In his book Quantum Healing, Dr. Deepak Chopra reported an interesting research study that concluded the following: the average person thinks approximately 65,000 thoughts per day. The study also went on to conclude that of these 65,000 thoughts, about 95% are exactly the same thoughts that passed through the minds of these people the day before. It would appear that we spend a lot of time thinking the same mundane ideas, thoughts, and memories, and arriving at the same conclusions over and over. These thoughts take up our capacity to use the mind, intellect, and brain in new and creative pursuits. They also prevent us from developing clear powerful thoughts that are unique in our consciousness.
A recent Harvard University study shows that people spend nearly half of their waking hours daydreaming, and not thinking about what they are actually doing. Moreover, the study reports that mind wandering is a sign of unhappiness. The study, published in the journal Science, surveyed the thoughts and moods of over 2,200 volunteers.
The participants downloaded an iPhone app and sent more than 250,000 messages during the day and night. Researchers Matthew Killingsworth and Daniel Gilbert conclude that most of us are in another world for more than 46 per cent of our waking hours, and this means that we are unhappy: “A human mind is a wandering mind, and a wandering mind is an unhappy mind,” they said.
Your thoughts have a powerful effect on you. They affect your attitude, your physiology, and your motivation to act. Your negative thoughts actually control your behavior. They can make you stutter, spill things, forget your lines, or breathe shallowly.
Research indicates that the average person talks to him/herself about 55,000 words per day. According to psychological researchers, it is 77% negative; things such as… “I shouldn’t have said that,” “They don’t like me,” “I don’t like the way my hair looks today,” “I can’t dance,” “I’ll never be a good skater,” “I’m not a speaker,” “I’ll never lose this weight,” “I can’t ever seem to get organized,” “I’m always late” etc.
We also know from lie detector tests that your body reacts to your thoughts. These physiological changes, such as heart rate and breathing rate, occur when you’re lying, but also in reaction to every thought that you think. Every cell in your body is affected by every thought that you have.
As a psychiatrist, my main work is the business of helping people to unravel the persistent negative self-talk that is often associated with mental and emotional illness. Most people don’t realize just how much they are held hostage by the negative nature of their own thoughts. The fact that we regularly allow our minds to wander aimlessly through a dense forest of disconnected thoughts and dreams should be alarming. However, that thought is intimately connected to the insight that I would like to share in this chapter.
The human mind is a powerhouse of information, knowledge, and insight. Let us analyze some facts for a moment. If the average person thinks 65,000 separate thoughts in a single day, then over the course of one month, that same person will have generated over 1,950,000 individual thoughts. In one year, a single individual will have generated more than 23,400,000 thoughts. During the course of an 80-year lifetime, a person could generate more than 1,872,000,000 thoughts. That is almost two billion thoughts generated from the mind of the average individual!
Research shows that most of our thoughts are negative, 77% of them to be exact. But research also shows that 23% of our thoughts are positive and constructive in nature. So, if we analyze the number of thoughts generated by an average person in one lifetime, 1,872,000,000, and extract the number of them that are positive, we come up with more than 430,560,000 thoughts in the course of a lifetime. That is close to half a billion positive constructive thoughts that are generated by a single person. Now let’s get to the insight.
If we examine the 23% of our thoughts that are positive and constructive, and then look at the number of them that happen in a single day, we find that we generate more than 14,950 happy, positive thoughts per day. Thomas Edison once said that genius is 99% perspiration and 1% inspiration. Just for the sake of discussion, let us accept this statement as an accurate reflection of the condition of our thoughts. If only one percent of those happy, positive thoughts are insightful, life-changing, and, in a word, brilliant, then each one of us has almost 150 of them per day! Each of us has more than half a dozen brilliant life-changing thoughts every hour of every day. More importantly, those brilliant life-changing thoughts are unique to each of us. When I pondered these numbers, I came to the next insight.
