Master Your Thinking | Henry David Thoreau & The Concord Conversations

When we’re not talking about the weather and the hockey teams and we’re not having problem conversations, we’re having vision based conversations, “Concord conversations.” These are conversations at a new level of awareness. This man pictured here was the handyman, Harvard graduate, came from a home of pencil makers, Henry David Thoreau. And this was a bit of an elitist group at the time. And so Henry David Thoreau, although he was a graduate of Harvard, he was not quite considered in the class. So he was just able to sit outside of the room and listen in, and he would chime in, and eventually they just couldn’t deny this this young man’s wisdom. And so, he was invited to sit at the the table, but after a short period of time, Henry David Thoreau said “I’m tired of talking about this. I would love to enter into a living experiment to really test these laws, and these ideas, and apply them.”

That’s really what I’m inviting you into, is an experiment to apply these five tools into your life, to see what you’re truly capable of.

Henry David Thoreau said “I want to learn to suck the marrow out of aliveness.” He rented a little piece of land from Emerson, next to Walden pond, and he built himself in this home and he entered into an experiment which ended up being a 2-year, 2-month, 2-day experiment where he lived deliberately. He wasn’t a hermit, he went into to town. He was a surveyor of land. He surveyed many of the rivers in the areas in the Concord in Massachusetts area, but he wanted to confront life and what it had to teach him. He said “I’ve been scarcely in the woods for two weeks, when I realized that I had been taking the same path every day to the pond for his daily bath.” And he said, “If I, a student of transformation, a student of transcendentalism, is taking the same physical path every day, how many times am I taking the same pathway in my mind? And not only do I want to be a great surveyor of the land, but I want to be a great surveyor of my mind.” To notice what I’m noticing. Realizing that I’m driving to work the same way. How many of you sat in the same spot today as you sat yesterday? Not to judge, to notice we’re taking the same pathways in our actions, and our thoughts, and our emotions, over and over and over again, which perpetuates our results. He said “I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately. To front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not when I came to die discover that I had never lived.”

That's really what I'm inviting you into, is an experiment to apply these tools into your life, to see what you're truly capable of.

We heard in a video yesterday, the greatest regret of people on their deathbed is not the things they did, it’s the things they didn’t do. I don’t think any of us wants to get to the end of life and wonder, did I really live? Did I really discover my passion? Did I really live into my purpose?

Jeff and I first visited Concord and visited a replica of the Rose home, walking through the Emerson home, walking around Walden Pond. We visited last year to to feel the energy, and you walk into that Emerson home, and where those conversations took place, and you can just feel the rasa. You can feel the energy and the conversations that took place there.

And we were actually just there again less than a month ago expanding our awareness. At the end of his experiment, 2-years, 2-months, 2-days, he wrote a famous essay called Walden, and at the end of that there’s a code of how it works works, of how do we transcend our current conditions and circumstances. How do we go beyond? And we’re going to study that code here.

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I turned 45 last month, and Henry David Thoreau died at 44. None of us knows how much time we have, and I believe the invitation into an experiment to truly ignite your passion, live your purpose, there’s no better time than today to decide for that.

Walking there, and walking through the home in order to increase my awareness of how it works, how do we harness these laws in service of a life that we would love, Henry David Thoreau writes this:

“If one advances confidently in the direction of their dream, endeavouring to live the life they are imagining, one passes an invisible boundary. All sorts of things begin to occur that never otherwise would have occurred. One begins to meet with a success unexpected in common hours. New, universal and more liberal laws begin to establish themselves around this person, or the old laws are rearranged in one’s favour. Nevertheless, one begins to meet with a license of a higher order of being.”

What does that mean? It’s a code to understand, just like a master electrician wants to understand the laws of electricity and be a master so they can harness that. We want to increase our level of Mastery, not perfection, of working with these laws.

So let’s unpack this. The first key word inside of this code is the first simple two letter word “If”. We have all been given free will. Each one of us has been given free will. You’re invited into an experiment. At the end of the day, you get to decide if you’re ever going to think about this again. The laws are still at work in your life, but you get to opt in. You get to decide if.

“If one advances confidently advances” means move. I have to move. “If one advances confidently.” Confidently. There’s an energetics with the word confidence, wouldn’t you say? How does a confident person sit? Go ahead and sit how a confident person would sit. We know that “if one advances confidently…” there’s a being-ness, an embodyment in that word confidence. If I’m advancing confidently in the direction of their dreams, it means I have to have a destination in mind – a vision, a goal. You’ve started the process of creating that vision.

“If one advances confidently” in the direction of their vision. You’re going to live another three years anyway, why not set the sails to a destination? If one advances confidently in the direction of their dreams and endeavours to live the life they have imagined. I love the word “endeavour” because it means to try. To attempt. It doesn’t mean to be perfect at it, none of us will be perfect at this.

