The Different Kinds of Thoughts
One of the many lessons shared at the Brahma Kumaris
By understanding each one of the thoughts that the mind creates we can keep the beneficial thoughts and discard those which are useless or harmful. There are basically three different kinds of thoughts:
1. Necessary Thoughts - necessary thoughts are those relating to your daily routine, such as:
* What am I going to have for dinner?
* What time am I picking up the children from school?
* What is the number of my bank account?
* What do I need to do today?
These thoughts are necessary as they relate to your daily life function, your school, profession, your job. They come into your mind according to your responsibilities and needs at a more physical, material and professional level. However, when these thoughts are repeated over and over again, when they become the cause of concern or anxiety they become unnecessary or waste.
2. Waste Thoughts - waste thoughts are thoughts that are produced at untimely moments, they fill us with worry and anxiety when they appear in our minds. They have no constructive use. Unnecessary and useless thoughts are quick and repetitive which lead you nowhere. Often they refer to things from the past:
* If this hadn't happened ...
* Why did she have to say that to me?
Too many thoughts are about things that we cannot change, or worries about the future. In Filipino we often say "sana", "baka", "eh kung"
* What will happen tomorrow? Paano kung...?
* How will it happen?
* What will I do if I find myself on my own?
* If I had been there at the time, this disaster would not have happened.
* If I had had this information at the time, I would have won the case.
* When I get the degree, I will be more respected by my superiors.
Waste thoughts may seem harmless and some will even say they prepare you for the eventuality by allowing yourself to imagine the possibilities. But waste thoughts actually weaken your ability to focus and concentrate. Do understand that if you have a lot of these thoughts you will need to use more energy and time to undertake each task. It is of no surprise that a lot of us feel exhausted at the end of the day, even if our day had been normal. Or if making decisions takes such a long time - or when no decision is arrived at all. It is good to prepare, but we need to know the limits of blueskying.
The other thing to remember about waste thoughts is that the origins of negativity reside in them and that is why they need to be avoided. Understand what you need to do, and get on with it. Keep your mind powerful with good thoughts to gain greater energy throughout the day
3. Negative Thoughts - negative thoughts not only harm you but have an impact on others too. These thoughts disturb your peace and weaken your inner strength. If these thoughts occur on a regular basis, they can cause health problems, both physical and mental. They can even become destructive.
Negative thoughts are based on the five vices primarily - lust, anger, greed, ego, attachment. They are chiefly caused by selfish and harmful reasons, without taking into account the values and inner qualities of the person. For example, the thought: I think they should pay me more without having to do any more work to earn it (greed).
Negative thoughts also arise from unsatisfied expectations, in disagreements, in laziness, revenge, racism, jealousy, criticism, hate and an excess of power. My boss never appreciates my work but he always values my colleagues more (jealousy).
4. Positive Thoughts - positive thoughts are those thoughts which give us and others the experience of our original virtues like peace, love, joy, purity and power. They enable us to collect inner strength and equip us to wear a constructive attitude.
Positive thinking means looking at what is beneficial in all circumstances, without being trapped in what is visible externally in those particular situations. Thinking positively involves looking at problems and recognizing realities, but at the same time being able to find solutions without being confused and experiencing feelings of powerlessness. This often requires tolerance, patience, peace and spiritual wisdom.
Positive thoughts make one internally strong and as a result our expectations of others decrease. This does not mean that they do not matter to us, but that we no longer demand love, respect, recognition, etc. from them, which is the best way to create long-lasting and harmonious relationships.
A person who thinks positively is aware of the weaknesses of others, but even then will direct his/her attention towards their positive sanskaras or personality traits. When we have inner happiness and are filled with positive energy, we have the strength to accept other people as they are without wanting them to be different. This acceptance produces more stable relationships.