Insight Number Five
Your innermost thoughts are unique to the universe.
As you think about these numbers for a moment, a quick and certain response is sure to leap into your thoughts:
Why don’t I hear these “brilliant” ideas if I have so many of them? The reality is that beneath the layers of negative self-talk, anxiety-ridden responses, fear-based conditioned reactions, meaningless daydreams, and other time-consuming distractions that we create for ourselves, lies a powerful oasis of potentially life-changing thought generated by our own minds. As humans, we are conditioned to ignore the positive, life-changing energies around us. The media, politics, world events, family dynamics, work, and a host of other energy-consuming events tend to push us to focus on the aspects of life that are negative and “real”. Most of the time, we tend to ignore our thoughts and dreams. This unfortunate reality tends to lead us to focus on the negative energies around us, and then on the emotions that resonate with our surroundings. As research shows, those emotions tend toward melancholy, apathy, and unhappiness.
The unique, powerful, and brilliant thoughts that each of us generates each day are relegated primarily to the subconscious areas of the mind. Once they enter into the subconscious, most of us never see them again. Think about this for a moment: one clear, powerful, brilliant thought could lead you to a life of health, happiness, and prosperity. You might ask, what would such a thought look like? I wouldn’t recognize one if it hit me in the face. How can I take advantage of those thoughts when they come up? Good questions!
First, let us examine the anatomy of a happy, life-changing thought. Since you have hundreds of them this year alone, you might want to pay close attention.
1. Life-changing thoughts are clear, concise, and to the point.
Most of the energy that we experience as thought tends to be loud, repetitive, and cluttered. Real work is required to make sense of what goes on in our heads. That is why daydreaming is so tempting to most of us. It gives us a break from the work of thinking. Life-changing thoughts are clear, simple, and concise energies that do not require a great deal of our mental power. As a matter of fact, when they arise, they tend to be empowering and life-affirming.
2. Positive, life-changing thoughts are quiet and repetitive.
Contrary to what you might believe, the most positive life-changing thoughts are quiet and repetitive. In other words, we tend to ignore them because they do not make themselves heard above the din of the negative self-chatter that we spend so much time creating. The quiet nature of these thoughts tends to make them uniquely difficult to gather and harvest.
3. Brilliant, happy thoughts tend to happen when we are in stimulating happy environments.
Thoughts are energies. The energy with which we surround ourselves tends to cause patterns of energy within the mind that we accept and recognize as our usual thought patterns. Brilliant, happy thoughts are stimulated by happy, harmonious, and brilliant energies in our environment. Have you ever noticed how you tend to feel better around some people and lousy around others? The reality is, some people have the ability to stimulate brilliant, happy thoughts in others just by their presence. You may find these people in all walks of life if you look for them. Pay attention to the people who make you feel happy and smart. Gather as many of them into your life as you can. They are true blessings from the Creator.
4. Brilliant, happy thoughts seem strange and unusual when they first appear in consciousness.
The nature of the average human mind is negative. Unfortunately, that is how most of us are wired. We can rise above those energies with work, focus, and discipline, but as we do, we find that we need to apply continuous pressure and force to maintain a positive, happy outlook on life. Try it sometimes, you will see what I mean. When brilliant, happy thoughts occur, we will tend not to recognize them. They will be rare, unusual, and different from the usual milieu of thought energies that we entertain during the course of a day. Their quiet unassuming nature does not help the matter very much. Humans are creatures of habit. We tend not to like change. We tend to like things to stay very much the same each and every day. The same is true of our thoughts. We don’t like new and unusual thoughts very much as a race. History has shown that new thoughts and ideas are often met with resistance and violence.
This violence and resistance is created by the thought energy generated by our negative self-talk. Negative thought energy is just that — negative. Since that energy comprises more than 77% of our mental mass, we tend to use it a great deal in response to the world around us. The quiet and novel energy structure of positive, happy thoughts tends to make them easy targets for the bullying nature of negative thoughts. Recognize this within yourself. Resist the temptation to give in to the skeptical bullying nature of your negative thoughts. Listen to yourself think from time to time. You will find that you are a far more interesting person for doing so.
