Can you think two thoughts at the same time? I don’t know about you, but I can’t. I’ll admit that I can cram two different thoughts very close to each other, but I can’t actually hold two thoughts in my mind at the same time. For example, while driving my car I might see a policeman, think about how fast I am going, look at the speedometer and then adjust my speed. In performing this sequence of thoughts, I did cram them together, but at no time was I thinking two of the thoughts at the same time.
Ok, so what’s good and/or bad about this? Why were we designed (for those of you who believe in Intelligent Design) or why have we evolved (for those of you who believe in Evolution) in such a way that we are only capable of thinking one thought at a time? Perhaps, we think in this manner because we would not be able to successfully think any other way. Frankly, I don’t know.
Now, before I continue let me make clear that this idea, of only being able to think one thought at a time, is not necessarily based on any scientific theory or evidence. This is simply what I think and as I’m thinking this, I am only thinking one thought at a time. :-)
From my point of view, being able to only think one thought at a time is helpful for improving the quality of our thinking and life. Consider how much negative thinking is done by us. Consider pessimistic thinking. Consider any thought that is bothersome to you. It may be fear, illness, hate, shyness, danger, rejection, … The list could be almost limitless. How can we get rid of these bothersome and negative thoughts? Well, first and foremost, realize that we can only think one thought at a time!
Thinking only one thought at a time gives us the secret to getting rid of negative thoughts. Once a negative thought is identified, you could visualize something that is not negative. For example, suppose you had the negative thought of fear of speaking in front of an audience. Once that negative thought (fear) is identified, visualize something that is neutral or positive and is completely unrelated to the fear.
As an example of thinking a positive thought for the case of, “fear of speaking in front of an audience,” perhaps the visualization of a past birthday party, where you were the center of attention and felt no fear, would help. As you visualize and think this positive thought, you won’t be thinking about the previous thought of fear. The blessing, of being able to only think one thought at a time, enables you to divert your fear to something positive. Now, as you are thinking the positive thought of the birthday party, replace the audience that you were fearful of speaking in front of, with the “audience” at the birthday party. In other words, get rid of, in your mind, the audience you fear. In doing so, you are getting rid of your fear and replacing it with the positive thought of enjoyment and friendliness.
Of course, this technique has to be practiced and success won’t happen instantly. But, knowing that you can’t think two different thoughts at the same time does give us a tool for improving our thinking and possibly, our quality of life. In one sense, I guess multi-tasking, from your “brain’s point of view” is not possible. :-)
How about picking out one of your thoughts and sharing it in a comment?