Our brain has millions of unused brain cells awaiting cultivation. However, we are using only a few of them, and some of these we are working to death. Is it possible to give some of these cells a rest, by reprogramming or developing new brain cells? The answer is yes.
We can consciously train and cultivate the brain in a manner incredible to one who has not looked into the subject. At our own will, we can acquire and grow mental attitudes, change or discard them. There is no longer any excuse for people manifesting unpleasant and harmful mental states. We have the remedy in our own hands.
Are We Creatures of Our Emotions?
People tend getting rid of awkward feeling by driving them out. However, a far better way is to cultivate the sense or emotion directly opposed to the one you wish to eliminate.
We are very apt to regard ourselves as the creatures governed by our emotions and feelings. Nevertheless, it is far from being the truth. The truth is that the majority of people are slaves to their emotions and feelings. They think that feelings are things that are ruling our world and we cannot free ourselves. Consequently, they cease to rebel. They yield to the feeling without question, even though they may know that the emotion is calculated to injure them, and to bring unhappiness and failure instead of happiness and success. They say, “We are made that way,” and let it go at that.
The Instrument of the Mind
In our present state of existence, our brain is the organ and instrument of the mind, and it must be considered in this matter. The brain is like a beautiful musical instrument, having millions of keys, upon which we may play countless combinations of sounds. We come into the world with individual inclinations, personalities, and predispositions. We may account for these inclinations by inheritance, or we may account for them upon theories of pre‑existence, but the facts remain the same. Specific keys seem to respond to our touch more easily than others do. Certain notes seem to sound forth as the flow of circumstances sweeps over the strings. Also, individual other notes are less easily vibrated.
However, if we are unable to make an effort to restrain the sound of some of these strings, they will grow in a more difficult melody. With a proper strength of our willpower, we can get them in good working order; their notes will chime forth bright and vibrant and will drown the less pleasant sounds.
Our Mental Habits
Human beings acquire habits of thought, feeling, and action, by repeated use. We may be born with a tendency in a particular direction, or we may learn trends by suggestions from others.
Our mind is a bundle of mental behaviors. The more frequently we give forth a specific desirable thought or perform the desired action, the more comfortable does it become for us to repeat that thought or action.
Mental scientists are speaking of desirable thoughts or mental attitudes as “positive,” and of the undesirable ones as “negative.” There is a good reason for this. The mind instinctively recognizes certain things as good for the individual to which it belongs, and it clears the path for such thoughts and interposes the least resistance to them. They have a much higher effect than an undesirable thought possesses, and one positive thought will counteract a significant number of negative thoughts.
The best way to overcome unwanted or negative thoughts and feelings is to cultivate the positive ones. The positive thought is the most robust plant, and in time will weaken out the negative one by withdrawing from it the nourishment necessary for its existence.
Reprograming our Brain and Developing New Brain‑Cells
Cultivating positive thoughts puts our negative brain cells into retirement. They will be replaced by a newly woken up brain cells.
For instance, if you are apt to hate people, you can best overcome the negative thought by cultivating Love in its place. Think Love, and act it out, as often as possible. Cultivate thoughts of kindness, and act as kindly as you can to everyone with whom you come in contact.
You will have trouble from the start, but gradually Love will master Hate, and the latter will begin to droop and wither. If you tend toward the “blues”, cultivate a smile and a cheerful view of things. Insist upon your mouth wearing up‑turned corners, and make an effort of the will to look upon the bright side of things.
The “blue‑devils” will set up a fight, of course, but pay no attention to them—just go on cultivating optimism and cheerfulness. Let “Bright, Cheerful and Happy,” be your watchword, and try to live it out.
The recipe may seem ancient and timeworn, but it is a simple psychological truth. We can use it to our advantage.
These new thoughts can make us energetic instead of slothful, active instead of lazy. It is all a matter of practice and steady work.
The New Thought People
New Thought people often have much to say about “holding the thought;” and, indeed, it is necessary to “hold the thought” to accomplish results. Nonetheless, something more is needed. You must “act out” the thought until it becomes a fixed habit with you.
Thoughts take form in action; and in turn, actions influence thought. So by “acting out” individual lines of thought, the activities react to the mind and increase the development of the part of the brain having a close relation to the act.
Each time the mind entertains a thought, the more natural becomes the resulting action—and each time a step is performed, the easier becomes the similar thought. So you see the thing works both ways—action and reaction. If you feel cheerful and happy, it is very natural for you to laugh. Also, if you will laugh a little, you will begin to feel bright and cheery.
Take up something that you feel should be done, but which you do not feel like doing. Cultivate the thought leading up to it—say to yourself: “I like to do so and so,” and then go through the motions (cheerfully, remember!) and act out the thought that you like to do the thing.
Take an interest in the doing—study out the best way to do it—put brains into it—take pride in it—and you will find yourself doing the thing with a considerable amount of pleasure and interest—you will have cultivated a new habit. New brain cells were born.