What is mind control?
Mind control is the art of distinguishing between helpful and unhelpful thoughts. Paying attention to the former, while defusing from the latter.
The opposite to resilience is stress. People who get stressed are not in control of their minds. Rather, their minds control them. Their heads are filled with a constant stream of thoughts which dictate their bad feelings and sub-optimal reactions. Resilient people can discern the difference between the thoughts that serve them, and those that don’t.
To use an old cliche about fire: the mind is a good servant but a bad master. The secret to making your mind work for you is to look at thoughts rather than through them. Because thoughts are not real; they are only versions of reality, like paintings are. Some are stupid, shoddy and ugly; others are clever, inspired and life enhancing. You should only fuse with the latter sort.
Making mind control work
Thought control is crucial when you are in a crisis and you require a resilient mind-set. The last thing you need is to listen to worries, panicky judgments, self-pity and defeatism. If you look at what resilient people do in a real emergency then it is something much more focused:
- They stay in the moment working on one problem at a time, one step at a time
- They ignore things they cannot do anything about, and focus on what they can influence
- They focus on what is rather than on what might be
- They make realistic goals and decisions based on the facts
- They address concerns rather than worries
- They seek good advice wherever they can find it, and turn it into a plan