What influences our thoughts?
Emotions and feelings:
The brain is a very complex organ (extremely fast computer; limits undetermined) and also vital for thinking, memories, feelings, emotions and more importantly for the living and even more important, living the way we live. We perceive the world the way we want it to be, hence we develop a set of conditions for ourselves portraying a picture of the perfect world. Hence, different individuals portray a different world which many times conflicts with somebody else’s world. However, the reality about the world is elusive, because it is very difficult to describe as all of us will give a description of the world the way we want it to be and hence it is subjective. So are rights and wrongs. Since our thinking is very much influenced by our emotions and feelings, we could have a description of the world depending on our different moods. For example, when we are happy we see the world around us as a good place to be in and exactly opposite description is true when we feel gloomy or are in an irritable mood. Mood not only changes our description of the world (mostly harmless change) but it weighs quite a lot of our decisions. When we are angry we make impulsive decisions which later on may harm us. Imagine, you making an important investment decision while you are angry, in this process you either landed selling wrong stocks or buying the wrongs ones. This could be fatal for your career as the losses could amount up to several tens of thousands (INR or Dollars). And what if you are unable to recover it? Just imagine if you would have waited for few hours to make the decision when you cool down, you could crack a good deal out of it, or maybe not (since stocks are gambles). But one thing is for sure, an angry mind thinks more irrationally than rationally and hence the odds of making bad decisions is large. So conclusion number one, emotions and feelings influence our thinking and take home message number one, wait till you can think right (perhaps when you are happy) or else ask for help/advice, ruthlessly disprove your idea unless you cannot disprove it further (think from all perspectives).
Thoughts are also influenced by the environment we live in. A negative environment pollutes our minds, hence our thinking leads towards negative thoughts. I believe this kind of environment fosters criminals and other anti-social elements. And intuitively, a positive environment will foster good citizens. Young minds are malleable and hence must be carefully handled, which reminds me of an old adage “As you sow, so shall you reap”. Knowing that environmental influences on thinking, it intrigues (also angers me) me when I see people committing a crime. I always wonder what goes on in that criminal mind that fails to realize that this action is wrong, forbidden and punishable by law. How can someone be so stone-hearted to cause someone so much pain? where are the basic human characters like compassion and ability to think about the consequences? Does the environment so strongly influence the mind that it becomes difficult to differentiate between logic and illogic? Or have our thought evolved to such an extent that we can make oneself believe that our progress and well-being lies in hurting others? If such is the effect of the environment on our thoughts, can it be modified by keeping a hardcore criminal in an environment conducive to generate good thoughts and vice-versa?? If yes then why do we send the criminals to prison? Instead, they should be sent to places where the environment will make him/her a better person. It is well known that prisons will always remind them of their bad deeds in a way that will make them more agitated and revengeful. Can the environmental influence on our thinking be put to good use?
Let me your opinion on this.