Based on my experience, that is the only thing that can stop you from being successful. Your thoughts. But it may require a little explaining.

          If you have gone through the education system in the country(USA) then you have a lot of noise going on in your head.

          In my humble opinion, the education system main objective is to teach you respect for authority.

          Keep in mind, that you are walking around with the volume turned up and you can' t hear use when we you tell you to focus on one thing at a time.

          To save time I have a video on my Blog on how to do it.

          Check it out: Another Interesting Discovery:How to Re-boot your brain | ZMG Group

          Jimmy.
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        • Profile picture of the author Acumen
          I enjoyed your response. My point is only, what would you say your opinion is based on? Not just the one you mentioned, but any opinion you have ever had. Would you say they are programmed based on your past experiences?
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      • Profile picture of the author Acumen
        Originally Posted by James Foster View Post

        Dr. Russ clearly never learned anything about sub-modalities.

        NLP isn't about affirmations, it's about doing the same things your mind is already doing, but taking control of the processes and running them in a conscious beneficial way.

        But just to play the Devil's advocate for a moment and pretend the idea that you don't have much control over your thoughts was valid .... why would anyone want to believe that? It's in no way beneficial to think you're not in control of your own mind/life.

        In fact, believing you don't have control over your mind is proof that you do. Or else you wouldn't be in control of the idea that you have no control.
        You should use sub modalities to argue that you have no choice what your opinions and beliefs are because they are a result of your experiences. Neuro-linguistic Programing (NLP) is a theory that says you convert your past experiences in to "code," and that determines how you think.
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      • Profile picture of the author SteveSki
        Originally Posted by James Foster View Post

        believing you don't have control over your mind is proof that you do. Or else you wouldn't be in control of the idea that you have no control.
        Your mind is a thinking machine and thoughts arise SPONTANEOUSLY whether you choose them or not. However you do get to choose which thoughts you wish to focus on and play with and tune up with modifying your sub modalities but If you had complete control over your thoughts you would always be happy. You do have some control over your thoughts just not as much as you think you do. Otherwise you would always be happy no matter what.
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    • Profile picture of the author cynthea
      Originally Posted by SteveSki View Post


      In fact, according to all of the latest research control over
      your thoughts is a myth.
      SteveSki, can you provide some of the latest research that you're referring to?
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      • Profile picture of the author SteveSki
        Originally Posted by cynthea View Post

        SteveSki, can you provide some of the latest research that you're referring to?
        Why not take action, read the book and learn for yourself?
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        • Profile picture of the author cynthea
          Originally Posted by SteveSki View Post

          Why not take action, read the book and learn for yourself?
          LOL. Just as I thought. You make broad statements and aren't willing to back up your statements with research.

          Not interested in your book, buddy. You're not even presenting a good argument, all you're doing is marketing some guy's book.

          Sorry. I'll stay with the Big Dogs - Napoleon Hill (26 years of research, with specific outline on the Principles of Decision, Specialized Knowledge, Organized Planning, Persistence, etc.), Wallace Wattles, Dr. Maxwell Maltz, Deepak Chopra, etc.
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      • Profile picture of the author SteveSki
        Originally Posted by cynthea View Post

        one's mindset and self-image are the two foundational pieces that need to be in place before action will bring long-term success.?
        This is a common excuse to not take action... Oh I have to get my mind right before I can diet and lose weight. Choosing to think like that will tear what little self esteem you have apart. But apply steady little daily actions like putting the fork down and moving your butt and those actions will produce results.... no matter what your mind thinks. Take action and your self esteem will get a boost! Sit around and thinking about it will just not do without the real magic ingredient of life... Taking Action.... We all know that the road to hell is paved with good intentions.

        Speaking of roads and hell....

        If you want to go from point A to point B all that is required is for you to move... Hop on a bus and get off at your destination. The action you took is what produced the results... However thinking that your thoughts are real and buying into them 100% can cause you to be happy or unhappy.

        Or like the Grateful Dead sang...
        I may be going hell in a bucket - but at least I can enjoy the ride!

        So in the end your actions or lack of produce your results but your thinking determines how much enjoyment you extract from your experience.
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  • Profile picture of the author janellelk
    I think it's possible to CHANGE the way you think. In my opinion, everyone has that natural knee jerk response: an emotion coupled with a flash of thought. You cannot change or control the initial response. It's what you do with it beyond that response that controls your thought process. You can slowly change and correct your process to learn different ways. You just have to remain open, self-aware, and honest. Sounds simple but from my own personal experience, it's incredibly maddening and painful. Worth it, though.
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    • Profile picture of the author Edie47
      Originally Posted by janellelk View Post

      I think it's possible to CHANGE the way you think. In my opinion, everyone has that natural knee jerk response: an emotion coupled with a flash of thought. You cannot change or control the initial response. It's what you do with it beyond that response that controls your thought process. You can slowly change and correct your process to learn different ways. You just have to remain open, self-aware, and honest. Sounds simple but from my own personal experience, it's incredibly maddening and painful. Worth it, though.
      I agree it is possible to change the way you think, but it takes time, effort and the desire to change. Changing the way one thinks requires going to the core of their belief system. It can be done, but it will take a lot of hard work on the part of the person who WANTS to change.
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      • Profile picture of the author cynthea
        Originally Posted by Edie47 View Post


        Changing the way one thinks requires going to the core of their belief system. It can be done, but it will take a lot of hard work on the part of the person who WANTS to change.
        I agree with you Edie47, changing our thinking (for lasting results) requires going to the core of our belief system. We have so many core beliefs that aren't 'ours,' so to speak. They've come from the people who put roofs over our heads and other authority figures. And so often, rather than enriching us and giving us a strong foundation for living, they press on us and limit what we can do in the world.

        I have found in my past three - four years of working with visualization, affirmations, Hill's Think and Grow Rich and Maltz's Psycho-Cybernetics that my thinking has changed radically. I take action every day to further my goals and bring fulfillment into my life. But it has required that I do a lot of hard work and work on things 'the old self' would rather not change. The rewards have been tremendous.

        The biggest change for me is that I am now extremely goal-driven, but goals that are *mine,* not someone else's. It is so much easier to take swift action now too, because the path is so much clearer.
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        • Profile picture of the author SteveSki
          Originally Posted by cynthea View Post

          I take action every day to further my goals and bring fulfillment into my life. But it has required that I do a lot of hard work and work on things 'the old self' would rather not change. The rewards have been tremendous.)
          Bingo... your power lies in taking action in the present moment and not in controlling your thinking but in controlling your actions. Now if you want to keep your blinders on and only focus on the research preformed last century instead of investigating the newest findings be my guest. I'm not here to obey your wish and commands. If you want to read the latest findings I pointed you in the right direction. But like they say... you can lead a horse to water but you can't make him drink. (Unless you salt his oaks) And it's the same with your thinking... your thoughts are being influenced by everything and everyone around you and many thoughts just pop into your mind... you have very little control over that... you only have control over what you consciously focus on. If you had the degree of control over your thoughts like you claim you wouldn't need to try to change your thinking through outside influences like reading Hill and Wattles. Studying the old masters is good but all the studying in the world counts for nothing until you take action.... when you act your life changes in an instant. Sometimes thinking too much can hold you back from doing and its your doing that produces your results not in thinking about doing. But observing your thoughts can help you to defuse them... and here's a couple of quotes from the book "Stop Thinking Start Living" by Richard Carlson that you may also choose to ignore if you want to remain stuck in your present thinking...

