“We are what we think. With our thoughts, we make our world.” The Buddha’s phrase dates back many centuries, but today it is truer than ever.
In a hectic and competitive society, defeats and victories begin to be built within each person – and the power of the mind is the starting point for self-improvement.
If we think that our mental and cognitive abilities have been accumulated over an evolutionary history that spans millennia, it is not hard to see the importance to choose your thoughts in what constitutes each person’s individuality and how that individual relates to the world and to others.
Why Is Important to Choose Your Thoughts?
Our thoughts are the basis of our decisions and, consequently, of our destiny. So, controlling your mind is the most direct way to influence events and adapt in the best way to the unforeseen.
With this control, besides thinking and planning better, you can have a different attitude towards life, which results in less suffering and more happiness.
This feeling comes from understanding your purpose and how to go about achieving it.
Your achievements will be nothing more than the confirmation that the path you are following is the right one.
It can be said that controlling our thoughts is as important as mastering the movements of the body, from them, are born the feelings and passions that can cause us great pain or raise our potential to the height where our dreams and goals are.
Once we know how our mental gears work, it becomes possible to direct their operation towards the achievement of our dreams and goals.
Each person’s limits start to depend only on his or her will and personal effort.
The more one uses the mind in an active way, the more the failures of understanding and the weaknesses in the face of behavioral addictions decrease considerably.
This means an increase in personal efficiency that will be impossible to go unnoticed.
So, it is no exaggeration to say that the control of the mind is at the base and directly influences your prosperity, health, quality of life, and mood.
Your thoughts are the starting point for achieving personal evolution and for making the world a better place by helping others.
How Can You Choose Your Thoughs?
Faced with such an important question for our lives, many scholars and scientists have been dedicated to understanding how our mind can function in the best possible way, what are the factors that influence this functioning, and the results that can be expected.
These studies are the basis of mental ecology, focused on the study of how human beings relate to their thoughts and the practical outcome of this influence.
Among the results realized by mental ecology is the understanding that there are effective habits and ways to proceed to have a better outcome by cultivating more positive, purposeful, and clearer thoughts.
Here are 7 tips to gain this improvement in your life
1 – Filter Your Thoughts
The first step, as in any improvement process, is to start organizing your mind. This means, at first, separating what is useful from what is unnecessary and what is even harmful.
Being selective about what you devote time and mental effort to ensures that you can employ your capacity in matters that will bring the best return to your life, avoiding accumulating unnecessary “rubble” and making your mental activity bumpy and chaotic.
As you manage to cultivate predominantly positive thoughts, the tendency is that this will be reflected in other aspects of your existence, from your imagination to your experiences.
This is because the mind has a creative capacity; that is, what we think or imagine finds ways to manifest in the real world.
This is why it is so important to cultivate positive thoughts over negative ones.
If a negative idea arises in the mind, we need to exchange it immediately for another, positive one.
The key, therefore, is to exchange bad thoughts for our favorite things.
2 – Cleanse Your Mind
Of course, it is not easy and perhaps verges on the impossible, to filter 100% of our thoughts.
It is a fact that many times our emotions and weaknesses conspire against us. In other situations, it is living with other people, with different points of view and approaches to life that influence us.
As this kind of situation occurs, negative thoughts are “sown” and find room to grow in our minds.
They eventually take root, gain strength, and intoxicate your life.
Toxic thoughts only do harm to your life and that need to be eliminated urgently.
This includes victimization, prejudice, excessive preoccupation with other people’s opinions, conformism, imprisonment in a past that will not return, and the propensity to think that you are always right, whatever the issue may be.
These mental habits represent suffering, wasted time, and a drop in your productivity because your mind has to use a great deal of energy to fight them, becoming a battlefield.
3 – Nurture Good Thoughts
The best way to prevent your mind from being taken over by bad thoughts is to make sure it is already occupied with other, better ones.
Cultivating positive ideas and feelings is the quickest way to strengthen your mind and provide real results in your life.
Doing so helps us to develop a more optimistic outlook, to live in a more humorous state of mind, and to achieve our goals.
Good thoughts need to be sown, cultivated, and when the time is right, they will bear fruit in the form of the results that one begins to reap.
In short, to change your visible reality, you need to change the invisible one, which exists in your mind. Good thoughts produce good results.
