How to Change Your Thoughts and Why You Must
A few weeks ago I started a series of posts I’m calling Recover You. The series is focused on practices and habits that I believe lead to a healthier mind, body and spirit, a healthier business and ultimately a healthier economy.
You can read my overview Recover You post here.
Today I am going to talk about the role our relentless thoughts have on our outlook, habits, motivation, words, actions and outcomes.
Or, perhaps more importantly, how we have given over control of our thoughts to our past experiences and future desires.
Let me ask you something. As you were reading this, what else were you thinking about? What you have to do today, how foolish this notion sounds, why you never got around to asking for a higher price on your last sale?
Our thoughts are in constant motion, whether we choose to witness them or not.
Our mind is incredible. It is an absolute marvel of design, invention and cognition, but it doesn’t seem to care what we think. It merely plays with what we feed it and tells us how to act based on that alone.
There are entire fields of scientific research and practice dedicated to this idea so my point today is to simply suggest better ways to feed it in service of Recover You.
If you want to change your outcomes, you must change your thoughts.
But that’s easier said than done so the first step is to begin to recognize your thoughts, even as they happen unconsciously. By developing or regaining the art of mindfulness you can take the first step towards change.
There is a wonderful little book by Deepak Chopra called The 7 Spiritual Laws of Success that I recommend to everyone that asks.
In one of the first chapters Chopra talks about non-judgment and how our constant judging everything that happens around us as either good or bad influences how we react without thinking.
He proposes an exercise that has had a profound impact on me over the years and I suggest you give it a try.
Starting today, carve out a 15-minute period and consciously commit to foregoing any thought of judgment. Take a walk on a busy street while you monitor your thoughts and see how actively your mind want to make judgments about everything you see. For some people just keenly witnessing their thoughts for even fifteen minutes is incredibly mind-opening.
The goal is to increase this mindfulness to longer periods of time and forgo judgment during an entire hour of chunk of the day.
This is how you begin to regain making choices about how you interpret, filter and react to everything that occurs around you.
Every single action or reaction we make is a choice, but we’ve relinquished our ability to choose because we no longer think, we simply act.
Think about the last time someone cut you off in traffic. I don’t about you, but I can think of many times when this simple act made my blood pressure rise, turned me aggressive and made me angry for an extended period almost as though I had no choice but to react in that way. When you think about that, isn’t it amazing.
When we begin to regain our ability to stop judging and start thinking in ways that support who we really are we can move in the direction of fulfilling any dream we have.
If you’re following along with this Recover You thread I have three acts I would like to urge you to take to liberate your thoughts starting today.
- Make it a habit to spend at least 15 minutes a day witnessing your thoughts and calming any and all desire to judge things that occur.
- Start each day mentally combing over a list of the things you are most grateful for.
- Read Deepak Chopra’s 7 Spiritual Laws of Success several times