Thursday, July 14, 2016

The Story of the Hammer

Kurt Tepperwein had a fun story to illustrate the power our thoughts have over us. A man realizes that he is missing a hammer for his home improvement project and rather than driving all the way to the hardware store to buy one he decides to borrow one from his neighbor. But as he walks over he worries that his neighbor might think he is cheap. He remembers how he also borrowed a bottle-opener a while back so maybe his neighbor starts seeing a pattern in all this. As he was stewing over his neighbor's reaction anger is rising in him. "How dare he judge me like this!", he thinks to himself. And as his neighbor opens the door, he screams at him, "Keep your stupid hammer, I buy one myself!", and walks away.

I am a mind driven person so I know a little about this problem statement. A while back the voice in my head was often so loud that it probably created a life of its own and it most certainly colored the world I perceived then. But I have changed a lot since then. While it is not that the voice in my head has disappeared, but today the environment I perceive drives what I am thinking about and not the other way around. Today I take one look at life and the monologue in my head simply stops. The here and now matters when I see it, and nothing else.

Maybe I would have had a similar resentment approaching my neighbor's house to ask for a hammer, but I would have noticed the smile of the neighbor when he opened his door and we would have taken the conversation from there.

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