Nothing Is Good Or Bad - But Thinking Makes It So

The vast majority of us grow up believing that we are subject to external forces and that it is these forces which control our destiny. We also believe that we have certain inherited qualities and traits, and that these can be helped or hindered by environmental factors such as background, schooling or race. Graham Burdick explains...

When things go right, we tend to take the credit. However, when things go wrong we tend to blame other factors such as society, the government, the recession or even the weather. However, I believe that these things only affect us to the degree with which we let them, because they can be positive - a spur, or negative - a restriction. It is we who decide!

Basically we are all born fairly equal and innate intelligence does not vary quite as dramatically as one might think. Experts agree that less than 5% of the human brain is actually used (even by Einstein), so we all have the potential to be a genius - if only we know how.

Although we enter into this world equipped with the most complex computer known to mankind, we are missing one vital ingredient - an instruction manual! How many of us could operate a DVD without the instructions, let alone even the simplest PC? Yet we stumble through life with only the vaguest idea of the potential between our ears and no real guidance on how it operates.

To fully understand our potential we have to remember that we were all born with some wonderful qualities. For example, picture a baby or young child. What words come to mind: spontaneous, happy, fearless, unconditionally loving, perpetually in awe? How many adults do you know with those qualities? Thus, we should ask the question - why not? The answer is conditioning - that's why not!

We are conditioned by parents, by schools, by peers, by society. From the moment we learn to comprehend, we are subjected to a barrage of other people's fears, anxieties and negative attitudes. 'You can't do this, you shouldn't do that.' Society requires us to conform, but at what price? We settle for the safety of the comfort zone and in exchange we take on board other people's neuroses for the next 20 years.

Little wonder that we lose our spontaneity and suppress our natural joy, because there is always someone out there with a depressing story, a tragic anecdote or a 'what if'. But then tragedy has always been more sensational than happiness. Just look at the newspapers or the TV news - and now thanks to satellites, we can have instant access to world-wide death and disaster.

By the time we reach the age of maturity we believe that we have a clear idea of our limitations.

However, these limitations do not exist in reality. They are the result of years of indoctrination - by other people! So, the biggest single factor which prevents us from achieving our goals is - ourselves!

But, what is reality? Is it the external world, which we struggle so hard to manipulate? Does it comprise objects and events which exist quite separately from us? No, reality is not objective. It does not exist in isolation, it cannot. It requires an observer - as Einstein discovered. It can only be experienced internally because it is entirely a product of our (highly subjective) sensory system.

So, reality is, in effect, a figment of our imagination. However, for the sake of convenience and society in general, we agree upon certain aspects of our subjective reality.

So, how real is real? Consider dreams for example. We have all had nightmares which seem perfectly real at the time. We even manifest physical symptoms of fear during them, such as sweating, increased heart-rate or even crying. Hypnosis also shows how our reality can be influenced by our thoughts and, can be very easily fooled. Our reality is entirely at the mercy of how our brain chooses to interpret incoming data. The sheer magnitude of this incoming information (millions of bits per second) forces the brain to select - or we would go crazy. So we consciously see only what we want to see and we hear only what we want to hear!

Consequently, if we want to improve our reality, we must start with ourselves, because the only thing in this world over which we have complete control is ourself. What determines our success is our viewpoint, because we choose, how to react to the variables of life. We decide how we interpret the incoming data. As Shakespeare said: 'Nothing is good or bad, but thinking makes it so.' The key to unlocking your potential, to gaining access to that other 95% of your brain; to all personal success, health and harmony is just to regularly maintain a positive attitude!

Like all great discoveries it is disarmingly simple, but devastatingly effective. Please believe that once you accept and embrace this concept, the world - your world - will actually change! Negative thinking restricts your options and pollutes your reality. Positive thinking expands your potential and illuminates your life for the better. Remember, what you put out, is what you get back. Your outer world is a reflection of your inner thoughts - your attitude decides!