Sunday, 21 December 2014

Thoughts don't control actions

The generic statement, 'Our thoughts control our actions,' is seen to be recurrently used. On the surface level it seems true too. For instance, if someone is thinking, 'I don't want to speak to these people.' S/he avoids those people or pretends not to see them. However this may not be the case in all circumstances.

If we go a bit deeper and question, "Do really our thoughts control our actions?" The answer will certainly be, "Not necessarily." 
I remember Cristina Comencini's novel 'When the night' to confirm how our actions do not match with our thoughts. The main characters of the novel, Marina and Manfred have very wild thoughts towards each other but when they come face to face their actions do not follow their thoughts. For example, there comes a situation where Manfred carries Marina's two-year-old son and walks ahead of her, then gradually disappears from her sight. Marina gets frustrated and thinks like, "How dare that bastard take my son away from me! When I get him I'll kill that asshole!" But when she eventually meets Manfred she acts being very polite, confident and friendly and says, "Thank you for carrying my child. This really helps me."

Similarly, in his book 'The confidence gap: From fear to freedom' Dr Russ Harris gives an example of Joe Simpson (writer of the book 'Touching the void') who was freezing cold and in terrible agony because his right leg was broken and the knee completely
shattered. His climbing partner had left him for dead at the bottom of a huge crevasse. In such a desperate situation Joe, who did not have food, water or fuel for a fire, also thought that he was definitely going to die on a deserted mountain. However, in contrast to his thought Joe did not wait there for his death. In action he mustered all his courage and crawled out of the crevasse dragging his mangled leg behind him and made his way back to base camp. If he had listened to his mind which was telling him all his efforts were futile Joe would not have survived. Instead he focused on his action to get out of his ordeal and he did it.

Our mind can trick us easily. It is said that at least sixty thousand thoughts pop up in our mind in a single day, and most of them are negative. So we must be aware of the fact that particularly the negative thoughts cannot hold us back from reaching our goal. We should not trust those thoughts which try to limit us but like Joe Simpson, we should immediately act upon the thing that we want to achieve.  

{The pictures on this blog are posted here with permission from their owners or have been gathered from various sources on the Internet. If you are the copyright-holder to any of the photographs herein do not hesitate to contact me. They will be swiftly removed if desired so.] 


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