5. Life-changing thoughts arise from life events that are projected from the deepest levels of consciousness.
Life happens to us and around us each day. Sometimes, when the events of life become intense and threatening, the universe sends us positive, life-changing thoughts as a way of battling the storm. When life is most challenging, the mind tends to become more open. The open nature of the mind during this time is a rare and golden opportunity for you. During this time, you can often hear and understand the greatest and most insightful thoughts given to you by the Creator. These insights are important gifts that cannot only help you to rise above the pain and struggle that define the moment, but also grant you the ability to avoid similar situations in the future through the wisdom that they impart.
6. The greatest of these life-changing, brilliant thoughts are unique to you. No one else will ever have them. Ever.
One of the most important insights into the nature of life-changing, brilliant thoughts is the fact that many of them are unique to you. Many people do not see themselves as bright or deserving of the better gifts of life. Many people easily engage in negative self-talk because it is a reflection of the lives to which they have become accustomed. In reality, the Creator gives us all thousands of brilliant, creative, and potentially life-changing thoughts on a regular basis. More importantly, and perhaps miraculously, he regularly gives each of us our own special brilliant thoughts. These thoughts are unique to each of us and no one else will ever have them.
Others may have similar thoughts, but no one will ever have exactly the same unique and powerful thoughts granted to you by the universe.
So what are some of the greatest thoughts and ideas that mankind has ever conceived? Amazingly, many of the ideas that have pushed mankind forward have arisen from the world of thought and consciousness. Let’s take a look at some of the most powerful creations that stem from the unique world of thought.
The Printing Press
The Theory of Evolution
The Theory of Relativity
Newtonian Physics, Calculus, and the Theory of Gravity
The Discovery of DNA
Socialism and Marxism
Chocolate Chip Ice Cream (my personal favorite)
If you examine the above list closely, you will quickly notice that life as we know it would not be possible without the vast majority of the items listed. When Alexander Graham Bell invented the telephone, he could never have envisioned the power and grandeur of the effect that his work would have on the course of human history. When Albert Einstein wrote the Theory of Relativity, he could not have foreseen the far-reaching effects that his work would have on the world of science. The list that I could have placed here could ostensibly take up pages and pages, but you get the point.
How does one learn to get in touch with the important, life-changing thoughts with which we are gifted on a daily basis?
Albert Einstein was one of the greatest thinkers of all time. His ideas changed our view of reality in more ways than almost any other human being. I admire his thought process and the way that he arrived at changes in his thinking patterns. Albert Einstein would start with simply the barest of axioms—the things he was absolutely sure were true—and didn’t accept anything else.
When he followed these axioms to their natural conclusions, he knew that they were right—no matter how improbable—, or even if they contradicted standard dogma. He was not afraid to question the traditional ways of thinking that pervaded physics. He questioned standard beliefs because they contradicted theories that he had carefully worked out based on a few truths in which he had full faith. He didn’t question willy-nilly; he simply refused to accept theories that weren’t borne out by work that he had done himself.
Most of us are defined by thoughts created by ideas that we have become accustomed to embracing on a repetitive basis. For many people, these amalgamations of ideas and thoughts define who they are in a very dogmatic manner. In order to hear the whispers of greatness that the universe gives us each day, we must learn a new skill. In order to acquire this skill, we must perform one very important act.
A. Write down the ten most important beliefs that you hold about yourself and the world around you. Now, engage in a very vigorous debate process with yourself as to why you hold on to these “truths” so tightly. Use the Internet. Do some research about the ideas. Ask people whom you respect what they think.
Do your best to deconstruct the ideas.
