“The color of your thoughts”, inaugurates a new section in our Daily Stoic journey, “Unbiased Thought”. Curious to see where this takes us.
“Your mind will take the shape of what you frequently hold in thought, for the human spirit is colored by such impressions.” —MARCUS AURELIUS, MEDITATIONS, 5.16
“Sit down properly!” my mother used to tell me when I was leaning towards the edge of my chair. And rightly so.
Our small habits and gestures, the way we walk, how we sit at our desks… all these elements, when repeated over and over, have a lasting influence on our bodies.
It’s true that a doctor can tell if you had a sedentary life by just having a look at your radiography. Similarly, our attitude towards life, day after day, ends up having an enduring effect on our mood and emotional state.
What’s The Color Of Your Thoughts?
I absolutely love the color metaphor Marcus Aurelius is using here. I happen to suffer from a slight form of synesthesia. It’s a weird condition that makes you experiment an impression in one of your senses when another, unrelated one, is stimulated.
In my case, it relates mainly to music and colors. It’s hard to describe, but I happen to “see” the color of the music. As an example, when I listen to Arvo Pärt, everything is bright white and occasionally light blue, while The Beatles are mostly a collage of yellow, pink, red and purple.
Sometimes, this translates to my daily life also. There are days when I am “feeling blue” in the most literal sense of the word. Others I am brightly yellow and orange, and others I have restful shades of gray, white and blue.
I associate these colors with emotions, with my mood. And, in a way, these colors stick with me after some time. If I am feeling happy for quite some days, these bright colors stay with me more easily.
Changing The Color Of Your Thoughts
This is just a subjective feeling, of course, but I am convinced that the longer you stick to dark, bleak colors, the longer they’ll stay with you, and the harder it will be for you to shake them off.
I am not stating here that you should always be cock-a-hoop, smiling and laughing. We all have grumpy days, and need sometimes to feel sad, angry or stressed to better appreciate the good times. However, I think it’s important to have a positive overall outlook on life.
My partner is one of those people who hates Christmas. The reason is that he gets the feeling of being forced to be cheerful. While I can see his point, I think that’s a big difference between us.
I don’t feel like I am forced to be joyful, not even on Christmas. I just happen to be content with life. And I truly love what I do, I enjoy traveling the world, being my own boss, and living life my way. That’s enough for me. And I try to stick to that feeling, but I don’t compel myself to be happy. It’s just something that makes my life better than gloating over depression.
Today’s Daily Stoic, “The color of your thoughts”, uses the metaphor of color to suggests us to have a positive attitude towards life. I definitely agree with it. Similarly to how our posture ends up shaping our body, our outlook shapes our thoughts on the long run.
Thus, I think we need to try and have a positive stance on things every day. In the long run, it makes a difference.