Surf Your Mental Channels Find new horizons.

When self-appraisal is low, an approach to living is unrealistic. Life goes at a snail’s pace. It is burdensome. Fatigue overtakes. You are deep in a dungeon.

There is little satisfaction either in personal relationships or in one’s work. It is as if a formless, dismal cloud spreads over life, muting everything with inexplicable nothingness. You are a victim of distorted thinking. If nothing stings you, life looks bleak, a feeling of nothingness haunts you that anything you do will not make any difference, then you are already in a distortion of your thinking.

You can help yourself by adopting a technique called thought-changing. In simple words, it means that you can assert in dealing with your own black thinking.

Optimistic and bright thinking brings about a cheerful outcome. Self-fulfilling predictions do tend to materialize in reality.

The young man who “sees” himself with a rose in his hand, going to meet his love, is more likely to get a warm welcome than the one who sulks and sinks with a scowl on his face!

This is summed up: You can give your thoughts the power to improve and brighten your behavior.

Emile Coue says, “By believing oneself to be master of one’s thoughts one becomes so.”

Thus, the first basic of thought-changing is that the very thoughts you think to influence your feelings and action.

By motivating your thinking, you can change it. Once you do that, you automatically gain power over feelings and actions. As soon as you start using that power, your life begins to brighten, dispelling the gloom.

Your mind is assailed by dark feelings, darker thoughts. The mental environment is fouled. Sometimes you hear prophets of doom issuing grim predictions. All these combined, smother the bright and hopeful ones.

It goes on throughout life. “How well it would be,” said Seneca, “If men would exercise their brains as they do their bodies, and take as much pain for virtue as they do for pleasure.”


“Man is man, and master of his fate,” or if he is not, the fault lies at his own door. He can make life as he chooses a victory or a dismal defeat. “What you wish to be, that you are; for such is the force of our will that whatever we wish to be, seriously, and with a true intention, that we become.”

“Moreover, we generally know what we ought to do, for conscience tells us “more than seven watchmen that sit aloft in a high tower.”

Some have a purpose in life, and some have none. Our first object should be to make the most and best of ourselves. The aim of every man shall be to secure the highest and most harmonious development of his power to a complete and consistent whole.

There is a gold mine buried inside you. You can dig (work hard) and use its riches. You may sleep over it and let it remain unexplored.

There is no need to fret and fume when you get low. The pendulum will swing the other way. Sunshine will appear on the horizon, as it always does.

You do not have to go to seed to get over misery. It is not the shattering calamities and catastrophes you must learn to handle as a small trial of daily life. The former is rare. The latter is too frequent. Take care of the “shillings” and the “pounds” will take care of themselves.

Here lies the crux. You had previously grasped the negatives. Now, it should not be hard for you to grasp the positive. Positive thinking is the only thing in which you can indulge in excess without injury to feelings or distortion of your personality.

Life is not a bed of roses, but neither needs it to be a field of battle. Some people waste their lives in wishing for what they know they cannot have, in regretting what they cannot avoid and talking about what they do not understand.

What we call evil is well misapplied or carried to excess. A wheel, or even a cog, out of place throws the whole machinery out of gear, and if we place ourselves out of harmony with the constitution of the universe, we must recept to suffer accordingly. Actions have consequences.

Courage in excess becomes foolhardiness, affliction, weakness, thrift, avarice. It is proverbial that what is one man’s meat is another man’s poison. No one has ever been able to show that any changes in the laws of Nature would be for the better. A man may fall and break his leg, but no changes in the law of gravity would be an improvement! We bring the trouble of life on ourselves by our own errors – errors in both senses, by doing what we know all the time to be wrong; but also, and perhaps almost as much, by our mistakes.

So far as the first class of errors is concerned, we have implanted in us an infallible guide. Try to do what you ought and you have no doubt what you ought to do. If we do wrong, it is with our eyes open; for if they are not open, unless indeed we have wilfully shut them, we may have unwisely, but it is not sinning.

As regards the second class of errors, we must trust to reason; to that of parents, of elders, of friends; to our education and to ourselves. Indeed our education is part of ourselves. We have all at any rate one pupil whom we must teach and educate. What we teach ourselves becomes more a part of our being than what we learn from others. Education does not end when we leave school. It has, in fact, just begun!

Pause and ponder. You will notice that this chain of thoughts had entered your mind previously and has flourished in fertile ground. The present mood is thus an extension of the previous one. You have to break their sequence. To prevent the black ones’ parade, you have to cry “halt”. Once, the chain is broken, you get an opportunity to sneak a fresh chain – that of bright feelings and thought. At the same time, the latter will replace (read dislodge) the former.

This thought process needs to be repeated so that it forms an impregnable wall against the assailing “enemy” thoughts. The strength of the chain lies its weakness link!

Switch off the old channel and  Switch on another one. By channel-surfing, you come across a valuable program. Even if you don’t, you are saved from the one which was boring holes in your head.

Apply this principle to your inner screen. The old one repeats despairing and distressing messages. “You are a failure,” “You can never do it,” “You are a bundle of complexes”, “Look at So-and-So! All these undermine you by delivering shattering blows.

By switching on to a new channel, you get a fresh chance to make your thoughts act on your command, your feelings will change, too. A word of caution: Watch the words carefully. They reveal more than you think they do. If the negative ones clutter your mind, pin them down, and replace them with positive ones, hate-love, dark-bright, failure-success, cloud-rainbows.

Everyone, depending on his or her personality, can find ways of lifting his or her sprits to enable him to carry on despite reverses. Others may engage in some particular activity that crowds out disturbing memories of trauma. Congenial company is one way to achieve this.

Often a change of scene and pace can work wonders. Taking a short trip, getting away for a few days from the grim and gloomy environment proves helpful.

Do not expect others to be miserable for you.

“Helpful goals for the future rise rapidly out of full engagement with the present,” William E. Edwards.

By I. M. Soni

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