Which Is It? – Week 22

I know I have been pushing the importance of our thoughts and how our thoughts influence our actions.  What we hold in mind will impact our actions and affect our circumstances.  This is true.

But… Do our actions influence our thoughts?

From “The Greatest Salesman in the World”

Today I will be master of my emotions. And how will I master my emotions so that every day is a happy day, and a productive one? I will learn this secret of the ages: Weak is he who permits his thoughts to control his actions; strong is he who forces his actions to control his thoughts.

So, after all these weeks of controlling actions, seeing things come to pass by controlling my thoughts, this is called the secret of the ages.

Which comes first?  Thoughts then actions; actions then thoughts.

I did stop and think about the above statement.

Then I continued reading:

If I feel depressed I will sing. If I feel sad I will laugh. If I feel ill I will double my labor. If I feel fear I will plunge ahead. If I feel inferior I will wear new garments. If I feel uncertain I will raise my voice. If I feel poverty I will think of wealth to come. If I feel incompetent I will remember past success. If I feel insignificant I will remember my goals. Today I will be master of my emotions.

And then it made sense.  Life is a balance and I can use what I may to maintain that balance.  I determine who I am going to become and I use thoughts to bring about those characteristics and desires.  When life throws challenges of thought and emotions at me, I can use an action to change how I feel – control my emotions so I don’t start reacting.

I’ve done this before.  When I talk on the phone to a colleague, I have a tendency to smile.  That automatically makes my voice sound pleasant.  It’s hard to let any frustration show in my voice if I’m smiling.

But I haven’t utilized this trick in all categories of changing feelings I don’t want to feel.

Last Monday was a good example.  All of us at work were having a challenge staying focused and were out-of-sorts.  Using the above secret, I could have pictured myself on top of everything rather than centering my thoughts on the struggle.  I would have changed the way I spoke, the way I looked at and acted toward people, and then endeavored to help others change how they were feeling (if they were willing).  It’s easy to pick up other’s vibes and get into their attitudes.  We are influenced by the world around us.  But how great is it that we can change the environment around us by simple actions.

Now I have a tool that will help me to change those times I find it difficult to deal with the day.  I’m sure it will take some practice, but I’m determined to apply this secret of the ages.


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