I think many of us waste too much time on negative thoughts, and even how we will cope with situations that haven't even happened...and may not ever happen...
I attended an educational event awhile back, which was a weekend getaway centered on higher ground leadership. I participated in numerous workshops that weekend, but this one in particular I will never forget. I love this story.
In this workshop, our Presenter (let’s call him Dave), told us that in his own business travels, he had learned that there was a Prophet, or Spiritualist if you will, in India, who held great wisdom and in fact was said to know the secret to condensing time.
Immeasurably intrigued by the possibility that he himself might be able to learn this coveted secret, Dave decided right there and then, that he must commit to the journey and find this Prophet. He resolved to travel whatever great distances and to whatever great lengths necessary, in order to seek the wisdom of this individual.
He embarked on an unforgettable journey of self-realization, where he found himself enduring many long tortuous days of travel and seemingly un-surmountable circumstances. As he travelled and searched, he began to fear that this Prophet was only a fictional character, dreamed up by someone with too much time on their hands. But he persisted, and eventually he tracked down the Prophet, aided by what he thought might even have been “divine intervention”.
Reaching his destination, Dave and the Prophet were finally seated cross-legged in front of each other. The weary traveller was anxious for a mystical commentary that would uncover this coveted life secret and solve many of the challenges he himself faced in his every day life. Looking deep into one another’s eyes, the wise Prophet smiled at Dave and said with a calm, quiet voice, that the secret to condensing time was to stop thinking stupid thoughts.
Dave didn’t move. He could barely breathe.
.....back in the workshop, listening to Dave as he revealed this coveted secret to condensing time, our whole room full of participants went silent...and so did he. He just looked around the room at all of us, deliberately studying each of our reactions...wide-eyed and waiting. Our silence, coupled with the occasional nervous laugh, was shouting volumes. We were saying "I’m having trouble processing what you just said. I’m not sure if this is a trick, but it wasn’t at all what I expected, and I think I’m disappointed ". And we were disappointed, we wanted more. We wanted to hear something utterly profound; something that would move us to a place we'd never been before...a place of personal awakening...asecret solution.
As seconds passed, a gradual realization took a hold of our group. Slowly, some began to grin as the gravity of the "secret" sank in. And then a certain awakening did occur, just not quite the way we had expected. One by one we began to realize that this secret to condensing time really was quite profound...and that it might actually provide a solution to more of our daily challenges than we had originally thought.
"Stop thinking stupid thoughts". Okay...how much extra time would you actually have in the day if you stopped thinking stupid thoughts? And let’s take this one step further; what if you even stopped preparing for outcomes that these stupid thoughts might hypothetically produce?
If you don’t need to stop thinking stupid thoughts to save time in your day, then maybe you just need to stop thinking them, so you can have more peace in your day.
Peace. And take the next step to get rid of those stupid thoughts. Physically wipe them off your shoulders and walk away.