Posts Tagged ‘think’

What could make you so excited that if you began

it you could hardly wait to get up in the morning to complete it?

Do that!

I like uninhibited short people who enjoy being told a good story.

This week at a party I sat down with Abigail, my nephew’s daughter, and invented a story for her. Abigail is six. Oddly enough the little girl in the story that I told her was six, and had a dog named Obi, and strangely enough Abigail herself has a dog named Obi, named after Obi Wan Kenobi.

Abigail sat still beside me and listened intently. She loved it when Obi went out on  a bike ride with her, riding his “platform bike,” which her dad had invented for him, and Abigail loved it, when after Obi’s disastrous bike crash, he was comforted at home with chicken nuggets that looked like dinosaurs. Chicken nuggets in the shape of dinosaurs are her favorite food.

Later, at the party, I found Abigail’s dad,  Roger, and  outlined the story to him, how Obi, the adventuresome dog, rode a “platform bike,” and crashed and was dramatically rescued by him from the sewer under the street. Then and there I and gave Roger some pointers on the next installments of the story so he could continue it, if he wanted . The next thing, I think for Obi, the adventure dog to do, is to enter a bike race. After all Roger owns a bike show and has himself raced competitively.

It’s all about timing, when you race, and when you tell little girls stories about racing dogs.  Being in the right place at the right time with the right information and “bingo,” a good time is had by two!

When I was in Brazil a few years ago, I told the leaders I was working with that I thought that in institutions such as churches and schools, children should be treated as the entrée, the main course and  the absolute, riveting, uncompromising center of it all.  I believe that, and practice it.  I believe that children should never be babysat or watched; they should be engaged, challenged, centered on and introduced to new things — dogs that ride bikes and such.

I came home from the Brazil  sick and weary of not saying enough about the value of children,  and so I wrote an article on children and spirituality that was published in a magazine for people who thought the same thing. It lobbied for creating super-meaningful experiences for kids.

I’m still all over this. In the beginning, we must teach children to begin thinking creatively or they’ll grow up to be adults who are blindly fascinated with the same thing, over and over and over and over again.

Know a child?

Then begin a beginning.

Are you a child?

Yes,  you are, even if you are an adult  you are still a child in some deep and mysterious cabinet of wonders within the psyche that exists hidden in your child-like psyche? Yes, you all are, children!

And because I love you, I want to encourage you, to begin beginning what you have in your heart to begin.

Think about it.

If you don’t begin a new story, and tell it to someone else, then how will you ever end that story so you can begin another one and tell it to another one who is so much like yourself.

So, just begin it and keep going on from there —  together.

You’ll like that!

 “We’re all just trash waiting to be thrown away! That’s all a toy is!” screams Lotso, the stuffed bear,  in  in Toy Story 3.

“You’re terrific as far as I am concerned,” Charlotte tells Wilber the pig in Charlotte’s Web.

Talking toys, spiders, and pigs —  fun, fascinating and entertaining.

How?

How do toys and spiders come by parts, lines, and fame, in fact more fame than most humans. How do such characters enter and dominate the thinking, talking and emoting world of humans?

By means of imagination, the happy(although not always) fun-loving gift given to humans. 

Imagine it, and it lives. Imagine it and it is real, at least in our minds, and maybe in the next reality that we construct.

Perhaps, many of us have played it way to safe, mentally. Perhaps we have thought that we have had to remain safely within the boundaries of our previous thoughts, but we don’t, have to, retain such constrictions.  

We can jump, mentally, and run around the rooms of our brains and find a door and break out. We can stride, gallop, and break into a flat-out mental romp.

Through imagination can come a new invention, solution and creation. Through the imagined image we can bring a new story, poem, play, song and artwork. Clever, cute, fun, sad, touching, entertaining, fascinating, shocking, disturbing — this is the power of the imagination.

Think it out, flesh it out, and give it away. And this is not merely the privilege of writers, musicians and actors. Imagination is the gift of the scientist. And it is the gift of the mom, the housewife, the plumber and the office manager. It is the gift of anyone who wants it, who will risk it.

