There is a voice in your head right now that is probably telling you how terrible you are. Thoughts like you’re not good enough, you’re going to fail, you’re worthless. You know intellectually that those voices are wrong, yet it’s impossible to shut them up. What can you do about it? The most important thing is to remember that that voice in your head is not really you, and therefore you are under no obligation to listen to it. Read more from Mo Gawdat, Google’s Chief Business Officer, on how to bring real and lasting happiness into your life in Solve for Happy: Engineer Your Path to Joy.
If there is one thing that will change your life forever, it is recognizing that the voice talking to you is not you!
Think about that for a minute. It’s so simple it doesn’t even need proof. A vantage point is a prerequisite to perception; to observe something you need to be outside of it. We could not see planet Earth as long as we never left it. Only when astronauts sent us back pictures of Earth could we see it. You can’t see your own eyes because they are the part of you that sees. The image of them reflected back to you in a mirror is just a reflection. It’s not your own eyes.
If you can hear someone speaking on the radio, that someone isn’t you. Similarly, for you to perceive a voice speaking in your head, you and the voice must be two separate entities.
Not convinced? Then consider this: What happens when, for a few seconds, you stop thinking? We all do this sometimes. Does that mean for those short moments you cease to exist? That you’re no longer you? Who, then, is enjoying the silence? The answer is you. The real you. When you open your eyes in the morning for that brief moment before the stream of thought commences and you look at the alarm clock—who is looking? Who notices the sunshine outside before thought takes over and starts to narrate the day? The same person who has to listen to the nonstop chatter of that little voice in your head for the rest of the day. This concept will shortly become clearer, when we discuss who the voice is. But for now the truth is simple:
The little voice in your head is not you!
For more tips on how to harness your brain power, check out the new age thinking for modern life.