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Daily Journal
     August 13, 2021      #96-225 KDJ

Why are you the way you are? 

Toby Moore

I’ve always wondered why people are the way they are. Why is one person happy and motivated, and why is another depressed and unmotivated?

There are many factors — genetics, upbringing and environment. A specific event or a chain of events may have happened to cause a person to be a certain way.

Most of us probably know someone living with addiction. A person with an addiction is unable to abstain from their addiction. It’s their priority, their obsession, the primary part of their daily activity. They find it incredibly difficult to stop.

Some addictions are less severe and are debatable as to how harmful they are. A Mormon friend I knew refused to walk into a coffee house with me, “That place is a den of iniquity,” he said.

Maybe he’s right. I’m strung out on coffee all day long.

I remember being surprised to learn that gambling is an addiction. I didn’t understand why. I thought substances like alcohol, nicotine, drugs or caffeine cause addictions. It turns out that chronic gamblers are addicted to the rush they feel when they roll the dice. What causes that rush? The simple answer is their brain.

They’ve programmed themselves to become addicted to a neurochemical cocktail that causes them to feel the gambler’s rush.

What is a feeling? A feeling is produced by a neurochemical or a blend of neurochemicals called peptides.

What causes the peptides to be produced by the brain? Generally speaking, it’s the thoughts you think. Every thought produces a peptide or a blend of peptides that cause you to have feelings.

Feelings are the byproduct of a chemical reaction that starts with a single thought.

In the book “Evolve your Brain,” Joe Dispenza says, “Conscious thoughts, repeated often enough, become unconscious thinking.”

Most people meditate on the same thought patterns for so long they program their brain to produce a blend of peptides unconsciously without even thinking about it, these peptides cause them to feel a certain way.

Even when a pattern of thinking causes a person pain, it’s difficult for them to change; oftentimes it’s because they are addicted to their emotions. This is a major reason most people find changing their thought patterns impossibly difficult.

I spent many years taking acting classes. The method of acting I studied taught me that I should never act, instead I should authentically feel what my character is supposed to feel. Rather than pretend to cry, I was taught to find a way to truly cry. It’s not easy for me to cry during a performance, but I’ve done it a few times on stage and for the camera. The way I do it is by thinking thoughts that make me cry; sad thoughts, depressing thoughts.

Good actors are living proof that changing your thoughts will change your feelings.

A good question to ask yourself is, “Where have my thoughts led me?” Thoughts are like the steering wheel of a car, they are steering your destiny. Have your thoughts led you to feel emotions that keep you from the life you really want?

We’ve been taught from an early age that drug and alcohol addictions will ruin your life; is it possible to be addicted to negative emotions?

It is possible to change — at any age.

Sometimes it helps to think about what you have rather than what you don’t have. The glass-half-full approach.

Instead of allowing your thoughts to make you feel bad, you can use your thoughts to make you feel good.

Dispenza says, “The process of change requires unlearning. It requires breaking the habit of the old self and reinventing a new self.”

When you change the way you think, you become a new person. Jesus called this process “Repentance.”

If you want to change the way you feel, an excellent place to start is by changing the thoughts that you think.

Toby Moore is a columnist, star of the Emmy-nominated film “A Separate Peace,” and CEO of CubeStream Inc. He resides in​ Bourbonnais and can be reached through the Daily Journal at editors@daily-journal.com.

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