Who is in charge of who?

It seems fairly clear that there are multiple agencies at work in our minds making us do things in the world. I have a fairly strong intention in my life which goes something like this:

- Keep it steady, don't overdo it, stay within your limits

And, I also have fairly severe feedback if I stray very far from this intention. So you'd think that it's pretty clear that this sensible, take-it-easy chap is the one who is in charge on a day to day basis. However, this is rarely the case. Within minutes (seconds even) of waking up, a whole host of other 'important' voices make themselves heard, and, if I'm not paying attention, I can end up doing things 'I' didn't even really want to do.

Now, here's another thing I've noticed. I might be innocently sitting in a cafe minding my own business when I hear a conversation at the next table that seems innocuous enough. Then I might hear one phrase that triggers something in me and I forget my relaxing intention and so thinking stressful thoughts instead.

What is the point of all this? Well, it's clear that we are not entirely in charge of our own minds and that we should pay heed to this or end up in all kinds of mental knots. What messages are we getting from the world? What do they do to us? How should we deal with those messages? What are our deepest values that we can refer back to?

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