Let’s define – opportunity. When we think about opportunity, we imagine a circumstance or a flow on events that lead to a situation presented in our favor. Then all we need to do is to respond to that situation by making a choice to go for it or decline it.
A circumstance being played out in our favor that does not happen often and we do not take for granted is an opportunity. An opportunity to meet someone we like, to discover something interesting, to make money. Grandious experiences and perhaps life-changing events are all opportunities that appear as circumstances in our lives.
Now that we’ve got that out of the way I would like to talk about the insane amount of opportunities that we are missing every day in our lives. The opportunities that we take for granted simply because we do not recognize them as life-changing. Let’s talk about thoughts.
Hey, wait a second! What thoughts have to do with opportunities?
Apparently a lot. Thoughts just like circumstance appear in our lives, some appear unpredictably, surprising us with great ideas, while others are familiar and known to us. We respond to thoughts as we respond to circumstance by playing along with them or ignoring them.
At first, it seems that we are the ones walking around thinking that – we are thinking our thoughts. However, this is far from being true. It is more accurate to say that the thoughts are being presented to us.
The process of thinking feels very close to us physically, and also on top of that when we think, we hear a voice in our heads, which we recognize as our own. Therefore, the whole thing leads us to believe that it is, us thinking. But if it was us, then shouldn’t we have absolute control over our thoughts, including the ability to stop thoughts when we wanted to? However, that is not the case.
Have you ever tried to stop thinking about something intentionally? Try to stop thinking about your favorite animal right now. Did you succeed? So we have this illusion that we are the ones that are thinking when in fact we are not completely in control of our own thinking. But somehow we do manage to think about what we want.
What is it that you want? Try to answer this question without using memory. Just answer what you want right now only using your senses. It could be anything for example if you feel thirsty you may want some water, If you feel the discomfort of your chair you may want to sit more comfortably or to change to a comfy chair, if you’re hungry then – food, tired? – nap, etc.
Notice that you don’t need thoughts in order to know what you want, you can feel what you want using your senses, skipping the thought process. Thoughts kick in only when you want to describe to yourself or others what is it that you want. When that happens we turn to memory, remembering what things called like. But what is memory, if not our insistence to communicate with ourselves or others using sound and images?
When you demand from yourself to describe something, that something is served to your awareness in a form of images or sounds, and you just say it – “Hedgehog” that’s my favorite animal. Later on, you learn how to spell hedgehog, but the point being is that hedgehog is important to you, because your experience with a hedgehog was awesome. So you insist on always knowing what hedgehog looks like, and how to communicate your favorite animal with others. And when you demand on communicating hedgehog with yourself or others you are served with an image or a sound only by having an intention.
We have no idea how the serving mechanism of pictures and sounds to our mind works, it just does. The fact remains that images and sounds pop to our mind on our demand and we describe this process as thoughts. We are not the one doing the thinking, we only wish for sounds and images to appear in our awareness, and they do.
But sometimes it seems that there are thoughts that happen without our intention, Why are they there?
Every thought is relevant to our experience because thoughts are never neutral, besides describing the things we insist on knowing, they also describe our emotional, physical and mental state. An annoying song stuck in your head for no apparent reason is there to remind you that you are annoyed and it is time to relax.
In every thought lies opportunity. And it is our reaction to thoughts that determines whether we seize or ignore that opportunity. Depressing thoughts ask for love, griefing thoughts ask for comfort, angry thoughts ask for kindness, destructive thoughts ask for compassion.
Our thoughts always insist on bringing something to our attention, and it is up to us to decide how we react to our thoughts, do we ignore or listen? and if we listen, how do we treat ourselves as a result of what we hear?