Watch your words, for they become actions.
Watch your actions, for they become habits.
Watch your habits, for they become your character.
Watch your character, for it becomes your destiny.
Under the guise of being a piece of wisdom, this, to me, sounds like a healthy recipe for going insane. Watch your thoughts? Indeed. Might as well try to bite your own teeth.
The world becomes a lot more fun and easier to deal with once you stop trying to control everything and realise that things tend to work pretty much ok even if you don't keep a paranoid eye on them.
I much prefer the following Haiku:
And the grass grows by itself.
> Doing nothing
> And the grass grows by itself.
And you die of hunger because your crop field is full of grass.
Seriously, born in East Asia and had enough the Zen anti-industry crap, I much prefer Mobilis in Mobili.
Also don't forget the hilarious "If you sit by the river long enough, you will see the body of your enemy float by (子在川上曰：逝者如斯乎)" LMAO
As the human default seems to be blind acceptance of every rationalization that appears in our minds, simply being more aware (by observation) that who you are is a process and not an immutable state can be a profound step.
Apart from the Orwellian undertones, you can 'watch' something without even understanding it, much less influencing or controlling it.
But how do we regulate our metacognitive regulation? And can we regulate that regulation? And ...
Biting your own teeth, indeed.
This advice is meant for people that want to change their destiny. It is good that you can be happy with who you are, but some people want to improve drastically, not just by a few minor character alignments over a few decades.
I've not done enough of it to be sure that it can be made to work for everyone in every situation, but it sure helps me with my day.
Catching yourself drifting in the direction you shouldn't be right now is what focus is all about, no?
To break down what it says, and offer my own thoughts, often, the path to doing something at first challenging is: thought -> action -> habit, belief/better life or outcome.
Achievable steps is also key. Trying to rush the process and immediately reach the endpoint results in frustration.
So, "I want to learn to swim" => Spend 15 minutes practicing => Spend 15 minutes practicing 3 times a week... and so on, gradually ramping up is likely to work, while, "I want to learn to swim" => 3 practices weekly of 1 hour is likely to fail, in my experience.
Anyway, that's exactly why this type of crap isn't useful.
To become excellent at a contingent skill (e.g. swimming, chess, math) you must surround yourself with excellent, honest people who care about you.
To become excellent at a trascendental skill (e.g. "strength," "bravery") you must isolate yourself and go very deep.
There is no other way.
>To become excellent at a trascendental skill (e.g. "strength," "bravery") you must isolate yourself and go very deep.
Isn't this reversed? It feels like it to me. Of course both internal and external methods apply to each.