You are raped as a kid, you are humiliated, you live in the most extreme poverty, for the rest of the world, you are not even allowed to dream or have any hope. This is exactly what happened to Oprah Winfrey. Oprah is a media mogul who has achieved great success in her career, so much so that every US Presidential elections, there are rumours of her running and every time there are predictions of her winning the race if she decides to run. She has often spoken about the power of positive thinking and visualization in her life. She has said, "The biggest adventure you can ever take is to live the life of your dreams." Oprah's success is a testament to the power of our mindset has on our lives.
"The mind is everything. What you think you become" is a powerful reminder of the importance of our thoughts in shaping our lives. This ancient wisdom from Buddhism plays a very important role in not just the destination we reach but also in our having a satisfying and happy journey. The Buddhist concept of mindfulness emphasizes the importance of cultivating a clear and focused mind in order to live in the present moment.
Ancient works, such as the Bhagavad Gita and the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, teach that the mind is the most powerful force in the universe. It is this weapon that we wield to conquor all our fears, it is thus very important to keep this weapon rust free. The Bhagvad Gita describes the mind as a "friend" or a "foe" depending on how it is trained, it is a friend if it is treated and trained as such and shall come to our aid in time of need, it is a foe if we neglect it, if we think negative most of the times and it will become our worst enemy. The Yoga Sutras don’t just recognise the power of our mids but also offers practices for purifying and controlling the mind. These teachings emphasize the importance of self-awareness, mindfulness, and meditation in cultivating a healthy and powerful mind.
In more recent times, scientific research has shown that the mind and body are interconnected and that our thoughts and emotions can have a powerful impact on our physical health. Studies have found that stress, negative thinking, and emotional suppression can lead to a range of health problems, including cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and cancer. On the other hand, positive thinking, gratitude, and emotional expression have been shown to improve health outcomes and overall well-being.
Modern Psychology has also explored the power of the mind in shaping our experiences. Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), for example, is a widely used therapy that helps individuals identify and change negative thought patterns that contribute to mental health issues such as anxiety and depression. CBT and other therapies emphasize the importance of our thoughts in shaping our emotions and behaviors, and offer tools for cultivating a more positive and constructive mindset.
Philosophers new and old have also explored the power of the mind in shaping our lives. The Stoics, for example, emphasized the importance of cultivating a mindset of resilience and self-control in order to overcome challenges and live a fulfilling life.
“What you think you become" speaks to the fundamental importance of our thoughts in shaping our lives. By becoming more aware of our thoughts and working to cultivate a positive and resilient mindset, we can create the life we want to live and make a positive impact in the world.