Imagine a life in which all your thoughts are carefully selected before they occupy your mind.
Imagine a life in which you choose not to give attention to your unhelpful, limiting, or negative thoughts.
Think it’s impossible? That itself is a negative thought! Because no matter how hard it may be at first, it is indeed possible.
As human beings, we have the ability to control our own mind, rather than be controlled by it. We have the power to pick the thoughts that inspire us, and let go of toxic ones.
And it’s not even that difficult. It just has to become a habit, like any other habit in your life.
Waking up at a certain time, brushing your teeth, checking phone notifications — those are habits. You can develop the habit of choosing your thoughts wisely.
It’s not like you need to meditate for ten years and read a hundred books on psychology and the like.
Practices like meditation do help, which is why anyone who is serious about their mental wellbeing uses them. But the habit of choosing your thoughts is enough!
How many thoughts do you have daily?
How many thoughts do you think you have each day? Including anything from simple yes/no decisions to deep philosophical questions or realizations?
It turns out, the average human being might have over 6,000 thoughts in a single day, which translates to over two million a year. That’s what emerged from a study in 2020.
Some say it’s a lot less. Some say it’s a lot more — up to 70,000 thoughts a day. Ultimately, it doesn’t matter how many. I think we all agree that we constantly think about something.
That’s the first thing I’d like you to consider: your mind is a bit of a workaholic. It just doesn’t stop. Even when your body is fully relaxed, you may still have hundreds of thoughts.
This can sound a bit scary, but only to those who are controlled by their own mind. If you control your mind, then all those thoughts will be “manageable”.
Everything is real; not everything is important
Here’s another interesting way to look at it: everything is real, but not everything is important.
In a way, your thoughts are real. They exist. If you imagine a red butterfly, that butterfly may only exist in your mind, and not in the material world. But it’s there. It’s something.
Similarly, there is an infinite amount of information that you could choose to focus on — especially now with all these digital screens, right?
You watch the news to find out about a certain event… then the weather forecast… then more news… then information about a certain product, and it just never ends.
Whether it’s information on the internet, entertainment, or your own thoughts — know that they are literally endless.
So the most sensible approach is to only focus your attention on the things that add value to your life, or that are useful in general.
All your thoughts are, like I said, in a way, real. Not all of them are important; not all of them deserve your attention.
If your mind generates 6,000 thoughts a day, chances are that at least a thousand of those are either negative or absolutely useless. And I’m sure a thousand is an understatement.
Choose your thoughts wisely
Develop the habit of choosing your thoughts wisely, and you’ll be happier than the vast majority of people — effortlessly.
To choose and select your thoughts doesn’t mean to only have positive thoughts. That’s not a realistic goal.
You’re still going to have thousands of thoughts a day. You can’t really change that.
But what you can change — and this is all it boils down to — is choose which thoughts are important. All your thoughts exist, not all your thoughts are important.
For example: dwelling on the past, agonizing over past mistakes, thinking about the past versions of yourself, generally isn’t important.
Thinking about ways to improve your life, telling yourself that you are beautiful, planning new exciting adventures — these are generally important.
Just like the thoughts of brushing your teeth or eating dinner. You need those thoughts too.
But then there are thoughts that, at best, do not contribute to your happiness in any way, and at worst, steal your joy for life. Or your mental well being, for that matter.
- Choose the thoughts that are useful
- Choose the thoughts that inspire you
- Choose the thoughts that are accurate
- Choose the thoughts that make you grow
- Choose the thoughts that are important
- Choose the thoughts that bring happiness
Choose your thoughts wisely: quotes
You need to learn to select your thoughts just the same way you select your clothes every day. This is a power you can cultivate. If you want to control things in your life so bad, work on the mind. That’s the only thing you should be trying to control.Elizabeth Gilbert
You get what you focus on, so focus on what you want.Unknown
Your mind is like a garden — unless you cultivate flowers, weeds will flourish. To keep your mind positive, substitute positive thoughts for negative thoughts.Brian Tracy
Fill your mind with truth; fill your heart with love; fill your life with service.Thomas Monson
What you choose to focus your mind on is critical, because you will become what you think about most of the time.Noel Peebles
When we blather about trivial things, we ourselves become trivial, for our attention gets taken up with trivialities. You become what you give your attention to.Epictetus
Dwelling on the negative simply contributes to its power.Shirley MacLaine
We’ve got to remember that we get whatever we focus on in life. If we keep focusing on what we don’t want, we’ll have more of it. The first step to creating any change is deciding what you do want, so that you have something to move toward.Tony Robbins
What you focus on grows, what you think about expands, and what you dwell upon determines your destiny.Robin Sharma
Control your own mind, and you may never be controlled by the mind of another.Napoleon Hill
Your mind will always believe everything you tell it. Feed it faith. Feed it truth. Feed it with love.Unknown
Be cautious with what you feed your mind and soul.Steve Maraboli
One reason so few of us achieve what we truly want is that we never direct our focus; we never concentrate our power. Most people dabble their way through life, never deciding to master anything in particular.Tony Robbins