The greatest problem of man is also his greatest solution; the ability to think, to imagine, to process information and come up with an idea, to hear a thing and to understand, to see beyond words. Why I say it is one of the greatest problems, you may ask. Well, from a tender age we were never tutored or mentored on how to think or be logical. We were never taught that there would be a time when our minds would continually ruminate on a subject or an idea, we were never taught that our minds would not rest, this is very evident in the fact that even when we sleep, we still think; what some of us refer to as ‘dreams’.
We were taught things that are now our conditioned reflexes; how to read, how to write, how to talk, how to eat, how to walk, how to play, even how to poo, however, the most important in all of these, we were never taught- How to think. I begin to wonder why there was no classroom or lesson on such an important life skill. Why a teacher never walked into class and put on the board “The Process of Thinking”. I begin to wonder, why man has never seen a reason to educate his offspring and his next generation on thought patterns and processes. Rather, we were left alone to search out matters ourselves; a very dangerous mistake we have made from the inception of time, a mistake I believe needs to be corrected, otherwise we would unknowingly breed monsters as kids.
Guess where kids now learn how to think: The Society. An example; a child comes back home from school to see his mother asking for a divorce from his father, a child has automatically been taught that there are some things in life that are unforgiveable (Wrong Notion!!!). We have resigned ourselves to making our experiences shape our thought process. The way we perceive things to be suddenly becomes our thought pattern. The most disturbing of our thought pattern is worry; a form of thinking that I personally believe came my way via my parents. I was taught that if something goes wrong, the first thing I am supposed to do is worry. I was conditioned into having a worrisome thought pattern. It became so bad that I was taught that even when things were going good, I was supposed to worry “what if it goes wrong?”
For a long time, I saw no wrong in my thought pattern until recently when I realized how negative it was. Let me briefly explain what worry means. According to word net, worry can be defined as “a strong feeling of an unpleasant emotion that is experienced in anticipation of some ill-defined misfortune”.
So therefore, am I to blame my parents for conditioning me to such negative thought pattern? The answer is NO, in defense of my parents; the problem has been inherent in man since the beginning of time. Worry has become the most dominant thought of the 21st century man, from childhood he has been conditioned to worry, and he will pass it down to his own kids which will further pass it down to theirs and then it becomes a vicious cycle until something is done about it.
In search for a solution to this problem I went to the book of all books which is the Bible and I happened upon a scripture, (Matthew 6:25-31) where it explicitly explains that the act of worrying is absolutely unnecessary. It doesn’t out-rightly call it a sin, but it surely calls it irrelevant. So I put it to you this way; to worry is a choice you make but an irrelevant one, an unnecessary one that you can live all the days of your life without making.
Now you might be tempted to ask some questions;
If worrying is irrelevant, how or what then am I supposed to think about? The answer to that question is in (Philippians 4:8) whatsoever is pure, good, of good report, these are the things our minds are supposed to be placed on.
What if something bad happens? The answer to that is we are supposed to place our minds either on a solution to the bad or see the good in the bad, the Bible says all things work for the good of those that love God: so even in the seemingly bad there is good.
Now this advice is no easy feat, what I am advising is to change a form of conditioning that has been with you since you started to think. I am personally undergoing that change currently and I must mention that it is not easy especially when people around you see the thought pattern you are trying to deviate from as normal, you then become the weird person. But one thing I have just found out while in the process of change is that inside my thoughts, another voice either permits my thinking or attempts to disallow it. I found that when I start to worry; my subconscious draws me back and cautions my thought process. I came to the realization that I have a certain amount of control over my thought process; I could decide what to think and what not to think; therefore if I ever became worried I was the one that allowed myself get carried away. I also realized that my thinking is my responsibility; I can actually think what I want, when I want and how I want.
Circumstances no longer determine my thought pattern, I DECIDE my thought pattern. These lessons should have been taught to me as a child. I should have been told I was responsible, not the TV, not the internet, not my parents but “I”.
This simple lesson goes a long way in changing a person. It goes way beyond worry: it cuts across many if not all negative thought parents such as fear, anger, pain, depression etc. As a child I was taught to be afraid when faced with a herculean challenge, to be angry when provoked, to be in pain when heartbroken, to be depressed when I lost someone/something, I was taught to think negative when faced with discomfort.
Now get my point;
It is not a sin to have these kind of thought patterns but it is utterly irrelevant and highly unproductive.
As I come to the end I must proffer a solution that has been working since before Jesus even came to this earth and it is found in (Joshua 1:8) which says; let this book of the law be ever on your lips and in your thoughts day and night, so that you may keep with care everything in it; then a blessing will be on all your way, and you will do well. (BBE).
The constant study and meditation (thinking) is the only solution to these negative thoughts. No amount of willpower can help you overcome this; there is so much negativity around us and it could be overwhelming but solace can be found in the word of God. Search the word, what does God say about loss? What does He say about failure? What does He say about moving at a slow pace (traffic)? What does he say about pain? It’s all there. No motivational book or speaker can help you; no positive thought conditioning is strong enough to keep you afloat in this negative world. The answer is the Scripture.
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Thank you for reading, Hoping you’ll leave a comment also.
Written by: UBOH ETINYENE
Uboh Etinyene is a student of Goethe institute, currently adding deutsch to His list of spoken languages. A graduate of Covenant university with a degree in electrical engineering. An addicted believer in renewable energy being the solution to Nigeria’s power problems and a relationship with God being the solution to man’s demise. He’s an aspiring life coach and writes for growth and not inspiration.
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