4 – Check Your Mind Periodically
To ensure that you are moving in the right direction and that the previous steps are well consolidated, it is essential to make periodic reviews.
After all, this is an essential step in any improvement process: everything always starts with initial analysis, a diagnosis, and, as the project moves forward, new reviews are made.
It is through them that we can verify if the planning is being applied in the right way if the results are satisfactory if there are directions to correct, and how this can be done in the most effective way.
When it comes to the journey of mastering your own mind, regularly examining your thoughts can be the difference between success and failure in your efforts.
The discipline to monitor our thoughts, review our ideas, and eventually, the correct course is the assurance that we are cultivating a new mental model, which can be the path to achieving a better future and greater personal happiness with our individual achievements and reality.
5 – Exercise Your Mind and Your Thoughts
The brain works like a muscle, that is, it gets stronger the more it is exercised and stimulated. A powerful mind, provided it is under the control of its owner, makes it possible to achieve exceptional results.
Most of the possible ways to increase the capacity of your mind are quite accessible and depend more on discipline and focus than on anything else. Check some of them below.
It is the best exercise for the mind. By reading good books, you learn and dialogue with other powerful minds and increase your repertoire of skills, thoughts, and ways of reading and understanding the world.
Each time your mind opens to a new idea, as physicist Albert Einstein said, it will no longer return to its initial size – on the contrary: you will come out of the experience richer and stronger and ready to reach new heights.
This is the treasure you can find in books of the most varied themes, genres, and nationalities.
Regular physical activity helps increase brain function and enables the formation of new cells – including neurons, known as neurogenesis.
A healthy body is an ideal space to reach mastery of the mind because the absence of physical diseases and the feeling of well-being allow it to concentrate the energy and good feelings necessary to reach another mental stage.
It is literally the translation of what the ancient Greeks already preached: a healthy mind in a healthy body.
Practice positive thinking
Having your mind tuned in to good things decreases stress and anxiety, two factors that feed toxic thoughts and that weaken your self-control and willpower.
Positive thinking doesn’t mean being gullible or naïve, but rather that there is an investment of your time in mental energy in ways to transform your reality – rather than doing so by looking for problems or reasons to complain about life.
A common phrase in the business world (and one that was recently recalled by Brazilian businessman Jorge Paulo Lehman) is that there are no successful pessimists.
It’s true: to achieve success, one must, first of all, believe in it.
We are what we eat. Our brain needs about 20% of the energy and nutrients we consume, so the healthier and richer in fruits, vegetables, and omega-3s our diet is, the better the quality of the “fuel” that fuels it.
On the other hand, a bad diet deprives us of substances that are essential for the body to function properly. In this scenario, we end up becoming easy prey for diseases and, consequently, we compromise our well-being.
Body aches, chronic diseases, digestion problems… all these things steal precious time and mental energy – and can be avoided (or considerably reduced) if we have a proper diet.
Another essential component of the practices that provide the health of our body and the strength of our mind is to sleep well.
When we fall asleep, it is as if our brain undergoes a detoxification process, the famous detox.
During sleep, we regenerate cells, remove toxins, and eliminate redundancies and useless information from our memory. Sleep also reduces blood pressure, anxiety, and restores energy.
Poorly slept nights represent unproductive days and an unfocused mind, making it very difficult to keep thinking about your goals and the positive values related to them.
Keeping good habits, such as having an appropriate sleeping condition, exercising, and eating healthy, especially at night, are ways to achieve restorative and quality sleep.
6 – Be Self-Confident
A posture of constant improvement and refinement of thoughts is the indisputable way to achieve mental power, as we have seen so far.
On the other hand, this posture must be balanced with a fundamental characteristic for success in the practical world: self-confidence.
This is because, without a dose of confidence, it is impossible to start any activity, at the risk of being held back by insecurity.
A confident posture also stimulates positive responses (including biological ones) from the people around us.
Positive thinking makes your shortcomings less noticeable and less influential in your activities.
Thinking more about how to achieve your goals is always more effective than focusing on the difficulties in starting or finishing a task.
7 – Achieve a Quiet Mind
As we implement these good practices in our daily lives, we will discover other ways of dealing with our minds, based on our personal characteristics and circumstances.
To see clearly these points of improvement, it is important to cultivate the habit of mental clarity, that is, to avoid as much as possible the continuous and disorganized flow of thoughts.
