I like to think of my brain as software that can be programmed. This sounds strange, but in a sense your brain is constantly being programmed from the information and stimuli it receives The key is to be intentional about how your brain is being programmed vs. allowing it to be molded unintentionally by whatever external circumstances head your way.
One way your brain is constantly being programmed is that what you think about the most is what your brain interprets as the most important. This effects how you interpret reality (according to what your brain deems important).
Here’s an example of how perception affects how you interpret reality: Have you noticed how you begin to notice a certain make/model of car if it’s the kind of car you drive? It seems like they are everywhere! But the number of Nissan Frontiers didn’t suddenly increase when I bought one, I just began to notice all the others on the road at that point.
- What you think about the most your brain thinks is the most important.
- What your brain determines as the most important affects the lens that you interpret reality through.
With this in mind, the question now becomes how can we change what we think about the most and stop thinking about stupid things that don’t matter?
Here’s a start, consider that what you think about is largely determined by what you see, hear, and interact with. These are the “inputs” that influence the “outputs” of your internal thoughts. Making most of what you think about just a recycled version of what we see, hear, and experience. (And how you interpret it, more on that later)
In other words, what you think about is downstream from the people you hang around, the books you read, the news you consume, the shows you watch, ect. These things are influencing your thoughts and programming your mind. As you later think on these things, your values (what you deem as important) are being changed (or reinforced) by the brain’s propensity to interpret those thoughts as important due to how often you think about them.
If your mind is constantly re-running tapes of past hurts or is fixated on things that don’t matter this neurological process seems like an annoying misfire from faulty equipment. (The faulty equipment being your brain) But if programmed correctly, you can use this to your advantage and re-program your mind.
By modifying your “inputs” you can (over time) change the default thoughts of your mind. Instead of trying to control your thoughts, modify the information you consume as these things are eventually recycled into what you think about. Feed your brain a steady diet of what you want to be thinking about, and your thoughts will eventually reflect this.
For me, this has meant spending less time on social media and more time consuming information that addresses/reinforces the things I deem important. This tells my brain that these things are important and you should start to interpret reality accordingly. Over time, this creates a perspective in alignment to your values and changes the lens you interpret the world through.
When your brain’s programming is valuing important things as important, everything seems to fall into proper place.
Consider this object lesson: There is a pile of rocks you must fit into a glass jar, some of the rocks are big and others are very small. (Like pebble sized) When you place the small rocks in first, you don’t have enough space to fit the big rocks in. However when you put the big rocks in first, the small rocks fill the gaps in between the big rocks and all the rocks are able to fit in the jar.
When your mind is programmed to weigh life’s important matters as important, everything else seems to fall into place. Programming your brain to do so start with simply adjusting your inputs.
“But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” Mathew 6:33
“I will not set before my eyes anything that is worthless. I hate the work of those who fall away; it shall not cling to me.” Psalm 101:3