Short And Long-Wave Thinking

“You become what you think about” is an aphorism of an unknown origin and one of my favourite sayings. Whoever discovered it pin-pointed a profound truth about human possibility. In fact, coming across it many years ago stopped me in my tracks – it was such a powerful realisation. Consider just how much of our behavior is in fact a product of how we think. Posture, facial expressions, the choices we make, how and what we communicate and the state of our well being are all hugely influenced by how we think.

Thinking Is a Live-Wired Process
Thinking can be a potent process that involves real energies. The more focused the process, the greater the power that it channels into what we think about. Then of course, the issue of quality enters the equation. Thinking care and patience, for example, is vastly different from thinking aggression.

Every Thought Process Summons Its Ingredients
Like the rainbow, thinking has its own spectrum, ranging from the mundane and practical to the profound and mystical; from slow and deep to fast and shallow; from coarse to fine. Most significantly, as human beings we have a choice. We can become self-willed in how we think and what we think about. Conversely, the other side of “You become what you think about” is “You become what everyone else thinks about” which highlights the herd phenomenon of how the crowd affects any individual who is not in the business of growing and developing his or her own minds.

Thinking And Well-Being
Thoughts are like the food we eat; we digest them. A high quality thought is mentally and/or emotionally nourishing and make us feel well. Likewise, low grade thoughts deplete us, adding to our misery. Like the food we eat, our thoughts determine our mental and emotional health and balances, and this in turn will have a huge impact on our levels of stress, anxiety and well being.

It’s One Of The Greatest Skills
Thinking is a vital skill that is currently beginning to be taught at some schools around the world. Is it not strange that while we need to learn so much that requires us to think, most of us never get a proper education in how to do it? To demonstrate this lets highlight one perspective of thinking, which is to do with wavelengths. And yes, the thinking processes actually work a bit like a radio-set, where we get what we tune into. If we tune into the world of ‘constructive thoughts’, for example, we get one of its ‘stations’. But if we tune into the world of ‘destructive thoughts’, we get its ‘station’ accordingly.

Thinking produces feelings – thinking without feeling is an empty process. Describe to yourself what you are feeling in order to locate the nature of the thought process that is happening in you.

It’s Like A Radio-Set 
To take this a little further and to provide an initial access point, consider the difference between short-wave and long-wave thinking, which constitute the two fundamental thinking modes.

Short wave thinking concerns the doing aspect of our life. It is therefore about quick actions and reactions, delivering results, meeting deadlines, taking vigorous initiatives and being effective now.

Long-wave thinking, on the other hand, is more concerned with the long-term and is guided by our values, principles, what is really important to us, the mission that we are on, what we will not compromise and our long-term objectives.

The world we live in is obsessed with the short-term. The pressures and stresses that have been created by competition, globalisation and the insatiable demand for ‘more’ – more profits now, more technology now, more consumption now, more power now, have created a world mental climate that is steeply inclined towards short-wave ways of thinking. If this was not so, we would not have to cope with many of the insurmountable challenges confronting humanity, with all the acute forms of human stress in the short list of those challenges.

Because of its relaxed nature, long-wave thinking, by contrast, is like a balm to the human system. Long-wave thinking creates a mental attitude that causes the induction of high quality powers and refined energies into the human mind, emotions and body. The result is an inner state that acts as a spiritual, emotional and mental growth catalyst.

Therefore, the result in the world of long-wave thinking – or long-wave natures of human process – is seen by how it gradually shapes our inner balances and outlook on life. As an example, to balance short-term pressures and demands with the long-term view we can ask ourselves time and again: “What is really important in this?” Doing so creates a space that gives birth to perception capabilities and wisdom that enhances our ability to stay focused on our longer-term objectives while having to respond to short-term needs.

The Task
Billion of people constantly experience conflict and confusion because the short-term priorities and short-wave thinking have the upper hand in their daily lives. Yet there is another way. It can be done; it is possible to create an inner climate of serenity and stillness by introducing long-wave thinking into your life. The secret lies in a very simple repetition: creating in yourself a ‘home base’ of values, qualities and core fundamentals which you can then return to at every opportunity.

Think often: “What is really important to me?” “What do I really value?” “Will this make a difference to the future” “What will make the world around me a better place to be in?”

Focused thinking is a powerful and influential process. Small, ‘super conscious’ actions and tiny changes that we make in how we behave and respond will create noticeable changes in how we come across to others. In the film ‘Gladiator’, for example, the leader inspired his soldiers before battle by saying, “what we do in this life echoes in eternity”. Well, if we believe in what we do and if we do it for the right reasons and with good intentions, we too will create similar echoes.

Short-wave thinking produces the noise of activity in the ‘now’. Long-wave thinking is an empowering, quiet background process. Master the harmony of both together and discover a new you.

Here is a simple exercise to experience the difference between the two, which you can do as you read this:

  • Think about something that you need to do today.
  • Then, think about something that you value.

Can you feel the difference?

And then, there is a third way of thinking, to do with the Third Way – but that is for another time.

David Gommé
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