#946 Thought Alchemy

How to Change One Thought for Another

In our last +1, we talked about my new go-to mantra: “Thank you.”

You try it out yet?

Thank you.
Thank you. Thank you.
Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.
Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.
Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

I’ve found it to be kinda crazy epically powerful.

Jocko Willink has his “Good” response to EVERYTHING that ever happens to him. (Literally, WHATEVER (!!!) happens, he says, “Good.” How’s THAT for an amor fati, antifragile response?)

My new response? “Thank you.”

All day. Every day.

Thank you.

(I’ve even been using it at night when/if I get up in the middle of the night. I don’t allow myself to think/ruminate/etc. Just “Thank you thank you thank you.” I wonder if that’s influenced my recent Oura readiness scores… I’ve been on a crazy streak (of 95, 95, 90, 95, 95, 97, 97) since I started playing with this tool of the mind.)

But that’s not quite the point of Today’s +1.

In addition to encouraging you to consider experimenting with that little tool of the mind, I also want to chat about Eknath Easwaran and some more of his brilliant wisdom.

As I mentioned in the last +1, when I use the “Thank you” mantra-tonic on an individual who might be triggering/challenging me, I inevitably shift my focus from the things that are currently bothering me to the much longer list of things that make the person so awesome.

Which brings us back to Easwaran and one of his recommended practices.

In Conquest of Mind, he tells us: “To give one small illustration, whenever somebody is unkind to me, I can immediately unroll the panorama of that person’s good qualities. Instantly the balance is set right. As with most skills, this is a matter of practice. When you are having trouble getting along with someone, a simple first step is to sit down quietly and recall how many times that person has given you support. You are using positive memories to drive out negative ones before they have a chance to crowd together and form a mob, which is all resentment really is.

Brilliant.

He also makes the point by telling us: “The first strategy is literally ‘changing one thought for another’: a negative thought for a positive one, an unkind thought for a kind one. ‘Just as a carpenter uses a small peg to drive out a bigger one,’ the Buddha says, ‘you can use a right thought to drive out one that is wrong.’

That’s Today’s +1.

Want to push a big negative peg out of your mind?

Consider using these little guys:

Thank you.
Thank you. Thank you.
Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.
Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.
Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

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