When you feel clutter in your mind, look for an activity that can help organize it: listening to good music, contemplating nature, meditating, doing breathing exercises, reciting a mantra – anything that works for you is fine.
Gradually, these practices will lead you to the achievement of what is called a “quiet mind”.
Thoughts free from clutter and restlessness, and a steady imagination capable of ridding itself of the habitual harassment of disturbing thoughts, misleading feelings, confusion of ideas, and harmful choices.
A quiet mind is able to observe thoughts and mental movements, in an exempt and dispassionate way, as if they were occurring outside of one’s own consciousness.
No matter how numerous, difficult or complex they may be, they will not shake the tranquility of someone who has achieved this condition.
Advantages When You Choose Your Thoughts
The benefits of having a greater mastery over your mind are varied and important and can be divided into 2 groups: the harm you avoid and the benefits you get.
The first step is getting rid of feelings like stress, anxiety, and fear, which, if left unchecked, can result in serious illnesses like depression and panic syndrome.
Relationship difficulties are also an example of problems that controlling the mind, and consequently the emotions, helps to avoid.
In the other field, the benefits, by gaining clarity about the nature and mechanism behind your thoughts, you will be able to fully control your mind, easily ridding yourself of ideas and thoughts that make you suffer.
This same ability will enable you to focus on what really brings value to your life.
A controlled mind brings with its mastery of emotions, balance, growth in empathy, and greater tolerance for the failings of others.
In addition, improved levels of self-esteem and self-confidence are also noticed.
Focusing on positive feelings and achievements has an immediate reflection on people’s quality of life and level of satisfaction.
Here are 4 fundamental characteristics for success that will be reinforced as you gain more mastery over how to choose your thoughts.
The American journalist and writer Napoleon Hill spent more than two decades in a quest to find the definitive personality trait for achieving success.
After hundreds of interviews, he arrived at 16 characteristics shared by great achievers. The complete list was published in the book “Think and Grow Rich“.
Among Hill’s findings is persistence, which he considers to be the key to turning desires into reality – what’s better, according to Hill, is that this is a skill that can be widely developed by people who can discipline their thoughts, that is, control their mind.
A persistent person is not frightened by difficulties or failures. On the contrary, he takes advantage of what he learns to resume his projects stronger and more experienced.
Most of what we face in life is a test of endurance more than of ability. Knowing how to persist is a great first step to success.
Confidence is the characteristic that allows you to know what you want. Armed with this feeling, you are able to use your skills and resources to achieve your goals.
For people who have low self-confidence, change is only possible by overcoming paradigms, mental models that are built since childhood.
Therefore, acquiring confidence depends on a good ability to analyze and master one’s thoughts.
The understanding that each person’s limits are much more mental than physical and the ability to change the pattern of these thoughts are the basis of transformation through self-confidence.
Power of Action
This is the characteristic that separates the dreamers from the doers.
It consists in overcoming the fears, the barriers, and the resistance to move from the idea, the plan, to the practice – it is our ability to “enter the field” to make it happen.
Almost everyone has plans and purposes that have remained shelved or put off in one of those procrastination rituals we know so well.
The power of the mind, however, is capable of breaking this procrastination cycle. This paradigm shift is a direct result of your ability to make thoughts work for you, rather than against your goals.
Once in motion, the path becomes real, and confidence increases. This naturally leads to new goals, achievements, and course adjustments to get to the goal of your work.
Goals, by the way, are an important tool for achieving mind control.
By setting really challenging goals, worthy of one’s potential, and continuously thinking about them and how to achieve them, one begins to program one’s mind for success.
This is because we end up becoming what we think about most.
So keeping your goals in mind frequently tunes your imagination to what you want to achieve and keeps your brain focused on positive things.
This is probably the most important characteristic to achieve success. It is the key, the starting point to walk the path to personal and professional fulfillment.
The attitude is the basis of your decisions, including the decision to set out in search of improvements in your life.
All the other qualities we have can be weakened or even useless if we don’t have the necessary attitude to put them into practice.
A controlled mind will find it easier to exercise a positive attitude towards life and its projects. This is where the whole flow of changes and conquests that lead us to achieve our goals and dreams is born.
As you can see it is important to discover the importance to choose your thoughts and these 7 actions are key to help strengthen the power of your mind.
Having mastered these advantages you will have the means to achieve the maximum capacity and the full balance of your mental system.