If one thinks, he will be taken by his thoughts.

If one thinks, he will be taken by his thoughts.

Takuan Soho

I subscribe to Brian Enos’ Maku mozo! mailing list. This was today’s quote.

It struck me because of my morning range experience. I’ve discussed this in other places on my blog when I talk about guns or martial arts or mindset, that when you think about something well… you’re thinking about that something and it consumes your thoughts and probably your actions too. This is neither good nor bad in and of itself, but what it causes you to do could be judged to be good or bad. This morning at the range I didn’t think about speed, I didn’t think to not think about speed (which is ultimately still thinking about speed). I did think about being smooth. Thus, I was smooth. When I assessed my performance and then thought about speed, I realized I wasn’t too bad with my speed but moreover I was shooting accurately and consistently (well, 25 yards needs work). If I allowed myself to be taken by thoughts of speed, that’s how I would have focused my shooting and that would not have lead me to the results I wanted. Instead, I allowed myself to be taken by thoughts of smoothness, and that lead me to the results I wanted.

Takuan’s words aren’t good or bad, it’s what I choose to do with my thoughts and even if I choose to think at all.

2 thoughts on “If one thinks, he will be taken by his thoughts.

  1. I think you are taking Takuan’s quote a little to literally. Just because you think about something doesn’t mean that you will yield a result that is favorable to what you want. For example, no matter how consumed I am by thoughts of weightlessness, I will not levitate off of the ground. I do think that if you focus on accomplishing something however, there is a much better chance of you getting a result that is pleasing than if you had thought about something that would prove detrimental to the task that you wanted to achieve ( Shooting accurately compared to shooting fast, obviously if you’re trying to shoot as fast as you can you will be less accurate).

    • Yeah, perhaps my posting came across a little too literally. But I do realize what the point actually is.

      Of course, it’d be kinda neat if I could consume my thoughts with weightlessness and then levitate. 🙂

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