In 1637, the French philosopher René Descartes coined the famous phrase; ‘Cogito, ergo sum.’ Translated in English, it is ‘I think, therefore I am.'
It makes for an interesting topic around the dinner table if one starts to dissect this.
Few of us would probably grasp the full meaning of what René meant, but most of us will agree that we do think (it differentiates us from slugs and spiders, after all.) Our thinking is essential at some level, and it affects our conduct and well-being.
But we are so negative
What would Mr. Descartes say if he knew that the thoughts we have today are overwhelmingly negative?
Yes, according to the National Science Foundation, up to 80% of our 50 000 thoughts per day are gloomy and defeatist.
Would Descartes change his famous quote?
Do you think perhaps he would alter it to: 'I think bad, therefore I am bad'?
Or 'I think dumb, therefore, I am dumb?’
What about, 'I think stink, therefore I am stink?'
One thing’s for sure, he wouldn't change it to; ‘I think stink, therefore I am good.' Any ‘thinker’ will identify the flaw in the sentence at a glance. Kangaroos do not lay duck eggs, and lemon trees don’t produce oranges, yet we live as if they do! We bombard our minds with negativity and then expect it to somehow, miraculously produce a positive outcome.
‘Stinking thinking’ is the obsessive, repetitive, and uncomfortable thoughts we have, and it produces the following lemons:
Resentment toward people
Bitterness about the past
Blaming others and never taking responsibility
Being overly pessimistic
Negative thoughts (or stinking thinking) cause us to look outside of ourselves to solve our problems. We look in the wrong place while the problem often lies within ourselves.