I’m going to share some more tidbits from another book I’ve decided to keep. It’s called Write Mind by Eric Masiel. It’s subtitled “299 Things Writers Should Never Say to Themselves (and What They Should Say Instead.)
The book is based on cognitive therapy, which advocates the idea that most of the pain and suffering we experience is a result of wrong thinking. A quote from the book by Epictetus says “Do not surrender your mind.”
We all know what wrong thinking is. It’s when we tell ourselves we can’t do something, although we’ve never tried to do it and, therefore, have no evidence whatsoever that we can’t. It’s the kind of thinking where we assume everything’s going to turn out for the worse, or that we’re going to fail even before we try, or that we’re not worthy of…well anything.
We all do it. I do it. I know you do it. It seems to be part and parcel of being human.
But cognitive therapy says we can help change that kind of thinking. I would venture to say that 90% of the time we are responsible to some degree for the suffering we experience in life. Not all of it, to be sure. That’s why I said 90% for there are some things that are just out of our control.
But I don’t think it’s as much as we like to lead ourselves to believe. It’s always easier to blame someone else for our misery because then we don’t have to take responsibility for it. But if we don’t take responsibilities for our own lives, we leave ourselves at the mercy of fate and of others and we’re never, ever going to be truly happy as a result.
Remember. Don’t surrender your mind. Seize and take control of it.
Wrong Mind: “No, no, no, no, no, no, no.”
Right Mind: “Yes”
Wrong Mind: “I”m too big a coward to put my thoughts on paper. What if people hate what I write?”
Right Mind: “I want to feel courageous and that means daring to write.”
Wrong Mind: “I can’t write in my house. The dog next door is always barking.”
Right Mind: “I can write in my house.
Wrong Mind: I hope people will understand what I’m intending to say in this piece.”
Right Mind: I hope some people will understand what I’m intending to say in this piece.”
Wrong Mind: “There is far too much going on in my life for me to write.”
Right Mind: I will write first thing every morning.”
Wrong Mind: “My mind is so noisy that I can’t think straight.”
Right Mind: “I can quiet my mind just by saying ‘Hush’.”