          "Your Thoughts Aren't Real... If you could understand that your thoughts aren't real you could stop reading right now, because you would feel a tremendous sense of relief and you would have realized how to create happiness in your life - forever. If you can begin to observe that your thoughts are not the real thing - they're just thoughts, and as thoughts they can't hurt you - your entire life will begin to change today"

          "Being upset by your own thoughts is similar to writing yourself a nasty letter - and then being offended by that letter. Your are the manufacturer of your own thoughts. You are the one doing the thinking that is upsetting you; you are doing it to yourself. Once you understand this important point, it's silly to go on being angered, annoyed, frightened, or depressed by your own thinking. If you are thinking negative, pessimistic, sceptical, or angry thoughts and not realizing it, it's understandable and predictable that you will be depressed. And this will happen each time you lose sight of the fact that you are thinking depressing thoughts. There is only one way out of this negative loop, and that is to see that you are the one doing the thinking and that it is your own thinking that is creating your pain. Once you start to see your thoughts are just thoughts, that they are not 'reality', you will be able to dismiss them and not allow them to depress you."

          So again.... although you do have some control over your thoughts you simply cannot control them to the extent that many self help gurus claim. Your real power lies in the
          ACT OF OBSERVING your thoughts and dismissing them as just thoughts and not in trying
          to control them.

          If you had control over your thoughts then nothing would ever upset you again but I bet there are lots of little things that still annoy you because you just can't help thinking about them and you have so little control over that - that it irks you, doesn't it?

          But I choose to give in and agree that you are a rare bird who can control how she thinks and probably those around her to. Please don't let my words influence your thinking. You are 100% right and I'm 100% wrong.

          Cheers,
          Steve Ski :-)
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          • Profile picture of the author Kaysa
            Originally Posted by SteveSki View Post

            Bingo... your power lies in taking action in the present moment and not in controlling your thinking but in controlling your actions. Now if you want to keep your blinders on and only focus on the research preformed last century instead of investigating the newest findings be my guest. I'm not here to obey your wish and commands. If you want to read the latest findings I pointed you in the right direction. But like they say... you can lead a horse to water but you can't make him drink. (Unless you salt his oaks) And it's the same with your thinking... your thoughts are being influenced by everything and everyone around you and many thoughts just pop into your mind... you have very little control over that... you only have control over what you consciously focus on. If you had the degree of control over your thoughts like you claim you wouldn't need to try to change your thinking through outside influences like reading Hill and Wattles. Studying the old masters is good but all the studying in the world counts for nothing until you take action.... when you act your life changes in an instant. Sometimes thinking too much can hold you back from doing and its your doing that produces your results not in thinking about doing. But observing your thoughts can help you to defuse them... and here's a couple of quotes from the book "Stop Thinking Start Living" by Richard Carlson that you may also choose to ignore if you want to remain stuck in your present thinking...

            "Your Thoughts Aren't Real... If you could understand that your thoughts aren't real you could stop reading right now, because you would feel a tremendous sense of relief and you would have realized how to create happiness in your life - forever. If you can begin to observe that your thoughts are not the real thing - they're just thoughts, and as thoughts they can't hurt you - your entire life will begin to change today"

            "Being upset by your own thoughts is similar to writing yourself a nasty letter - and then being offended by that letter. Your are the manufacturer of your own thoughts. You are the one doing the thinking that is upsetting you; you are doing it to yourself. Once you understand this important point, it's silly to go on being angered, annoyed, frightened, or depressed by your own thinking. If you are thinking negative, pessimistic, sceptical, or angry thoughts and not realizing it, it's understandable and predictable that you will be depressed. And this will happen each time you lose sight of the fact that you are thinking depressing thoughts. There is only one way out of this negative loop, and that is to see that you are the one doing the thinking and that it is your own thinking that is creating your pain. Once you start to see your thoughts are just thoughts, that they are not 'reality', you will be able to dismiss them and not allow them to depress you."

            So again.... although you do have some control over your thoughts you simply cannot control them to the extent that many self help gurus claim. Your real power lies in the
            ACT OF OBSERVING your thoughts and dismissing them as just thoughts and not in trying
            to control them.

            If you had control over your thoughts then nothing would ever upset you again but I bet there are lots of little things that still annoy you because you just can't help thinking about them and you have so little control over that - that it irks you, doesn't it?

            But I choose to give in and agree that you are a rare bird who can control how she thinks and probably those around her to. Please don't let my words influence your thinking. You are 100% right and I'm 100% wrong.

            Cheers,
            Steve Ski :-)
            YouTube - The Power of Words
            Thanks for sharing your thoughts, I think you've teach us something very important and interesting here. But I will get influenced for your words just because I allow them to influence me.
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  • Profile picture of the author janellelk
    Also, the more information you have, the more tools you have to work with.. so to speak.
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  • Profile picture of the author James Foster
    Opinions are based on experiences and beliefs. But your point doesn't have much to do with the original post. Which is about having the ability to control your mind.

    Simply by being able to choose what your experiences mean to you shows you are in control of your thoughts
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    • Profile picture of the author Acumen
      Originally Posted by James Foster View Post

      Opinions are based on experiences and beliefs. But your point doesn't have much to do with the original post. Which is about having the ability to control your mind.

      Simply by being able to choose what your experiences mean to you shows you are in control of your thoughts
      It establishes a basis for the original quote because I am saying you can't control your beliefs because you can't control what your past experiences were.
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  • Profile picture of the author James Foster
    What? You absolutely cancontrol your beliefs. Doesn't you disagreeing with me about what i'm saying show you control your beliefs?
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    • Profile picture of the author Acumen
      Originally Posted by James Foster View Post

      What? You absolutely cancontrol your beliefs. Doesn't you disagreeing with me about what i'm saying show you control your beliefs?
      Believe me, its not that I disagree with you. I even saw it how you are saying for most of my life. I just think all of our experiences have determined how you think and therefore, what you will do.