“If one advances confidently in the direction of their dreams, and endeavours to live the life they have imagined.” When I made the decision to go to work as a highly successful business owner, I was living from the life I imagined. How does the version of you in your vision, how do they show up in their lives?  Chris Hadfield, a famous Canadian astronaut, is a great example of endeavouring to live the life he imagined. At 9 years old, they were playing with rockets, and he said “One day I want to be an astronaut.” At that time, there wasn’t even a Canadian space program. The conditions and the circumstances are saying this isn’t even possible. Get a new dream. Your conditions and your circumstances might be saying your dream is not possible right now. But Chris Hadfield, at 9 years old, he had a dream, and he started to think “what would an astronaut eat for breakfast?” And he starts eating like an astronaut. And he starts studying like an astronaut. He’s doing what he can, with what he has, from where he is. The version of you inside of your vision, coming from that, living from that, before your conditions change, not waiting for your conditions and circumstances to change. We live from it now.

“One passes an invisible boundary.” What’s that invisible boundary? It’s a boundary that’s been made up by our thinking, and we all have an invisible boundary. The universe doesn’t have a boundary. Our thinking has a boundary. It’s my thinking that has created the boundary.

“One passes an invisible boundary, and they meet with a success unexpected and common hours.” Common hours would say singing is now illegal, you cannot grow a singing business. When singing is banned, how many of you would agree with that, that would be very common hours. There’s things that we think we can and cannot do based on conditions. Common hours is what society has said is possible, what our conditioning has said is possible. As we are advancing confidently in the direction of our dreams, endeavouring to live the life we’re imagining, we will be met with a success unexpected in common hours. I’m going to start a daycare, it’s going to cost me $200,000 (and Frida and Esta will tell you it turned out to be much more than that), and I have no money in the bank. Common hours would say get a new dream. I have countless stories of clients and past clients where conditions and circumstances said their dream is not possible, and yet they’ve been advancing confidently in the direction of their dream, and story after story after story shows they have done it. The way that we do that is by working with the law by mastering our thinking.

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Common hours has a thinking to it, so what is Mastery thinking? Here are some common hour thinking (or condition based thinking) versus Mastery thinking (or Vision based thinking). Most of us have been trained to think from our conditions, to look to our conditions for permission about what’s possible. So here’s some examples of condition based thinking versus Mastery thinking or Vision based thinking.

Common hour thinking: I have to wait for the right time.

How do we shift that thinking to produce a new result?

Mastery thinking: I make time for what’s important to me.

Common hour thinking: I don’t have the money

Mastery thinking: What would I love? And, what’s a step I can take?

Common hour thinking: What will other people think? If I pursue this dream, what will others think? (This was on my mind as I was leaving a corporate job with benefits and a pension plan, and it’s reliable, and I’ve got a family to support, and I’m just going to walk away from that into the unknown? What are my parents going to say? And if we’re not aware that we’re even having those thoughts, we stay in our patterns.

Mastery thinking: I am the highest Authority on my life. Diana Nyad, when she took her dream off the shelf of swimming from Cuba to Florida, and said I’m going to try this one more time, people doubted her up until that point. Every time she attempted, the news stations were following her, and that last attempt they said “Diana, we don’t think it’s going to happen. We don’t think it’s possible. We’re not following the story anymore.” People will doubt you

Common hour thinking: I’ll wait till I have the whole plan. Once I know exactly how I’m going to achieve this vision, then I’ll make a decision for it. then I’ll start.

Mastery thinking: I do what I can with what I have.

Can you see how both of these thoughts lead to a different outcome? Our thoughts create our feelings, our feelings create our actions, our actions create our results.

Common hour thinking: What if I lose my benefits?

Mastery thinking: The benefits of living my dream is the greatest benefit to me?

Common hour thinking: What if I fail? What if I go for this then I fail?

Mastery thinking: The risk of regret is the greatest risk of all.

so think on this, what condition have you been very interested in lately? You’ve been having some common hour thoughts, “I can’t because…” This is what feels like it’s in the way… What condition have you been interested in? Just take a few seconds here, how does that feel as you’re thinking about that? Notice what you’re noticing – is it expansive or contractive?

You’ve been thinking that thought anyways, you just haven’t had an awareness that you’ve been thinking that thought.

We want to notice it for the purpose of transforming it!

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About Stacey

Stacey Berger

Stacey Berger

After 16 years of climbing the corporate ladder, mentoring entrepreneurs in marking, operations and finance, I made the decision in 2014 to teach success principles full time, combining my love of business and personal development.


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