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The Three Actions - Physical, Verbal and Mental

There are three primary actions a person can take - physical, verbal and mental. These actions are always weighted in reverse of their actual importance in our culture today. We treat most seriously the individual who physically harms another, less seriously the one who speaks with disrespect towards others and we give the least significance to the one who thinks negatively about another.

A physical or verbal action looks wildly different based simply on the intention involved.

For example, a doctor performs emergency cardiac surgery by cutting into the chest of a person, which turns out to be unsuccessful and the person dies. A murderer stabs a person with a knife and that person dies. The physical action involved is similar and have the same effect, but as you already see, they are miles apart. Why? Obviously, the doctor acts out of a desire to save life, and the murderer's intention comes from hatred and to take life.

In a similar way one man belittles a co-worker verbally. He comes from a place of anger. Another man yells at his son as the boy begins to run into the street to retrieve a ball. Again, you can see that both the behavior, as well as the verbal expression appear the same. However, one is fueled by angry intentions while the other is inspired by love.

Words and behaviors are simply the result of mental action. It is the intention of your mind which determines your verbal and behavioral actions.

I'm moving toward a perspective on powerful and lasting life change based on targeting the most appropriate place to intervene. You may make a behavioral change or curb your appetite for terse language in the company of those most important to you. And, I believe this is very good and a noble effort to make. Unfortunately, if there is no change at the mental level, your forward progress will almost always halt, leaving you feeling more defeated than when you first began.

It's like having an aquarium with floating sediment in the water. You can add a chemical that will bond with particles and those particles will then drop to the bottom of the aquarium and leave the tank looking crystal clear. But is it really? If you rake your hand across the rock along the bottom you'll find all the sediment is right there waiting to rise right back into the water again. For lasting purity in the aquarium you have to go to the bottom, take out the rock and clean the aquarium from the bottom up.

This is much like cleaning the mind. Take stock of the mind; become aware of your intentions, be truthful with yourself about how you think about people or certain issues. Then purify the mind of all that is unwholesome. Eliminating negative thought patterns will set you free to experience the happiness you were made for.


Dave Turo-Shields (email)
Veteran Psychotherapist, Trainer & Life Coach

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"Undisciplined minds are a dime a dozen! "


Ask Dave


Is depression a genetic issue?



Usually when a person asks me this question, I fear that if I answer "yes," they will document my answer as the final word that there is no hope for recovery.

There is not yet substantial proof of biological/genetic depression.  And, what would it mean if it really were proven?  

Let's assume for some that depression is genetic.  You see, at some time in a genetically depressed person's history, genes were altered to reflect depression.  How did that occur?  

Let's assume that there were three generations of  hard luck and hard times.  Those previous generations began to think nothing was ever going to get any better.  Do you believe thought patterns  like that influence your body, mind, chemical structure... even your DNA?

I do!

It's also been proven that we are made up of subatomic particles, which means that each of our atoms come into and leave existence every fraction of a second.  A mind-blower, eh?

So, getting back on track - do you believe then that you could reverse, even re-engineer the chemical structures in your body so that you didn't experience depression any longer?  Could you do that through ridding yourself of negative thought patterns, as in today's article?  It would be a good start.


Dave Turo-Shields

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