Friday, September 10, 2010

The mind bomb

We need to be vigilant guardians of our own thoughts. Whether it is procrastination, stress or unreasoning anger they all start in the mind. Think of these mental states as big round black cartoon bombs with long fuses. The explosion is the action or lack of action that take while the fuse is mental process that leads us there. Whenever we see a behavior, an action or a reaction in our lives that we do not like the most effective way to change it is to learn what the fuse looks like.

Often the fuse runs through our subconscious and is hard to see but with some effort and vigilance we can find it. Once we recognize the thought process that activates a cretin behavior we can attempt to shut it down before the bomb goes off. The tool for defusing the bomb is what I like to think of as a thought process interrogation.

The idea is simple: we consciously question our thoughts to see if the pattern that leads to the unwanted action is reasonable. As I have mentioned before I have been known to be a habitual procrastinator. However I learned to recognize thoughts that signaled that I was about to put something off I should be doing. Now when I hear the voice in my head start to say I will do that latter I know to question it ask if the task is something I am avoiding or something with low priority.

The idea works for stress anger or any other emotional state that can cause us to act in ways we do not want. The questions are different in each case. Stress needs to be asked is there anything else I should be doing. Anger should be asked if it is reasonable and if lashing out will make the problem go away or make it worse. The questions that will work for you may not be the ones that work for me but if you find your own questions and get in the habit of asking them it buys you time to defuse the bomb and change the behavior.


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