By Shaharyar Arif
Ever wondered how your mind directs you to do something? How you get your thoughts and ideas strong enough that you suddenly do things that you never have had thought to do or considered impossible for yourself? There would be a very few people who would have contemplated this concept and taken the matter solemnly. Let us take a tour of this concept so that we become ready enough to define this idea more clearly.
Thoughts, Imaginations, dreams and fantasies are the terms that best define our abstract version of mind. They can be considered as the keywords to this concept. Thoughts, as we all know, are the ideas that pop up in our mind when we see something. That particular thing works as the data input for our mind; our mind then elaborates that thing inside somewhere and we eventually start knowing about that particular thing. After that, it is quite possible that we keep on flourishing that idea in a variety of ways in our mind. So this is how our “Thinking” process goes and this is how we define the concept of a “Thought”.
Since our childhood we have been experiencing Dreams. They may be the best part of our day or the worst, depending on how serious one takes one’s dream. Dreams occur when we are asleep; but, for some people they happen daily, for some once in a while and for others they never occur throughout the year. Dreams can be well understood as a film of some happening occurring in our mind whilst we are asleep. Just like our thoughts – which we can also make happen deliberately – our surroundings and experiences of daily routine feed us the data for our dreams, but the difference being that, we can’t force ourselves to dream of some particular thing. But now psychologists have devised ways to dream of things we want to dream about; and that is by keep on thinking of that particular thing throughout the day and especially before sleep. Sometimes we experience more than one dream in a single sleep. Most of the times dreams start to vanish from our mind as soon as we wake up, and at the end of the day we don’t even know a bit of what we had dreamt last night. Alternatively it is quite possible that one completely remembers one’s dream. Dreams can either be good or bad. A bad dream is termed as “nightmare”. People normally get scared or depressed after having such dream. Day-dreaming is also considered as a form of dream, people have misunderstood this phenomenon a great deal, and actually that is imagination which we wrongly relate with “dreams”.
The phenomena of Imagination and Fantasy overlap a bit. The main difference between them is that, imagination can be about real things whereas fantasy is always about non-real aspects of ideas. Imagination is what you think with your eyes open –means when you are awake. Imagination is the name of the process in which one have to force one’s mind to think about something in the form they want it to be. Imagination is always deliberate, which means we need to project our mind to experience this wonderful phenomenon. The raw data for imagination have been piling up in our mind since our birth and in most cases we never have had done any effort in collecting the data to imagine something. Fantasy can be explained as a particular form of imagination in which one thinks about non-real things in mind and most of the times it is deliberate. The major difference between Imagining and Fantasizing is that, Imagination involves both real and unreal aspects whereas Fantasy is all about fiction – i.e. unreal things. But in daily routine people usually don’t differentiate between these two terms and use them as an alternative of each other.
Now as we have a slight overview of these concepts, we can understand quite enough how our abstract mind works. First of all, we should – and in fact we all do – know that there are always both positive and negative sides of everything. All these four phenomena do have negative sides as well if they serve as a joyful experience for us on the other side. For instance, Nightmares are known as the bad dreams, dreams that may blow our life in a single shot. Thinking process, imagination and fantasizing could also involve negativity, either on purpose or without any effort. The negative semi-circles of these beautiful marvels can make our life up-side down if we start taking them seriously.
As we grow up, with the passage of time and having an experienced life, a time comes when we become mature enough to control our mind. But during the early years of our life – let us assume it till 20 years of age – we are not mature enough to master our mind to the best that we can. There are a very few people who would be composed enough to direct there life on the positive path by fighting there negative side of mind; otherwise, people at this tender age just go with the flow no matter how much they self-praise themselves as the experts of self-controlling. 90% of our mind, being controlled by these activities, directs our life. The thinking environment in our mind actually works as a script for that person, obviously not like a xerox that print the data as it is, but it does influence our actions. For example if a person had been told for few days or weeks “You are a bad guy”, no matter how humble and good he is, his mind would start instilling this idea in his “mental work-space” (mental work-space is the very chamber in our mind where all our thoughts and its related things are processed) and a time would come when this idea would start defining that man because he is now so concerned to the idea that he will be unable to escape it. Well, this is just an example of an ideal case; I have put it just to elaborate the concept. In our routine life we think, imagine, dream, or fantasize thousands of things, and if we keep on thinking the same thing over and over, we become over concerned about it and it may be possible that, that particular idea starts defining us to an extent that we become overly obsessed about it. Positive thoughts and imaginations are appreciated – for obvious reasons – whereas negative thoughts are quite harmful for us as they keep our mind continuously shaken up and we end up building ourselves a monster within.
It is not just us who feed such ideas to our mind; people interacting with us also do play a significant role in feeding us these mind-developing ideas which eventually supervise our personality in future. When you interact with people in your home, work place and in fact everywhere, they share with you their ideas in the form of opinions, criticism, jokes or just a random chit chat, we have no idea how much these mold our personality because these petty things can define us later on in our life. That’s the very reason why our parents forbid us from keeping bad company.
I’ll modify this idea with another example so that we develop a better understanding of it. During our childhood years, we have seen many in our lives up till now, recall some child in your mind with whom you have had spent some time. Remember when someone would persuade that infant for something and he/she would end up doing that particular thing for which he/she was asked with angry attitude or some sugar words. I guess this example is enough to understand the concept of how our mind gets controlled by our surroundings.
Now the question arises “What can we do to control our mind?” Well, the solution is simple. Just keep your company good and avoid watching things that you perceive as negative. Turning your head from bad company would keep you from participating in negative talks that have no such significance instead of disintegrating your conscience. Keeping yourself from watching negative things would obviously make you positive enough that your mind wouldn’t dump you towards the limbo of bad world. So now you have two options, either get controlled by your mind or control it yourself beforehand. I know what you would like to do; so go on rock the world then!