In esoteric psychology, there is a mental principle that states that thoughts are things. It says reality is an outer reflection of one’s inner states. This is known as the Law of Correspondence.
We don’t see the world as it is, we see it as we are – Anaïs Nin
The idea that “thoughts are things” is seen when we project inner meaning onto outer events in order to make it correspond with our overall inner state. In essence, this means that few things have absolute meaning unless we give them meaning.
This is a great opportunity because we can change the circumstances of our lives by giving them powerful, positive, and productive meaning.
Getting a true understanding of this is like lighting up a dark room. It is truly illuminating.
For example: a wave of layoffs happen and you and I get laid off from the same job.
You may see it as a terrible thing, an offense to your dignity, and ultimately loss of income.
I may see it as an opportunity to change careers or even start my own business with the extra time and space.
Same event, different meanings.
But why do we give these events different meanings? How do we come to conclusions or even snap judgments about events such as these?
Mental Frameworks, Patterns, and Homeostasis
When you come into the world as a baby, it is the responsibility of your caretakers to educate you about how to operate as an individual in the world. These are your parents, teachers, authority figures, and in some cases – peers. They tell you certain things about the world and how it works in an attempt to influence your behavior. Thoughts become things in that you live your life based on the ideas you received.
You were probably told who to and who not to hang out with, what to and not to wear, what to and not to believe in…etc…etc…etc.
This process is known as socialization.
At some point during this socialization process, you come a conclusion about yourself in relation to other people and objects in the world and create a worldview around this based on your experiences thus far. This is known as a paradigm and you have one for every area of your life.
Paradigms are good because without them, we could not operate in the world. But in knowing that thoughts are things (or rather become things) we are able to shift certain paradigms that no longer serve us.
At some point in your life, these paradigms feel “comfortable” to you, even though they may be producing sub-optimal results in certain areas in your life. They feel comfortable because you reach a point called homeostasis.. This is the “standard operating procedure”. This is how life “should” be.
This is natural and normal, however there are some areas where we have less-than-optimal paradigms that create self-limiting behaviors and beliefs.
As a rule, the more self-limiting beliefs a person has, the lower their level of self-efficacy in the world will be. Which means, they cannot be a proactive person and they will be at the whims of “fate” or chance.
It’s not uncommon to hear that a person didn’t know what they didn’t know and they are absolutely amazed at what they weren’t taught growing up. They are amazed that they shaped their life direction from limited options and just didn’t know what else was out there. This is not an uncommon experience people from small towns have when they go to college in larger cities and are exposed to a wide variety of people.
The Truth About “Positive Thinking” and “Thoughts are Things”
Always think powerful thoughts and how powerful and creative the mind is.
We all want varying levels of success in our lives…and our interpretation of a “successful person” is individual. Whatever definition of success we have, we should mold our thoughts in the way we desire.
And contrary to popular belief, positive thinking is not necessary to attain what most people would consider “success”.
That’s right. You can be the most unhappy, pessimistic, and spiteful person and still obtain high levels of financial success, advance to stratospheric levels in your career, date attractive women, bring children into the world, and achieve many of your worldly and material goals. Many people have done it before and will continue to do it. However, you will be a bitter and unhappy person. You will have no inner peace or even fulfillment.
It’s important to realize that positivity does make attaining success easier, but not inevitable. Big distinction there. Don’t think the moment you have a positive mindset, everything in your life will change. You’ll still need to make effort towards your goals and create objectives to aim for in general. However, positive thinking makes thinking powerful and empowering thoughts much more possible. This allows you to start from a premise of “possible/challenging” instead of “impossible/never gonna happen”. This gives you a huge advantage to start from because you are aware of the concept that thoughts are things.
Powerful thoughts give you the fuel to the car. You still need to drive to the destination.
Find out more about the Law of Attraction here.
Ensuring your desired thoughts are things (Quick Implementation Steps)
While it takes a lifetime to master positive thinking and thinking powerful thoughts, some people will have a much easier time of it than others. It’s a skill, like anything else and your ability to master it will depend on your willingness and inclination to do it.
Here’s some ways to get started.
90% of your actions on a daily basis come from your subconscious mind.
This subconscious action comes from your habits and your habits are part of your worldview, your paradigm.
Autosuggestion is the way to change your paradigm over time. Your socialization process was a period of other people suggesting things to you, autosuggestion is you suggesting them to yourself. While you can’t go back and change your childhood, you can change how you respond to it and things that happen in your present.
2. Challenge Your Assumptions
“The only fate governing your life is the fate determined by your own concepts, your own assumptions; for an assumption, though false, if persisted in, will harden into fact.” – Neville Goddard, The Power of Awareness
Since most of the beliefs you have come from your paradigm(s), it’s worth seeing if they have any grounding in reality and how the world works.
Think about it, you may have beliefs about yourself, about others, about the world itself that may be completely misaligned with how life works. You may have the belief that you “aren’t good with women” or “I can’t learn that” when you haven’t met a majority of the women on earth nor have you even tried learning a certain subject and applying it.
Put your cherished beliefs through a rigorous exercise of logical discernment by asking the following 4 questions:
Where did this belief or assumption come from? (Did you learn it from a parent or a peer or some other media)?
In what instances is this assumption true or hold some water?
Is there any contrary evidence that this assumption may be false?
How can I prove firsthand the validity of this assumption?
3. Assume the Best
As humans, we have a default negativity bias towards foreign situations or places especially if it requires us stepping out of our comfort zone. While this negativity bias helps save you, it doesn’t help advance you because it makes you retreat by default.
In any given situation you find yourself, whether you’re traveling to a new country or taking a new job, assume the best can come from it. This is known as “optimism” to some, but I’d call it pragmatic optimism.
You’re willing to extract the silver linings or even the entire goodness of an event or situation in order to enhance your overall life circumstances. Now, I’m not talking about events that are obviously dangerous, but assume that people will treat you the way you treat them (remember correspondence).
If you think that the world is out to get you, then that’s what will happen.
4. Take Action and Prove It
Finally, go out into the world and take action on powerful thoughts and beliefs. This is an extension of “challenge your assumptions” put it requires more of a willingness to try, possibly fail, then possibly succeed.
A small one would be: “I can’t get this job”. Prove it. Apply for it. See what happens. You may get the interview. You may get the offer letter. Another one would be: “she doesn’t like guys like me”. Prove it. Ask her out. See what happens. You may get rejected. You may not.
If you never take action, you remain stuck in your head in a world of theory and abstraction, never seeing the true fruits of your thoughts.
How to survive difficult times, strong willed individual, how to have a strong mind
Your mind is the most powerful tool you have available to your. Your ability to generate ideas, use your imagination, and think constructively will allow you to move through life smoothly and successfully achieving your version of success.
However, success is made easier by thinking powerful and positive thoughts because thought makes you take action in a certain direction. Your thinking originates from your worldview and how you believe reality works (your paradigm). Often times, you were programmed to go in a certain direction from childhood through parents, authority figures, and peers. If these beliefs are not challenged or changed, you will continue to go in that direction for better or for worse. This alone can keep certain pieces of success inaccessible to you (out of sight, out of mind).
In order to change this, you may need to use autosuggestion, challenging your assumptions, optimistic pragmatism, and taking action on a certain ideas. All of these or any combination of these may change your life. Keeping pushing towards what you want until your thoughts are things.