      For example, what if you really wanted to love some one because you knew they would be devastated if you did not. You tried really hard and pretended to love them, but really did not love them at all. Whether you love them is determined by how you have been conditioned to feel about that person based on your experiences with them and experiences before you even met them. Just saying to yourself "I am going to love this person" probably won't change how you really feel or what you believe. Your experiences have also convinced you that you should pretend to love the person because you think it will be the best thing to do. Its not that any of this is right or wrong, but it is just how you feel.
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      • Profile picture of the author Acumen
        P.S. it can't be proven either way. People have been arguing about these things for thousands of years.
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  • Profile picture of the author Terry Coombes
    Hi Acumen,
    From my own experience, I know I can control my actions and feelings, to a certain extent, but beliefs are a different matter. For instance, I can condition myself so that, when I say to myself, "Do it now", that will trigger the "get into action" response. I can also condition myself to not tell lies, to not be selfish, or to have compassion, as you do. These things are all possible by using will-power. This is like having a button to push in response to a situation where you have a choice of actions. For instance, you can condition yourself to take the "tell the truth" option by default, rather than the "tell a lie if it's easier" option.

    You can also pull yourself out of a gloomy mood (unless clinical depression is in control). It's quite easy to do that. Somehow, you just give your brain a push in the "happy" direction and flip your mood. This works in the same way as pretending to feel a certain way, such as pretending you're not afraid to speak in public, when you've always been terrified at the very thought of it.

    However, it seems to be less straightforward to change beliefs. If you base your beliefs on faith, I imagine you may be able to flip the underlying "faith switch" to different options, even from "true" to "false" (I don't restrict this to religious faith). If you've argued with yourself based on, say, your scientific beliefs and your understanding of logical rules, that structure seems to be a lot harder to alter. You'd probably have to knock the whole thing down and start again at the bottom.

    I think "blame" implies judgement, which can be very subjective. I personally prefer your philosophy of tolerance and understanding of others and I agree that (all else being equal) life is much happier lived in that way.

    Regards,

    Terry

    Originally Posted by Acumen View Post

    Do you really think you can control how you think? I think that the only way to change your mind is through the introduction of new ideas from an outside influence (e.g. other people, sensations, whatever). This makes me think that how you think now must be a result of all of your conditioning up to this point. So, I ask, can you really blame someone for any trait? For example, following a certain religion; for being a liar; for being selfish etc..

    My answer is I don't think so. This is a reason why I try to have compassion for everyone. Practicing this has lead me to a happier life, and with it I have erased my hatred. This idea has simplified my life for a long time.

    Any thoughts?
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    • Profile picture of the author SteveSki
      Originally Posted by wolhouse View Post

      From my own experience, I know I can control my actions and feelings, to a certain extent, but beliefs are a different matter. For instance, I can condition myself so that, when I say to myself, "Do it now", that will trigger the "get into action" response. I can also condition myself to not tell lies, to not be selfish, or to have compassion, as you do. These things are all possible by using will-power. This is like having a button to push in response to a situation where you have a choice of actions. For instance, you can condition yourself to take the "tell the truth" option by default, rather than the "tell a lie if it's easier" option.

      You can also pull yourself out of a gloomy mood (unless clinical depression is in control). It's quite easy to do that. Somehow, you just give your brain a push in the "happy" direction and flip your mood. This works in the same way as pretending to feel a certain way, such as pretending you're not afraid to speak in public, when you've always been terrified at the very thought of it.

      However, it seems to be less straightforward to change beliefs. If you base your beliefs on faith, I imagine you may be able to flip the underlying "faith switch" to different options, even from "true" to "false" (I don't restrict this to religious faith). If you've argued with yourself based on, say, your scientific beliefs and your understanding of logical rules, that structure seems to be a lot harder to alter. You'd probably have to knock the whole thing down and start again at the bottom.

      Terry
      Terry, that is level headed thinking gained from experience and not wishful thinking! :-)
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  • Profile picture of the author cynthea
    Originally Posted by Acumen View Post

    I think that the only way to change your mind is through the introduction of new ideas from an outside influence (e.g. other people, sensations, whatever). This makes me think that how you think now must be a result of all of your conditioning up to this point. So, I ask, can you really blame someone for any trait? For example, following a certain religion; for being a liar; for being selfish etc..
    Acumen, thank you for starting this thread. This has been such a great discussion!

    As far as blaming others for a belief we acquired before we came into our own thinking - there isn't anything to be gained by blaming others. If we are kind with ourselves, rather than harsh - I think it's more a question of looking at those limiting beliefs, examining ourselves to discover what beliefs are truly 'ours,' and then taking responsibility to alter anything that impedes how we want to live in the world and with others.
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  • Profile picture of the author DocReed
    Originally Posted by Acumen View Post

    Do you really think you can control how you think? I think that the only way to change your mind is through the introduction of new ideas from an outside influence (e.g. other people, sensations, whatever). This makes me think that how you think now must be a result of all of your conditioning up to this point. So, I ask, can you really blame someone for any trait? For example, following a certain religion; for being a liar; for being selfish etc..

    My answer is I don't think so. This is a reason why I try to have compassion for everyone. Practicing this has lead me to a happier life, and with it I have erased my hatred. This idea has simplified my life for a long time.

    Any thoughts?
    Thanks for the thought provoking post. I do have some thoughts that I'd like to share.

    I believe that I agree (at least at first thought) that the only way to change one's way of thinking is through the introduction of new ideas from an external source. And I certainly think that conditioning has a lot to do with how, and what, we think.

    However, I disagree with your implication that we can't really "blame" someone for any trait. I think that we can and must "blame" (read that as hold accountable) anyone who acts on "traits" that are harmful to others.

    For example, one trait that you mention was lying. If you don't hold a liar accountable (call them on their lying behavior) by telling them that it's unacceptable and you won't stand for it... then they'll continue to lie to your face. How can you rely on anything that a liar says? How can you have a real relationship with someone who you're never sure has given you accurate information about anything? How would society function if everyone lied all the time?

    Now, let's take your argument one step further. Let me ask you, can you blame pedophiles (molesters of young children) for their "traits?"

    It's my understanding that many of them were also molested when they were children. While I can have compassion for them and even bring myself to not hate them, I certainly "hate" what they do and "blame" them for perpetuating the "trait."

    I don't think that by simply saying to myself that I can't blame them because that trait is just part of their conditioning will simplify life and make me a happier person.

    I think that we all have a responsibility to society to try to raise above our baser "traits." I also believe that the "I'm Okay, Your Okay" pop psychology of the '70s has led us to our current over-indulgence of unacceptable behavior.

    I can, and do, expect the best from me and you.

