Our thoughts are something that most of us don’t really consider very much. At least, not until a painful one comes along.
But as you now know, as you read in Are Your Thoughts Ruining You Life?, that our thoughts not only dictate how we feel emotionally and physically but they also determine our behaviors and traits, what we reach towards, what we believe is possible for us, what we believe we deserve and what we are allowed to dare to dream about.
So, if that’s the case, how can we better observe our thoughts?
Well, as we learned in Are Your Thoughts Ruining Your Life?. we have somewhere between 60,000 to 80,000 thoughts per day and around 95% of those are subconscious and recycled from the day before as the subconscious mind is programmed by repetition.
Let’s say that we have 70,000 thoughts per day.
Now, let’s pretend that each of those thoughts represents one pound, or one dollar (or whatever your currency is), for me, I’m going to pretend that I have £70,000 worth of thoughts per day, each thought being worth £1.
At the end of each day, your thought bank will always be £0 and will always be replenished the next day. But out of that £70,000, how much did you spend and how much did you invest?
Confused? Let’s break it down.
You’re running late for work and rushing around, you finally jump on the train and as you sit down, you think to yourself “Why didn’t I get up earlier? I knew I shouldn’t have left it to the last minute. Now, my boss will be angry and I really can’t deal with this right now…” This could easily go on for the whole journey to your desk. This is the equivalent of spending your thoughts. Once you use this thought, it doesn’t benefit you in any way, you can’t get it back and it’s gone forever. It’s spent.
Whereas, instead, once you jump on the train, you think to yourself “All this rushing around makes me feel like crap. It ruins my day before it’s even started. I really do need to sort it out because I really can’t deal with my boss lecturing me again. I think tomorrow I’ll set my alarm for 10 minutes earlier… and put it on the other side of the room so I have to get up.” This, is investing your thoughts. You are assessing the situation, coming up with a solution so you don’t have to experience this (and think this) again tomorrow and the next day.
Want another example?
You jump out the shower and as you’re getting dried, you catch a glimpse of yourself in the mirror and realise how much weight you’ve put on. Are you going to spend your thoughts or invest them?
Spending your thoughts sounds something like this:
“God, I’m disgusting. When did I let myself go? I hate looking at myself in the mirror. Ergh! I feel awful now. I think I’ll wear my black jumper, it’s baggy and hopefully I can hide in the shadow so no one will notice me.”
Did this benefit you in anyway? Did it inspire, uplift or empower you? Did it evoke change or fuel you to step toward your ideal future?
No. No it did not.
It was a reactive thought that came because you decided not to see past current limitations.
Of course, the ideal investment of your thoughts after seeing yourself in a mirror would be something like:
“Ooooh-weeee! How you doing good-looking?” but I want to punch people like that in the face… mainly because I’m not people like them. A much more realistic investment of your thoughts, for most of us would be:
“Wow, have I really been avoiding looking in the mirror so long that I didn’t see how much weight I’d put on? Am I ok with my body being this shape? I’ve not been in a great place recently and I guess my body is a reflection of how I’ve felt on the inside. I’ve not really shown myself any love recently. I can’t remember the last time I wore some clothes that made me feel good or danced around the house. Maybe I need to reevaluate where I am and pay myself a little bit of love and attention. I’ll start with taking a walk to my friend’s house today, she always puts me in a good mood.”
Do you understand now?
When you spend a thought, like spending money, you give it away and it’ll never return. When you spend money on something, you don’t really want or enjoy the thing you’re getting in exchange. Or you feel obliged and begrudgingly hand over the money. It’s the same with a thought.
When you invest your money, you either put it into something that reap rewards at a later date, like a stock, share or income revenue, or you reap the rewards instantaneously by genuinely appreciating, feeling grateful for and enjoying the thing you’ve purchased. Same with your thoughts.
At the end of every day, do you want your thoughts to have been mainly spent? Or do you want them to have been invested into inspiring you, uplifting you, empowering you, cheering you on, building you up, helping you grow and evolve, helping to open new doors for you, helping to direct you to the life that you want and desire?
Ok, here’s a journal prompt to help you explore a little deeper. Get your favourite journal, notebook or even just some scrap paper and free-write on these questions:
Where am I allowing excuses to determine my circumstances?
What is my intuition telling me about what I need to do or let go of in order to get closer to where I want to be?
If you want to discover more about journaling and how you can use it to process your emotions and set your intentions, take my £15 Online Journaling Workshop