I Think Therefore I Am…?

Last Updated: March 10, 2021

Or, You Are Not What You Think About!

You are a thinker. That much I know about you to be true. Anything else?… Well you really do have the capacity to create all manner of good (and not so good) in the world, all via the Principles of Thought, and what you make of “I think therefore I am…”


Epictetus quote about disturbances (in our thinking)



I wrote much of this post “I think therefore I am” on a private facebook group a little while back (2013) – a post about thinking, no less, and the labels we give ourselves because of how serious we take some of our thinking.

This ‘I think therefore I am’ post essentially reduces to these few bullet points:

  • You are not what you think
  • But you are a thinker (a thinking creature)
  • You really don’t have to take your thinking seriously


So, anyway, here’s my post…

I Think (Therefore I Am…?)

This thought about thinking came to me a while back.

It’s a thought about the thoughts we take seriously, that we pay particular attention to, and the labels we then give ourselves. And how this can end up being a vicious self-perpetuating cycle. (Other people’s thoughts can do this to us, too, if we decide to take their thoughts seriously, too.)

Some Example Thoughts…

“I’ve got no friends!” says the man who takes these thoughts about himself, whenever they occur, particularly seriously. He ignores all the times he meets up with his friends – “They don’t count!”, go his thoughts then, for some reason.

“I’m indecisive!” says the woman who pays close attention to the few times that she struggles to make decisions. Similarly, she chooses to ignore the many other times when she makes quick-fire decisions, effortlessly.

“I’m too serious!” says the teenage boy who takes this particular thought far too seriously, and ignores all those thoughts of levity that go on in his head also.

“I’m so clumsy!” says the girl who drops things, occasionally, and who never notices the fact that everyone else drops things, occasionally, too.And, finally,

“I’m happy!” says the man, woman, boy and girl who take their “I’m happy!” thoughts seriously, smilingly so, and who pay little or no attention to the “I’m sad”, “I’m miserable” and “I’m lonely!” thoughts that they also occasionally have.

By the way, these thoughts are some of the many thoughts/labels that I’ve taken to identify with, over the years.

Now, I prefer the following, to summarise me and my life…“I think thoughts!”(And some of those thoughts I take seriously, and some of ’em I don’t. But it’s all just thinking!)




I Think Therefore I AM… WHAT?

I wonder if you can understand the subtle way that we all take some of our thinking far too seriously, how we let that define who we think we are!

For example, favourite self-help topics like

  • low-self-esteem
  • assertiveness
  • communication skills
  • positive thinking
  • etc.

would be far less interesting to people once they realised that what was really going on (in their heads) was this:

  • I have low self-esteem sometimes, and whenever I do I ALWAYS REMEMBER and let that time define who I am; I always forget those times when the opposite is equally true

(Note: replace ‘I have low self esteem’ with ‘I lack assertiveness’ or ‘I don’t listen properly’ or ‘I have negative thoughts’ or any other ‘fault’ you believe to be true about you.)

It’s not true, it’s just not true – those definitions you have of yourself.

  • Sometimes you goof, and sometimes you don’t – now that is true.
    Well, if you’re a human being, that is.

So those labels we seem so keen to give ourselves (and others) they’re really unhelpful, to say the least.


I Think Therefore I Am… A Thinker!

I think therefore I am a thinking creature, a thinker no less. Sometimes I think thoughts that feel good, and sometimes I don’t. Sometimes I take my thinking seriously and – again! – sometimes I don’t. “I think, by God, and ain’t that grand!”.

Anything else, any other label or meaning we give to our thinking is simply a made up nonsense.

I prefer the following label: I am a marvel of nature,
and I don’t know what marvellous thing I’m going to do next!


How About You?

How about you? Are you a thinker, too?


And when will it be okay for you to make ‘mistakes’ (and not define yourself by those mistakes)?…




Simply put, you are not what you think about – you are the thinker, the observer of that thinking, the one that responds to it. As much as it is convenient and comfortable to believe in our thinking – or in the thinking of others (think ‘values’, ‘laws’, ‘rules’, ‘morals’, etc.) – it is not necessary. You are a thinking creature that creates your experience, moment by moment, via Thought. That is all.

You are an artist painting on a canvas, not what gets created on that canvas.


ABOUT THINKING: Some Next Steps…

Whether this is making sense or not, try the following exercises out by way of a ‘thought experiment’:

  • Exc. 1: Do you know what you will think about in the next five minutes?
  • Exc. 2: Do you think there is a person alive who thinks exactly like you do?
  • Exc. 3: Have you ever thought one thing about ‘something’ (a person, an event, a form of music, etc) and then thought another sometime later?

With all these exercises, what do you make of the somewhat arbitrary nature of your thinking, then – the thinking you do and don’t believe in?…

Or, much more simply when it comes to thinking…


A Coaching Conversation Might Help

Reading blog posts is good. Watching videos is good, too. But sometimes having a meaningful conversation about the issue you're experiencing is best. To experience a transformative coaching conversation where you get to ask YOUR questions, and to experience YOUR insights. Well, I can help you with that...