Imagine feeling joy in everyday life by only thinking about it, visualizing it and seeing it done. I just finished reading The 5 Rules of Thought for the second time. A quick read, it reminded me of the power of my thoughts. According to Mary Browne, the author, thoughts contain tremendous power to materialize ideas I have for a joyful life or experiences.
When I look back at my own life, I have to say, I have visualized what I wanted, but more than that I put energy toward those thoughts. I helped myself create the environment, objects, experiences I thought would bring me satisfactions. Some made me feel amazing, others sent me into misery which begs the question: Are my thoughts really a good judge of what will bring me joy?
At the very least the experiences were worth the effort and I would not change the “thought goal” even after feeling miserable. My experiences traveling through this life of imaginations and thoughts of what I want in my life were well worth the joys and sorrows.
I use thoughts every day for little things: I think I’ll turn on the light. I think I’ll have another cup of coffee, I think I’ll write this blog. The little thoughts are easy. It’s the more far reaching adventures that take time, effort, and courage. I say courage because most people give up on their dreams, the thoughts of where they want to go in life.
Luckily Mary Browne offers fundamental practices to help me get back to my “dream thoughts” and what I want for the rest of my life.
The five rules of thought are these: 1. Decide what you want 2. See it done 3. Don’t vacillate 4. Have faith 5. Persist
Decide what you want
This can be tough because I want so many things. I want to write books, plays, poems, letters, stories, blogs, et cetera, et cetera. I want to find my tribe. I want to travel. I want to have adventures. The author recommends choosing just one thought. What I came up with is I want to use my creativity in powerful, life changing ways. This means I act on my creative energies instead of hesitating in fear of what people will think or that what I do might not be successful.
See it done
To see it done means to visualize what I want, to actually see it accomplished. I do this at least three times daily. When I think back on my life on my biggest accomplishments, I did visualize what I wanted.
Don’t vacillate (stay focused)
This one is tough as my mind wanders constantly, but with diligence, I can stay the course, especially if my thoughts are toward the greater good.
My faith is weak, so I give up too easily at a setback, but funny thing is I keep coming back to the same creative writing goals. I have written three novels, but fail to try and get them published. I’ve self-published my own non fiction books with a modicum of success, but that’s not why I did it. I wrote those to make a difference in people’s lives and for 25 years, the books still sell. Fiction is another muse that’s so alluring, but I fear, I fear. . . I must have faith and see them through to publication.
Persistence reaps results.
When I put enough positive emotions and hold the thing I want in my mind for long enough, good things happen. I am know for my perseverance, because nothing comes easy to me. For example, I took a girl to the movies and after one date, I knew I wanted to marry her. She did not see it that way, and it was a year before she would go out with me, again. I did this not in a creepy way of stalking, but of gentle trying. She was the type that needed to go really slow in a relationship. We’ve been married now for 43 years.
I would add this about the 5 rules.
Thoughts need emotion to give them energy.
The more positive emotions I feel (love, desire, enthusiasm, joy) for the thought the greater the power of the thought. The more negative emotions (revenge, fear, jealousy, anger, hatred) applied to a thought, the more harm that can come to me.
Sometimes it’s not meant to be.
Sometimes I want something so bad, but powerful unseen forces kept “doors closes” left obstructions in my path. Sometimes I felt it was a test, but other times I sensed the higher powers that be tried to help me see my goal leads to a bad outcome. This happened to me when I visualized myself in a better job. I applied for the job five times and five times I was rejected. What surprised me is I was clearly the best candidate. I was bitter, but years later when I reflected back I saw the job was not in my best interest. What I imagined to be a wonderful job turned out to be a “soul sucking” nightmare to those that worked it. The path that opened to me gave me experiences that help me today.
Fear thoughts can be realized, too.
When I was in third grade, I remember our classroom had a Christmas tree decorating and every student brought in an ornament. As the teacher lifted my ornament, I kept thinking strongly and repeatedly, “She’s going to drop it and it will shatter.” Sure enough as the teacher tried to hook the orb it fell from her hands and shattered in the linoleum.
With gloom and doom atmosphere in the world today, harnessing what I want means shutting out the fearful unknown and still make plans for an adventurous future. I can’t wait to see what my thoughts will bring.
“When everything falls apart, that’s when the true adventure begins.”Yvonne Chouinard
I learn that my thoughts can lead to actions good and bad, but more than that my thoughts have helped me gain what I wanted in my life. Usually, the more I have “tasted” the thing I think I want the more powerful thoughts came to me and helped me accomplish those things.
Harnessing the power of my thoughts takes practice, just like my mindfulness practice. I will continue to practice both because I see a joyful outcome.
Peace, Joy, & Love,