I was on a call with a friend recently and as we were discussing various topics he made the comment that your first thought isn’t your fault. I was keen to dig into that idea.
Your first thought is the reaction to what is going on in front of you. It’s instinctual and out of your control. In the past, it might have even saved your life. In fact, your instincts will do the same today in certain situations where you’re risking life and limb. Times when thinking isn’t the way to get through or out of a situation.
However, in daily life, family or office life it’s not that useful. Why?
Because your first thought is a product of your upbringing, your peers, media ingestion and your environment.
You have no control whatsoever over that first thought. It will just happen.
But, your next thought. That’s all you.
You are in control of that next thought.
You are responsible for that next thought.
The actions you take based on that second thought are all yours.
There is no wriggling out of this. It’s all you!
The good news is that if you’re disregarding the first thought or pausing to see if it’s a good one, you have learned a great lesson. The control you’re practising is a great example to those around you.
I’m always learning and my purpose is to get better every day. Remembering ideas like this help make it easier for me to be better. Because I can learn what a better second thought should be and act on that.
It takes practice. It won’t happen overnight. You will be practising until your last breath. But I believe it’s worth it. And the better decisions I make are leading to a more fulfilling life with fewer ructions, more joy and a good night’s sleep.
Write this out today and keep it in front of you for a few weeks. It will make you feel a lot less guilty about your first thoughts and help you have better second ones.
My first thought is not my fault.
Have a great week.
Glenn from Spike.