If they hold up to your best scrutiny and investigation, then the ideas are worth preserving. If they do not hold up to your scrutiny, then you have evolved your thinking to the next highest level. Evolution is the point. If we do not evolve, then happiness becomes impossible. Personal evolution and happiness are linked at a very deep level.
When it comes to drawing inspiration from Albert Einstein, it doesn’t take, well, an Einstein, to figure out that his habits are worth emulating. But it’s the processes behind those habits that can truly propel a person to new heights. He went beyond just questioning the establishment, creating entirely new ways to do so. He relished the chance to swim upstream because he knew that he was right; not out of arrogance or overconfidence, but because he had done the work. In the end, he didn’t just resist the consensus — he created a whole new one.
Another way to create a new paradigm for yourself by discovering your inner happy oasis is meditation. Those still quiet thoughts that define our greatest potential will not be heard through the din of our daily lives. The best way to get in touch with those thoughts and ideas is through meditation. Quite simply, meditation is the best way to identify the still quiet thoughts that grace our unique neural pathways. Meditation is free, quick, and very easy to do. Meditation has been shown to have a large number of benefits. A few of the physical benefits are that it:
1- Lowers oxygen consumption
2- Decreases respiratory rate
3- Increases blood flow and slows the heart rate
4- Increases exercise tolerance
5- Leads to a deeper level of physical relaxation
6- Reduces high blood pressure
7- Reduces anxiety attacks by lowering the levels of blood lactate
8- Decreases muscle tension
9- Helps with chronic diseases such as allergies, arthritis etc.
10- Reduces Pre-menstrual Syndrome symptoms.
11- Helps with post-operative healing
12- Enhances the immune system
13- Reduces the activity of viruses and emotional distress
14- Enhances energy, strength, and vigor
15- Helps with weight loss
16- Reduction of free radicals, less tissue damage
17- Higher skin resistance
18- Drop in cholesterol levels, lowers risk of cardiovascular disease
19- Improves air flow to the lungs resulting in easier breathing
20- Decreases the aging process.
21- Increases levels of DHEAS (Dehydroepiandrosterone)
22- Prevents, slows, or controls pain associated with chronic diseases
23- Makes you sweat less
24- Cures headaches and migraines
25- Promotes orderliness of brain functioning
26- Reduces need for medical care
27- Reduces wasted energy
28- Increases inclination to participate in sports and other activities
29- Provides significant relief from asthma
30- Improves performance in athletic events
31- Normalizes ideal weight
32- Harmonizes the endocrine system
33- Relaxes the nervous system
34- Produces lasting and beneficial changes in brain electrical activity.
All of the above benefits have been documented by hundreds of sound clinical studies. Most people believe that meditation can help the body, but they are unaware of its psychological benefits. These include the following:
35- Builds self-confidence.
36- Increases serotonin levels, influences mood and behavior.
37- Resolves phobias and fears
38- Helps to control one’s own thoughts
39- Helps with focus and concentration
40- Increases creativity
41- Increases brain wave coherence
42- Improves learning ability and memory
43- Increases feelings of vitality and rejuvenation
44- Increases emotional stability
45- improves relationships
46- Decelerates aging of the mind
47- Facilitates removal of bad habits
48- Develops intuition
49- Increases productivity
50- Improves relations at home and at work
51- Enables one to see the larger picture in a given situation
52- Helps one to ignore petty issues
53- Increases the ability to solve complex problems
54- Purifies one’s character
55- Develops will power
56- Facilitates greater communication between the two brain hemispheres
57- Enhances the ability to react more quickly and more effectively to a stressful event
58- Increases one’s perceptual ability and motor performance
59- Results in higher intelligence growth rate
60- Increases job satisfaction
61- Increases the capacity for intimate contact with loved ones
62- Decreases potential mental illness
63- Facilitates better, more sociable behavior
64- Reduces aggressiveness
65- Helps with quitting smoking, alcohol addiction
66- Reduces dependency on drugs, pills, and pharmaceuticals
67- Reduces need for sleep to recover from sleep deprivation
68- Requires less time to fall asleep, helps to cure insomnia
69- Increases sense of responsibility
70- Reduces road rage
71- Decreases restless thinking
72- Decreases tendency to worry
73- Increases listening skills and empathy
74- Helps one to make more accurate judgments
75- Facilitates greater tolerance
76- Enables composure to act in considered and constructive ways
77- Develops a stable, more balanced personality
78- Develops emotional maturity.