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  • Profile picture of the author CarolinaHeart
    i think, after a certain point, your thoughts can be , some what difficult to comprehend, and so , even trying to figure out what youre thinking can be difficult, as its all just impulses
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  • Profile picture of the author wmc19872010
    yeah of course you can. try this "dont think of red" now everyone who is reading this is thinking of red ......................result hehe
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  • Profile picture of the author Charliebee
    and as Henry Ford said - Whether you think you can or you can't; you're right!
    Unfortunately, I'm around people all the time who have a victim mentality - why did this happen to me?
    I try to not question things over which I have no control and move ahead with life.
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  • Profile picture of the author bobcath
    Interesting thread. Controlling our thought process is a notion (and one I agree is possible) based on only one of the 6 traditions of psychology (cognitive psychology). There is another which throws up fodder for a slighlty different perspective. Its called 'biological determinism'. An extreme example of this and its influence is clinical depression, where the brain chemistry makes it almost impossible for the sufferer to envision thoughts in the way that we so readily assume.

    Another aspect of 'limiting belief' is one that is culturally fostered and shared. For example when people believed the world was flat, their thought process on seeing a ship disappearing over the horizon would be completely different than it would be now, i.e they would have no control other than the asumption that they had just witnessed a disaster!. Just an example or two to illustrate different perspectives on the OP's question.

    Interesting discussion, lets hear more!
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  • Profile picture of the author Tanner0010
    I absolutely think you can control your thoughts. It may take some conscious effort at first. But, it's like breaking a bad habit, repetition is the key. You have a choice every day to make it a good day or a bad day. Bad things will always happen occasionally, but it's how you deal with it that determines your mood. Control your thoughts and you will control your own destiny.
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    • Profile picture of the author SB274
      Tanner said it perfectly.

      It takes discipline. The mind is very powerful and if you can learn how to access it and take control of your thoughts there is no limit to what you can do.

      Originally Posted by Tanner0010 View Post

      I absolutely think you can control your thoughts. It may take some conscious effort at first. But, it's like breaking a bad habit, repetition is the key. You have a choice every day to make it a good day or a bad day. Bad things will always happen occasionally, but it's how you deal with it that determines your mood. Control your thoughts and you will control your own destiny.
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  • Profile picture of the author Aandice Austin
    I can't control my thoughts, acturally I was controled by it, how can I get rid of it?
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    • Profile picture of the author GlobalMedia
      Originally Posted by Aandice Austin View Post

      I can't control my thoughts, acturally I was controled by it, how can I get rid of it?
      I'll suggest you to practice meditation. It will help you to become more concentrated and in turn you can control your thoughts. This is what I have tried out. What's your suggestion.
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      • Profile picture of the author ScottGordon
        Originally Posted by GlobalMedia View Post

        I'll suggest you to practice meditation. It will help you to become more concentrated and in turn you can control your thoughts. This is what I have tried out. What's your suggestion.
        I agree. Meditation is an excellent tool for learning to control your thoughts.

        Also, though, you can generate new thoughts by exposing yourself to many different ideas, mixing and matching concepts, etc. This is why marketers often suggest that you read trade journals from an area you have no connection to. You'll stumble upon ideas others are using in another field that can be adapted to your situation.

        Surely all of our thoughts didn't come from someone else. (Where would the original thoughts have come from?)

        We can pick and choose what we're exposed to. Some of us have cut out news and newspapers from our life which helps to lower our stress levels and provides us with more time to explore other sources of information and ideas.

        I'm a great believer in synthesis. Creating new ideas from one or more existing ideas.
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  • Profile picture of the author Amrutg
    One can control his thinking pattern, but with determination, sincere efforts towards it and full commitment. Otherwise it is very very difficult.
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  • Profile picture of the author brendan9971
    I think TRYING to control how you think is the flaw in the question. Letting go of the drive to control your thoughts is what really can help you achieve success - financially and in other realms of your life.
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    • Profile picture of the author SteveSki
      Originally Posted by brendan9971 View Post

      I think TRYING to control how you think is the flaw in the question. Letting go of the drive to control your thoughts is what really can help you achieve success - financially and in other realms of your life.
      You got it! That which one resists... persists. Trying to control your thoughts is not the most effective way to change your thinking or your moods as thoughts come and thoughts go and you have little control over that. But you do have a great deal of control over your actions.

      A depressed person who attempts to control his or her depressing thoughts attracts more of the same. But if they forget about them selves by taking action and focusing on others instead of wallowing in their own thoughts... their depression will dissolve away.

      If you want to feel better exercise control over your actions and your thinking will improve like magic. If you fall into a well or deep depression thinking won't help lift you up... only action will. So stop thinking so much and start taking the actions that you already know will produce the results you want!
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      • Profile picture of the author cynthea
        I'm so appreciative to Piero for sending me Wallace D. Wattles "The Science of Getting Rich."

        Wattles wrote this in 1910, more than 100 years ago, and his wisdom in so incredibly apropos for today's discussion.

        "Thought is the creative power of the impelling force which causes the creative power to act. Thinking in a certain way will bring riches to you, but you must not rely upon thought alone, paying no attention to personal action. that is the rock upon which many otherwise scientific thinkers meet shipwreck--- the failure to connect thought with personal action."
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        • Profile picture of the author SteveSki
          Originally Posted by cynthea View Post

          I'm so appreciative to Piero for sending me Wallace D. Wattles "The Science of Getting Rich."

          Wattles wrote this in 1910, more than 100 years ago, and his wisdom in so incredibly apropos for today's discussion.

          "Thought is the creative power of the impelling force which causes the creative power to act. Thinking in a certain way will bring riches to you, but you must not rely upon thought alone, paying no attention to personal action. that is the rock upon which many otherwise scientific thinkers meet shipwreck--- the failure to connect thought with personal action."
          Yes you got it! The opening lines of chapter 11... except you left out the very first sentence which pertains to "Acting in a Certain Way" and like Wattles Wallace says we have not yet evolved to the point that thinking will cause gold to mine, mill and coin itself or jump into your pockets by thought alone... for that to happen you got to do more than control your thoughts... you got to stop thinking about it, take action and go dig for it. Or like the Nike solgan ... JUST DO IT!

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    • Profile picture of the author dorianjohn425
      Originally Posted by brendan9971 View Post

      I think TRYING to control how you think is the flaw in the question. Letting go of the drive to control your thoughts is what really can help you achieve success - financially and in other realms of your life.
      I agree with you
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  • Profile picture of the author GlobalMedia
    @jamur, true. It is all about how we create ideas. Methods are many, it depends upon our on selection.
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  • Profile picture of the author Gilearn
    From my own experience i will say YES YOU CAN. You just need to make a choice of what thoughts to go by. I also think what you feed your mind from time to time will determine your thoughts.
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  • Profile picture of the author GlobalMedia
    Yes, it is possible. The thing what you need is to concentrate. Everyone has different thinking and if one tries to concentrate on it then it is quite simple
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  • Profile picture of the author Judith Hill
    usually, I can't. but, I don't think it's a big problem.
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  • Profile picture of the author JimKnippenberg
    Yes, people do have the ability to change how they think. First, though, they usually have to become disatisfied with where they are. They have to become aware of where they are and where they would rather be instead, and then ask the correct questions. For instance, instead of asking "Why does God hate me?" or "Why does everything always go wrong" they ask "So if it were possible to get where I want to go, how would I?" or "If so and so can do what I want to do, what would have to happen for me to get the same result (or better) than they did?"

