An Interview with Mahatma Gandhi
I think about the great minds, personalities, and influencers of the world and I wish that I could sit down, have tea, and casually talk with them about worldly happenings or their spiritual journeys. Lately, I’ve thought about the topic of negative self-talk.
A couple of weeks ago, I competed at the Budapest World Championships. Just at the beginning of the final I injured my foot and had to pull out of the competition. Days later, I repeated the last few weeks in my head ceaselessly, wondering what I could have done differently to avoid this, which days I skipped a massage, who I should have spoken to sooner, or what support I could have had there with me but didn’t. This could have led to thoughts about myself that are far from loving.
In speaking with athletes of all levels, it is clear that negative self-talk is second nature to most. So, I thought, who can I ask about this? Who could give advice on how to speak kindlier, and gain a stronger mentality.
Just then a small, thin yet seemingly impenetrable man walked into my kitchen. He was dressed in white robes. He had a thick white mustache sprinkled with grey, eyes glowing with love, and a gentle smile.
He smiled and nodded as if pleased with my combined sensation of surprise and joy.
“What are you doing here?”
He continued to smile and slowly waved a hand suggesting that we sit. I directed him into my living room where we sat cross-legged facing one another. Warm tea appeared before us.
Me: Well, since I have you here. Do you mind if I pick your brain about negative self-talk?
Ghandi: “A man is but a product of his thoughts. What he thinks he becomes.”
Me: Right. That’s my take on it as well. I feel like many people know to watch what they say but they are less diligent about paying attention to how they think. Thoughts have so much power.
Ghandi: “Man often becomes what he believes himself to be. If I keep on saying to myself that I cannot do a certain thing, it is possible that I may end by really becoming incapable of doing it. On the…