Meditation is easy to learn. The basic method that I teach is as follows:
Sit upright in a chair with your back straight.
Close your eyes, rest both feet flat on the floor.
Breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth.
Place your hands flat on your thighs.
Allow your mind to follow your breath in through your nose and out through your mouth. If your mind wanders, do not fight with it. Simply refocus your thoughts on your breathing. Allow the interrupting thought to pass by like a cloud in the sky.
Do this for 20 minutes per day. For best result, do not use music, mantras, or noise of any kind while you are learning the basics. As you progress, you may add those tools to your meditation.
After your meditation, write down any thoughts that you recall. With time, you will begin to coup the above benefits from your simple 20-minute practice. With luck, you will also begin to capture some of those elusive yet brilliant thoughts that the universe whispers into your ear each and every day.
Remember, they are yours and yours alone. No one else will ever have them in the way that you do.
Dr. Mitchell Earl Gibson
Dr. Mitchell Gibson is one of the world’s leading authorities on the interface of science, the human soul, and the frontiers of human consciousness. He is a board-certified forensic psychiatrist, author and spiritual teacher.He has delivered addresses to many of the world’s largest conferences related to science and consciousness. These include, The International Science and Consciousness Conference, The Sivananda Ashram Annual Symposium, International Institute of Integral Human Sciences, The SSGRR-IT Conference on Advances in Electronic Medicine in Italy, The Southeast Regional Unity Ministers Conference, The Northwest Astrological Association, The American Federation of Astrologers and many others.
Dr. Gibson received his medical degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1985. He completed his residency training at the Albert Einstein Medical Center in Philadelphia. During his last year of residency he served as Chief Resident in Psychiatry and received the Albert Einstein Foundation Research Award for his work in Sleep Disorders.
Dr. Gibson moved to Phoenix Arizona where he became Chief of Staff at the East Valley Camelback Hospital in Mesa Arizona. Dr. Gibson has been listed among the Top Doctors in Arizona in the Phoenix magazine on several occasions. He has also twice been named to the Woodward and White listing of the “Best Doctors in America”. In 2003, 2004, and 2005 he was honored with listings in the Consumer Research Council of America’s compilation of the Top Psychiatrists in America. He is a Diplomat of the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology, the American College of Forensic Medicine, and the American Board of Forensic Examiners.
During his residency, Dr. Gibson began having a series of extraordinary experiences that awakened him to the realities of the spiritual world. He visited Sri Matajhi Indira Devi in Pune India in August 1994 in an attempt to get answers that would help him understand these experiences. “Ma”, as she liked to be called, initiated Gibson into the mysteries of the Holy Mother and the Goddess Lakshmi. These experiences profoundly influenced his practice of medicine and psychiatry.
Dr. Mitchell Gibson has the rare distinction of being the only physician to win the highest award ever granted by the American Federation of Astrologers, the prestigious B.F. Sims Pounds Jr. Award. Dr. Gibson was granted this award twice for his work in astrology, clairvoyance, and spiritual research.
Dr. Gibson uses his clairvoyant and spiritual gifts to work with a select group of clients. He has retired from the traditional practice of psychiatry and has devoted his time to writing, teaching and spiritual research. He now works full-time helping these clients free themselves from spiritual disturbances.
Dr. Gibson is listed in Akashic Who’s Who of Psychics, Healers, Mediums. The book was written to feature the world’s top psychics and is a resource tool for helping the public better understand psychic readings.