    Also, it is possible to change your state and the way you think about something almost instantly. For example, sometimes "crap happens" - whether it's the person's own fault or they just attracted it or whatever. This is not the same as blaming anyone, by the way.

    But if the person continues to be "down in the dumps," they will continue to be there until "accidentally" acted on by some other event or circumstances.

    However, if they simply change their physiology from a "down in the dumps" or to defeating "self talk" to changing to the physiology of someone who sees opportunities and looks for solutions, someone who instead of seeing problems sees a project that can be completed, that simple change in thinking can completely change the outcome of the situation.

    Jim
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    • Profile picture of the author cynthea
      Originally Posted by JimKnippenberg View Post

      ...it is possible to change your state and the way you think about something almost instantly. For example, sometimes "crap happens" - whether it's the person's own fault or they just attracted it or whatever. This is not the same as blaming anyone, by the way.

      But if the person continues to be "down in the dumps," they will continue to be there until "accidentally" acted on by some other event or circumstances.

      However, if they simply change their physiology from a "down in the dumps" or to defeating "self talk" to changing to the physiology of someone who sees opportunities and looks for solutions, someone who instead of seeing problems sees a project that can be completed, that simple change in thinking can completely change the outcome of the situation.

      Jim
      Absolutely Jim! I love how easily (like you say "almost instantly") we can change our thoughts. It's a matter of deciding. Am I going to entertain failure thinking or am I going to entertain success thinking? It's a simple decision.

      It's what I found so stimulating and inspiring in Think and Grow Rich, which was based on more than 20 years of research into how more than 500 men and women became extraordinarily wealthy. "The object of this book is to help all who seek it to learn the art of changing their minds from failure consciousness to success consciousness."

      May we all make a firm decision to succeed!
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      • Profile picture of the author SteveSki
        Originally Posted by cynthea View Post

        It's what I found so stimulating and inspiring in Think and Grow Rich, which was based on more than 20 years of research into how more than 500 men and women became extraordinarily wealthy. "The object of this book is to help all who seek it to learn the art of changing their minds from failure consciousness to success consciousness."

        May we all make a firm decision to succeed!
        You may enjoy reading Napoleon Hill's original 1925 edition of "The Law of Success". Think and Grow Rich is a watered downed version designed to appeal to the wishful masses. It's a good start but like "The Secret" it leaves out the most important factor of all.

        Thinking may point you in the right direction but only doing does!

        In the book "The Science of Getting Rich" upon which the secret was supposedly based Wattle Wallace says that you must "Do things in a certain way". And that is the real "Master Key System" to getting anywhere in life.

        Cheers,
        Steve
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  • Profile picture of the author magnates
    I am not sure that you can control what you think .most of the thoughts that come from you are from others and you liked and adapted . Most of this stuff has been programmed from a young age . Can we really control it ?
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    • Profile picture of the author abundantlife
      The premise of both "The Magic of Believing", by Claude Bristol and "Think and Grow Rich", by Napoleon Hill are based on the idea that you can control your thoughts.

      It's not only a biblical principle but also found in other religions or belief systems that we certainly can control how we think. The renowned psychologist, William James said this, "The greatest discovery of my generation is that human beings can alter their lives by altering their attitudes of mind."

      How would we ever alter our attitudes if we were unable to control how we think or what thoughts we choose to entertain? You don't really need any great scientific knowledge to prove it. If you find your mind wandering aimlessly and without any direction just take charge of it and focus on one thing. Maybe it will be on a quote or a verse or a flower.

      This just came to my mind. Do you remember the first time you fell in love? What did you think about? Was it how important it is to get your home work done? Was it wondering if you will get into college one day? Or was it about the object of your affections? I would suggest that your thoughts went that way because you wanted them to. You were, in effect, telling or allowing your thoughts to move on this thing that had your undivided attention.

      In my experience that's what thoughts do, they go in the direction that your interests or desires direct them to go. So if you want to change that direction change the thing that gets your attention and your thoughts will obediently follow.
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  • Profile picture of the author Michael Newman
    What is ''action''? It's really just a more concrete and condense form of thoughts. If you believe we're in control of our actions, then you're agreeing that we can also control our thoughts. Their invisibility does not make them less real.

    Thoughts precede everything. Yes, we can control them.
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    • Profile picture of the author cynthea
      Originally Posted by Michael Newman View Post

      What is ''action''? It's really just a more concrete and condense form of thoughts. If you believe we're in control of our actions, then you're agreeing that we can also control our thoughts. Their invisibility does not make them less real.

      Thoughts precede everything. Yes, we can control them.
      "What is 'action'? It's really just a more concrete and condensed form of thought.

      Oh Michael I totally dig that!! You're absolutely right. Action is really just a more condensed form of thought.
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  • Profile picture of the author Claire Sharp
    Honestly, sometimes i can't control my i think. But usually i try not to act what's in my mind. It is what we call discipline.
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  • Profile picture of the author gpqsupport
    I think you can because it worked for me.
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  • Profile picture of the author focusedmind
    Originally Posted by Acumen View Post

    Do you really think you can control how you think? I think that the only way to change your mind is through the introduction of new ideas from an outside influence (e.g. other people, sensations, whatever). This makes me think that how you think now must be a result of all of your conditioning up to this point. So, I ask, can you really blame someone for any trait? For example, following a certain religion; for being a liar; for being selfish etc..

    My answer is I don't think so. This is a reason why I try to have compassion for everyone. Practicing this has lead me to a happier life, and with it I have erased my hatred. This idea has simplified my life for a long time.

    Any thoughts?
    I am 100% convinced we can change the way we think and feel at any time in our life. Maybe not immediately, but through proper mental and emotional work. It has been demonstrated that we can change our neural connections at any given time, even when we are elderly.
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  • Profile picture of the author csmart1
    It's not easy to do. But with time and perseverance it can definitely be done. Most people are stuck in the same way of processing thoughts. However, as mentioned by someone above, it takes a lot of discipline.
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    • Profile picture of the author James Clark
      Control is not a good word. There is an assumption being made here. For the purpose of selling online there has to be some motivation. And that will have to come from within. Not being motivated is more or less a bad habit.

      So, you will have to replace the old habits with new ones. You can characterize it any way you like. Some of the threads you read hear act like there is only way to go about this stuff.

      You have to have some thoughts that work for you. There is some big money being made in this business and not all of the ones that are making it belong to this WF.

