It’s magical knowing that changing the quality of our thoughts can change the quality of our lives, as I wrote about in Transforming Our Stories, One Thought at a Time. It seems do-able enough, with some effort, of course. And, as Hendricks and DeVoe paraphrased from Allen’s transformational book, As a Man Thinketh, you can change your thoughts, rapidly and anytime you wish. And we know from the concept of neuroplasticity, that our brains can reorganize and create new neural pathways. But just how do we change our thoughts?

Flowing waterJiddu Krishnamurti (1895 –1986) was a philosopher, speaker, and writer on matters that concerned humankind. He said, “The highest form of human intelligence is to observe yourself without judgment.” Hmm. Observation without judgment. Yes. I’ve noticed that if I observe and judge, I may well stop observing.

Most often, thoughts just roll through our minds. Like rushing water after a rain, the thoughts are unfiltered and unprocessed. But unfiltered and unprocessed – and sometimes unchanneled – rainwater is capable of forming destructive, raging rivers or floods. On the other hand, if it is channeled, contained, and managed, it can create beautiful streams – at times meandering, at others, faster-moving.

It’s the same with our thoughts. As with the rain, without awareness and care, these spontaneous thoughts can collectively lead to an unpredictable and destructive outcome. Actively observing, especially without judgment, has the potential to help us craft the life or events that we each wish for ourselves. “As you think, so you are,” says Allen.

In psychology writer JB Allyn’s recent post, How to Track Thoughts as They Convert to Story, she suggests ways to track our thoughts in writing. Seems like a good place to start!

Allen, James (1903) As a Man Thinketh
Hendricks, Gay & Devoe, Debbie (2005) The Power of a Single Thought

Note: In this post, the author, Diane H. Engelman, is not directly or indirectly giving psychological or medical advice. Nor is she prescribing the use of any technique to treat medical, physical, or emotional problems. The author intends only to offer information of a general nature that may assist you in seeking personal growth. If you choose to use any of the information the author presents, she assumes no responsibility for your choices or actions.