What We Think, We Create by Tae Yum Kim, author, THE SEVEN STEPS TO INNER PEACE (Book Excerpt)

Everything external in life was first internal in thought, so no permanent change can come about merely by attempting to fix or rearrange external conditions. Yet that’s usually what we try to do. When we see the symptoms of something wrong in our lives, we usually try to get rid of the symptoms instead of getting rid of the mental condition that’s causing the symptoms. Unfortunately, we tend to look only at the surface of most situations. That’s because searching for the cause of a situation requires more insight than is obvious at first glance; it takes time and effort to search below surface appearances.

For example, a friend who shares my interest in gardening had an expensive plant that was dying. The leaves were turning yellow and dropping, so she spent considerable effort giving it more light, then more shade, then more plant food, then more water, then less water, and on and on. Frustrated, she brought the plant to me. I recognized that the symptoms had nothing to do with any surface problem but were from bacteria attacking the roots. I had to pull the plant out of the soil to get at the real problem. To her amazement, when I uprooted the plant, cleaned it, and replanted it, the problem disappeared. What I proved to her was that the cause of any problem must be identified before we can treat the problem effectively.

We can see other examples of our tendency to treat symptoms rather than causes in our everyday lives. A person may divorce an unsatisfactory marriage partner, only to attract another person with the same unsatisfactory characteristics or worse. Another person may go through all sorts of special programs to lose the weight, only to find that their success is short-lived—they always gain back the pounds. In both instances, the mental condition (which includes attitudes and emotions as well as thoughts) that really caused the condition was not changed; therefore, the external condition did not change.

Instead of looking for the real causes, what usually happens? We most likely hear the first person declare: “You see, another failed relationship! It’s like I told you—there are no good people left in this world. I have the worst luck in relationships. Even if there is somebody good for me out there, either they won’t like me or I’ll never find them.” We may hear the second person say: “You see! I’ll never be able to lose weight permanently. I may as well accept that that’s just how it’s going to be.”

In both examples, these people are voicing the very limitation and false information about themselves that they are meant to overcome. They are basing their statements on outward material evidence. They believe their statements are true because they don’t realize that they created the evidence with their own thinking! They don’t realize that their statements are actually excuses for failing to challenge their beliefs and change themselves. Yes, it takes a lot of work to challenge your beliefs, a lot of courage to ask yourself if you’re making true statements about yourself or simply making excuses for being lazy or weak-minded and refusing to change yourself.

This process is all the more challenging because many of our thoughts and feelings come from accepting without question what others tell us about ourselves, which is not necessarily the truth of who we are. Being a consciously creative thinker is not just about controlling your own thoughts but correcting thinking patterns that have become a part of you because you have accepted other people’s opinions about yourself. That takes deep work because those opinions have become so much a part of you that it’s hard to recognize them and how they have influenced you.

Adapted from THE SEVEN STEPS TO INNER POWER:  How to Break Through To Awesome – Life Secrets From A Martial Arts Master (Mountain Tiger Press) by Tae Yun Kim.  Copyright © 2018 by Tae Yun Kim.  All rights reserved.  This book is available at all bookstores and online booksellers.


Tae Yun Kim is a martial arts great grandmaster, motivational speaker, entrepreneur, and the author of THE SEVEN STEPS TO INNER POWER. She is also the founder and CEO of Lighthouse Worldwide Solutions, a leading high-tech Silicon Valley company, and has won many awards for her achievements and humanitarian service.  To learn more, visit: www.taeyunkim.com.