      But keep in mind, that we are not in the charity business. These questions about what to think comes with a price. Now I'm a nice guy. And I have a genuine desire to help people.

      Allow me to explain, if I see you going up Interstate 95 and you tell me you are trying to go to California. I would say you are going the wrong way. That would be all you are going to get for FREE.
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  • Profile picture of the author Nereah
    Sure Acumen, you certainly can control how you think, by what you read, hear,and the people you associate with.
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  • Profile picture of the author nyasje
    I also think that the information we take in helps in controlling how we think and act. If you want to control your thinking process, do it from the content of information that you consume.
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  • Profile picture of the author ChrisKahler
    It is impossible to control your thoughts, but it is possible to act according to your will. Thoughts happen against your will. You couldn't turn off your brain unless you meditated to that point, which even then thoughts still flow you just have to dismiss them.

    The key to changing your life is not to control your thoughts, because of a few reasons:

    1. If you COULD control your thoughts, what makes you think you'd control them correctly.
    2. To control your thoughts is an uphill battle because they always fight back.
    3. Thinking is the hardest work just as Ford mentioned. Since when did Ford work hard? He didn't he worked SMART which is why he was successful. The things he couldn't do he admitted to, but rather than think his way through that process he found someone else to do it for him.

    Point is, it isn't how you think it's what you do that counts. You can think all you want about what you are doing, and as long as you keep doing what you do you'll keep getting the resulting consequences of the actions.

    The real key to success is when you learn how to do things WITHOUT thinking, such as creating new routines and habits that are based from the direct action plan PROVEN to get the results you're after.

    The only thing that isn't set in stone is how long it will take your actions to produce your results, which is why most people don't think this is true. Most will give up before the results are achieved. That's like downloading a file that takes 10 hours but only being willing to commit 5 hours to wait.

    Controlling your direct actions will work 10 times more than trying to control your thoughts towards a belief or subject. People do things against their beliefs all the time, and regardless of their beliefs a person will always choose to take an action or not to take an action. You can't choose to not think or what to think about or how to think about it. Too many factors involved to make it work when you can realize that there is only two things to choose from when you begin talking about actions.

    You can totally control your actions, and the best way is by forming new routines that are positive advancements towards your desires.
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    • Profile picture of the author Jacko
      Originally Posted by ChrisKahler View Post

      It is impossible to control your thoughts, but it is possible to act according to your will. Thoughts happen against your will. You couldn't turn off your brain unless you meditated to that point, which even then thoughts still flow you just have to dismiss them.

      The key to changing your life is not to control your thoughts (...)

      Point is, it isn't how you think it's what you do that counts.
      (...)

      The real key to success is when you learn how to do things WITHOUT thinking, such as creating new routines and habits that are based from the direct action plan PROVEN to get the results you're after.

      You can totally control your actions, and the best way is by forming new routines that are positive advancements towards your desires.

      Very well said, Chris!

      I can't control my thoughts, and I don't want to control them.
      I try to do (action) what I know it is better for me, my family, my friends and community and my business.

      Sometimes when I feel my mind too full of toughts, I try not to think (yoga meditation)
      and also use the (old and efficient) reboot system by Kneb Knebaih and J. Reese
      to reboot my brain:

      The Warrior Forum - From $0 to $500K in 2007... Step by step
      John Reese's -- Reboot Your Brain!

      That's it!
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  • Profile picture of the author ChrisKahler
    I think many are getting the term "think" mixed up with "learn" on this subject as well as "thoughts" with "will" Go look up the definitions to the words in a dictionary.. the differences are subtle, but there nonetheless
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  • Profile picture of the author Alfredo Carrion
    Yes you can... after all, you don't think the same things as you did when you were 8 do you?
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    • Profile picture of the author ChrisKahler
      Originally Posted by Alfredocoach View Post

      Yes you can... after all, you don't think the same things as you did when you were 8 do you?
      You may not think the same things, but you still think regardless of your willpower to stop or start it. The whole concept of "thinking to change your life" really should be looked at as "willing to change your life".

      People don't think their way to changes, they will themselves to do the actions required to change.
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  • Profile picture of the author BenoitT
    The day you wake up in the morning, what are you doing? The same exact thing every morning. When you go to job while you are driving? You still do the exact same patern that the day before and probably many days before.

    Can you really change your own pattern? Well, the real answer is YES. However, you need to be aware of your patern first. Then, you will not change only because you took the decision. You have to force yourself to do it.

    Human nature understand instant gratification, instant repression and social pressure (tell someone you took the commitment). Use it at your advantage. We aren't far away from the monkey you know

    It is crucial to know this to become productive and not work 14 hours/day to get rich.
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  • Profile picture of the author colingsmith
    Yes, I think you can. Of course it takes a bit
    of effort, awareness or mindfulness and discipline.

    Our behaviours our driven by our thought patterns,
    which have become unconscious habits.

    We can become aware of our unconscious process's
    and then change (re-program) them if we want to.

    Becoming aware of how we are talking to ourselves,
    and what kind of pictures we are creating in our
    'minds eye' is the first step.

    And we need to define what it is we want: What
    specific outcomes do we want?

    Doing so will then enable you to understand what
    you may need to change in your mind to more easily
    achieve your desires (outcomes.)

    Cheers, Col
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  • Profile picture of the author sandalwood
    Of course you can control how you think. Otherwise organized religion wouldn't exist. Think about it...
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    • Profile picture of the author ChrisKahler
      Originally Posted by sandalwood View Post

      Of course you can control how you think. Otherwise organized religion wouldn't exist. Think about it...
      Really if you think about it, organized religion doesn't control how you think but rather your will to act in an according manner.

      For example, I live a certain way... Not because of religion, but because of Spiritual reasons. I follow biblical rules and such because I feel that the Bible outlines the best way of life. Part of this means that I have to give up certain things I once considered normal, such as eating pork simply because I know I'm not supposed to according to the instruction of God from the bible.

      But, do I still like the taste of pork? Of course I do! I "think" that pork taste great, but I'm "willed" to not eat it according to a new standard of believing. Thoughts have no power in themselves other than how the person pushing them attempts to manipulate your will towards certain actions.

      As robyun says it is true that things throughout the days influence your thoughts. But, as far as us being able to control them? That's impossible. You can't make yourself stop thinking thoughts or start thinking thoughts... They fire at random. That's like attempting to control the very neurons in your brain.

