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  • Writer's pictureAlex Planidin

You don’t have to think that, Daddy!

You don’t have to think that

Questioner: “Is there any thought that’s true?”

Byron Katie: “For me, no, but that’s for you to find out for yourself”

I certainly wasn’t taught this in school. It was more like “Fill your mind with this information, then follow people who have more information in their head than you — and do what they say.” 

This is how you become educated and therefore more valuable.

So how could none of what I spent years learning actually be true?

I don’t have to think that I look a bit unkept today or that my current posture is bad for my back. That's subjective, I can kind of accept that. 

But what about the thought that must love my mother and father? That I must provide for my children? How deep is that? 

Are they not true thoughts?

Byron Katie’s process she calls The Work is an ingeniously simple way of identifying a single thought and looking at it from a different perspective. 

Most of the time I live through my thoughts but, in my case at least, most of this brain activity is just pretty aimless, jumping from one association to the next. 

And yet, if I dig a little deeper, I see that the thoughts I believe, whether I'm aware of them or not, are running my life. 

And thank goodness for most of them! I have a wonderful life. 

But back when I found myself without an income but with a young family to support, there were thoughts like -

“I’m more of a burden than a help. 

I can’t see a way out. 

I’m basically unemployable. 

Every day is awful. 

I’m so ashamed. 

I might as well stay in bed. 

Maybe if I just take a step in front of this speeding car everyone would be better off.”

And while I chose not to pursue the more morbid thoughts, a lot of them felt very true for me.

So the power of “you don’t have to think that” / "you don't have to believe that thought" changed my life. 

And I put it on a Post-It note in my office as a reminder for whenever I found myself in a negative thought spiral.

Our son Lucas, who was around six at the time, found it pretty useful too. 


“Lucas”, I’d say, “you can’t have more juice – that’s too much sugar”

To which he'd reply: “You don’t have to think that daddy!” 

If there’s anything you’d rather not be thinking, but are having trouble shaking off, get in touch, and let’s have a conversation.

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