Every once in a while you read something that unsettles you. I recently read Do The Work by Steven Pressfield. It is a challenging little book. It is a great read. One line stuck out and bit me. Mr Pressfield states that he didn’t have a thought of his own until he was 30. Every thought he had until that time was most likely a regurgitation of things he learned from his family, school, etc, etc.
It sent me on a journey into my own mind to see if I have done the same thing. Most people want to believe that they are self made. They want to believe that the thoughts and information and decisions residing in their heads came from deligent study and rigorus application of what was learned. For some this is true at a young age. For the rest of us, I don’ think this is so. Many times we don’t know why we believe what we say we believe. We spend our lives filling our heads full of other peoples thoughts? Why is this?
We live in an age where information is hurled at us in a constant stream. We are so inundated that it is hard to take a moment to process everything that has come our way. It is hard to have an original thought and form an opinion on many things because the noise won’t stop long enough to let us start. I am not the only one this happens to right? Good. I didn’t think so.
So, what do you do if you find your mind full of thoughts that are not your own? If you examine your dominant thoughts and you don’t think they sound like you, it is time to take a break. An information break. There isn’t much new stuff out there anyway. It is time to take a few days and rest. What are your sources of information? Disconnect them for a few days. Let your mind go clear. When it does, you can start to think for yourself.
What do you believe in? What do you value? Who do you love? What do you want to be when you grow up? It is questions like these that help you make the most of your days. They shape the way you see the world and how you spend your time. Life comes into focus. The days are more meaningful. You can live them to the full because you know what you stand for. Until you can clear all the noise out of your head and have some thoughts of your own, this isn’t going to happen. Original thoughts won’t come. That is a shame too. The world needs more original thinkers.