      Rather, you can influence your thoughts by willing yourself to do so. Our thoughts are just collections of the things we have experienced, learned, or have somehow been introduced to at some point in our lives. When we "think" a thought on purpose, we are merely "willing" our mind to recall our preceptive recollection from these sets of experiences, knowledge, and such.
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  • Profile picture of the author robyun
    On a daily basis you get to know newer and more interesting things and that surely influence the way you think even if you don't notice that right away.
    However, you can decide whether you listen only to what's good for you or you also want to attract negative influences.
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  • Profile picture of the author John Trader
    Originally Posted by Acumen View Post

    Do you really think you can control how you think?
    Yes definitely and necessarily. If you don't take responsibility for your own thoughts and actions, someone else will gladly control / direct / manipulate them for you.
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  • Profile picture of the author wburgos72
    I think that we all have the ability to control what and how we think about things. We first must be aware of our thoughts in order to control our thoughts.
    I don' think everyone is aware that they can control there thoughts and that's fine, but I feel that if you truly want take control of your life it has to start with the control of your thoughts. Start by being aware of your thoughts and then deciding what thought are worth nurturing and what thoughts are a waste of time and only in your way.
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  • Profile picture of the author DenRich777
    What you think about has much to do with how "you feel" really. Feeling miserable will surely make you think negative thoughts as will "feeling good" will make someone think happy thoughts. I'm not saying it is the main cause of choosing the way you think but it helps.
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  • Profile picture of the author gudrunsmith
    Our action depends about getting pleasure or pain. Most people will never take action toward they really want. Many people want more money or a great relationship but than in the next moment they remember that more money can mean losing some friends or not able to handle it and a lot of time people be programmed that more money means ripping people off or the it is evil, some even say better be happy than having money. Or with relationship, they want one but than they are afraid that they will experience pain again, so they will sabotage themselves not to reach for their goals. They stay were they feel comfortable, even when they don't like, but this is what most people are doing!
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    • Profile picture of the author AskScottOBrien
      Do you really think it is weakness that yields to temptation? I tell you that there are terrible temptations which it requires strength and courage to yield to. It seems like it could go either way... depending on the individual as to whether or not you can really control how you think.

      There's a reason why some people end up in jail, have a long criminal records, get a DWI, cheat on their spouse and more... and then there are others who never break the law or get tempted to do something terrible. These people have courage and strength to control what they think... even at times when they may be tempted to think differently.
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  • Profile picture of the author joekyut
    A man can go no further than his mind can take him. If you live life blaming people for your thoughts and actions then you will end up blaming the whole world.

    Blame President Bush, Blame Osama, Blame President Obama.......Blame....Blame...Blame

    all this when you're having a stinking thought life.
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  • Profile picture of the author Mike Tyler
    While you cannot %100 control your inner-thoughts (silent-ninja negative toughs), you can create inner-motivation. It's just about change. Becoming a more of a positive person. Challengene your comfort zone. And just do what you love.

    The truth is.. becoming rich is freaking easy. You can become an millionaire starting today and 365 days from today.. you have everything in place. Every tool, map, information is lied flat in front of you. It's just to grab the tools and create something.

    Just my two cents.

    Mike Tyler.

    edit:
    I've read through the whole thread. It really amazes me over the smart and inspirational people here.
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  • Profile picture of the author Mary McLean
    Didn't Nap Hill say that our minds are like gardens and you can't stop a weed seed blowing in but you surely can stop it taking root!
    He also said our mind is like a telegraph (you can tell when he wrote this!) system, it both broadcasts and receives.

    Recent studies have shown we are able to "pick up on" what's going on in a room...eg, "you could cut the air with a knife" etc, if someone is in a foul mood and so on.

    So, I think to be responsible for our thoughts, we could look at it this way...
    Select the company you keep.
    Realize "tramp thoughts" do pass on the air waves past us and can settle upon us, if we aren't mindful and aware.
    Realize our human bias is as a bowls ball...to the easy side.

    Realize we are human and our job is to be kind, not right, tender hearted and forgiving...
    And that true love holds no fear, shame, guilt or any type of those emotions, only of gentleness and peace towards each other.

    Yes, it is a tall order, I guess that's why we are given a whole lifetime to get it!

    Kindest...
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  • Profile picture of the author dee4d
    Control, discipline, and action can't be achieved right away. The subconscious is hard to control, but focusing on a specific line of thought and working towards it will make your whole being accustomed to doing a particular thing. It is more complex, but take the way you train a dog to behave in a certain way..
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  • Profile picture of the author stopper
    controlling what you think can really be an uphill task you might not succeed from within but you can try harder
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  • Profile picture of the author nathanro
    You don't have to control how you think, you just have to learn HOW to think the right way.

    Thinking in the right way allows for things to happen, it allows for flow instead of being stuck.

    Now, there is even a deeper answer which comes from Lester Levenson:
    "Thinking is stinking, don't do it"

    This is actually the best thing you can do to find self.
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    • Profile picture of the author scsheldon33
      Originally Posted by nathanro View Post

      You don't have to control how you think, you just have to learn HOW to think the right way.
      Yes, I agree with you..

      It's really hard to control our thoughts, our mind will just cause us to think different things. Something will only pop- up which we aren't even aware of.

      Whenever something comes to mind, we must have to be responsible enough to learn to think the appropriate way
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    • Profile picture of the author JoreJjZ
      Control like so many words these days has a "pop psychology" meaning with a negative connotation. It is the idea of doing things with our negative ego mind to control love. These things can be pretty nasty. However when the ancient masters like Patanjali speak about that "yoga is the control of the thought-waves of the mind" they mean a totally different kind of control. Something that is more like a finely honed athlete has, or a skilled musician, or financial trader. And it is much more than that to steady the mind. Not surpress it or push it way but to embrace it love it allow it and yet keep it very steady and at peace. This is supposedly the most rewarding and most difficult accomplishment in life, the one success that brings all other success.
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  • Profile picture of the author frndelavega
    You CAN control how you think, absolutely, but changing your way of thinking from one day to another isn't an easy thing to do. The only way for this to happen that comes to my mind is my listening to other people outside your circle. You've got to have a willingness of challenging your thinking and introducing new ideas.
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  • Profile picture of the author Nathan2525
    Originally Posted by Acumen View Post

    Do you really think you can control how you think? I think that the only way to change your mind is through the introduction of new ideas from an outside influence (e.g. other people, sensations, whatever). This makes me think that how you think now must be a result of all of your conditioning up to this point. So, I ask, can you really blame someone for any trait? For example, following a certain religion; for being a liar; for being selfish etc..

    My answer is I don't think so. This is a reason why I try to have compassion for everyone. Practicing this has lead me to a happier life, and with it I have erased my hatred. This idea has simplified my life for a long time.

    Any thoughts?
    I love the work from Tony Robbins which is very NLP based so....

    Yes absolutely. You decide what to focus on. You decide what you think.
    You have full control.

    However be aware of the placebo affect. If you truly do not believe
    that you have control...Your Right!

