By Aqeel A. Ansari
Recall our twofold challenge: rein in and train the horse and empower the rider.
The natural capacity of body exists to make natural response instinctively in order to protect the body, whereas the mental capacity exists to think and feel in order to respond to challenges of life. But mind cannot respond naturally as body does. You need a way to translate the mental response into a natural response for body to act. We however must distinguish the natural response prompted by mind from the instinctive response prompted by brain. Again, our challenge is twofold:
· How to translate mental response into natural response for body to act, and
· Define the nature of natural response prompted by mind to distinguish it from instinctive response prompted by brain
Your self-image, attitude and personality form a composite mental expression of YOU. Recall? You build character to translate personality traits into natural response for body to act. How? You train the body to learn and practise the traits of your personality. Scientific evidence suggests that the body’s immune system listens and reacts to what you think. The link to the slideshow explains how the immune system eavesdrops on private conversation with your mind. http://tommyswindow.com/en/english.html?start=50
Scroll down to the slideshow, As He Thinks In His Heart. The practice of traits results in gradual formation of habits. This is how mental response habitually translates into natural response for body to act. The natural response may include your facial expression, gesture, manner, behavior, speech or action. Notice the nature of this response. It is habitual and not instinctive.
Recall the ancient wisdom, “You are what you think.” And what you think are thoughts. Like the body has the natural tendency to invent desires, the mind has the mental tendency to reason with knowledge and create thoughts. Thoughts are powerful because they can resolve what you expect from life or how you view success. Your thoughts, for example, may strengthen you to discover opportunity in difficulty or may weaken you to see difficulty in opportunity. Great thoughts are great ideas and great ideas can and do change the course of history, let alone the life of an individual. The mind is never idle; it always thinks thoughts. Hasn’t the thought of being alone in a crowd ever occur to you? Your character embodies thoughts of your self-image, attitude and personality. In other words, character displays personality naturally, but habitually and not instinctively. It is reasonable to argue that you should think thoughts that empower you. How and what you think can open closed doors and locate buried treasures.
How do you think? Of course, you reason with knowledge to guard against biased thinking. What do you think? Of course, you think thoughts but the idea is to avoid injurious thoughts and expand instead the capacity to think beneficial thoughts because you want to benefit self and others. Train your mind to think beneficial thoughts of hope, dignity and love, and to shun injurious thoughts of despair, prejudice and hate. Beneficial thoughts are good thoughts. Hence my slogan: Grow Good Thoughts!
In order to grow beneficial thoughts cultivate the fertile mind; weed out prejudice and hate; uproot wild plants of self-importance, selfishness, greed and arrogance; plant seeds of what are good and true. This is how inclusive satisfying self-image, inclusive attitude and pleasant personality blossom into friendly character. You do not build character overnight. You think thoughts as long as you live. Once you take charge of life, you view every life experience as a learning experience. Be a student of the Qur’an and grow good thoughts. It will inspire you with pristine optimism and new zeal you need to take charge of life. You begin to view obstacles as challenges, understand the realities of life, strive wholeheartedly without flinching and experience ease in your journey through a life of satisfaction.
Never trade your character for anything. Your character embodies your personality, it goes with you wherever you go.
(The writer is based in Texas, USA and can be reached at [email protected])