Who you are is a compilation of the things you do every day. Every single action you take was at first a thought in your mind. When you get up for a drink of water, the thought “I’m thirsty” came first. Meditation reveals our subconscious thoughts, allowing insight into what drives our emotions and behaviours. With introspection, you will find that even seemingly random acts are the product of long-held often deeply engrained beliefs or automated habits. In recognizing and defining your habits, you can redefine your life.
Exercise: Become fascinated by your thoughts. The moment you feel sadness (for example) creeping in, ask yourself, “What thought is making me sad?” Say it out loud. Is this thought a fact, or is it something you've somehow "come to believe"? When you find yourself getting angry, take a step back, take a deep breath in, and identify the thoughts that are making you angry. Again, say them out loud or (even better!) write them down. Writing down your thoughts doesn't make them real; in fact, it often reveals how silly they really are!
Our thinking is the source of our discomfort AND our source of joy. Train your mind to think peaceful, uplifting, and inspirational thoughts and you will find yourself leading a joyfully remarkable life. This simple tool can dramatically alter your life—IF you apply it. But without the application, it will be nothing more than another self-help concept gathering dust on the shelf.