    If you truly believe that you do have control...Your Right!
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  • Profile picture of the author dejrasfans
    Oh yeah we all have it under or in our power to achieve or fail. I know what my thoughts did to me while living with a man who thought so little of himself. He truly had a death wish and at age 50 he died from liver disease. Many of those 30 yrs of marriage were sad times for me. I was eager for a life full of doing. So I Did and still Do
    We had our true moments of spiritual oneness and Awareness. But many more of wasted energy I am working with my counselor to bring me out and be me with better thoughts of myself instead of the abused victim.
    It is amazing what the mind can do. The old neuron pathways can become less used as we create new ones of strength and goodness. Here I state "I am getting better everyday!"
    "Whatever you Believe You can Achieve"
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    • Profile picture of the author Mary McLean
      Originally Posted by dejrasfans View Post

      Oh yeah we all have it under or in our power to achieve or fail. I know what my thoughts did to me while living with a man who thought so little of himself. He truly had a death wish and at age 50 he died from liver disease. Many of those 30 yrs of marriage were sad times for me. I was eager for a life full of doing. So I Did and still Do
      We had our true moments of spiritual oneness and Awareness. But many more of wasted energy I am working with my counselor to bring me out and be me with better thoughts of myself instead of the abused victim.
      It is amazing what the mind can do. The old neuron pathways can become less used as we create new ones of strength and goodness. Here I state "I am getting better everyday!"
      "Whatever you Believe You can Achieve"
      That was very well said Debbie,
      You are saying you are willing to learn from the lessons that you drew to yourself, to take you higher!

      Awesome...
      This is exactly what the original poster asked.
      You felt you were a victim at one time, now you have controlled how you think and...same person, same life, different thought generation process, different outcomes!

      What a brilliant example of this topic question in action.
      Good on you.
      May you continue to shine on those around you too.
      Kindest...
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  • Profile picture of the author Cam Connor
    Originally Posted by Acumen View Post

    Do you really think you can control how you think? I think that the only way to change your mind is through the introduction of new ideas from an outside influence (e.g. other people, sensations, whatever). This makes me think that how you think now must be a result of all of your conditioning up to this point. So, I ask, can you really blame someone for any trait? For example, following a certain religion; for being a liar; for being selfish etc..

    My answer is I don't think so. This is a reason why I try to have compassion for everyone. Practicing this has lead me to a happier life, and with it I have erased my hatred. This idea has simplified my life for a long time.

    Any thoughts?

    Yes, you can control how you think.

    Breathe
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  • Profile picture of the author Terrilyn
    Originally Posted by Acumen View Post

    Do you really think you can control how you think? I think that the only way to change your mind is through the introduction of new ideas from an outside influence (e.g. other people, sensations, whatever). This makes me think that how you think now must be a result of all of your conditioning up to this point. So, I ask, can you really blame someone for any trait? For example, following a certain religion; for being a liar; for being selfish etc..

    My answer is I don't think so. This is a reason why I try to have compassion for everyone. Practicing this has lead me to a happier life, and with it I have erased my hatred. This idea has simplified my life for a long time.

    Any thoughts?
    I totally agree with you, the more connections you make, the more opportunity you get to learn and expand.
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  • Profile picture of the author bryansallee
    same idea as Magnates says....
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  • Profile picture of the author Shilpa
    Self-control is all about thinking before you act.
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  • Profile picture of the author Auswarrior996
    Originally Posted by Acumen View Post

    Do you really think you can control how you think? I think that the only way to change your mind is through the introduction of new ideas from an outside influence (e.g. other people, sensations, whatever). This makes me think that how you think now must be a result of all of your conditioning up to this point. So, I ask, can you really blame someone for any trait? For example, following a certain religion; for being a liar; for being selfish etc..

    My answer is I don't think so. This is a reason why I try to have compassion for everyone. Practicing this has lead me to a happier life, and with it I have erased my hatred. This idea has simplified my life for a long time.

    Any thoughts?
    Yes you can control how you think, consciously, until it becomes subconscious and automatic.

    How you think now has to do with how you thought in the past.
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    • “Control of consciousness determines the quality of life.”
      ― Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience



      you control your thinking, by goals to pursue.


      “It was like floating,” “I was carried on by the flow.” It is the opposite of psychic entropy… and those who attain it develop a stronger, more confident self, because more of their psychic energy has been invested successfully in goals they themselves had chosen to pursue.”

      good book to read. less hype, more research-based substance
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  • Profile picture of the author Maricela margene
    There is a lot of talk recently on controlling your mind, programing your mind for success. I have looked into it, really hard and takes lots of practice but certainly beneficial if understood
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  • Profile picture of the author hireava
    Of course, you can really control how you think. It's in the way how you grow as a person and the people around you that affects your whole being.
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  • Profile picture of the author TopKat22
    Your thoughts come so rapid that it is almost impossible to control your thoughts once they are running wild.

    I have found the only way is to direct your attention to something else that really takes all of your attention.

    I have found that I can direct my thoughts as above and over time, the thoughts are more about what I've been directing them to rather than random thoughts.
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    • Originally Posted by TopKat22 View Post

      Your thoughts come so rapid that it is almost impossible to control your thoughts once they are running wild.

      I have found the only way is to direct your attention to something else that really takes all of your attention.

      I have found that I can direct my thoughts as above and over time, the thoughts are more about what I've been directing them to rather than random thoughts.
      good point.

      If the average thought (which most consist of "what will I eat", "I have to poop", and "is my hair ok")

      then we have about 20,000 thoughts a day!

      Maybe we only need a dozen a day to feel like the day and your time was good.
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      • Profile picture of the author Jonathan 2.0
        I think you can control your thinking.

        First, however, you have to realise/acknowledge/understand that you're not in control of your brain. (Many people simply don't realise.)
        And, I speak from personal experience: I'm definitely not 100% in control of my brain. However I'm definitely learning.
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        "Each problem has hidden in it an opportunity so powerful that it literally dwarfs the problem. The greatest success stories were created by people who recognized a problem and turned it into an opportunity."―Joseph Sugarman
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  • Profile picture of the author GeorgeJafen
    Of course you can! Change is a word for a reason. Don't we all change our thinking as we get older?
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    • Originally Posted by GeorgeJafen View Post

      Of course you can! Change is a word for a reason. Don't we all change our thinking as we get older?
      Definitions:

      Change

      1. To become different or undergo alteration: He changed as he matured.
      2. To undergo transformation or transition: The music changed to a slow waltz.
      3. To go from one phase to another, as the moon or the seasons.
      4. To make an exchange: If you prefer this seat, I'll change with you.

      rea·son (rzn)
      n.
      1. The basis or motive for an action, decision, or conviction.

      Senility ? : My definition
      Stuck in your ways - old habits, old patterns of thought, tired perceptions

      think·ing

      1. The act or practice of one that thinks; thought.
      2. A way of reasoning; judgment: To my thinking, this is not a good idea.
      adj.
      Characterized by thought or thoughtfulness; rational:
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