Keep the Bells Ringing

Christopher A Pate

This week we will continue to discuss how our thinking shapes our lives.

I recently read a book that describes the intentional act of making individuals into “average” workers. The name of the book is The End of Average: How We Succeed in a World That Values Sameness by Todd Rose. He describes an excerpt regarding how school bells were instituted in education systems to stimulate factory environments so when kids heard the bell, they would move to the next station similiar to how their parents were conditioned to move throughout the factory during the beginning, middle, and end of the day during the industrial age. This programming is done very early and on a subconscious level.

The National Science Foundation published an article showing that the average person has between 12,000 and 70,000 thoughts per day. And 95% are exactly the thoughts as the day before.

We truly are living the same life over and over! And the strange part of our life is that we DO NOT think. We react based from our programming. This same programming that has us moving stations as we hear our school bell ring. Our school bell takes the form of being offended when someone says something that is not true and even worse it is true, and we react.

To think according to appearances is easy, to think the truth regardless of appearances is laborious and it requires the expenditure of more power than any other work man is called upon to perform
— Wallace Wattles

As a society we have relational, personal, and financial issues based off the programming of someone else. We rarely define what we want to do in life.

I experienced my own programming in the financial arena. Every two weeks I would rush to pay bills for stuff that I didn’t really use or value. I did this to feel a sense of freedom.  I would say “No need in holding on to someone else’s money.” Which sounds great however, the next 13 days I would have the opposite of freedom hoping that nothing went wrong because I had just spent all the money! One day I stopped reacting to this “bell” going off in my head and said WHY do I behave like this? This is truly insanity.

Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.
— Viktor E. Frankl

Our lives are a compilation of thoughts, ideas, and habits. We are what we think and do. We create our circumstances. Nothing is outside our realm of control because WE control our own thoughts. Freedom in thought is not trying to be free from some circumstance or pain in our lives. Freedom is free to choose our own thoughts and create our own lives.


What are the school bells in our lives that have us reacting as opposing to thinking and responding?

How are we exercising freedom in our lives?

Are we using language such as “I have to do…?” I should do… or I choose to do…?

 Have a discussion and share your “bell ringing” on this site