Today’s wisdom introduces a new word-switch – stren.  A stren is defined as any word, concept, experience, or wisdom that strengthens our productive thinking.  Once explained, you will understand that strens are the mental wiring our freedom organ uses to create a newer way of thinking.  Strens are the means we become mental wealth millionaires and create a joyous meaningful life experience. They are the wisdoms we require to bring about constructive outcomes including world peace.   

          In a prior wisdom tip, I demonstrated an easy way to visualize the three masters who each seek to direct our life’s experience.  I showed you a light control with three switches, and asked you to imagine that the first switch turns on the wiring of instinct, the second turns on the wiring of tradition, and the third switch turns on the last-to-be-created self-mastery wiring that we ourselves design.  Today’s wisdom will help you understand how we strengthen self-mastery and lessen our dependence on dictators.  The earliest two controllers of our destiny, nature and nurture, are dictators!  They prescribe the thinking, feelings, and actions that comply with their demands when we have little or no power to resist.  The labels nature and nurture, fate and circumstance, and instinct and tradition are related in that they each identify the forces that control our early life’s experience; they each would have us continue to serve them throughout our life.  The third controller of our life’s experience is our own freed will power, what we label self-mastery.  

           Here is the story of how the word-switch stren had to be created to turn on constructive thinking when no word already in our language could be found.  Some years ago, the famous anthropologist Margaret Mead spoke before a group of mental health workers.  She told them our thinking is restricted by our language.  She explained that our language is the source of many of our problems.  We have assigned meanings to words and symbols that bias our thinking to focus on the negative aspects of information.  We innately anticipate the harmful possibilities of our life experience to the neglect of the positive.  Here are some examples:

           Worry is a single word that means anticipating the most negative aspect of a situation.  Is there a single word concept that anticipates the most positive aspect of a situation?  The closest such word I’ve found is optimize.  [“Hope” is close but lacks the equivalent energy “worry” expresses.] It is relatively common to hear or know of someone who says, “I have been worrying.”  How often have you heard someone say, “I spent the night optimizing”?

           When most people are asked to give a talk before an audience, or get on an airplane, is their thinking more likely to be preoccupied with the anticipated positive or negative outcomes?  My experience is that most people think of the worst possible outcomes and rarely emphasize the positive outcomes.  Our natural tendency is to exaggerate the negative possible outcomes that create what we identify as anxiety rather than the more likely positive outcomes.      

           We have heard or used such words as setback and putdown.  How often do we hear the words set-forward and pull-up that focus on elevating ourselves to higher levels of function?  The word “resentment” would seem to literally mean re-experiencing a feeling or a sentiment which could be positive or negative (think “re-sentiment”).  In actual usage, resentment has come to mean a reoccurring feeling of distress due to a real or imagined injustice by a person, act, or situation.