Backwards Thinking

Let’s get straight to the point: I have a question for you: Who are you?

That’s a good question right?  What I thought about these days is that we are as much the person we think we are, as we are the person that we express ourselves as. This gives you a very powerful weapon. But before we get there let’s start with something else.

So, what is the “I”? I would argue that humans think of themselves as the person they remember they are. This means that our own memories shape our character. Sounds logically, right? So for instance if I ask you who you are and what you’ve experienced, you will tell me your memories, experiences etc. Things you identify with are things that you’ve seen or thought about once.

I see one big problem with this: Many (maybe even most) people are backwards orientated in their thinking. This means: They define themselves by their past. “I have this past and that makes me the person I am now.” How about a different approach?

Backwards thinking is dangerous. It is effective, nevertheless. It works perfectly fine in a society in which you don’t have to think. You just follow pre-made ideas and your dreams are probably all within the framework of the given (capitalist) society. “I want a house, a car, money etcetera.”
So what about yourself? What do you want? What are your dreams? Dreams are something that many put aside easily, a sacrifice for the safe and accepted life that so many pursue. If you ask me, these people don’t even pursue anything. They follow blindly ideas that were planted in their minds from an early age on.

So how do we free ourselves from backwards thinking?
We have to discover our own future!
What do I mean with that?
Once the future is discovered, the individual should find it hard to get back into backwards thinking. Trust me, if you disagree, you probably still think about your past. And if you say that you are planning your future (jobs etcetera) then you are still backwards thinking. Forwards thinking doesn’t simply mean you plan your job or life. It means that you start to create your own future. This also means that you have to rid yourself from any cultural creation that doesn’t include your own ideas. Pursuing the idea to become a lawyer, a politician etcetera is backwards thinking, because you pursue a culturally old and dying concept.

How do you create your own future?
Let’s get back to the beginning. I said that you are as much the person  you think of yourself as you are the person that others think of you. That makes all the unspoken thoughts in your head useless. All your dreams and all your hopes will never become reality if you never get them out. If you let them stay unspoken (or even worse: not even think about them, because they are uncomfortable) then you will never be that person. If you want to create yourself, you have to express yourself as the person you want to be. This is what I call “expressionate” behavior. If you out yourself as a person (even if you think you are not this person) you will create the memory of being that person in your and other people’s minds. And once you have the memory (and enough memories) of being someone, then you will be that one. Creating your own memories demands creating your own future. This is a strong weapon for you and your ideas.

Remember: You are no one, except the decision you take who you are. In every moment you have the choice to become anything you want. You might sit there reading this article and start laughing. Then you become a laughing person. You might also smash your computer and burn your whole house. Then you will become a lunatic in the eyes of others. Every moment you have the option to be any kind of person.

If you want to take control over your mind and life start make to make your own decisions.
Decisions that come from your own conclusions.
Conclusions that come from your own answers.
Answers that are a result of your own questions.

Never stop asking “Why?”

If you want to quit smoking, or solve a problem: Ask Why. And keep on asking. Until it hurts, until you cry. Maybe don’t go that far. But if your questions do not lead you to some extent of discomfort and pain, you are not asking deep enough. You should value yourself enough to question yourself. Because you should be the one who understands yourself best. If that’s not the case: Ask why!



4 thoughts on “Backwards Thinking

  1. This is a wonderful entry, so very spot on. May I add, that we often define ourselves by what others think of us rather than what we want to be? We chose an occupation, buy a specific car, live in a place, marry a person so we can say to others “I am married and drive X brand auto, do X for a living, and live HERE”. External validation, a perceived happiness based on approval of others. A cultural construct sold to us at the price of our souls.

    I did, by the way, smash the computer and burn the house down after reading this. Fortunately, it was someone else’s house 😊.

    The meaning of life is to create a meaning for YOUR life.


    Liked by 2 people

  2. Well stated, Vale. As someone who struggles with backwards thinking, as you put it, may I add that most backward thinkers probably don’t want to be backwards thinkers. I’m stuck back there for several reasons, reasons I’m working on and making progress with. Moving forward when your feet have been sealed in cement for 40 years is tough. It’s tough making that change; it’s like swimming against the tide. Most backwards thinking people have other people in their lives who perpetuate it. They remind the person of their mistakes, sometimes never letting a subject drop. Surely, you do not mean to dump everything on the backwards thinking person’s doorstep. Yes, that’s their life and they need to deal with it in one manner or another. And yes, asking ‘why’ is often a good place to start. But to assume that everyone once enlightened to a future orientated path will be able to HOLD that vision under constant bombardment from OTHER PEOPLE…Well, you got it WRONG there. Some people gotta FIGHT for it. Fight internally AND externally, oftentimes without any support system in place.

    Having said all of that, I do agree with you. Focus on the future. Keep coming back to what you want to be, not what people say you are or you think you are because of your past.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I’m very close to the half century mark as well 😊. The external factors, the people we have surrounded ourselves with for so long (most out of habit, some legally) do become a problem. My simple, if inelegant solution, was to remove them from my life. This cost me many family and friends. And they did NOT like it…kept pushing back…wanted the old ‘doormat’ me…the answer was/is NO!

      ‘You are not allowed to say that to me anymore’ became the anthem. I only said it twice each time. The third response was ‘PISS OFF, AND STAY THAT WAY!’ – and I meant it. Much flailing of arms and gnashing of teeth occurred – but that’s on them. Those people will never be in my life again.

      I’m finding new friends, the ones who say ‘I’m happy that you are happy’. How nice is that to hear for a change?

      Liked by 2 people

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