We all have an imagination.  We all can think of a possibility not yet thought of. We can all take off the mental restraints and fly into unthought realms to solve any problem, to animate any thought, to explore any question.

So.

Think freely. Fly faster. See further.

 If you were to imagine something better, more fun, more healing, more constructive than you have yesterday, what would it be today?

Your brain is amazing! Although it weighs only about three pounds, it may well be the most complex structure in the universe. It’s been noted that there are as many neurons in your brain as there are stars in the Milky Way galaxy. You are a galaxy of brain activity. A typical neuron in your cortex receives input from some 10,000 other neurons.

As a baby you were able to process sounds spaced at a millisecond apart. You totally mastered a language with a vocabulary of 50,000 to 60,000 active words. Some of you learned several.

It has been estimated that you have from 25,000 to 50,000 thoughts a day. You are really busy, even just inside your head.

Busy at what? I’ve been watching your brain work. You think about what is going on around you. When TV or conversation or action engages your attention, then your mind is on that. You focus on what is right in front of you, on work, people, food. But when you are alone, even when you are with people, you sometimes seemed to fall into using your own personal galaxy to reflect, to interpret what is or what has been happening to you. At this point you rehearse the past or evaluate the moment and give your life meaning.

You use your amazing memory to replay trips, events, conversations and to stamp them with value.  And sometimes thinking about the past, launches  you into wondering about what’s ahead. You forecast and interpret the future based on the past, on past success, future danger, imagined solutions, growing problems.

The deal is, your brain jumps all over the place in a given day, moving around between the past, present and future.  Are you in control? Are you in control of your mental movements, of your focus, of your thoughts, of your 16,000 words a day? Let’s be honest. Sometimes you are and sometimes you aren’t.

Could you be more in control? A lot of experts now say you could. It’s a strong part of our human mindset. We tend to believe we can be in control of everything. And when we see that we aren’t, we tend to believe we can be if we just try harder.

You’ll find tons of support for this point of view. One school of such thinking is called cognitive therapy.  This way of thinking says that it is possible to control your mind. This approach encourages the exchange of negative thoughts for positive thoughts. There is something to this.

But not always. I’ve been watching you think, my friend, and I know that you aren’t always in control of your thoughts nor will you be nor can you be. Your mind is an ocean of activity. It will storm and it will calm, and you won’t always be in charge of that. Let’s have some humility here.

When life gets you, when you lose someone close, when you suffer things you don’t want, your mind will wander, and jump, and break away like wild horses. And then as time passes, and it tires of its flight, it will calm, and come again to you, returning home, returning to a safe place within you.  You will have positive thoughts, and you will have negative thoughts, but you won’t always be in control of your neurons. That flies in the face of what many people will tell you, what you may want to believe, but this, my friend, is true. We all fail when it comes to herding all the stars in the galaxy in perfect harmony.

That said, some control is possible, essential to good living.  You do have some control. It is good to have some control. I recommend you consider  using you mind, when you have control of it, like this:

Think about other people. This is one of the most extraordinary things you can do with your amazing brain. “Love your neighbor as yourself.” This isn’t natural. But this is supreme. The people who have lived best, and who have taken pain out of the world, put their incredible minds on others. Do so. You won’t regret this. The best use of a mind is to help someone else.

Use your brain to take action. Please don’t sit and think and reflect to such a degree that you become passive and fail to take needed action. Don’t over-think your life. Your amazing galaxy of neurons is built for doing. Activity increases brain function. I urge you, balance thinking with acting. 

Take time to reflect on your life. Acting without wise thinking can be tragic. Take time to think deeply. Think about life. Think about God. Consider your successes and what you have learned from them. When you are hurt and when you lose take time to grieve. Rehearse what you will say before you go into a difficult conversation. A return to positive thinking will take time. It won’t help to be dishonest about your thoughts and feelings. Sit and think. Be. Life isn’t just doing. Life is being, being an authentic mind.