Developing the mind – what to think about

Spring, a time of renewal and birth. The earth is coming out of its winter slumber. There is an awakening. SevenStones stands with me as I watch the light ever-changing. The morning is here and it is still chilly.

“I think it is time to start again” I don’t look at him. He stands next to me and we look out into the garden. My Guide soundlessly nods in agreement. “My ankle is fixed, painful – yes. But fixed. I hmind1ave been sober now for many months, almost two years. I need to start again. My rehabilitation is almost finished. It’s never too late, is it? I know I’m in my mid-sixties, but that’s still young, I mean relatively. If I do start again, where do I begin?” The Old Man looks at me. “I’m jabbering on – aren’t I?”

“Yes” came the answer, “… and begin with your mind, it is a good place to start.”

And so on that crisp spring morning, SevenStones took his leave and I spent the next few weeks reading – a lot. When finished, I summarised each mind-developing book. Now it is time to make sense of the mountain I climbed and to take stock of how this exercise has transformed me.

Broadly speaking I found the reading conveniently fell under one of four headings:

  1. What to think about
  2. How to go about thinking
  3. The compass and sextant of my thoughts
  4. Going deeper into my thoughts

What to think about

My life got to this point largely because of the habits I formed, this much is true. For better or for worse. My thoughts, attitudes, prejudices and the way I go about my daily round is habitual. Unconsciously habitual. The first step in this 1000 mile journey, I decided, should therefore start with an examination of my behaviours. And what better place to start than Stephen Covey’s tome on the subject? The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. Without doubt, if I got real clarity about my principals, my values and developed a vision for my life I would surely become effective.  I do recognise this kind of positive change can only be sustained in the long term if I cultivate productive habits.

Self-knowledge is a cornerstone to building a strong and developed mind and I have to become realistic about myself. I must become aware and knowledgeable about the world around me and also understand what makes people tick. This path I can only walk alone, for no one can do this for me. Doctor Phil guided me to this revelation in his book Life Strategies.

To be sure the development of the mind is a daunting subject, and it can’t be finalised here. Not in one blog post, but this is a start. I feel the weight of SevenStone’s hand on my shoulder and I softly smile inwardly, “good place to start,” he murmurs, “keep reading”

More to follow…

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About Tom Cottrell

Tom is a struggling author, pilgrim and citizen of Planet Earth.
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