Thursday Thoughts: Master Mind Tricks
Back in the days when music videos were made on $1,000 budgets, I fell in love with an unlikely song: Mind Playing Tricks on Me by the Geto Boys. I was much too young to truly comprehend everything going on in the song but the video was bizarre, weird, kinda scary — and I loved it! From what I could capture at the time, it was the narrative of a crew of guys and the random fearful thoughts that would come upon them and — in their view — become real, haunting them every now and then. Something about it seemed so mystical but yet so real. I didn’t know it at the time, but that song and video would become permanently etched in my mind and memory.
As a growing adolescent and young adult, I went through the typical course of development for most of us: wide eyed receptivity to the world around me, navigating the weird and unfamiliar territory of puberty, receiving and giving seemingly innocuous wisecracks from and to peers, hardheaded stubbornness of opinion, and defiant pursuit of what I swore I knew to be the right way of doing things. And things seemed to work at least decently well for quite some time.
However, the interesting thing about getting older and more tenured in your adult life is that as each year passes, you start to realize how much you really do not know. You start to encounter people, places, things and circumstances that disrupt your previously held knowledge and understanding. And this is not a bad thing at all; it’s part of the process of growth, maturation and development.
The part that starts to become concerning is when that disruption begins to bleed into other parts of your mind. You start to question other, more fundamental assumptions about yourself: Am I really as smart as I thought as I was? Do I have the confidence to do this thing? Maybe I actually deserve to be unhappy?
And if you struggle with bouts of overthinking like I do at times, you may find yourself revisiting those seemingly innocuous wisecracks of your distant past: those words and comments thrown your way that you swore at the time didn’t mean much; you assured others — and yourself — that they rolled right off your back and kept it moving. But alas, here you are, just you and your wandering mind, in a battle to forge reality.
It is no surprise then that we can identify with the oh-so-accurate phrase: “the mind is a powerful thing.” Because indeed, it is. It can create and fuel the achievement of powerful dreams and new possibilities. But, left unchecked, it can wreak havoc on an unsuspecting soul in their weakest moments of insecurity. Put simply: your mind can play tricks on you.
Thankfully, this experience we call life is neither a solitary one nor a unique one. There are literally billions of people who have walked this road before and are walking this road today. This means that at our disposal, we have access to a ridiculously, overwhelmingly insane number of peers who can identify with the struggle and potentially help us overcome the struggle. While your mind can come to the battle of realty with its own thoughts, memories and imaginations, you have the luxury of being able to arm yourself with the stories, experiences and support of people who know the mind’s tricks and have overcome its confusions in their own lives. Find them. Ask them. Use them. Thank them. Repeat.
If you’re committed to being your best self and living your best life, you cannot afford to come to the battle of reality unarmed. Winning this battle is critical to finding and becoming your best you.
Master your mind. Mind its tricks. Create your reality.
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